Drop Him Good
Or Give Her a Sex Change

Earl H. Roberts

Daddy called me into his den one morning and invited me to sit down in front of him. For a moment he went on scraping something off one of his boots into the waste basket. Then without glancing up he said: "Tink, I want to explain some facts of life which seem to have escaped your attention, and are essential for you to understand before things get any farther out of hand."

Daddy grunted then and looked me straight in the eye.
"Do you know what babies are, Tink?"

"Me an Sylvia --" I stopped anxiously when Daddy looked confused.

  "-- were just talking about that,," I finished.

He put that boot down and grabbed the other one.
There was a peculiar odor in the room.  I couldn't quite place it. 

Daddy cleared his throat. "Well son, the fact is, Americans have always had a fanatical love affair with babies -- Just the sight of a baby will melt the American heart, son -- Americans will do anything for a baby, especially if it is cute. And the babies Americans fall in love with the fastest are called PUPPIES."

Suddenly I realized what the peculiar odor in that room was. I suddenly understood that Daddy was talking about Gypsy. "You remember what a puppy looks like, son? Seems to me like you asked me for a puppy once upon a time, didn't you?"

The odor got real strong in that room. I groaned deep. Daddy nodded, but with little obvious compassion. "Told me you would take care of her, build her a home, pet her a hundred times a day,,, and something else you were going to do, but I forget what it was -- something about the yard though."

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I stared at the boot in his hand, fascinated. 
With Daddy, that's all anybody can do.

"Everybody loves a puppy. You aren't the only one who promises the moon to get a puppy. But as puppies get older one of the essential facts of life becomes painfully obvious; People get tired of responsibility. As puppies get older the fun of feeding and caring for them becomes a dreaded form of menial drudgery which people come to hate and eventually even to shirk.

"Now, that's where you are right now, Tink. You think it is too much trouble for you to go on feeding and caring for your dog. You've got other things to do now... important things --"

I dashed the sweat off my brow and broke in on him. "Daddy, I --" I stopped when I saw he was not listening.  He NEVER listens!

"Son, don't make me any more promises you have done proven you are not going to keep. Just let me get on with this lesson. Now, where was I?

"Oh yeah. When at last the bough breaks -- when heave-ho time arrives -- people with any shred of conscience left will find a decent place to drop their dog off at. Most people feel like they owe the dog something, at least a sporting chance to go on living, you might say. So let me discuss the options you have available. The most obvious is to drop her at the pound."

Futile hate boiled up in me. "Oh no, Daddy. No. Not the pound. They shoot the dogs that don't get claimed there."

"Oh, don't you fret any on Gypsy's account son. She won't feel a thing. Besides, as pretty as she is, someone is bound to adopt her. That makes the pound the number one choice for you to consider. And don't forget, the pound will even come and pick your dog up for you."

I groaned. "Daddy, I just can't let you take Gypsy to the pound." {How in the world do you stop Daddy from doing anything?} I wondered.

"Okay," he conceded rather quickly. "But you are going to drop her someplace. What is your next option?"

He pondered the question for a moment, then raised his eye brows as if the old faker really had just thought of something. "Tink, we could take Gypsy down into the dark woods on Snake Island. It won't be your fault if she gets lost out there chasing the only rabbit left that them Bowlands haven't shot yet. And, if nobody finds her in a few weeks she can always chase her own tail for breakfast."

"Daddy, let's rule the woods out too. Look, --"

"Oh, don't give up yet, son. There are a few more options. Let's see now. We could drop her at your friend's house over in the suburbs of Coy. {Coy  only has a population of 11.5 souls and Daddy knows it!} We'll just pay them a casual visit. Then just before we leave you ask your friend to keep your puppy for a few days. Then I'll get too busy to take you back until Gypsy has had every opportunity to have licked her way into their hearts. Of course, we may have to repeat this step until you run out of friends -- but sooner or later ---"

I shook my head firmly. "I'll take care of her from now on, honest!"

As well to ask the man in the moon to quit raising the tide as to ask Daddy to quit raising a ruckus before he gets it all out of his system. "You could go down to England and drop her off just a little past a poor man's house and just before you get to a rich man's house.  One family is sure to grab old Gypsy up before the other family can steal her. But you know, there is one place you sure don't want to drop a dog off at. You know where that is, Tink?"

Appealing to God's tender mercies didn't do a bit of good. I shook my head.

"Don't never drop no dog near a dog kennel unless you put their bloodline papers inside a sealed attaché case chained around the dog's neck. And remember, they can spot forged papers quickern anybody.

"Now one more thing. Most people just flat don't want no girl dog dropped off on them. They take their guns out and make her life downright miserable. What I suggest in this case is giving Gypsy a sex change before you dump him."

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I stood up. His heavy hand shoved me back.  He wasn't through by a long shot.

 "The best time to drop your dog is right after Sunday Services at Church. You see, between then and sundown the golden rule no longer applies for dogs. Why by the time you go to Church again your conscience will be clean as a whistle."

I stood up once more, dodging his heavy hand. "Daddy, I'm going to start taking real good of Gypsy again. I'm going to keep her. I'm going to grow up and take care of her good."

Daddy stared at me for a long moment. Then he nodded. "Okay. We'll try that. But next time --- next time ---"

His face turned a mottled red. I swallowed uneasily. "Yeah Daddy?"

"Next time, you clean the boots off or I'll wipe them off on you while I'm still wearing them.  Now you get out of here and take care of your dog before I do.

The End

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