Gerald’s Talking Dog Essay Contest 2016: Third Place

geralds talking dog

Gerald’s Talking Dog

By Mary Sharry

Gerald’s Talking Dog loves cherries. That’s all he talks about, but when he got into the sauce he began to slur his words so that, “I’d like some more cherries, please,” came out as, “Idrike zhumor sherrish, shpleeeesh.” If you remember the comedian Foster Brooks, you’d note the wanton diction in the dog’s voice. The problem wasn’t with Gerald’s dog; it was the cherries. They’d sat in the back seat of Gerald’s limousine for four days, under a hot sun. Bob, the orchardist, had asked Gerald if he’d like some cherries and, of course, Gerald said he would. So when the cherries were ripened and picked, Bob drove some over to Gerald’s house. The limousine that Gerald used for his airport pickups, wedding parties, and whatnot sat in the driveway, and Bob had assumed that Gerald would use the limo that day and would see the cherries. Alas, they had sat there four days in the sweltering heat before Gerald had a call to pick up some dignitaries at the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport.

Gerald saw the over-ripened cherries and brought them into the house, a slurry of cherries in a plastic bag, and placed them on the kitchen counter where he figured he’d deal with them when he returned from his airport pickup. Meanwhile, the plastic bag started to leak and the cherries began to drip onto the floor. They were nicely fermented. The dog got all tongue-tied and his black lips grew numb as he licked and slurped up the juice, but that was not enough. He trotted over to the doorway, took a running start and leaped onto the kitchen counter, bit open the bag, and sucked up the edible part of the cherries, spitting out the pits.

Later that evening, on returning home, Gerald was to take his dog out for a gig at the local casino. They’d be a splendid act, “GERALD AND HIS TALKING DOG.” The dog, whose name was Samson, was thoroughly shnockered and by the time Gerald walked onto the stage with the little Jack Russell terrier tucked under his arm, the dog was giggling and farting atrociously from the fermented cherries and Gerald could not get him to say one word other than, “sherrishpleeeesh,” which cost Gerald the gig and an evening’s worth of gasoline for his limo.

Nowadays, Gerald buys only Stormcloud’s Belgian Rye Dubbel, and Samson gets an occasional lick of the foam because he still loves cherries. That’s all he talks about and sings about. On a night such as this you might hear the little dog out in back, beneath the amber glow of the street lamp, singing his favorite song, “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.”

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