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02:29 pm: I Has a Sweet Potato
You know, a lot of times I write up random posts and then don't post them. But Best Beloved just called me, and I could not really explain why I was inarticulate about sweet potatoes, so I said I'd go ahead and post this. That way, she can read it at work and know just what kind of day it has been. (Short version, for those who do not feel like reading the whole post: ARRRRRRG. Fucking sweet potatoes.)

The longer version, summarized in conversation form:

Dog: I am starving.
Me: Actually, no. You aren't starving. You get two very good meals a day. And treats. And Best Beloved fed you extra food while I was gone.
Me: I saw you get fed not four hours ago! You are not starving.
Dog: Pity me, a sad and tragic creature, for I can barely walk, I am so starving. WOE.
Me: I am now ignoring you.
Dog: Did you hear me? I am starving.
Dog: Are you seriously ignoring me? Fine.

[There is a pause, during which the dog exits the room in a pointed manner.]

[From the kitchen, there comes a noise like someone is eating a baseball bat.]

Me, yelling: What the hell are you doing?
Me: *makes haste for the kitchen and finds dog there*
Dog: *picks up entire raw sweet potato, which is what was causing the baseball bat noise, and flees for the bedroom*
Me: *chases dog, retrieves most of sweet potato, less the portion which has disappeared into dog's gullet*
Me: ...That can't be good for you. It's a RAW SWEET POTATO.
Dog: I had to do it. I haven't been fed. Ever.
Me: You realize you aren't normal. Normal dogs don't steal raw sweet potatoes.
Dog, sadly: I was badly brought up.
Me: Yes. Yes, you were.
Dog: By people who starved me.
Me: Oh, no. I am not doing this again.
Me: *exits the room, bearing sweet potato*

[There is a pause.]

[There is a noise like someone is trying to eat a baseball bat very very quietly.]

Me: Oh, for the love of GOD.
Me: *heads off to the kitchen*
Dog: I am not eating a raw sweet potato.
Me: You have sweet potato parts all over your snout.
Dog: But you don't actually SEE a raw sweet potato, do you? So maybe that's just - um. A birthmark.
Me: Did you seriously eat a whole sweet potato?
Dog: You don't listen. I told you, I wasn't eating a sweet potato.
Me, searching around fruitlessly: Look. NO MORE SWEET POTATOES.
Me: Oh, what am I saying? This is you we're talking about, here. *goes to hide all the sweet potatoes that are left - which isn't many - in the fridge, because some people cannot be trusted*
Dog: *attempts to look thwarted*
Dog: *does not succeed, because her tail is wagging so hard small cyclones are forming in the kitchen*
Me: *has a very bad feeling about this*

[There is a pause, during which I do not even bother trying to return to what I was doing. I just stand in the computer room, waiting.]

[There is, as I wholly expected, a baseball-bat-eating noise.]

Me, stomping back to the kitchen: OKAY. GIVE ME THE DAMNED SWEET POTATO.
Dog, looking up guiltily: What sweet potato?
Dog: Oh, did you want this? I just, um. Found it. Lying here.
Me: *confiscates the sweet potato and deposits it in the locking trashcan*
Me: Let us say no more about this.
Dog: ...Nooooo! They be stealin' my sweet potato!

[I attempt to remember what I was doing before the sweet potato episode.]

[Some ten minutes later, I succeed, and return to it.]

[NOT ONE MINUTE LATER, I hear a noise with which I have become all too familiar.]

Me, bonking head on desk: Arg.
Me, arriving in kitchen: How did you even get another sweet potato?
Dog, smugly: I have my ways.
Me: Are you punishing me for being away for several days? I was at a FUNERAL, you know. It wasn't FUN.
Dog: How would I know? You didn't take me. You left me here with only one human to look after my needs. One human is NOT ENOUGH.
Me: *shuts dog in bedroom, conducts a sweep of the kitchen to track down all remaining sweet potatoes, wipes up random sweet potato particles from floor, eradicates all traces of sweet potato from house*
Me: *lets dog out*
Dog, sulkily: Oh, so you think you've won.

[I watch her go about her business with the same sense of overwhelming doom that heroines of Victorian novels get when they meet Count Sinistrus Grimblack for the first time.]

[Half an hour later, there is a wetter, juicier eating noise, as though someone was eating a very moist baseball bat.]

Me, wearily: What NOW?
Dog, hunched over the remains of a butternut squash: *says something garbled because her mouth is full*
Me: Okay. Fine.
Me: *stomps over, empties entire vegetable bowl into trash*
Dog: I'm not even remotely sorry. I told you I was hungry. And you went to a funeral without me.

[A half-hour later, there is another baseball-bat-eating noise from the kitchen. The dog, who apparently does not know how to win gracefully, has found another sweet potato, or possibly caused one to materialize from the Rift.]

Me, hauling chewed sweet potato parts from the mouth of a dog very reluctant to part with them: Oh my god how is this my life?
Dog: Don't you think it would just be easier to feed me?
Dog: Actually, I feel...um...not so good.
Dog: *throws up* *vomit is very bright orange*

[Unfortunate details ensue.]

Some time later:
Me, attempting to rescue something from the wreckage: So. What have we learned from this?
Dog: Sweet potatoes are yummy!
Other Dog, looking thoughtful: I should pay more attention to crunching noises. Sweet potatoes are probably yummy.
Me: I need a lobotomy.

And that, Best Beloved - and anyone else who made it through that - is What Kind of Day It Has Been.


[ETA 6/22/2007: Hi! I can't reply to comments on this entry any more; I'm reading them all, and loving them, but responding is beyond me. So:

If you'd like to link people here, feel free.

If you'd like to leave a comment, please do. They make me happy.

If you'd like to repost or use this elsewhere, please don't; I'd prefer you to link. And no commercial use of my work without my permission, please.

If you see this reposted or used elsewhere, I'd very much appreciate a comment or email - thefourthvine at livejournal dot com - to let me know where.

Thank you for reading!

...And, yes, she has had more sweet potato; I gave it to her when the comments on this hit the tenth page. I figured she'd earned it.]


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[User Picture]
Date:June 29th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
hahaha i laughed out loud -- several times. :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
This is exactly like my dog. Really. Exactly. Except he has some sort of weakness for underwear, socks, and for some reason tonight, a box of unused band-aids.
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the laugh! Posted an entry with link on my LJ to direct f-list and random readers to this post (and save for future reads of course).
Date:July 4th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)

thanks for a good laugh--i had a bad day too

i clicked on this blogroll link by accident and found myself at this wonderful story which has done the impossible--made me laugh out loud at a very difficult time in my life. thank you, littera_abactor, whoever you are. a blessing on your best beloved and your dogs. if all your writing is this good, i may have to come here intentionally in the future. peace be with you.

[User Picture]
Date:July 4th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
i think this is the funniest thing i've ever read! i laughed so hard i hurt :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
bwaaaa hahahahahahaha Thanks.
Date:July 9th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
I have seen a few others "copy" this post. I highly recommend you set it to private so that we on your friends list may enjoy your writing.
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
In case you hadn't already been informed, this post is now an e-mail forward. A co-worker sent it to me, and I recognized it from being linked here...oh, back when you were around 5 pages of comments, I think. *snerk*
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for telling me about this. And, um - my apologies? I swear I didn't mean to create spam.

I apparently just way underestimated the desire of the internet-using public to read short dialogs about a dog and some sweet potatoes. (Hint to any entrepreneurial types: there is a huge untapped market just sitting here, waiting for the right product to come along. Although I'm sort of afraid to consider what that product might be. My First Sweet Potato Fetish?)
[User Picture]
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Haha! That's adorable! :) And hilarious. :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 14th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
This had me laughing in tears. Literally. There are tears running down my face at this very moment. I cannot believe that this is what I miss when I'm away from the internet for a few months.

I've been there. WonderDog, who comes from a bad background where he quite literally was starving, eats everything, too. We've had pancakes disappear, bird food (three fat balls), a whole bag of Daim chocolate treats (which he unwrapped). I haven't had days quite like that, but it's oh-so-familiar.
Thanks for making me laugh so much.
Date:July 16th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)

Dog people looking out for you

Don't worry too much - this is so marvelous it will attain the level of that old internet classic "Dogs in Elk." That one's been going around for ages but anytime I've ever seen it appear anonymously, someone speaks up for the author.

I live with five Border Collies and a Chinese Crested. I've had just such conversations as you describe. Seriously. Aloud. I'm fairly sure the dogs aren't speaking aloud but sometimes I don't know . . .
Date:November 21st, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)

Re: Dog people looking out for you

Having just found and read "Dogs in Elk," I think that "I Has a Sweet Potato" tops it. By far.
Date:July 20th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)

This is SO my life right now

Holy crap this was hysterical! I laughed until I cried and doubled over. Meanwhile, one of my dogs was stealing foil that formerly covered cookies out of the trash. My locking trashcan is on it's way here. Seriously.

Date:July 20th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)

Re: This is SO my life right now

Now that I think about it, I'd LOVE to reprint this in my column in a dog training magazine (it's called Front & Finish). If you'd allow that (with proper credit, of course) let me know, I'll check back here.

Date:July 26th, 2007 06:25 am (UTC)

I love it...

As someone who has two mischievous dogs... I believe every word of this.
[User Picture]
Date:August 3rd, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)

Normal dogs don't steal raw sweet potatoes.
I'm afraid to say they do. Either that or none of the dogs I've had were normal either.

Five years after my dog Tess died we discovered a potato plant in the garden that had sprouted from a half-eaten potato she buried. Skipper was worse, he once ate an entire loaf of bread and a box of raw eggs including the packaging. We soon learned never to leave food on the counter after that episode.

Oh and they both really loved raw spaghetti. And our current dog Holly loves beer and curry (not that we give these things to her, she just helps herself).
[User Picture]
Date:August 6th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you for sharing. I used to have a dog with the same attitude and it was simply amazing what all he'd steal. He was born blind and it doesn't slow him a bit. He started stealing dry packaged foods when we had all the potatos and such out of reach. He then taught himself to slam his hip into the shelves so boxes would fall out when we'd put everything beyond his reach.

Fat as a butterball, so fat he looked like he had a secondary set of ribs from the fat rolls over them and still he stole food constantly, sure he was dying. And laying in his kennel moaning, whining and whimpering the whole time. I'm STARVING! 30 minutes after wolfing down 3 cups of dry dog food...

Thanks for the laughter!
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