Archive for June, 2010

Sneak Peek: To Fetch A Thief

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June 26th, 2010 Posted 8:31 am

Home is our place on Mesquite Road. Our part of the Valley isn’t fancy like Beaumont Hills, but who would want to live anywhere else? For one thing, we’ve got the canyon out back, open country that goes on and on, plus more lizards, javelinas and coyotes than you could shake a stick at. That’s something humans say, but I’ve gotten lots of sticks in my mouth and could have shaken them at all kinds of creatures if I’d wanted. Once I actually did shake a squirrel. Was that bad? I was so surprised I’d caught the little bugger, first and only time!

Another good thing about our place is that my bowls are in the kitchen. And then there’s Iggy. Iggy’s my pal. He lives next door with this old couple, Mr. and Mrs. Parsons. Not too long ago they got an electric fence and Iggy had some problems with it. Now he doesn’t come outside, just watches from the window, which was what he was doing when Bernie and I drove up. He barked and wagged his tail. I did the same. Iggy barked back and wagged some more. I did the same again. We could keep this up for ages, me and Iggy, and I was looking forward to that, when he suddenly disappeared from the front window. A few moments later he popped up in the side window. Maybe he could see me better from there or maybe – what was this? Now Iggy had something in his mouth, possibly a bedroom slipper. Yes, a bedroom slipper for sure. I wanted badly to take it away from him, but how could I? So when I heard Bernie saying, “For the last time, Chet, get in here,” I went bounding into the house.

“This calls for a celebration,” Bernie said. I knew celebrations – and wasn’t at all surprised when Bernie opened the cupboard over the sink and took out a bottle of bourbon – but why were we having one now? He also took out a box of chew strips from Rover and Company – a great company where I’d once spent some time in the testing kitchen – and tossed me one. Beef-flavored – I could tell while it was still spinning in mid-air. I caught it and darted under the kitchen table, like … like it was the bedroom slipper or something. I worked on the chew strip, a bit confused. An ice cube in Bernie’s glass made a tiny hiss and then a tiny crack. I loved when that happened. I forgot whatever I’d been worrying about and polished off that chew strip.

(From Chapter 2)
Coming Sept. 28:
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Poolside (5) (With Shoutout To Dustin Pedroia*)

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June 25th, 2010 Posted 8:43 am

“Ray?” said Bernie. “You’re running out of time.”

The sirens got louder. We stood near Ray, me and Bernie, beside Albie Rose’s pool. I like pools – the one at the Ritz in Pottsdale! Wow! But I don’t think we can go back there – and was considering a swim, but something about those bloody towels stopped me, hard to explain why.

Ray looked around, confused.

“What did you do to Albie?” Bernie said.

Ray shook his head. “I wasn’t going to do anything to him. I just wanted him to answer some questions.”

“But?” Bernie said.

“But I couldn’t find him. That guy who works for him – “

“Foster?”

“Yeah. Foster called and said Albie had information for me. But when I got here no one was around. The house was open. I went in and looked around, and then … I’m not sure what happened then.” He rubbed his head again. “I was out here and you showed up. Who are you, or did you already say?”

Bernie gave him a long look. The sirens got louder.

* a little guy who swings from the heels

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Agony Of Defeat

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June 24th, 2010 Posted 8:44 am

No rush on the pop quiz. It’s summertime! Send answers to spence.quinn@gmail.com.

“Jason Giambi?” Admin says. “Why did it have to be Jason Giambi?”

“At least it wasn’t Jeremy Giambi,” says Spence.

“Is that supposed to be funny?”

“Sorry.”

Admin pours himself another drink.

“Don’t get too upset,” Spence says. “It’s a long season.”

“So was the Spanish Inquisition,” says Admin.

“True,” says Spence. “But they didn’t serve those ballpark sausages you like.”

“The ones with the onions and peppers?”

Sausages? A whole lot of blah blah blah wafting over  me and all of a sudden sausages were in the picture? Was someone about to go into the kitchen and get busy? I waited.

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Pop Quiz (Thereby Hangs A Tail) (Revised)

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June 23rd, 2010 Posted 9:16 am

Late notice: Please email answers to spence.quinn@gmail.com.

1. Who was Bernie’s favorite boxer? Bonus: Argue the case for someone else.

2. Who is the Pepsi guy in Coke country? Bonus: What is Canada’s Pepsi province?

3. What hides the safe in Bernie’s office? Bonus: What is its symbolic significance?

4. According to Bernie, how many galaxies are in the universe?

5. Who sang the original version of the song Crash and Disco like?

6. Write a sentence or two (penalty for more) on the difference between Princess and Babycakes.

Pencils down!

Prize (1 only): Advance reader copy (meaning bound, uncorrected proofs) of To Fetch A Thief. Bonuses not compulsory, only to be used in case of a tie. Rules subject to change. All arbitration arbitrary (Red Queen style).

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