On Sundays, we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since Short Tails, the new Chet and Bernie short story collection, will be published soon (preorderable now), how about the start of one of the stories in it, The Numbers After Two?

I smelled bubble gum. You’re probably familiar with the smell, an unusual combination of rubber, plastic, and sugar, with a smidge of something oily in the mix. Some humans like to chew bubble gum. They must have their reasons. And some of those chewers like to blow bubbles with it. That part looks like fun. What isn’t fun is getting gum stuck on your paws. That leads to a whole big production with scissors and olive oil, or mayonnaise if there’s no olive oil around. Mayonnaise tastes much better than olive oil, if you want my opinion, but we’ve gone way off course already so forget all this. The point is I wasn’t smelling bubble gum in the Valley, the huge city we live in, me and Bernie, where bubble gum smell is always in the air, together with all usual Valley smells, an amazing sort of invisible stew of which I’ll just mention two of the strongest ingredients – two being the number I have trouble getting past although I have done it, the next number not quite coming to me now. The two ingredients are grease and human pee.

But back to the point. We were deep in the desert, far from the Valley, where the smells were very different and never included bubble gum.

“Chet?” Bernie said. “Something up?”


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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2022 at 8:27 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Beginnings”

  1. Herd of Hounds
    9:07 am on June 19th, 2022

    Good morning all!
    We are going to allow the DDD to burn something on his grill for dinner tonight. He is very good at that and it will make him feel special since he won’t have to do the dishes.

  2. B. Stover
    11:10 am on June 19th, 2022

    Interesting beginning.

    Good day to all.

  3. Wose-The Small and Meek
    3:43 pm on June 19th, 2022


    I would have to disagree with Chet about mayonnaise and olive oil.

    Happy Father’s Day to all dads of two and four-leggeds!

  4. mlaiuppa
    4:24 pm on June 19th, 2022

    I think it depends greatly on the mayonnaise and the olive oil. Has anyone had 25 year aged balsamic vinegar? Try it drizzled on ice cream or strawberries.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there, including Chet’s who he never knew and to Chet himself who isn’t aware, maybe yet. Just got off the phone wishing my Dad a happy one. The ceramic truck full of succulents arrived from the florist.

    It is also Juneteenth, an official Federal Holiday since 2021, Turkey Lover’s Day and World Sauntering Day. I’m sure all of our companions from the Nation Within would enjoy joining us for a good saunter.

  5. Herd of Hounds
    5:50 pm on June 19th, 2022

    The HOH loves to clean mayonnaise made with any oil off their toes. They are particularly attracted to mayonnaise with olive oil and a sausage chaser. Don’t want to say the girls are spoiled but…

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