The Nation Within
“This has come up a few times now,” Spence says, “where the phrase ‘the nation within the nation’ comes from.”
“Huh?” says Admin. “It comes from the Chet and Bernie series, end of story.”
“I’m sure we can find a nicer way to put it,” Spence says. “Here’s the first reference – from page 108 in Dog On It.”
A little later we entered the foothills and came to a town. The whole gang stopped outside a bar – I could tell it was a bar from the neon martini glass in the window, but also from the smell of human puke suddenly in the air – and everyone went in, everyone except me and the huge guy, my biker buddy. We kept going, around a corner and up a side street lined only by a few buildings, some boarded up. We stopped in front of the last one. My biker buddy got off and unhitched me.
“Cool ridin’, huh?” he said. “Come on, pooch, let’s go.”
I jumped down and followed him along a stone path and through a gate that led to the building; he closed the gate after me. Hey! I caught the scent of my guys, lots and lots of them. What kind of place –
The biker opened the door and we entered the building. We were in a small room with a counter, a woman behind it, and lots more smells, all from members of my nation. That was one of Bernie’s ideas – we were a nation inside of a nation.
“Hmm,” says Spence. “Doesn’t exactly say the nation within.”
“Nope,” says Admin. “The exact phrase occurs for the first time in Thereby Hangs A Tail, page 45.”
Nance looked down. Humans often had complicated relationships with each other. In our nation – the nation within a nation, as Bernie calls it – we can get pretty complicated, too, but we have ways of sorting things out much quicker. I was used to these awkward human moments, almost always found them interesting, even entertaining. I opened my mouth, unrolled my tongue, rolled it back in.
Adelina turned her attention to Princess. You’d be surprised how often humans use one of my guys to end their awkward moments, if Princess could be called one of my guys. “Does little Princess need some time to herself?” Adelina had two voices – a baby voice for Princess and the icicle voice for the rest of the world. I preferred the icicle voice. Now came more kisses. “Poor Princess, cooped up on the nasty plane.”
Cooped up? Princess would have had plenty of room in a mail box. I glanced at Bernie: his face was blank.
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 7:41 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.