Posts Tagged ‘hippies’

What’s In A Name?


January 15th, 2016 Posted 7:10 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when Spence and I discuss a character name from the C&B series. Yesterday I asked for suggestions. Bernie’s son Charlie came up, but we’ve already done him. Ditto Leda and Iggy. So what’ll it be, Spence?

SQ: How about Crash and Disco, two aging hippies out in the desert, who play a role in THEREBY HANGS A TAIL?

Mrs. P: I get the sense you like writing aging hippie characters.

SQ: Love it! I could do nothing but, if I gave into my impulses. In this case, they have these romantic, adventurous names, like they’re living in some saga, which was very much a hippie thing – I was there! Kind of – but now Crash and Disco are just two old seedy guys out in the middle of nowhere; disco being a long ago craze and crash summing up their trajectory.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Spence! See you same time next month for more of What’s In a Name!


Last Of The Hippies: From Thereby Hangs A Tail


March 3rd, 2011 Posted 9:28 am

Hippies nearby? I knew just from how they talked. I looked up and all of sudden the butte, which hadn’t come any closer in so long, was right there; but unsteady, kind of wobbling. And at its base, also wobbling: an RV painted in rainbow colors, the sun glaring off its windshield; a tent with one open side; and two old guys, both bald except for long gray fringes all the way down to their shoulders. Hippies, no doubt about it.

“Will you look at that,” said the one wearing a vest. “Wish we had a camera.”

“We have a camera, dude,” said the one with no vest.

“That right?”


They passed a joint back and forth. I went right up to them and lowered Princess to the ground.

“Will you look at that. I thought it was a weasel or somethin’, but it ain’t.”

“Course it ain’t. No weasels in the desert.”

“Sure are.”


The joint went back and forth. I stood there panting. Princess lay on the ground, eyes open.

“Point is I thought it was a weasel he’d killed, like, the big dog, I’m talkin’ about. But it’s an itty bitty dog. The big one carried the little one. From outta nowhere, if you see what I mean.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look out there. See anybody?”


“Then it’s outta nowhere. How weird is that?”


“Like, how often does it happen, two dogs from outta nowhere?”

“Beats me.”

I gazed up at these guys. The desert was full of old hippies – we’d run into them before, me and Bernie. Bernie didn’t like them, not sure why, but I did, especially that hippie smell – sweat, leather, pot, toe jam – so interesting. I was smelling it now, maybe the all-time strongest.

“What do you think he’s barkin’ about?”

“Beats me.”

They took turns sucking at the stub end of the joint. “Could be he’s thirsty.”

“Can’t think what else.”

“Me neither.”

Not too long after that, the hippie in the vest went inside the rainbow RV and returned with a bowl of water, which he lay on the ground.

“Get a load of them two goin’ at that water.”

“Like there’s no tomorrow.”

“Seize the day, man.”

They bumped fists.

“Wonder if they’re hungry.”

“Sure are thirsty.”

“Go together sometimes, hungry and thirsty.”

“We still got that pack of Slim Jims?”

“Slim Jims? Reckon dogs dig Slim Jims?”

Oh, brother. I liked hippies, but they had a tendency to be a little slow.

Welcome Poster Boy.


What Happened to Yesterday?


August 8th, 2009 Posted 7:58 am

“Hey,” Bernie says, looking up from the newspaper. “This is pretty interesting. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College – isn’t that a hippie place? – have come up with a reason for why dogs bark.”

Whoa! Too much at once. Hippies? I know hippies – you can find old ones out in the desert. I like their smell – there’s something about that in Thereby Hangs A Tail. But a whole college of hippies? I could smell that from very far away. And what was the other thing?

“They’re saying dogs bark – ” Right, that was the other thing. ” – when they feel conflict. The old theory was that the domestication of dogs turned them into a kind of adolescent, since mature wolves and coyotes seldom bark. But now they think the stresses of unnaturally confined lifestyles are behind all the barking.”

Stresses? What were those again? I barked for no reason.


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