Posts Tagged ‘Tender Is the Bite’

Politics (More)


November 10th, 2022 Posted 7:21 am

Since there seems to be no end to politics, how about a little more from Tender Is The Bite, where politics plays a big role?

Then Senator Wray and Bernie shook hands. The senator turned out to be one of those two-handed hand shakers, grabbing Bernie’s in both of his. He gave Bernie a big grin. “Pleasure to meet you, sir,” he said. “And this handsome pooch of yours. I’d appreciate both your votes in the upcoming election, but I’ll forgive Chet here if he can’t manage the lever.”

“He probably could,” Bernie said. “But to be safe I’ll just vote twice.”

There was a pause. The flunkies all watched Senator Wray. Stine gave Bernie a sharp look. Then the senator started laughing. He laughed and laughed and patted Bernie on the back. The flunkies all laughed too. “Hear that?” the senator said. “Just vote twice!” And he laughed all over again. The flunkies laughed harder. What was funny? I didn’t know, but one thing for sure – Bernie had made a great impression. That didn’t always happen, for reasons I’d never understood. The tour moved on, a female flunky at the end of the line giving me a nice pat without breaking stride.


Politics and Us


November 8th, 2022 Posted 7:07 am

From the stump speech scene in Tender Is The Bite (Chet and Bernie end up on the stage shortly after this):

We moved off to one side, got closer to the stage. Senator Wray had the sleeves of his blue shirt rolled up, also wore a bolo tie. “ … can’t do it without you,” he was saying in his … how to put it? Handsome pooch voice? Yes, that was it exactly. He began pointing at folks in the crowd. “Not without you! And you! And you! And you! You, too, gentleman with the fat cee-gar! You, too, lady spittin’ image of Bette Davis! Gonna need all of you, each and every one, if we’re gonna get done what needs to be done, here in our beautiful Valley and way back there in the corridors of DC.”

“Boo!” went some people in the crowd. “Boo!” Booing is a human sound for when they don’t like something. Bernie says humans are related to monkeys! Has to be one of his jokes, but when you see a whole bunch of humans booing you could almost believe him.

The senator held up his hand. “Yes sir! What needs to be done. Wanna talk education? Ed-ja-cay-shun? Let’s talk ed-ja-cay-shun, my friends. Who’s brought over fifty mill of federal money back here to the state, earmarked for the ed-ja-cay-shun of our youngsters? Remember this – the youngsters of today are the oldsters of tomorrow! What’s more important than that, folks?”

Bernie glanced down at me. “We’re doomed,” he said, which I didn’t get at all. Meanwhile the crowd began to chant, “Wray’s OK! Wray’s OK! Wray’s OK!”





October 27th, 2022 Posted 10:49 am

Politics seems to be in the air, no? (Please no.) Believe it or not, each novel in the Chet and Bernie series is about something, thematically speaking. Tender Is The Bite is the one about politics:

Politics? A new one on me. Was politics the glaring and hammering or the yip-yip-yipping? Or possibly all at once? Glaring, hammering, yip-yip-yipping? Politics sounded alarming.


Sports and Us


September 27th, 2022 Posted 7:50 am

We’ve been going on and on about sports in the Chet and Bernie series, so why not go on and on some more? Here’s the golf lesson from Tender Is The Bite. (Charlie is Bernie’s little son, Bernie’s one half of the Little Detective
Agency, Chet, our narrator, is the other half, and Shaky Insterwald is the pro. I include all these details today in case anyone wants to share this post with a reader who doesn’t know this series.)

We took Charlie to Buckets and Buckets O’Balls, Cheapest Driving Range West of the Mississippi, Come Knock Yourself Out for his very first golf lesson.

“Hold the club like so,” said Shaky Insterwald. “Feet this way. Club head back to right here. Load up your power. Feel your power loading up?

Charlie nodded a vigorous nod.

“How’s your eyes?” Shaky said. “Work pretty good?”

“I think so,” said Charlie.

“See the dimples on the ball?”


“I’m gonna make a red mark on a dimple.” Shaky bent down with a red marker. “With them pretty good eyes of yours you’re gonna watch that dimple and you’re not gonna look up until I say so. Got it?”

Charlie nodded another vigorous nod.

“Now load up, feel the power and knock that son of a – son of a gun to kingdom come.”

Charlie swung. Crack. The ball took off.

“’Kay,” Shaky said. “Look up.”

Charlie looked up.

“There’s your ball,” said Shaky.

He pointed. The ball was surprisingly far away, still rising, straight and true. A lovely look appeared on Charlie’s face, an even lovelier one on Bernie’s.


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