Posts Tagged ‘father’s day’

Last Minute Fathers Day Gift?

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June 19th, 2021 Posted 8:16 am

The women went silent and turned their gazes on us. “Who’s Chet?” said the oldest.

Bernie pointed my way.

“What a handsome boy,” she said. The others nodded. Had we turned a corner? Simply based on my looks? I couldn’t think why not.

Bernie rubbed his hands together like we were getting somewhere at last.

(from Of Mutts and Men, now in paperback)

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Last Minute Father’s Day Gift?

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June 20th, 2020 Posted 8:38 am

How about Heart of Barkness, the most recent Chet and Bernie novel? Here’s Bernie with his son Charlie:

Also it was okay for men to cry. I’d heard if right from Bernie’s lips, one day when Charlie started crying because of some bully in school.

“It’s okay to cry, Charlie,” he’d said. “But first try not to.”

“Huh?” Charlie had said.

“Never mind,” Bernie had told him. “Make your hands into fists and stand like this. Are you right-handed or left-handed?”

“Dad!”

“Just kidding. I’m going to teach you the simple right cross. It starts in your legs – “

“Legs?”

“Actually the balls of your feet. And finishes smack on some ass – some jerk’s nose. No one likes getting hit on the nose. They try to avoid situations where it might happen again.” He’d held up the palm of his hand. “Here’s some jerk’s nose.” And Charlie’d thrown a punch. Smack. “Nice. Now punch like you’re punching something a little behind the nose, so you have to punch through to get there.”

SMACK.

“That should do it.”

And Bernie had been right about that, except for an angry call from the bully’s mom a few days later.

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Chetspeak on Father’s Day Sunday

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June 18th, 2017 Posted 9:03 am

“Ms. Peoples is mad at dad.”

Leda’s smile started to disappear. That takes time, what with there being so much of it. “Ms. Peoples the bus driver?”

“She has a cat named Agatha.”

“Why is she mad at da – at your father?”

Charlie’s mouth opened like he was about to say something. Then he glanced at Bernie – who actually wasn’t even watching, his gaze having turned to the window, where Malcolm was just stepping back, out of view – and that little mouth closed right up.

“Charlie?” Leda said.

“Ms. Peoples thinks I’m immature,” Bernie told her.

Leda’s smile was now entirely gone. “What did you do? Forget it – I don’t even want to know.”

“He stirred the kids up!” Charlie said. Blurted: could that be the expression?

“Is that how Ms. Peoples put it?”

Charlie nodded. “She doesn’t like when we get stirred up. She likes when we sit still and think quiet thoughts.”

“Quiet thoughts?” Bernie said. “What the hell are – “

Leda gave Bernie a look I remembered from the old days and he went silent.

– from Scents and Sensibility.

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Chetspeak on A Father’s Day Sunday

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June 19th, 2016 Posted 8:57 am

We rounded a corner and drew up behind a school bus. A kid in the back seat had turned around so he could see out the window.

“Hey!” said Bernie. “That looks like – “

Charlie! No doubt about it. There was Charlie’s round little face in the window, although maybe not as round or little as before. Also he had a new thing going on with his hair, a kind of sticking-up clump toward the back, a bit like an Indian feather. He looked great! Bernie leaned on the horn, kept leaning on it until finally Charlie lowered his gaze down to us. And then came an expression on his face that I can’t even begin to describe, so I’ll leave it like this: it was all about humans at their very best. Don’t see it every day, but when you do … well, you remember, and maybe cut them a little slack next time around the circuit. And I’m sure Charlie was happy about seeing Bernie, too. Let’s not leave that out.

Soon Charlie was waving at us, and then a bunch of kids were crowding around him, all of them waving their little hands. Bernie beeped the horn – beep beep beep. I did this high-pitched thing I can do, not a howl, really, more like a faraway train whistle, or maybe not that far away. The fun we were having! But then the bus pulled over, stopped by the side of the road. We stopped behind it. A gray-haired woman in a baseball cap appeared at the back of the bus, sunlight glaring off the lenses of her glasses. Her lips moved and all the kids except Charlie instantly disappeared from view. Charlie whipped around and faced front. The woman – had to be the driver, right? I was catching on fast – gave us a look, the corners of her mouth pointing straight down, and then strode back to the front of the bus.

We followed at a distance, Bernie and I at our very quietest, heads down. You wouldn’t have noticed us.

– from SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: coming in paperback on Tuesday.

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