May 5th At the Bridge

May 5th At the Bridge

A Story by
Ainsley McKenna

Illustration by
Kate Wood

 

 

This work is fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Introduction

May 5th is my brother Angus Fala’s birthday.  Angus was a 13 year old Scottie, who lived from May 5, 2001 to February 28, 2015.  He died of lymphoma after battling Cushings Disease for over 4 years. Shortly after he left us for his otherworldly life, I would get messages from him and visions of what he is doing now, or what I call word from the street.

I want to thank the staff of Dusty Moon, Skyler Braveheart, Rory and Fiona, Ollie, Commander Rascal B. Dascal, Fergus and Guinness and Missy, Bentley Bernard, Sadie Mae, and General Duncan Doolittle for allowing me to borrow the memory of their beloved terrier in the following story.

This story came to me, I firmly believe, from Angus.  These is my account of what happened to Angus on the day of May 5, 2018.

Part 1: May 5th – Morning

Chapter 1: At The Condo

The alarm clock just changed its display.  It now showed “06:00.”  The radio in the clock came on with a click.

“Alright!  Yeah!  Good Morning, Bridge!  This is your morning bridge show. and it is a beautiful May 5th today!  Wolfman on the air with you, PUPPIES!  What fun we are gonna have today, yeah!  The Music is loud! The music is proud – and here’s the man who is gonna be unlive and in person with ME, right here on Radio Bridge at noon during the lunch hour!  This is Elvis, and woof woof woof woof, his song Hound Dog!”

As Elvis starts singing “You Ain’t Nuthin’ but a hound dog” a black paw reaches out of the bedroom covers and turns off the radio.

It’s another day starting for Angus Fala in his condominium in TerrierTown at the Rainbow Bridge.  A 4 bedroom condo that he shares with his Golden Sister “Lady,” another Golden brother named “Cary Grant,” and the first Scottie in the family, “Aberdeen.”

Angus looks out the window.  Already, down below four stories,  terriers of all sorts, are on the street below.   Scotties, Westies, Airedales, Borders, Cairns, Jack Russells.  Walking on the sidewalk, driving cars, riding on buses, lined up to get to the subway entrance.  Angus could see from his vantage point that a few blocks away the Bridge Monorail.  The section Angus was seeing connected TerrierTown to Francais Ville (French Town), and through the monorail windows Angus could see that already the train was mostly full.

Bridge City stretched almost as far as Angus could see.  It is huge.  There are billions of dogs (un)living at Bridge City, which stands to reason, since 113 billion hoomans have died since the Earth was formed.  Scientific Fact – Non Debatable.  And also the bridge contains cats as well, in a suburb called Feline City.  But in the far distance – just on the horizon – Angus could just make out the Bridge Meadow Park, containing the famous meadow mentioned in so many sympathy cards from veterinarians the world over.  Next to the park was the gleaming, gigantic, colorful, Bridge.  The bridge was shining with every color of the rainbow, and was a suspension bridge of such beauty that earthly bridges like the Golden State Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Tower Bridge, and Mackinac Bridge would only weep if they could and if they could see this bridge.  The sight Angus was seeing was just that magnificent.

But Angus has seen it before.  And he had work to do.  Angus yawned, and stretched his downward dog stretch.  He padded out of his bedroom and into the kitchen.

“Good Morning Angus” said the Golden at the stove, turning to place a bowl of boiled eggs at a table setting for Angus.

“Good Morning, Lady” Angus replied to his sister.  “Thanks for the eggs.  Any ice cream this morning?”

“No, you need to watch your weight.  You aren’t skinny anymore like you were when you arrived at the bridge.  You are getting chubby,” Lady said as she pinched Angus stout body.

“I’m not chubby!  Mama says I am Festively Plump!” replied Angus, loudly.

“Sorry.  I don’t want to upset you.  It’s May 5th – a special day,” Lady said

“It is?  Whatever could be special about May 5th?” Angus said with a knowing question, waiting for the reply

“It’s Cinco de Mayo Day, silly!” said Lady. “In fact, me and some of my golden friends are going to the Rainbow Bowl this afternoon.  Big concert for Cinco de Mayo!  All sorts of famous musicians are going to be there!”

“Hmm.  Hey, where’s Cary Grant?” asked Angus, changing the subject

“Cary got up early and went on down to the parlor” said Lady, referring to Angus’s younger Golden brother, Cary Grant, who left the Earth for the bridge as a 9 week old puppy in November of 2015.  And the parlor is short for “Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor, a restaurant Angus founded after the higher-ups at the bridge told him to quit digging up the Bridge Meadow and fortifying it for Angus’s eternal war against Huskies.

“He said he had a lot to do today.”  Lady continued

“And Aberdeen?” Angus said, referring to the first Scottie the staff owned, who came to the bridge in 2000, 1 year before Angus was adopted.

“She left a few minutes ago too.  Said she wanted to pick a fight with some Pitbulls today.” Aberdeen always hated Pitbulls.  Back in the world, or the rock as Bridge residents call it, Aberdeen was known for hanging off many a pitbull’s lower lips causing them to scream for mercy.

“Did she say anything special when she left?”

“Just the usual” said Lady.  “She looked at me and said ‘Why Are YOU Here?”  Of course, she said that to me everyday of my life since the hoomans adopted me in 1993.  Same ol Aberdeen.”

Lady continued “Oh, by the way, that friend of yours, Skyler Braveheart?  The Scottie who sells commercials at the radio station?  He called and said to be listening to Radio Bridge at 7 am today.  He said you will find it most interesting.”

“OK, I will do that” Angus replied, heading to the door, with a boiled egg in his paw.  “Time to head to work.  Duty calls.”

And with that, the condo front door shut as Angus walked down to the street below.

Chapter 2: To The Parlor

Angus was walking down Determination Way.  He didn’t live far from his workplace.  First, Angus had to walk a half mile down Determination Way, hang a right on UnTrainable Boulevard, go a quarter mile down that road, and that then hits Stoic Street, and Angus would turn left on Stoic, and walk about 3/4 of a mile, and to the left, at the corner of Stoic and Stubborn Avenue, would be Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor.

“Hey Angus, where you going?  Don’t you know Walking is For Suckers?” laughed Angus’s friend Fergus,  calling out from the driver’s seat of his sedan, as he drove by Angus walking down the street.

“Exercise, Fergus!  Clears the mind and is good for the soul.  You should try it someday.”

“No Thank YOU!  Said Fergus.  Hop in, we’re going right by your parlor.”

“No thanks” said Angus.

“You are so stubborn” yelled Guinness. Guinness was Fergus’s brother, sitting next to Fergus in the shotgun seat of the car.  “Come on! Get in the car!”

Alright – dang you two.  I will ride with you if you will quit your infernal barking!”

Angus opened the car door and slid into the back seat.

Fergus, with his left paw at the top of the steering wheel, is a black Scottie.  Guinness, is a stunning brindle.  When you get to the bridge, you select the age you want to appear.  Fergus and his brother Guinness, who have been inseparable since they were puppies, selected their 6 year old bodies.  Angus selected a more a more cankerous, authoritative, and hopefully distinguished 9 year old Angus body.  Angus had some gray in his beard, and hopefully this body fit in well with his career in business – running a successful restaurant.

“Hey do you have the time?” Angus asked

“Yeah, 7 o’clock” said Fergus

“Can you turn on the radio”

Fergus turned on the dial.

The radio cracked to life.

“7 AM in THE MORNING!  AROOO AROOO AROOOOO.  This is the Wolfman, puppies – and time for the birthdays here on a May 5th…”

“Hey turn that up a bit, I want to hear this.” asked Angus

“Happy Birthday to – Karl Marx!  Karl is turning 200 today.  From your buddies Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin.  Happy Birthday to Leon Czolgasz.  William McKinley called that birthday in, and says thanks a lot Leon, for sending me to the State of Heaven early.  Also, Tammy Wynette’s birthday was called in, from your friend, The Possum, and Happy Birthday to Tyrone Power the movie star.  And wait a minute here, puppies out there in radio land, a very special birthday, and how can I forget, Happy Happy Birthday to An….:

Angus stiffened up, and started to smile

“Ann B. Davis!  That’s right, Alice from the Brady Bunch, was born 90 years ago today.  Happy Birthday Ann.  That’s it for birthdays, now let’s hear a word from our sponsors…”

Angus smile turned into a puzzled frown.  It’s May 5th, and no one called in his…

The radio continued to commercials, jingle singers started singing.

“‘When you want a real good eat, go to Dusty, Dusty Moon
Good Eats and Good Times so Go Real Soon
Cause the Scottie next door named Angus is a short little Loon.

A voice then said:

Hey Everybody, My Name is Dusty Moon.  I’m your friend, your pal, your dealer of good times-  Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Times Bar & Grill…
Right in the heart of Terriertown on Stubborn Avenue…
And Every Night is Happy Hour – NO Scratch that, not happy hour, happy day!
Come see me, Dusty Moon…Hit it girls!

Jingle Singers returned:

‘When you want a real good eat, go to Dusty, Dusty Moon
Good Eats and Good Times Go Real Soon
Cause the Scottie next door named Angus is a fat little goon.'”

“I’m Not Fat, Mama always said I’m Festively Plump!” Screamed Angus at the radio in the dashboard.  “Turn that slander off!”

Guinness turned the radio down.  “Well, here’s your stop, Angus.  We are gonna pick up our sister Missy and hit the water parks today.  We love to play in water.”

“Wish I could join you, but I got a busy day.  Thanks guys,” Angus said getting out.

Angus marched to the door of his restaurant.  It was a 2 story building.  All the buildings nearby were Victorian in style.  Unlike other downtown districts in other areas – like Francois Ville, Deutschedorf(GermanTown), сибирский Город (Siberian Town), the Terrier section of the bridge had the ambiance of an early 1900’s Scottish City.  Most downtown districts at the bridge were modern, with steel and glass high rises.  The exception was Pitbull City, which had the ambiance of a dirty, trash strewn junkyard, and TerrierTown, which looked like 1900 Edinburgh, Scotland, full of brick and wooden buildings and topping out at 3 or 4 stories.  Of course, underground in Terriertown was a different story.  Terriers, because they love the underground, had an extensive labyrinth of structures and tunnels under their town.  In fact, for every story above ground the typical Terrier buidling extended twice as deep underground.   So Angus’s restaurant consisted of the first story, which was a restaurant and bar area, and a kitchen, the 2nd story, which were Angus’s and his staff’s offices, and then 4 separate stories of underground, which consisted of storage for the restaurant, and several well appointed banquet, convention, and private rooms, along with a direct entrance to the Terriertown Tunnels and Subway.

Angus was just about to open the door to his restaurant when he heard a noise behind him.

“Hey Angus!  Hold Up!  The Mayor wants to see you.”

Chapter 3: Bridge City Hall

Angus turned around.  Behind him on the street was a handsome Wheaten Scottie.

“Hey Rory, what’s up?” Angus said

“The Mayor wants to see you.”

“What?  The Mayor?  Now?  This early?  OK, fine.  I will go inside and see how the breakfast business is developing in the parlor, then I will go over and see the mayor.”

“No, he said he has something important to tell you.  Something special.  Right away.  I’m parked around the corner, I’ll drive you.”

Angus nodded reluctantly, and followed Rory.  They hopped in Rory’s candy red convertible sedan.

“How’s your sister, Fiona?  I haven’t seen her around lately.”

“She’s fine – she just got promoted to First Lieutenant in the Scottie Reserve, y’know.”

“No, I didn’t know that.” Angus replied.   They were stopped at the red light at Stoic Street and Resolute Circle.  Traffic was building.  It was getting the peak of rush hour, and though it was a Saturday, terriers never took a day off.  Rory switched on the radio.

“Eight o’clock, Puppies!” Wolfman screamed. “And Pups, I have something special to say.  Big goings on in the heart of Terriertown…”

Angus leaned in the seat, looking at the radio dial.

“And now, let’s find out more…”

The station switched to a commercial.  Angus immediately groaned.

The jingle singers sang again…

“Dusty, Dusty Moon’s
Cause the Scottie Next Door smells like an overripe prune!”

Dusty’s voice said:

“Hey everybody, it’s Dusty Moon with you.  Specials at my restaurant, Dusty Moon’s Good Times and Good Eats Bar and Grill.  And tonight, 20% off my famous pork chops, and if you say the magic code word…and what’s the magic code phrase, Wolfman?”

Wolfman came on and said

“Yes, Dusty, the code phrase of tonight is Angus Is A Sucker!”

Dusty continued “Thanks Wolfie, that’s right if you come in tonight and say “Angus is a Sucker” you get a free bunny ear with every pork chop, already 20% off!  Just for saying the truth, that “Angus is a Sucker.”  That’s tonight, at Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Times Bar and grill.  HIT IT GIRLS!

The jingle singers sang..

“For the best time go to Dusty, Dusty Moon’s.
Cause Angus next door is a real fat…”

Angus reached over and turned off the radio, and simultaneously cried “I’m Festively Plump!  Mama always said so!”

“Calm down, Angus!  Anyway, we are here” Rory said as the car pulled up in front of Bridge City Hall, a massive 12 story building in the heart of MuttVille.

“Thanks Rory – tell Fiona hello for me. ”

Angus entered the building.  Dogs were walking to and fro, all doing, or trying to do, official government business.  Angus walked to the elevator (cause “taking the stairs are for suckers”), had the elevator operator press 12.  The elevator was crowded.  Almost packed.  Angus noticed a Husky standing beside him.

“GRRRRRRRRRRR” said Angus

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRR” Said the Husky

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” said Angus

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” said the Husky

“Floor 4!” Announced the elevator operator.  The Husky got off, as Angus got in the last word:

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR”

Angus got off on floor 12.  Walked to the end of the hall, and opened the door that said “Mayor of Bridge City – Franklin D. Roosevelt”

The outer office was crowded.  Angus walked up to the secretary’s desk, a German Shepard in business dress, but before he told the secretary he was here, he spotted a Scottie in an office with the door’s glazed window labeled “Vice Mayor – Fala.”

“Hey Angus, come in here!” said Fala.

Angus entered the office, Fala said “Shut the door, and have a seat please.”

Angus sat.  Fala had his back turned, paws behind his back, looking out over teeming Bridge City through the large glass window.

“So how is it going?”

“I know, I know.” said Angus.  “You are going to wanna know about all the noise complaints I have filed with police about the noise at Dusty Moon’s Bar and Grill.”

“Well, 47 calls in a week is kinda excessive, don’t you think?  But that’s not why we called you in.”

“OK, you are gonna yell at me for vandalizing the Husky Center, aren’t you?”

“You what!!!?  What did you do?  SO YOU are one who spray painted “Huskies Are For Suckers” on the Husky Community and Sled Dog Training Center” shouted Fala

“uh – you didn’t know?  Uh – I don’t even know what I just said.  Vandalwhat?  What does the word even mean.  Sometimes nouns and verbs come out of mouth in random order, and I don’t know what I’m saying.  It’s a bonafide medical condition.  Called RandomizeWordItis.  Look it up.  My sister, Ainsley, wrote a paper on it back on Earth.  I swear.  No, I didn’t do nuthin'” Angus said, trying to backtrack, rapidly.

Fala, paws on his desk, looked at Angus with a hard stare, then he softened and say “No matter.  That’s not why I called you.  Me and Dad, I mean the mayor, have something we want you to do.  You know Barney and Miss Beazley, don’ t you?”

“Bush’s Scotties.  Yeah, sure, I see them around.  They come to the parlor every now and again.” Angus said

Fala continued “Anyway, their Grandmama recently arrived, and the city wants to throw a big party for her.  She’s quite the dog lover you understand.  it’s gonna be big.  So we would like to use your Banquet Hall next Friday night for a big welcome to the bridge party for Mrs. Barbara.  Free to the city, of course.”

“Free?  Free is For Suckers” Angus muttered.

“If you can do free, then I will be spending all week planning the party, and won’t have time to look at the incident at Siberian Town.”  Fala said

“Well – I suppose you and the Mayor are good customers of mine.  OK, I’ll do it.” Angus said.

Angus left the Vice Mayor’s office, and was almost at the door leading to the hall, when he heard a booming voice behind him, a clear, intelligent voice with an aristocratic, old school, New York accent.

“ANGUS!  Is that you, my boy?  Got a minute to talk? Something I want to ask you.”

“Hello Mr. Mayor,” Angus said turning back around to face the kindly looking man with a cane walking toward him.  “How are you, sir?”

“Fine,  very good.” Extending his hand, then reconsidering it, and making it into a fist. “Haha – almost forgot myself.  You always say “Scotties don’t shake hands.  Scotties don’t do tricks like a circus dog.”  Oh yes, forgot for a second which dog I was talking to, Angus.  Here, paw bump” the Mayor said with a chuckle, as Angus black paws lightly bumped the knuckles of the mayor’s fist.

“Anyway, I have something I want to ask.  See, we are hosting a little symposium at the Bridge Coliseum and Event Center.  Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson are going to be there.  I’m going to moderate it.  Anyway, we need an educated, intelligent, beloved dog to videotape an introductory presentation.  You know, setting the stage for the event.  It’s an important part of the presentation.  Abe is insisting on it.  Abe is also also insisting on only red M&M’s, diet coke with crushed ice, and the largest dressing room.  Abe can be such a diva sometimes – something that historians forgot.  Anyway, I digress…”

Angus interrupted.  “So you need someone to tape a presentation?  Well, let me see.  That’s quite an honor.  I don’t see an issue with this.  Of course I…”

Franklin now interrupted Angus.  “So you think you can get your sister Ainsley McKenna to record it on earth?  And message the video on Facebook to me?  Great!  George will be so delighted to hear she will do it!  As Thomas always says: “Ainsley is an academic treasure – non debatable.”

Angus tried to hide his disbelief at the turn this conversation just took.  “Yeah, sure, I will put out the word on  the street.  You’ll have your presentation from Ainsley, I’m certain.  Bye, Mayor, got to go.  I have a busy day.”

“Yes, it’s May 5th.  Very busy day for us all.  A special day too.  Just one more thing I’d like to say to you, Angus.”

“Yes, Mayor” Angus said expectantly.  “You want to wish me a ha…”

“Yes, I wish you would quit filing all those complaints about Dusty Moon’s establishment next door.  It’s driving the Ordinance Department crazy having to receive all the complaints.  One a month, maybe.  But several a day?  I wish you two could get along.”

“Bye Mayor.” Angus said, walking out the door into the hallway.

Part 2: May 5th – Afternoon

Chapter 4: The Commander

Angus got on the elevator, and told the operator he wanted “the 10th floor, please.”

The elevator was again crowded, and this time, Angus was standing next to a Pitbull.

“GRRRRRRRRRRR” said Angus

“GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” replied the Pitbull

“GRRRRRRRRRRR…”

“10th Floor” the operator said.

Angus muttered to the Pitbull “we will continue this later.”

“GRRRRRRRR” said the Pitbull

Angus walked down the hall, and entered the door labeled “Rainbow Bridge Cloud Generating Department – Commander Rascal B. Dascal Supervisor.”

The room was cluttered and dusty, with Copperhead snakeskins hanging on the wall.  The room had a radio blaring, and the room was full of clangy, noisy equipment  – gears, wheels, engines.  In the back, behind a piece of equipment labeled “Rainbow Machine – SCMS Manufacturing Company, Bridge City, State of Heaven” was a black Scottie wearing a white lab coat, deep in the innards of the machine with a wrench in his right paw.

“Hey Commander, what you doing?”

The Scottie head popped up, and squinted at the Scottie who just entered the door.

“ANGUS!  Long time no bark!  What can I do you for?”

“Hated to interrupt.  Can I use your phone?  I need to call the parlor”

“Sure thing, right over there on that desk.  I would come out and bark more at you, but I am having trouble with this Rainbow machine.  We are on backup rainbows until I get this bad boy fixed.  Can’t get any power to it”

“Have you tried supplying it with Skittles?  I hear they are connected to rainbows.”

“Hmmmm.  Crazy idea, but it just might wo….hold on a second, let me listen to this.” And with that, the Commander cocked his head, listening to the radio.

“BIG day at the bridge.  This is the wooo wooo woo Wolfman with you, and it’s noon at the Bridge.  I am hungry for some LUNCH!  And – it is a very special day – let’s find out more now….”

Jingle singers sing.

“Lunching at Dusty, Dusty Moon….
Good Eats and Good Times, eat with your paws and not a spoon
Much Better than Angus’s, who is a big fat maroon…”

“I’m Not Fat!  Mama says I am Festively Plump!” Angus muttered while mentally tuning out the rest of the objectionable content, dialing the parlor.

“Ring Ring Ring” Angus heard.  “Good Afternoon, Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor, Sadie Mae, Assistant Manager, barking.”

Sadie Mae is Angus’s niece, the daughter of Angus’s brother.

“Sadie Mae – Angus here.  How’s business today?”

“Oh, yeah.  Sure….it’s great, Angus.  No problems much, except those Husky Mobsters came in – again – into the store looking for some eggs, or they said they will torch the business if we don’t give eggs to them.”

“Typical Husky criminals.  I’ll take care of them,    Hope you didn’t give them anything.  Giving a mobster eggs is like feeding a cat – you’ll never get rid of them.”

“No, of course not.  Fergus and Guiness were here, and they ran them off.”

“OK.  Listen, can you or Cary come to city hall and pick me up?  I need to go to the station and pick up new Scottie arrivals.  I need to be there to meet the 2 pm train.”

“Uhhhh….we’re busy here.  Can’t you take a cab?”

“Taxis are for suckers, Sadie!  Besides, I need the catering van in case we have a lot of arrivals today.”

“Oh, hold on.” Angus could hear her yelling, though her paw was over the handset.  “Hey Ollie!  Can you pick up Angus?  He is….hold on.” Back louder “where are you, Angus?”

“I said city hall.”

“Angus says he is at City Hall.  OK?  Thanks.”

“Angus, Ollie will be by in the catering Van and pick you up as soon as he can get there.”

“Good.  Tell him to be careful with my van, and don’t pick up any girls!”

Angus hung up.  And thought a second, and then picked up the phone again, and dialed.

“It’s a great afternoon to listen to Radio Bridge, how may I direct your call?”

“Skyler Braveheart.” Angus requested

“One moment please.”

Rinng.  Phone connection picked up.  Skyler Braveheart voice was heard.

“Hello, Skyler Braveheart here.”

“Hey, Skyler, this is Angus.”

“Hello?”

“Skyler, Angus here.”  Angus said a little louder

“Hello???” Skyler said

“Skyler!  This is Angus!  Angus Fala!”

“I can’t hear you.  You are gonna have to speak up.”

“SKYLER!  HELLO!  CAN YOU HEAR ME????” Angus shouted so loud the Commander stopped working on his Rainbow Machine, and dogs in the hallway stopped walking and looked at the office with all the shouting.

“OH, I can’t hear you because I am not here, and this is a recording.  That’s why I can’t hear you.  Please leave a message at the beep.”

BEEEP

“Dog $#%@$@ It Skyler!  This is Angus.   Stoopid Voicemail!  Why is your station selling those ads to Dusty Moon?  You behind that?  Give me a call at the parlor.  I will be back there later this afternoon.”

Angus slammed the phone down and went out the door, down to the first floor, and out the street. Just as he got to the street, his friend Ollie pulled up in a white van labeled on the side “Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor – Catering Van”

Angus hopped in.

Chapter 5 – Bridge Transit Station

“Hey Angus!” said the driver, a black Scottie.

“Hi Ollie, thanks for picking me up.  I better head over to the Transit Station.” Angus said, referring to the Bridge Transit Station

“OK, sure thing.” Ollie said, as he navigated the Saturday afternoon traffic.

Angus settled into the passenger chair.  Looking out the window.  He noticed Ollie had rolled down his driver’s side window.

“You been to the Parlor today?”

Ollie said, “Yep.  Been there since this morning.”

Angus thought that usually Ollie was more expansive and talkative.  He wondered what was wrong.

“And?”

“And what?”

“And – how was business for lunch?  Sadie Mae handling everything ok?”

“Yep.  Business was good.”

Angus gave up on getting more information.  And just settled back again, alone in his thoughts.  Watching the city go by.  Dogs on the street, dogs driving cars, dogs riding in buses, dogs riding in the monorails.

Angus noticed not many terriers now on the street.  A different kind of dog.

“Ollie?”

“Yeah?”

“Why didn’t you take the Expressway to Transit Station?  All you had to do was hang a right on the Chomp d’Treata, go by the Arc d’Triumph of the Husky War, and you could catch the expressway”

“Didn’t you hear on the radio?  Expressway all jammed up.”

Angus didn’t say anything.  Just kept looking out the window.  It finally dawned on him.

“Wait a minute, you went deliberately out of the way, so you can go through PoodleTown, and make dogcalls and dog whistles at all the girl French Poodles!”

Just then, Ollie hung his head out the window, right paw driving the steering wheel, and yelled out the window to some passing poodles in mini skirts “Hey Good Lookin’, I’ll be Back to Pick You Up Later!”

“Ollie!  I’m in a company vehicle here!  You can’t do that!  And you can’t come back later!”

Ollie and Angus continued on in the catering van.  Eventually, Ollie and Angus pulled into the arrivals loading section of the Bridge Transit Station.  The Transit Station was an enormous stone structure, beige in color.  It serves millions of arrivals a day with trains coming in from The Rock, which is what Bridge City residents call the Earth.

Ollie pulled the “Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor – Catering Van” to the curb, right into a parking space under a sign that read “Reserved – Scottie Welcome Committee – Official Use Only.”  Angus got out, while Ollie waited in the van, promising he would stay with the van and not try to proposition the female dogs that, wearing their yellow safety vests, were directing the traffic at the Arrivals passenger loading ramp.

All the major breeds have committees that welcome their NO (Newly Otherwordly) members to the bridge.  While trains with hundreds of passenger traincars filled with N.O. animals arrive every hour on the hour, the 2 pm Scottie arrivals are met by Angus, every day, 7 days a week.  Other trains throughout the day and night were met by other Scotties.

As Angus entered the Great Revival Hall of the Bridge Transit Station, the area was sparsely populated.  The 1 pm arrivals had already been processed and were now journeying into Bridge City to be acclimated to their new, permanent surroundings.  The hall was enormous – thousands of dogs arrive each hour.  Angus glanced at the giant arrival board and noticed the words “2 pm Train From Earth – On Time.”  One can say this about Heaven, which includes the Bridge.  The powers that be do make the trains arrive on time.  Usually.

“Hey Angus!”  Angus turned to the sound of the voice and saw a Scottie walking toward him.  A distinguished Scottie, with a little white in the beard, but otherwise, mostly black.  Just like Angus.

“Hey Bentley.  What you doing here?  You are supposed to welcome the 1 pm train, aren’t you?”

Angus and Bentley greeted each other with a half bro hug and Scottie fist bump (Angus doesn’t shake hands – with anybody).

“Yes, that’s right.  No Scotties came in, so I waited for you. I wanted to talk to you for a second though.”

Angus and Bentley go way back.  Friends on Facebook for several years before Bentley transitioned to otherworldy status a couple of years before Angus.

Angus never will forget the first time he laid eyes on Bentley in the flesh.  It was February 28, 2015.  Angus had just arrived at the Bridge Transit Station.  He had selected his permanent body (you get to select which of your earthly bodies you want your soul to wear – Angus selected his 9 year old body.  Old enough to be distinguished, but not old enough to start suffering the ravages of poor health and infirmity).  Angus then cleared customs, when, along with tens of thousands of other pets, he was released into the Great Arrivals Hall.  Bewildered, upset, and homesick.  Angus heard a voice that said “ANGUS!  Over here!”  And through the crowd of pets, Angus saw a Scottie, Bentley Bernard, holding a sign that said “Welcome Angus Fala!”  You will never will know (well, I suppose you will know someday) what it is like to go through an experience like Angus just had, and then have the relief of seeing a friendly face –  one to help you navigate a very confusing transition.

“Good to finally see you in the flesh, Angus” Bentley said back on that February day.  “I got a ride for you.  Let’s go.  But first, can you do something for me?”

“Sure B-Man,” Angus said.  “Anything”

“Just this” Bentley said, jumping into a nearby red wagon that he had brought to meet Angus.  “Pull me!”

So Angus grabbed the wagon handle, and pulled Bentley through the hall.

“WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Bentley yelled joyously.  “No one has taken me on a wagon ride since my Daddy pulled me in my red wagon back in New York!  Thanks!  That brings back good times!”  Bentley said, getting out of the wagon.

“Now, let’s get you situated.  Your hooman grandmas are waiting for you, along with your Golden sister Lady.  You will be living with Lady and the first Scottie your hoomans had, Aberdeen, in a condo in the city.  Let’s take you there now.”

That was a good memory from a very important day.  Angus shook his head to clear the memory and refocus on today, May 5th.

“Today’s May 5th, Angus.” Bentley continued.  “A very special day.”

Angus said “yes it sure is, Bentley,” puffing up, eagerly awaiting what would come next.

“Yep, it’s Cinco de Mayo day.  Big celebration going on in Mejico Pueblo, also known as Mexican Town to us Gringo Scotties.  I’m gonna head over there right now myself.” Angus deflated visibly, wondering if anyone meant what the day meant to him.

“But I wanted to tell you this.  Pan Tau, over at the Third Commercial State Bank of TerrierTown – I saw him at lunch at your parlor.  He wants you to swing by on your way back to the parlor this afternoon.”

“Oh.  OK.  What’s he want?”

“He wouldn’t say.  You know those Swiss bankers and their secrets.  Oh, here is the list of the 2 pm arrivals.” Bentley Bernard handed Angus a booklet with thousands of names and their breed.  “I don’t see any Scotties coming in at 2.  Looks like an easy day for you.”

Angus took the booklet of arrival names from Bentley.

“I got to go now, Angus.  Big big day today.” And with that, Bentley walked away, and took the escalator up to the monorail that would eventually take him into town.

The Great Arrival Hall speaker erupted with a booming voice.

“Your Attention!  Your Attention Please.  2 PM train passengers are now arriving!”

“Beep – Beep – Beep”

Newly arrived otherworldies (that’s what Earth residents would call the recently departed) started filtering into the Great Arrivals Hall of the Bridge Transit Station.  The gleaming marble floor echoed with the pawsteps of thousands and thousands of dogs, cats, and other pets coming into the arrival hall.  The lucky ones were intercepted by their respective arrival committees and guided personally through the transition into the city.  The pets without connections, which includes  mixed breeds, cats, and others, would form into groups with guides who waved large rainbow flags to escort the new arrivals by bus, monorail and subway into Bridge City.

Angus stood in the middle of the moving throngs, looking for Scotties.  Though the 2 pm arrival book listed no Scotties arriving at 2, late arrivals frequently weren’t listed in the book.   But over the course of the next few minutes, the arriving pets left the hall, and just left a few animals milling about.

“Angus.  I don’t think any Scotties are here.  Let’s go home.” said Ollie, who had walked away from the still parked catering van and was now standing by Angus.

“Uhhh. Ok, Ollie.  Wait a second.  Hmmm.  Hey, you see that little guy over there?”

Angus pointed to a young Border Terrier, walking around, obviously confused.

“Did you see Facebook this morning, Ollie?  There was a Border Terrier missing in the National Park south of Carlisle in England.   I think the picture of that dog on Facebook looks just like like that little guy over there.  Hold on a second, Ollie.  Be right back, stay here.  Stay.”

Angus approached the Border Terrier.

“Hey, son, what’s your name?”

“Uhh.  You barking at me, sir?”

“Yeah, you look lost.”

“I don’t belong here, sir.  I don’t know where I am at.  One minute I was with my hoomans in England, and then I got separated from them and was wandering through woods.  it was awfully scary and lonely and cold. Then the next thing I know, I was on a train, and then I was here.  Talking to you.”

“Your name is Baxter is it, son?”

“Yes it is.  Do I know you?”

“No, but I know you.  Your story were all over Facebook this morning.  Your hoomans are worried sick about you.  Let me see – is the Border Terrier Volunteer Welcoming Committee member here?” Angus looks around.  “No, I think I saw them leave a few minutes ago with a group of Borders.”

“I was late clearing customs.  They didn’t have my name on their customs list.” said Baxter

“Well let’s see.  I can’t leave you here.  I have a thought.  Hey, you from Carlisle?  You know a Border named Buddy Moon?”

“I know a lot of dogs named Buddy.  But I know who you are barking about.  I never met him, but I know of him.”

“Well come on, come with me.  We’ll take care of you.  Though you are a Border, and I am a Scottie, we are all Terriers..”

Angus led Baxter to Ollie, and together they got in the catering van.

“What we gonna do with this lad, Angus?” said Ollie.  “We supposed to get only Scotties.  Those are the rules.”

“What do I always tell you, Ollie?  Now remember what you are about to hear, Baxter.”

“Rules are For Suckers!” Angus and Ollie barked in unison.

“Rules Are For Suckers.  Got it, sir.” repeated Baxter.

Angus continued on explaining to Ollie,  “This little guy is from the same town as Dusty Moon.   Let’s take him to Dusty’s place.”

The catering van made its way back into TerrierTown.

Chapter 6: Dusty Moon’s

The white van with the writing on the side “Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor – Catering Van” was traveling into Bridge City on the Transit Station Expressway.  Ollie turned on the radio.

“Howl Howl Howl!  Wolfman with you on Radio Bridge!  Good Afternoon puppies!  Hey Pups, time for us to pay some bills….

Jingle Singers

“For Good Eats and Good Times It is Dusty, Dusty Moon…
Better than the Restaurant next door run by a Scottie that smells like a stinky baboon…”

Dusty Moon’s voice comes over the speakers:

Hey Pups and Dogs, It is Dusty Moon here…originally from Carlisle, England, and now a local resident of TerrierTown.
I’m a local resident just like you – and part of the money you spend at Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Time Bar & Grill on Stubborn Street goes to Single & Someday a Mama’s Fund.  I personally deliver the money to deserving single and someday a Mamas over a fine wine and delicious pork chops in a romantic setting, especially after we get back to her place.  Hit it, Gals!

Jingle Singers

“A Guy who knows no boundaries is Dusty, Dusty Moon…
Better Looking than a short fat Scottie Named Angus who looks like a raccoon”

“I’m not fat, I’m festively plump.” Angus groused, as he reached to turn the radio off.  They drove in silence in the heavy Saturday afternoon traffic and arrived at the restaurant that said in a large neon sign “Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Times Bar and Grill.”

“Come on Baxter, let’s go in.  Let’s take you over to see Dusty. He will take care of you”

“Why can’t I stay with you?”

Angus turned around and looked at Baxter.

“Look, pup, I like you.  And I will always be here for you.  You can quit calling me sir, and call me your Uncle Angus.  But you need to be with your own breed.  Besides, that Buddy Moon I asked you about that you said you heard of?  Dusty is Buddy’s brother.  Dusty is from the same town as you.”

“OK –   I’ll do whatever you say.”

Angus and Baxter walked paw in paw into Dusty’s restaurants. They entered the dim restaurant, as Dusty was wiping out some glasses behind the bar.

“What are YOU doing here, Angus?  Come to complain about the noise again?  Or my customers’ parking?  Or you so fat you ate all the eggs at your place, and wanna steal some of my pork chops?”

“I’m not fat, I’m festively plump.  Anyway, be quiet, Dusty.  I got someone here for you.  This young pup’s name is Baxter.  He is from your hometown.  You Borders are too stoopid to pick him up at the arrivals hall this afternoon, so I thought you could set him up in your apartment building.”

Dusty stopped polishing the glasses and came out from behind the bar.  He bent down to get to Baxter’s level.

“Oh, I heard about you on Facebook, son.” Dusty said softly.  “I bet your hoomans are worried sick about you.  I will send word through the street to my brother Buddy down on Earth, and he will make sure your parents are notified, so they can stop worrying about you.”

“Will I see them again?  Maybe today?” Baxter said, trying to hold back his tears.

“You will see them again – someday.  But not for a while.  But you are gonna be with Borders – and Terriers,” Dusty said, looking at Angus, “that love you.  We’ll be your family until the day your hoomans arrive at the Bridge to pick you up.”

Dusty continued.  “You must be hungry.  How about a fried pork chop?  It’s my specialty –  and my favorite.  Better than boiled eggs and ice cream, that’s for sure!” Dusty said, smiling at Angus.

“I love fried pork chops!  Can you stay and eat with me, Uncle Angus?”

Angus said “I’d love to Baxter, but I got some errands to run.  Tell ya what.  Tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to the park.  The Bridge Meadow Park.  And gonna throw some rocks at the Huskies.  You wanna come with me?”

“Yes!  I would love that.”

“Great.  I’ll pick you up at 3 pm…nah, let’s make it 9 am.  Make a day of it.  Sunday brunch can be handled by my niece Sadie Mae and my brother, Cary Grant.  Keep your head, ears and tail up, Baxter.  I’ll got to run to the bank, and then go to MY Restaurant.  I haven’t been there all day.”

“Thanks, Uncle Angus,” Baxter yelled.

“Hey, Angus?” Dudley said

“What do you want, Moon?”

“Thanks.” Dusty said quietly

Angus nodded his head.  And with that, he ducked out of the restaurant, got in the catering truck, and headed down Stubborn Street to the Third Commercial State Bank of Terriertown.

Part 3: May 5th – Night

Chapter 7: Third Commercial State Bank of Terriertown

Angus parked in the indoor underground parking garage (which had enough clearance for his van) and took the labyrinth of tunnels, first right, then left, then straight, then right, then left again.   Being a Scottie, Angus had no trouble with underground tunnels.  Eventually, he made it to the Third Commercial State Bank of Terriertown Lower Level F;oor 2 entrance, took the elevator, entered the lobby of the huge facility, and took the elevator up to the commercial banking department.

Angus walked down the hallway, as he was familiar to this area, having visited his friend Pan Tau many times, and at the very end of the hallway, Angus entered an office that said “Commercial Banking Department Manager, Pan Tau.”

Angus entered.  There was a pleasant looking black Scottie looking at him as he entered.  The sign on the desk read “Hermine –  Assistant Department Manager.”

“Bonjour, Monsieur Angus Fala.  How are you today?” Hermine said in her Swiss-French accent.

“I’m doing well. In a hurry though, as I need to get to the Parlor for the dinner rush.  I got word your brother, Pan Tau, wanted to see me.  Any idea what it is about?”

“Of course I cannot tell you that.  Secrecy is very important to us Swiss bankers, as I am sure you are aware.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before.  Well,” Angus said, looking around. “Is Pan Tau available?”

“Certainly he wants to see you, Monsieur Angus Fala.  But unfortunately, he is currently occupied.  So please have a seat in our waiting area.  I will inform my brother you are waiting.”

Angus took a seat in the separate waiting room.  It was getting nearly 5 o’clock, and Angus was getting quite impatient.  He flipped through the magazines in the waiting area, and all he saw was a 1997 edition of “Credit Intermediation Week,” a 2005 edition of “Loan Maturity Transformation Quarterly,” a 2009 copy of “Financial Activities Services Structures Monthly,” and finally Angus thumbed through the most recent magazine in the room, a 2012 edition of “National Liquidity Risk Digest.”

“Ugh!” Angus said to no one in particular, since no one in particular was in the room with him. “How can Pan Tau and Hermine read this stuff?”

Angus sat and waiting.  He didn’t read anything, nothing worth reading.  But sat and thought.  Thought how today was May 5th.  And no one recognized what the day was all about and why it was special to him.  Started to think that maybe no one truly cared about him.  And wondered why that would be.  Perhaps he was too brusque, too stern, and not approachable.  Maybe he was not fun enough.

Then Angus blurted out loud “What’s wrong with me?  Self Reflection is for Suckers!  Shake it off, festively plump boy!” Angus told himself.

He realized it was really getting late now.  It was past 6 pm.  He had waited here a whole hour.

“That’s it, I’m seeing Pan Tau!”  Angus loudly announced to the empty room.

Angus got up, marched out of the waiting room, went up to Hermine’s desk.  Hermine wasn’t there.  Her desk was locked up tight, her computer turned off.  “She’s gone home for the evening!” Angus thought.  Then he thought “Maybe everyone is gone!  Maybe I can’t get out, and I will be stuck, alone, with these dawg-awful magazines all night”

But Angus realized he needed to see if Pan Tau was here.  So he walked down over into Pan Tau’s office.  He saw a black Scottie, sitting in his leather chair with his back turned to Angus, and the sitting Scottie’s feet were resting on his desk.  It was Pan Tau, reading a magazine,  open to the centerfold.  The centerfold was not a beautiful lady Scottie.  No, it was a spreadsheet, because the magazine Pan Tau was leering over was called  “Cost of Leverage Monthly,” and Angus just then heard Pan Tau mumble, to no one in particular, because this room was empty too, or so Pan Tau thought, “Oh puppy, I’d love to see your Debt Maturity Structure.  Ohh La La!”

“PAN TAU!” Angus yelled.

Pan Tau quickly threw the magazine in a desk drawer, stood up abruptly, and turned around.

“Angus!  Oh yes, come in.  I’ve been so busy today! Sorry I kept you waiting.”

“Busy?  Yeah, it sure looks like it!” Angus retorted sarcastically.  “It’s like you and Hermine are trying to waste my time and delay me.  I am really late for dinner at the parlor.  What do you want?”

“Umm” Pan Tau said, clearing his throat.  “I wanted to go over this loan application you submitted.  For an increase in your line of credit.  Now, I’ve gone over the numbers.  Tell me again what you want the money for?”

“Really?  You want me to tell you again?  OK, here it is.  The lower level 4th floor at my place is vacant.  I just have some boxes in storage down there, but the floor is huge.  So I want to remodel it, and put in an indoor shooting range.  I would have a regular shooting range, in which Scotties can fire acoustic salvos at Husky paper targets.  Then, in the Northeast section of the floor I would have one of those shooting galleries.  You know, where you walk through a make believe town, and targets pop up.  Only in this one, the targets will be Huskies, little puppies, and little old Scotties.  So the participant will go through the gallery, and fire acoustic salvos at the Huskies, avoiding the innocent targets of puppies and old Scottie ladies.  And then I was going to have an indoor dunk tank.  I would go at night and capture live Huskies in SiberianTown, and bring them back, duct taped and gagged, and put them on a big ledge.  And Scotties will fire acoustic salvos, hit the target,  and bong, the lever drops, knocking away the ledge, and the Husky would fall into the dunk tank!”

“Really?” Pan Tau said.  “And you think that is realistic?  And that would be popular with your clientele?  And you will turn a profit and make money and be able to pay off the loan from the bank?  I have three proposals here.  One for a new orphanage for lost puppies.  The other for a community center for disadvantaged 3 legged Chihuahuas.  And the other for this Husky Dunk Tank Idea.  I can only accept one of the proposals.  And I cannot, in good conscience approve such as stoopid, asinine, fiscally irresponsible idea as yours!”

Angus was stunned.   He couldn’t believe his idea was being turned down, especially here and now by Pan Tau.  Angus and Pan Tau went back for years.  They use to team up and verbally attack Dusty Moon on Facebook for Dusty’s romantic overtures toward Scottie ladies.  Angus thought Pan Tau was one of his very best buddies.

“Really, Pan Tau?  You are going to reject my idea?  Really?”

“Angus, what date is this?”

“It’s May 5th.”

“And what is this significance of May 5th?”

“Why, it is my b….”

Pan Tau interrupted “It’s April 1st plus 35 days!” Pan Tau started shouting gleefully.  “You’ve been April Fooled Plus 35!  It’s the most mischeievious day on the Swiss Banker Calendar, April 1 Plus 35!  Of course, I am going to approve your loan request, Angus!  It’s a most wonderful practical idea!  Wayward orphans and 3 legged Chihuahuas!  Who needs them???  But the Bridge needs your Husky dunk tank!”

Pan Tau then stamped about a dozen pages of the loan application.  Stamp Stamp Stamp Stamp!  Approve Approve Approve Approve!  “Here, Angus, take these documents, and first thing Monday morning give them to my sister Hermine.  She will put the funds in your account, and you can start construction on your wonderful concept next week!”

“Come, now friend.  It’s past 7 pm.  Sorry to keep you waiting.  Let’s go now to the Parlor and celebrate this most wonderful of days, April 1st plus 35!” Pan Tau said joyfully.

Chapter 8: Bridge Radio

“Hold up, a sec, Pan Tau.  I have to call the Parlor.” Angus said

Angus went to a phone on Hermine’s desk, and called the parlor.  Sadie Mae picked up.

“Hey Sadie, this is Angus.  I will be there soon.  Got tied up at the bank.”

“Take your time, Angus.  Hey, Skyler Braveheart called you back.  He is still at the radio station.  Said for you to stop by.”

“Ok, I will do that. The station is right on our way back to the parlor.”

Angus hung up.  “Hey Pan Tau, I need to grab something to eat at your vending machine. Because before we get back to my restaurant, I need to swing by the radio station to see Skyler, and I haven’t eaten since breakfast.”

“Sure Angus, vending machines down the hall.”

Angus walked down the hall, turned the corner, and there was a break room, with a vending machine.  Angus was happy to see the bank had one of his “Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg” machines that he introduced to the market late last year.  Angus put in his coin, and at the bottom of the machine, hot water boiling water sprayed into a permanent plastic bowl attached to the bottom slot of the vending machine.  A second later, water sprayed in, then an egg plopped in the cup.  A Plexiglas sheet came down covering the slot to keep the customer from reaching in and grabbing the egg too soon.  After a couple of minutes, a bell rang, the water drained out of the bottom of the cup as little holes opened at the bottom, and a cooling fan turned on for a few seconds.  Then another bell rang, the Plexiglas sheet raised up, and Angus grabbed his ready to peel and eat boiled egg, automatically cooled.

“I am sure glad that I talked Commander Rascal B. Dascal into working part time on his days off.  This invention of his, this boiled egg vending machine, sure is great,” Angus said to himself as his paws worked to peel the egg, and he popped the boiled egg in his mouth.

Refreshed and rejuvenated, Angus headed back in the foyer of the bank, collected Pan Tau, and off they drove down the street toward the Parlor in the catering van.  They turned off on Radio Road, and Angus parked in the parking lot behind a 2 story squat building with a large tower on the roof.  The sign on the building read “Radio Bridge – The Home of The Wolfman”

Angus walked in with Pan Tau.  The front office was dim and empty.  Off to the side was a closed door to an office, the sign on the door read “D. Clark – Station Manager.”

A hall to the back studios was lit. Coming down the hall was a large bearded man with a smile on his face.  He yelled “ANGUS!  PAN TAU! Long time no see, my little Scottie brothers.  How ya doing?  Hey, have you heard the commercials that Dusty has been running today?  He is really giving it to you good, huh Angus???”  The Wolfman laughed.

“Yeah, he is a real hoot.” Angus barked coldly.  “Hey, you off the air for the day?”

“Yep, I got off at 6 pm.  Got in a full 12 hour day, but I love it, dog, I love it.  Being on the air all the time is Heaven to a guy like me.  Howwwwwwl!” The Wolfman yelled, with his head back.  “Casey is on now doing his dead dog dedication show.  It’s the cat’s meow!”  Pointing to a studio, in which through the window you can see Casey working a console full of knobs and lights and buttons.  Casey was talking on the phone with a record spinning on a turntable.

“Yeah, I have heard Casey, but I don’t know him well.  He doesn’t come into the parlor, I don’t think.  Well, you sounding great, Wolfman, even though I am not a fan of the commercials.  Or some of them.  Say, speaking of commercials, is Skyler Braveheart still here?”

“Just head down this hall, and it is the last room at the back, and he is there in his office by the salesroom.  See you two later.  Keep Howling and Growling, boys.  HOWWWWWLLLLLLLLL!” Wolfman shrieked as he walked toward the front of the station and out the door.

Angus and Pan Tau continued walking down the hall, but noticed the lights had switching off in the distance in the salesroom.  Out comes a black Scottie holding a briefcase.

“ANGUS!  Glad you could stop by!  Pan Tau, good to see you too!”

“Hello Skyler!  Good to see you.  And your bank balance is looking good.  Lots of great sales you been making.  Enhancing the revenue?” Pan Tau observed

“Yeah, you been tearing it up on the airwaves, I hear.   I heard that Dusty Moon commercial today.  Did you sell those ads to that guy?” Angus asked loudly

“Heck yeah!  Turning down a sale is for suckers!  I can’t believe you would think I would do otherwise.  What kind of friend of Angus would let his friendship interfere with cold hard cash?  So get off your soapbox, little man!” Skyler said.

“Yeah, you got a point, but I still don’t like it.  Lucky for you my libel lawyer is roasting away in that other place way down below and isn’t up here in the State of Heaven.”

“Yeah, not many libel lawyers are up here.  Some, but not many.  Lot of professions aren’t represented very well up here.  Like telemarketers.  And those Nigerian princes who need you to do banking business for them.  Haven’t run into those guys either.” Pan Tau observed.

“Anyway, I will be glad to sell you a flight of ads too, Angus.” Skyler said

“How about a discount?”

“Discounts are for Suckers!” Skyler and Pan Tau said, and then laughed, in unison.

“Let’s head to the parlor.” Angus said. “I got to do some work.  I’ve wasted enough time.”

And with that said, all three Scotties walked out to the parking lot.

Chapter 9: Angus Fala’s Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor

Pan Tau, Skyler Braveheart, and Angus Fala were heading to the catering van.  Though it was past eight, it was a Saturday night, and there was a lot of traffic, both foot and vehicules.  Overhead, the monorail was running with most trains at least half full of dogs.  Pan Tau said as he was pointing to the sidewalk across the street, “Look, who is that over there?  Is that…”

There was a Scottie walking with an erect military bearing.  Long elegant beard, black hair, and wearing a Scottie star pinned to his skirt indicating his rank.

“Yo!  General?  Is that you, General Duncan Doolittle?”  Skyler yelled.

The Scottie turned, and marched across the street, not looking right or left, confident the cars, trucks and buses would screech to a halt to avoid the General.  They did.

“Well now, look who we have here.  Good to see you all.” The General then snapped a salute at Angus.  “Good seeing you too, Sergeant Angus Fala.”

“YES SIR, THANK YOU SIR!” Angus shouted back, reverting to his days as an active member of the Scottie Illinois 21st Regiment during the Scottie-Husky War of 2009.  Nowadays, Angus just served part time in the Scottie Rainbow Militia.  Angus’s efforts to start a war with the Huskies in the Bridge Meadow were not appreciated by the higher ups, and that’s why Angus instead diverted all, or rather most, of his attention to his business ventures.

“We are heading to the Parlor for a late dinner, General.  Would you care to join us?” Pan Tau asked.

“Hmm.  Why yes, don’t mind if I do.”

And with that, all four hopped into the catering van, heading the short distance to the Parlor.  Angus was behind the wheel.  Duncan sat beside him, stiff, looking straight ahead.  Pan Tau and Skyler were seated behind them.  Angus kept the radio turned off.

“BEG YOUR PARDON, SIR!  MAY I ASK WHAT THE GENERAL HAS BEEN UP TO – SIR!” Angus yelled in his talking to a superior officer voice.

“A little of this, a little of that.  Mostly commanding the TerrierTown Veterans Administration Division.  Tending to the needs of those Scottie Veterans who are recent arrivals to the bridge.  Important work.  Rewarding work.”

“VERY GOOD SIR!  I’M SURE THE TROOPS ARE GLAD TO SERVE UNDER YOU, SIR!”

The catering van screeched to a halt at the Victorian Era storefront that is Angus Fala’s.  Many Scottie heads could be seen inside the lighted restaurant.  Several Scotties were walking up the sidewalk going in the restaurant.

“All three of us are getting out here, Angus.”

“That’s fine,  you three go on it.  I will park the catering van and I will see you shortly.”

Angus pulled into Stoic Street, and turned right into the alleyway, parking the van next to his restaurant building.

May 5th.  It was Angus’s birthday.  And not a single soul has wished him a happy birthday all day long, Angus was thinking.  Deep in thought, he walked out on the alley, turned left on Stoic, about a 100 feet now to the door.  Across the street to his right, the gleaming neon of “Dusty Moon’s Good Eats and Good Times Bar & Grill” beckoned, with Border Terrier Music (heavy on drums, and a lot lighter on the bagpipes than Scotties prefer) was thumping out the open door of Dusty’s.

“And look at that.  All that noise.  How can my fine dining diners be expected to have to brave all the noise and hooliganism of Dusty’s.” Angus muttered to himself.

Angus looked, and five young borders were loitering outside Dusty’s front door.  Four were older Borders, but not too old, probably between 1 and 2 years old.   The fifth was just a pup.  Dim gray shapes in the dark night.

“Hey Scottie!” One of the older Borders yelled, looking at Angus.  “Eat My Border Tail.”  The four older Borders laughed, and started walking into Dusty’s, with one giving Angus a salute with his middle claw with his paw outraised.  “I’m giving you the claw, Scottie!”

Angus stared at them. How rude! But then Angus noticed that the smallest of the five stayed behind obviously uncomfortable with the actions of his new found friends.  Angus recognized that Border Terrier.  It was Baxter.  “Oh, good, at least Baxter has made new friends,” Angus thought.

Baxter looked at Angus, nodded his head in acknowledgement, and Baxter said softly, just so Angus could hear, but not his friends in the restaurants, “Sorry they did that Uncle Angus.  See you tomorrow morning.  Love ya.”  And Baxter then followed his fellow Borders into Dusty’s restaurant.

What a day, Angus thought.  And it isn’t over yet.  A parlor full of diners and I haven’t been there all day.  Kept being distracted from tending to my business, he thought.  He opened the door, walked in, and…

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGUS!” Angus heard a crowd, hundreds strong, yell in unison.  Everyone was here.  Fergus, Guinness, Missy, Rory, Fiona, Ollie, Commander Rascal B. Dascal, Bentley Bernard, Skyler, Pan Tau, The General.  Fala and FDR too, and along with Wolfman.  Angus’s sister Lady, Aberdeen, his hooman grandma, both of them, and one of his grandpas.  Cary Grant, his Golden Retriever brother, was holding a huge birthday cake.  His niece Sadie Mae was there in her Angus Fala Boiled Egg and Ice Cream Parlor apron.

And your dearly departed Scottie?  You can bet they were all there too.

Party 2018 ANGUS
Angus’s Surprise Birthday Party – Drawing by Kate Wood

“Sorry we kept running you around town all day, Angus!” FDR said.  “We had to have you out of the parlor for the entire day to get it ready for you.”

And Angus, the dog never with a loss of words, couldn’t say a thing.  Just kept staring at everybody.

“And oh, Angus,  We have one more surprise guest.” Skyler said

And out of the kitchen, here came Dusty Moon, holding a radio.

“Angus, if you don’t mind- I have one more commercial that I bought today.  It should be airing right about now…”

Dusty turned on the radio with his grayish tanish blondish paw.  The radio came to life.

“This is Casey, and more dead dog dedications coming up.  But first, this special message on a special day.”

Jingle Singers

“For the best in good eats and good times, it’s Dusty, Dusty Moon
And his neighbor next door is a Scottish Terrier Loon”

Dusty’s voice on the radio came on and said

“Yes that’s right, Angus is a loon.  But you know what?  He is a good hearted loon, and I am proud to call him a friend, though he will never publicly admit it.  And I gotta tell ya, Radio Bridge listeners, Angus did a great thing today.  He, out of the goodness of his Scottie heart,  took care of a little lost Border Terrier puppy today.  Little Baxter.  And all of us in the Border Terrier community appreciate him for that.  Are we still going to tease him?  Yes.  Are we still going to criticize his shortcomings?  Yes.  Are we going to call him fat?  Yes”

“I’m Festively Plump” Angus replied softly to the radio

Dusty’s voice continued on the radio

“But if any Pitbull, German Shepherd, Labrador, Boxer, Malamute, or dog forbid, HUSKY, want to take Angus on, your gonna have to go through me, and all of Terrier nation.  Cause do we all love Angus?  Yes.  And now for the last time today, hit it girls:

Jingle Singers

“Dusty, Dusty Moon’s go there but on your way enjoy yourself at Angus’s – soon.”

 

The End

 

 

7 thoughts on “May 5th At the Bridge

  1. Four paws up! Happy Birthday, Dude! You deserve that huge surprise party~Sending a case of @HanksBaconBeer to top your day—or you can send it over to Dusty Moon’s… guaranteed to quiet that crew. *Salutes* HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIR!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly an award winning tale. It brought tears, laughter, tugs on my heart. and so true to life. I will be hearing the Jingle Singers in my mind for the whole day …”When you want a real good eat, go Dusty, Dusty Moon Good Eats,
    and Good Times…so Go Real Soon
    Cause the Scottie next door named Angus…is a short little loon, goon …oh my !!!
    Back down here “on the Rock” …I long for peek at the Bridge…thank you , thank you…for one of the most delightful Sunday mornings I have ever had.
    To sit down and read something that totally moves you…is really saying something !
    Love Kate’s painting , love the story, and love that “The General” is part of all the action !
    Thank you …for my smile …
    and a very Happy Surprise Birthday to you, Angus !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic. Enjoyed every word. Just got a brand new laptop so I can be in touch again. Arroooooo

    Like

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