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Location: Central Michigan, United States

Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bug Tails - "Bug 'N Books"

I call Bug by “Bug” for good reason. It’s because of his manners in the bedroom. Have you ever suffered the experience of a single fly or mosquito in your bedroom all night?

Early to bed-early to rise; that suits my biorhythms just fine. Eight o’clock in the evening is past my bedtime. If I’m still there at four in the morning, I’ve overslept. My week-night entertainment in bed is two to three hours of reading, which gets me through about ten books per month. I’m a slow reader.

Each night of late, as I lay on my stomach reading and munching on sugar-free Popsicles, Bug has been joining me with a dog biscuit. He jumps onto the bed with a whole biscuit in his mouth, trots over by my head then…plop…drops his snack on the open pages of my book. He eats his treat by small bites and nibbles. My book---his table---lots of crumbs.

Last night I said to him, “Bug, you’re an asshole. Why don’t you learn to read the book instead of eating off of it?” In response, he licked my face, stood up to move a bit forward, and then dropped full-body across the book covering it completely. Lost cause, I thought.

I pulled the book out from under Bug, dog-eared a page corner, closed it and tossed it down to the floor. I turned off the light, snuggled the top of my head against Bug’s belly and went to sleep.

This morning, when I crawled out of bed, I stepped on the remnants of that book. Jesus H., I thought, I give him books and I give him books, all he does is chew the covers off.

Teaching Bug to read could be difficult.


Blogger Bernita said...

Makes one think of things like young dogs and old dogs and tricks...
This is so nice, Erik!
I love Bug.

8:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ric said...

Funny, erik. nice slice of life.

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Sweet of you to say, Bernita. I'll give Bug a hug for you, if you don't mind.


Yes, Ric, Bug certainly can be a humorous critter.

10:39 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Well, I suppose you could get him a Victrola.
(Showing my age, I know).

3:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Great idea, Ivan! I'll get Bug "hooked on phonics".

3:07 PM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Ha ha ha ha.

I wonder if Noam Chomsky could be of aid. Him and his "whole word" way of teaching kids (and dogs?)

I have taught English for ten years and it suddenly dawned on me:
Johnny can't read becase Noam Chomsky can't spell.
(If Dr. Chomsky sues you, you can blame it on me: I am a crashing bore in five languages).

Said my editor to me one day when I told him I was going to study Greek: "Do you think that will make your write better?"
I hit him with the rubber tip of my pencil.
Gotta blame somebody. They taught me English by way of Noam Chomsky.

And that's the Whole Word?

3:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Bug has a lot of heart and character. Sounds to me like you two have a lot in common.

11:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...


Yes, Bug and I do have a lot in common. Expecially the both of us tending to be assholes.

He's a great little dog, though.

7:28 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Said the Abominoble Snoman's dog to the Abominable Snowman: "I don't think you're so abominable."
I don't think you're an asshole, Erik.
You answered with great grace and humour.

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Shesawriter said...

"Have you ever suffered the experience of a single fly or mosquito in your bedroom all night?"

Yes, and it was torture. ;-)

6:21 PM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...


You've got to go to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico:

Insurgent mosquitoes: They sit on the end of your quilt, then walk (not fly over) and getcha! when you're asleep.
Also sand fleas that kick you to death.
Outside of that, a beautiful, idyllic town.

9:46 PM EDT  
Blogger normiekins said...

i found you through.....oh shoot i forget where now....but another blog i read....i'll figure it out....don't let bug strain his eyes with all that reading you're going to teach him....gotta love the unconditional love he shows!!!

2:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

And the damn things always disappear when one turns on the light with fly swatter in hand.

Great to see you!

3:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...


Thank you for the visit. I'm honored.
I drove by yours. It's great. Cletus' feet resemble mine. I'm a terrible dancer too.

Please visit again soon.

3:22 PM EDT  
Blogger normiekins said...

hey, i just thought of can get books on tape !!!!!.....problem solved!!!!

thanks for stopping by!!!

2:32 PM EDT  
Blogger December Quinn said...

Ha! That's awesome. My pets used to do the same thing--flop themselves right over the book. Gah!

7:13 AM EDT  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Awwww! That's so cute! I read on my back in bed. No matter how close I put the book to my face, my one cat HAS to get between the book and I. Then sit there purring and staring at me until I put it down and pet her. I swear!

I had a bird who used to sit on top of it and chew away at the edges.

I think pets see books as the enemy.

3:55 PM EDT  

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