Loyalty and Sigmund Wesslope

I used to tell Sigmund Wesslope,
as he held his dog, Captain Howdy, by the ears
and proceeded to blow bong-load after bong-load
up the poor critters nostrils,
that dogs didn’t need to get high.

“You know something, Sig?” I’d say to him,
“dogs are not self-loathing fuck-ups like you and me,
that need to obliterate the pain and shame
of their pathetic lives
by killing as many brain cells as possible.
They’re perfectly happy just the way they are.”

“Not Captain Howdy,” Sig would always answer,
“Captain Howdy is one twitchy, neurotic mutt.”
And I suppose Sig was right,
but dogs tend to live up to the monikers they’re given,
and when you name your pet
after what the demon in The Exorcist calls itself,
you’ve got to expect a few quirks.

On more than one occasion,
as I watched Sigmund
try to cover his bald spot by combing his fingers
through his few remaining strands of greasy hair
or listen to him wax poetic and at length
about the hidden meanings in Jethro Tull songs,
it was good that I didn’t have a gun,
as I would have surely pulled it out
and shot that nasty fucker right in the head.

I’m sure he felt the same way about me,
but we both realized
that we’d never do it.
It would only mean one less person
whose pockets we could rifle
and whose marijuana we could steal
when they passed out on the couch.

And to this day
I’ve tried and tried and wracked my brain
but I’ve never been able
to come up with a better definition
for the word


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