Excerpt for The Mean Dog by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Mean Dog

by Daniel Hargrove

Published by Daniel Hargrove at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This book is published for anyone's enjoyment. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Users may read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal are appropriately credited. The users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.

Table of Contents

01) The Mean Dog

02) The Candy Machine

03) The Gin

04) Prophylacticism

05) The Knife

The Mean Dog

If a man has a wife

that's their business

if they have a mean dog

that barks at passersby

that's their business, too

it's bound to happen





bark bark

if my wife

tames their dog

offering it steaks

or cooked hamburger

and the dog takes a liking

to my wife

that's my business

and their business, too

if that man

knocks on my door

and threatens

to punch me in the face

I've gotta deal with it

but I wouldn't

call the cops

The Candy Machine

It used to cost a penny

for a handful

of gum, or sours

then it cost a dime

a %1000 increase

in price

now it costs a quarter


you can go for the spider ring

maybe a fake tattoo

those are fun

a claw drops

and grabs the

stuffed monkey

that one costs $1

the stuffed monkey

is worth a dollar

so if you can get it

on the first try

you're ahead of the game

perhaps you want to ride

the little fire truck

that is also expensive

if only it had

a siren and a loud horn

but I'm dreaming

The Gin

The industrial revolution

changed everything

things were easier


Hitler and the Third Reich

vastly accelerated

the inertia and momentum

of technology

mass manufacturing

took a quantum leap

and craftsmen

were left in the dust

if one person

had a pair of shoes

another had them, too

technology is here to stay

and things are now

way easier than they used to be

we have many conveniences

and rely on them

without them

we would not be able

to get by

as a whole

who knows how to make soap?

or hominy?



in government

over corporations

over the military industrial complex

is the only real answer

to society's dilemmas

that means we need powerful

men and women

with our best interests

in mind

they must understand

that war is a horror

that must be avoided

if at all possible

pacifists serve a very real


in capping the efforts

of war mongerers

keeping them from

those everpresent

abuses of power

that might be avoided

a veteran, however

might save us

from the next war

or the war after that

and a thousand years from now?

Maybe war will be over

The Knife


he looked at a knife

a serrated, sharp knife

or a fillet knife

or a steel pocket knife

even a butter knife

he thought

about killing someone

how society hates him

how his wife

was so naive


he took a big knife

to the corner store

and tried to kill

the people there

he killed the clerk

and managed

to stab a couple of

other people

before a hero

grabbed him

wrestled him to the floor

while someone else

called the police

twenty to life

Hope you've enjoyed this thoughtful presentation of how we might get past our dilemmas as a society and come to a better understanding of our situation. If you liked it, or would like to comment, please write me at;


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