Negotiating with Cookies – Social Media

Today is the day during the garbage pick-up cycle where unwanted electronic hardware like printers and computers can be left out on the curb and Waste Management will cart them away.

While on our walk, Fleegle stops to sniff the tower of an old desktop computer, and before I know it, he’s lifted his leg on it.

“Hey, what are you doing?” I say.

“Updating your Facebook page.” He looks over his shoulder at me. “Do you want me to Tweet something for you too? Tell the world you just stubbed your toe?”


Previous Negotiating with Cookies: Fleegle Solves It

Negotiating with Cookies – Fleegle Solves It

“Ooo, Raud, are you drawing again?” Fleegle asks, breathing over my shoulder.


“What is that? It looks like my dog door.”

“It’s a square.” I add a few more lines and turn it into a cube. “Now it’s a block.”

“Oh, you have writer’s block again, huh?”

I nod.

“You should use that big pink eraser you’ve got there and erase that block, then draw me another big meaty bone.”


Next Negotiating with Cookies: Social Media

Previous Negotiating with Cookies: Poetry

Negotiating with Cookies – Poetry

“Ooo, this is good tasting grass,” Fleegle says between bites as he grazes on the fresh spring growth. After he’s had his fill, he lifts his leg on the nearest upright object, a rhododendron shrub, and takes one of the longest pees ever.

“Fleegle, haven’t you peed on that rhodie enough? You’re going to kill it if you don’t spread your wiz around.”

“Hey, I’m writing a poem. It may not be the best poem ever, but it’s not that bad.”

“And what’s your poem about?”

“It’s a love poem to grass. In my next life I want to be born a cow. I’ll stand around all day and do nothing but graze in the fields.”


Next Negotiating with Cookies: Fleegle Solves It

Previous Negotiating with Cookies: Midlife

Negotiating with Cookies – Midlife

“What’s a midlife crisis?” Fleegle asks.

“That’s when men in their 40s or 50s trade in the family car for a red sports car that seats two and start wearing jeans that are too tight.”

“What good is a car without a place to stretch out? Do women have midlife crisis?”

“Maybe, but the midlife crisis is more associated with men trying to be teenagers again, especially men who are recently divorced.”

“What about dogs? Do I get a red ball when I hit midlife?”


Next Negotiating with Cookies: Poetry

Previous Negotiating with Cookies: Dog Park

Negotiating with Cookies – Dog Park

Fleegle walks up to where I’m standing at the dog park, grumbling about something. “Petulant, spoiled, entitled, immature, arrogant, narcissistic, twit,” Fleegle says, rubbing his paw on his nose.

“Who are you talking about?” I ask.

“That poodle over there that bit me.”

“Where’d you learn all those words?”

“I’m just repeating what you said about the poodle’s owner when she cut you off in the parking lot in her shiny car.”


“You know how Labradors are called Labs for short? Are poodles called poo?”

“When they bite you they are,” I say.

“Or cut you off,” Fleegle says.


Next Negotiating with Cookies: Midlife

Previous Negotiating with Cookies: Taste Like Chicken

Negotiating with Cookies – Taste Like Chicken

Fleegle wakes me up by licking my face. Light streams through the bedroom blinds, but not sunlight, but spacecraft propulsion light.

“I think our visitors are back,” Fleegle says. “You better start breaking cookies in two.”

I groan. “Couldn’t they visit during daylight hours, or at least call ahead.”

“At least they brought their ship and won’t need another lift in ours. They smelled funny and stunk up the car.”

“They did, didn’t they? Must be from eating too many Space Food Sticks.”

“You mean they eat sticks like my Labrador friend Hunter? No wonder they think half a cookie is a full cookie.”

The two of us get up, go to the kitchen and take a look out the patio slider. The saucer sits on the lawn, but it looks different somehow. “Is that the same ship?” I ask.

Fleegle tilts his head to the side. “It looks smaller.”

We spot the occupants in the illuminated dome on top of the saucer. Instead of the two dogs are a half dozen chickens bobbing about. A ramp on the underside of the ship lowers and out march in two by two formation, six fat little chickens followed by an even fatter rooster. They pause to take in their surroundings, then jack boot across the lawn toward us. The representatives from the evil chicken planet have arrived.

I open the patio door and we step outside to greet them. They stop a few feet away, the chickens taking flanking positions around the rooster, and wait in silence, as if expecting something from us.

“Um…” Fleegle says. “Maybe we should offer them some Chickie Puffs and let George handle this.”

“Good idea,” I say.

When Fleegle turns to get George from the chicken room, one of the chicken guests squawks out, “Halt. Bow before the master race.” For a little hen, her voice is quite authoritative, but for some reason the Colonel pops in my mind, not the one in the old TV adds, but the life-size plastic one they used to have in the KFCs just as you walked in.

“Are those sticks they’re holding?” Fleegle asks.

I now notice the small white wands the chickens are pointing at us.

Fleegle looks at them with a puzzled expression. “Wizard chickens? George might be too working class for this lot.”

I recall the phone conversation with the Mufon guy and his question about paralysis wands. “Don’t let them touch you with those sticks. They might be paralysis wands and if they touch you you won’t be able to move.”

Fleegle snorts at the air, as if trouble is about. “Raud, we should go back inside and shut the door.”

The rooster takes a step forward and cackles, “On your knees, inferior species of Earth scum, submit to the chicken race.” His eyes are big and black and look like they might explode if he gets any angrier.

Fleegle lets out a howl, something he rarely does, then says, “We need to go inside.”

“I think you’re right. What did you just do?” I ask as we dart through the sliding door and close it behind us.

The chickens approach with their wands raised high and start pecking at the glass, and before Fleegle can answer that he smelled Timber Jack and his girlfriend nearby, there’s a flurry of motion on the patio, feathers and fur flying everywhere, and one lone chicken makes it back to the saucer while Timber Jack and his date carry the rest off.

“Maybe there is an evil chicken planet,” Fleegle says.

“Could be,” I say as I spot the two coyote puppies running up the ramp of the spaceship as it rises and closes. The propulsion lights flick on and the ship lifts off the grass, but instead of the chicken looking out from the controls, two surprised puppies gaze back at us as the ship disappears amongst the stars. “But that evil chicken planet might soon have a coyote problem.”

Fleegle wags his tail. “Hey, if puppies get to fly that ship, I should be allowed to drive ours.”


Next Negotiating with Cookies: Dog Park

Previous Negotiating with Cookies: The Morning After

Negotiating with Cookies – The Morning After

On a whim I decided to call MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, and report last night’s encounter.

“Are you sure they weren’t gray?” their rep asks after I finish telling him my story. “Could they have been little gray dogs?”

“No, they were definitely not gray,” I say.

“It was dark, maybe the dim light just made them look some color other than gray.”

“They were brown, brown as mud.”

“Mud can be gray too.” There’s a pause on the line. I imagine the rep making a note of gray mud. “So did these grayish brown creatures have large almond shaped black orbs for eyes?”

“No, just normal, brown dog-eyes.”

“What about hands? Did they have four long skinny fingers?”

“Well, dogs have four toes on a paw if you don’t count the dewclaw which is often removed.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere. Let me recap what I have. You were woken by a bright light shining through your bedroom wall, then discovered a craft in your yard and encountered two four fingered Continue reading Negotiating with Cookies – The Morning After

Negotiating with Cookies – Close Encounters of the Fleegle Kind

I’m woken in the middle of the night by a brilliant light streaming through the bedroom blinds. The light shakes as if its source is from a police helicopter spotlight, but I don’t hear a helicopter or anything else. I get out of bed, lift one of the slats in the blinds and just as I look out, the light snaps off. I hope the rear neighbors haven’t gotten themselves a new freakishly bright porch light. The one they have now is pushing it. I don’t see anything out there but the bamboo in the yard has grown so much anything could be back there, even a small car.

“What are you looking at?” Fleegle asks, appearing at my side. “Are the squirrels rioting? I want the squirrels to riot. I riot of squirrels in my yard would be fun.”

“No, the squirrels are asleep. It was some sort of light shining through the window.”

Fleegle’s hackles get ruffled. “Intruders?”

I reach for the baseball bat leaning in the corner by the nightstand. Continue reading Negotiating with Cookies – Close Encounters of the Fleegle Kind

Negotiating with Cookies – Lists

“Whatcha doing, Raud?” Fleegle asks as he ambles into the kitchen.

“I’m making a grocery list for the store.”

“Are cookies on it? Make sure they are. We can never have enough cookies.”

“Yes, cookies are on it.”

“Put cookies on it again. That way you’ll get twice as much.”

“Here, I’ll put it on the list three times. How’s that suit you?”

“You’re the best, Raud. What else is on the list?”


“Ooo, I like bananas, put that down a few times too.”

I humor him and do. “I also have bar soap and shampoo on the list.”

“For you or for me?”


“Then that’s okay, but you only need it on the list once. If you get too much shampoo you might start thinking of using it on me.”

*   *   *

Later while on our walk, Fleegle pauses to lift his leg on a tree, then moves a fraction and lifts on another spot, and then a third and fourth spot, all on the same tree.

Eager to get on with our walk, I ask, “Fleegle, what are you doing?”

“Making a list.”

Next Negotiating with Cookies: Close Encounters of the Fleegle Kind

Previous Negotiating with Cookies : Conditioner

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