Dead Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell

Chapter 15
They all use Carts for their Popping Puppies

My little dead dog seems a bit less user-friendly, once he starts making shady death threats. I hurriedly begin the quest for a change-cart, to fulfill his request. As a change person you have two options, use a cart to put your change in, or wear an apron around your waist. The carts are a luxury, the aprons are absolutely unbearable. Once you fill their pockets with change, they weigh about a thousand pounds and an eight-hour workday will wreck your lower back for life.

The apron setup is even more of a burden for the male of the specie. As you walk, the change apron bounces up and down, hitting you in THEE most sensitive of areas. This causes significant pain, along with the occasional erection. Since "Broken Arrow" refuses to buy a cart for each of its individual employees, I’m usually stuck wearing an apron about 50% of the time, and an unwanted erection about 20.

Pregnant women are the first to get a cart. Being that "Broken Arrow" seems to be a breeding ground, lots and lots of employees are pregnant. I feel that menial labor, such as selling change to drunken louts in a darkened casino, is so degrading that people feel compelled to pump out a new child every couple of years, just to validate their meager existence. So, since there are so many insecure, horny, and fertile people that didn't seem to notice the over-population problem, I'm left without a cart.

I figure the dead Dalmatian won't give me much sympathy over this dilemma, so I ask Jennifer, another S. S. S., to use her walkie-talkie to find out if there's any more carts available. She presses a button and speaks into the radio. "Areas B, C, and D, do any floor supervisors have an available cart for bank fourteen? Over." Only area C gives a response "no we don't. Over and out."

I admit defeat, thank Jennie and head back to my bank to confront my dead dog and start loading my apron up with change. As soon as I unlock my bank, the dog starts in on me. "What’s this about?" The Dalmatian asks me in the most bitter voice he can muster. "Sorry, man, there’s no carts left."

The dog gives me a dirty look with his one remaining eye, but remains quiet. As I finish filling up my nickel pocket, I notice an unused cart sitting two banks away from me. I run for it, forgetting to lock my bank in the process. Seconds after I grab hold of the cart, I feel a clammy hand covering mine. "Wait a minute, Wayne," says Lisa, "that cart’s going to Bonnie."

My jaw drops over Lisa's obvious favoritism. "Bonnie doesn't even start for another half-hour. Why should she get the cart when I saw it first?" I ask, a little bit shaken over talking to someone with a death-mark on her head. Lisa smiles and pats me on the shoulder, "don't you know, Wayne, Bonnie just found out that she's pregnant."

I make a few grunting sounds and head back to my bank like the gentleman that I am. Bonnie, the twenty-four year old girl who kept claiming to everyone that she was a virgin, and would remain that way until she was married, is pregnant?!? I wonder which it is, a quick wedding in Vegas, or the Immaculate Conception? It's funny how easily people can lie.

I open my bank, forgetting for a moment that its contents hold more than just change. It's only when the newly-recognizable scent of rotting dog-flesh enters my nostrils that I remember the rotting dog that gives off the pungent aroma has taken up residence in bank number fourteen.

I still don’t feel comfortable talking to an invisible dead thing in front of thousands of people as hundreds of cameras stare down at me, and I decide to speak my mind, once again. "Uh, I still think this is kinda stupid. People are gonna notice me talking to myself. I guess I can use your idea and tell them I’m humming, but it’s still gonna look like something’s up." The dog doesn’t respond, causing me to think I might be getting somewhere, so I continue. "Think about it, it is a bit awkward. There are a lot of people around. Could you just spit out your message and leave." I wait for a response, I receive only silence. Maybe he’s holding a grudge over the cart thing.

I shrug my shoulders, not caring what the cameras will think, and finish loading my apron. Once I finish my task, the dog finally speaks. "Put me into your apron, we'll talk once you get on the floor." I cringe at the thought of squishing a dead Dalmatian into an apron that’s already filled with change. "You aren't going to fit into any of my pockets. What am I supposed to do, just smash you in with the quarters?" The dog rolls his eye at me.

"Hey, look at me, I’m dead, what’s it gonna hurt?" "What about that record player you got in your stomach? Isn’t that the only way you can talk?" I ask, surprised over my own concern. The dog makes some weird gurgling noise that sounds a bit like a "you should know better" type laugh. "Yeah, that player is how I converse, but it’s made out of a special after-life created rubber substance that bends but don't break." Oh, great, now I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of some twisted infomercial featuring a dead dog from the Bronx.

I put my right hand under the deceased canine. My fingers are tickled by protruding ribs as I get a grip on the Dalmatian's underside. "If I do this, I want you to tell me whatever it is you have to, and then I never wanna see what's left of your face again." I wait for the dog to give his guarantee before lifting him into my apron. He spits out a tooth while yelling out "IT'S A DEAL!"

I pick the dead dog up, his skin slides across rotting muscle like that of a badly plucked, uncooked chicken. I loose my grip and let him slip from my hand and land on the floor with a hollow thud. "Sorry," I say while picking him back up, this time with my fingernails ground into his flesh, to insure that he won't fall again.

As I begin pushing the dog into my apron, I keep wishing that I didn't accidentally rip out his jaw while in the locker room. Now that the flesh from his lower face is all but gone, his bloated canine tongue is continually hanging out from the back of his throat. It's only half there, but what's left is rather unpleasant.

I can only get the lower half of his body into my apron. It manages to stay there for a little while, before the weight of his upper-body starts pulling him out of the pocket and back toward the floor. I look around to see if anyone, especially the wicked Richard, is staring at me, as I wrap my fingers around his head and begin pushing him back into the quarters.

I get overly eager as I push, and hear something cracking. When I look down, I see the dog's head is twisted backward and figure that I must have broken its neck. The dog doesn’t even seem to notice. I become increasingly more paranoid about people watching me and violently push the rest of him into my apron. The sound of six or seven bones snapping and dried cartilage cracking doesn't even phase me.

I walk toward the long line of change lights and sell my first roll of nickels for the day. "Goooooood luck!" I nearly scream to the middle-aged customer with the empty eyes. "I could use it," he replies. "So could I," I think to myself "so could I."

Go to: Chapter 16

1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.

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