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The saga of Bobby (iv) Percy and Marge


Percy was of indeterminate age, his pure white hair and 12″ long white goatee and relatively youthful features made it difficult to tell.  I guesstimated him be in his late forties to early fifties. He
stood about 5’4″ and was probably about that wide; he drove one of
those cars that you were never quite sure if it was dumped or parked.

I knew Percy and Marge long before I actually knew them. Hmm, something about that doesn’t sound right, how can I put this?… You know that where I live is a very small town, actually it’s not really a town at all, it’s just a pub, a corner store and a battery shop (don’t ask me, I’ve got no idea why there’s a battery shop in the middle of nowhere!), and about 15 to 20 houses. Well, I used to see them every time I came to buy groceries, I don’t know if they ever bought groceries or not, but they were always at the pub, and that’s straight across the road from the shop, so I had seen them for around three years.

Oh, I forgot, there’s a Rest Area too! All those funky marks on the photo are bugs on my windscreen

Despite all the propaganda to the contrary, country folk aren’t really the friendly, welcoming ‘glad to make your acquaintance‘ types that TV and movies like to portray them as. In fact they are downright standoffish until they get to know you, and since they are standoffish, they rarely get to know you (specially if you wear citified clothes like I do)…you see my dilemma? With Percy and Marge, there was about a year of them just staring at me, followed by a year and a half of nodding as I went into the shop, and finally one Sunday morning as I was getting my newspaper, Percy asked “Is that a beagle in your car?”

Now I don’t know if it was becasue I was just so gosh darned excited that he finally decided to talk to me, or if it was just becasue I don’t have anyone besides cyber friends to talk to, but I became positively effusive and replied “Yep”.

“Is it a full beagle?” he Percy pressed. Here’s where I’m pretty sure I was just being a prick when I answered “He was a while ago, but I made him have a crap before I let him in the car, but he is a pure bred beagle”. Surprisingly, he found that funny and the ice was broken.

“I’ve got a beagle that just had a litter” he offered. ”Hmm, this talking caper isn’t so hard after all“, I thought to myself, and decided to try a question of my own, “Are they pure bred?”

“No they’re Border Collie cross”, he replied in an almost disappointed tone, “but I want to put a pure bred over her, I hear they are worth a bit”. Not wanting to sound like too much of a smartass when I delivered the bad news, but needing to explain the situation quickly, I told him “Ah, well we’ve got a problem, although mine’s a pure Beagle, he’s not a complete Beagle, on account of me letting the Vet keep his nuts”, or words to that effect.

“Too bad, but you should come around and have a look at them anyway, they look just like beagles”. (He’d obviously never seen a beagle pup). And with that we went our separate ways.

When I got home, I got to thinking “you know, if you could get a Beagle’s temperament combined with a Border Collie’s smarts, you’d have a pretty good dog“. I should tell you that all of this happened about three months after I last saw Bobby, and amazingly, despite the fact that you have already put two and two together, it didn’t dawn on me at all (derr!). To this day I can’t figure out why it didn’t click, but it didn’t! So, having not long ago had three dogs and then finding myself with only two, I had decided that two was an easier number to deal with, and with that,  I dismissed the idea of a third dog out of hand, and never really gave it another thought.

Stay tuned for Marge….

32 Responses

  1. No way! I didn’t see this coming! Can’t wait to hear about Marge.

  2. I love your line about taking a crap and not being a “full beagle” anymore!! You are too funny!!

  3. Great story! I love the bugs on the window shot. They are so annoying, especially if you don’t wash them off in a hurry.

  4. I’m enjoying reading this story, WT – because I remember when it all happened…. and when you did get Belle, you made comments of the sort about where she came from, but never painted the full picture, ya know? So – now my curiosity and nosiness is finally getting filled (although I have long since forgotten about her background until now!)

  5. “…but I want to put a pure bred over her, I hear they are worth a bit”.

    That is PURE country-folk talkin’ there.

  6. The plot thickens…or is it something else…???

    Must be the plot 🙂

  7. So this Percy ends up being the guy that runs around town after dark, wearing a skin mask & carrying a chain saw right? Drives a ute will a “Gunna make ya squeal like a pig” bumper sticker.

  8. Percy and Marge sound real characters!

  9. This is turning out to be a great tale!! I suppose we’re going to have to wait till Monday for the next installment **wails and gnashes teeth** …

  10. The thot plickens. lol

    It’s funny how the penny just doesn’t drop sometimes – until later. That happens to me every so often;).

  11. Oh he of the cliff hangers, can’t wait for the next installment.

  12. what a great pick-up line!

    is that a beagle in your car, or are you just happy to see me?

  13. I didn’t make the connection either, until you brought it up. Maybe you need smarter cyber friends.

  14. Marge? Now I have a picture of a beagle bitch with blue hair!

    Can’t wait for the next installment, WT.

  15. oh, hell, had my coffee. Marge is Percy’s wife, not Belle’s mom. I’m all better now.

  16. Wow, I thought where I grew up was low in population (15 miles to a town of 1400, or 15 miles in the other direction to a city of 8000–I didn’t like it and moved as soon as I hit 18). But you have privacy!

    Had to laugh at your opening statement to Percy. Perfect.

    Can’t wait to “meet” Marge. 🙂

  17. You’re funny!

  18. Amazing how many businesses are named for you. Do you own all of them? Seems as though you should try to purchase the Battery Shop, too.

  19. lol.. you are down right chatty Peter!

    I like to ignore all of my neighbors for the most part. I wear my Australian beenie and they give me a wide berth…lol..and when I do have to talk to a stranger… “ohhh I can see you’re not from around here, you are from Australia.”

    Next time I go to town I’m only going to speak Spanish.

    I like your town.

  20. see what happens? I’m out of action for a few days and the next thing I know, you’re back in action telling stories again!

    glad to have you back in storytelling mode!

  21. You have totally destroyed my fantasy of a sea change to the country. What do you mean, people won’t welcome me with open arms!

  22. Um, what didn’t click. Was Buddy his dog? I’m slow on the uptake today.

  23. Robinella – No, I knew for some time that Buddy was my dog.

  24. I love your description of small-town life – right on the nose! And Percy sounds like a… erm… character (and that goatee! Holy crap!). Can’t wait to hear about Marge!

  25. p.s. pardon the masses of exclamation marks. Got carried away.

  26. Wow! I stopped checking for a few days and you have started a novel….trying to catch up and looking forward to the next installment! Glad to have you back!

  27. Yikes! I just read your comment about the bloggers….that is indeed….scary. And a very sad state of affairs – agreed! But, I guess we have not choice but to accept it and move on.

  28. I want to see pics of Percy. I bet he’s a looker.

  29. The “full beagle” remark was befitting of such a smartass. Reminds me of comedian Ron White who asks, “You ever take a crap so big that your pants feel better?” (Yes, that was gross.)

  30. Percy does sound like quite a character. I am guessing that Marge is a fine match for Percy.

  31. ya know your right those darn country folks are just so stand offisih…. seriously i agree. i been in my small down (just slightly bigger then yours) for two years.. still don’t know jack from adam. and i have lived in this area along time so you’d think i’d at least have a small edge

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