Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper has a new phone; and Phyllis, in a demonstration of unparalleled heroics, is trying to teach him how to use it. It is a tossup as to which one of them will require therapy first, but if Kickass had any money it would be on the keeper. He has what might be described as chronic phoneitis, a condition that dates back to his very first phone call when his mother had to get a message to him when he was in the second grade. When he nervously stood on a chair to reach the school’s wall phone and heard his mother’s voice, he said, “How are you?” As first telephone lines go it will not compete with Edison’s “Watson, come here, I want you,” but it amused his mother no end and somehow set up incurable and crippling intimidation regarding telephones. Through the decades, telephones were, of course invaluable to the keeper’s journalistic career, and finding one to meet a deadline was always a challenge, once having him call from a barn full of cows bawling so loud for their absent calves that the rewrite desk couldn’t hear anything but moos. In using the latest in phones it has pretty much been a test of the keeper’s ability to come up with adequate profanity as the phone either does or doesn’t do what he wants it to do. That does not seem likely to change, and Phyllis may be well advised to lay in a good supply of cabernet sauvignon.
(See billstokesauthor.com for more Kickass and news of the novel MARGARET’S WAR.)