Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thrift Store Pen Pals - From Brad!

Woo hoo! I got my second Thrift Store Pen Pal item! I know what it's like to be in your shoes now; very curious, yet in the back of your mind hoping it's not anthrax. Well, Brad, of Ginger Brad, was kind enough to not poison me this time, and sent me a book! It's called "Jack Russell: Dog Detective - The Sausage Situation" by Darrel and Sally Odgers.

That's a pretty epic title for several reasons. I think I'll go ahead and judge this book by its cover, making up the entire story based solely on its cover, then I'll read it and see how closely my harsh judgment and the cold reality match up.

Judging the Book by its Cover:
Jack Russell is a breed of dog featured on the cover of this book, and it's also the name of the main dog, Jack Russell. The Odgers were clearly born with ultra-evolved minds; they cleverly realized that Jack Russell is a type of dog, but it could ALSO be a name! So they went ahead and blew us all away by naming the Jack Russell Jack Russell. After all the creativity spent on the main dog's name, it's a wonder the authors managed to write the rest of the book. But they did.

Turns out, ol' Jack Russell is a dog detective, solving crimes, sniffing asses. In this harrowing tale, Jack was born the runt of the litter. Being so small, he was easily overlooked and never got much attention from his busy mother, Jill, or any of his brothers or sisters, Jackie, Russ, Dawg, and Pup. On top of it all, he was a little slow in the head. Although he tried to fit in with his family and classmates at training school, he just didn't quite grasp sarcasm or innuendos - he simply took everything for face-value. Despite these drawbacks, Jack had a big imagination and looked up to his hero, Wishbone, a Jack Russell from TV who often imagined himself as the main character of popular books.

One day at training school, Jack overhead the older dogs talking about how this class didn't matter and that they could get most anything they wanted just by eavesdropping on the humans and following them around. The older dogs were half joking, but poor jack took this advice to heart.

On his way home, Jack saw a flyer tacked to a telephone pole which read

Dirty Gary's Sausage Fest
If a hot, juicy weiner is your cause for celebration
Cum to 80th and Troost for The Sausage Situation!

Just a few hours earlier he heard those older dogs talking about getting what you want by following humans, and he may have been slow, but he knew he wanted sausages. He had to think, "what would Wishbone do?" and realized that Wishbone would do as detective Sherlock Holmes and follow anyone who comes and reads the sign; they would lead him to 80th and Troost for his delicious sausage fest! The reason he didn't simply walk to the address is because he didn't know directions - he may be a reading dog, but come on, he's still a dog.

For days Jack would observe the flyer and wait for a human to read its message. Someone just had to see the sign! "How could someone NOT be interested in a huge sausage fest??" thought Jack. Finally, a man dressed in a sequined vest with cutoff jean shorts and a beret walked up to the sign. The man considered the flyer for a moment, smiled, then walked the other direction. This was the moment Jack had been waiting for. He followed the questionably-dressed man for what seemed like miles, until he finally stopped at the door to an old warehouse. He knocked on the door and a man dressed in a mesh shirt and very short basketball shorts answered and let him in. Jack made his move and bolted between the men's legs without them noticing. All he could think of was sausages - warm, juicy, tender sausages melting in his mouth. What he found was something far different.

Techno music filled his ears and a strobe light assaulted his vision. Everywhere he looked he saw naked men. He'd seen his master in his underwear before, but never naked - this was his first look at a fully naked human, and it appeared as though there were sausages coming from their crotches! Just as Jack told himself that that was crazy, he noticed several men trying to eat the other men's sausages. Jack had sniffed a crotch or two in his day and he knew that he didn't want to eat these sausages. He never knew that this was where sausages came from, and the truth was simply shocking - to think, all a sausage really was was a human's red rocket.

Jack bolted outside and immediately started eating grass; he thought he was going to be sick. Just then, one of the sausage fest men saw him and said, "Ooooh, lookie guys, a puppy! Let's bring him in!" Jack would be having none of that and so he ran all the way home, never looking back. Exhausted, he stumbled through his doggy door and collapsed on the floor. Much to the humans' surprise, Jack didn't beg or even seem interested in the Bratwurst they were having that night, or any night thereafter. In fact, Jack never ate another sausage again.

The Reality:
Well, I surprised even myself with where my made-up version of that story went. Now I'm off to read the actual book, and thanks to the magic of the internet, you don't even have to wait while I read it!

Okay, I'm done.

That was the worst book I've ever read. I've probably said that before, but this time it's true. I was, however, surprisingly accurate in judging the book by its cover! It turns out the authors are exactly as creative as I'd expected! Not only is there a dog named Jill Russell, but her owners are named Jack and Jill. Who the heck names their dog after themselves? I'm not going to name my dog Woody, that would just be weird and confusing for everyone. Also, there is a fox terrier named Foxy. This is just a sampling of the creative juices the Odgers have flowing through them.

That's about as close as my story was to the original, which I'd say is still a win compared to my previous attempts. I can honestly say that my story was much better and well thought-out, though, and the real story is unfortunately not about a gay orgy. The story is about a Jack Russell dog, Jack Russell, who gets a tip from his friend, Foxy, that there is a sausage heist going down. In the very first page of the book it says that Foxy is a "reformed thief," so probably not someone you would trust a whole lot. The dogs all go to some "Dog and Sausage" party and Foxy comes up with an elaborate plan to steal all the sausages back because he thinks belong to him. And so at the end of the book he steals them and eats a dozen sausages.

The main character, Jack, is racist, elitist, and egotistical. You may wonder why I say all these harsh things about a poor dog, but these traits become quite apparent. Throughout the book there are "Jack's Facts," in which he says some opinion and claims it as fact. For example: "All dogs depend on their noses. Jack Russells use their other senses as well. That is why Jack Russells are su-paw-rior. This is a fact." Well, that sentence pretty much proves it. Or, he just doesn't realize that every other mammal alive uses all their senses, too.

The book has a glossary at the end of each chapter to explain the stupid words the authors made up and used in the story. Here are some of my favorites:

Ig-gnawed: Ignored, but done by dogs. [Sounds more like something a dawg would say rather than a dog]
Su-paw-rior: Superior, the way Jack Russells are. [Do I smell a paw-locaust coming on?]
Jack-jump: A sudden jump made by a Jack Russell terrier. [Akin to saying, "human-hop," or "person-poop"]
Terrier-tory: A territory owned by a terrier. [This one isn't THAT bad, I guess]
Terrier-able: Same as terrible, but to do with terriers. [This one IS that bad]
In-terrier-gate: Official questioning, done by a terrier. [Okay. That's enough. We get it]
Im-paw-tant: Important, for dogs. [Something a southern belle would say, not a dog]
Jack-snack: A snack for a Jack. [This was in the glossary because, ya know, it wasn't super obvious]

The glossary terms come in three categories: a paw/dog reference, a terrier reference, or a Jack reference. And they use these words alllll the time. "Terrier-able" does not roll off the tongue, making me say that this book is, in fact, quite terrier-able and im-paw-sible to enjoy, no bones about it. Bah.

Coming from a dog who clearly thinks he's the shit, Jack sure is stupid. He keeps saying how smart and how much better Jack Russells are than any other type of dog, but he doesn't pick up on the (super obvious) fact that his friend, Foxy, is the sausage thief. The book ended and Jack STILL didn't figure it out, no joke. Perhaps he isn't as su-paw-rior as he thinks.

I'm summary, this book is paw-ful and the authors deserve the shock collar. Woof. Although, I have to hand it to Brad for finding and sending such a strange book! Thank you, sir, may your life be filled with bountiful sausage situations!


  1. Su-paw-rior post, friend! I drive by 80th and Troost on a regular basis, and I DID notice a lot of Tobias-type men in cutoffs and sequins over there. Now I know the truth!

  2. Bahahahaha
    I have found my new life motto.

    If I am ever in a confusing situation I will think:

    "what would Wishbone do?"