Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.
I can’t believe, I’ll never believe what a good good dog I have. Why? Because he isn’t—he’s a late night barking, leg humping, crotch sniffing, jumping up, slobbering, farting, carpet scratching canine wasteland. I have to keep him because my sister gave him to me. He was a little puppy in a thing like an Easter basket with a red ribbon around his neck when she handed him over. He was so cute! I picked him up to hug him and he farted. It smelled like he had a corpse stuck in his butt that was marinating in rotten eggs. My sister said, “Aw that’s cute” as I swallowed hard to keep from puking.
My sister had spent the past five years as a Nun. She had started having visions, but when she realized it was the lenses in her glasses that needed updating and replacing, not visions per se, she left the Convent of the Rolling Stone and got a job handing out menus for Wee Wong’s Chinese Restaurant. Her area was the worst part of the city, but that’s where she found the puppy she gave me. It was curled up next to a homeless man napping on the pavement wearing sweatpants and an aloha shirt with pictures of fishing poles and leaping Marlin. He was wearing Dr. Scholes Corn Busters on his feet. My sister gave him a little nudge and he made a growling sound. She offered him 10 menus for the puppy. Before he could answer, she shoved the menus down his sweatpants and took off running with the puppy, who she named Menu to commemorate his liberation.
I didn’t actually hate Menu. Sometimes I almost liked him, like when he looked at me with his big brown eyes. But then, he would blow one of his signature farts and I would have to open the window and bomb the apartment with Glade. I had taken Menu to dog obedience training school—the best in the City: Proper Pups. Menu wouldn’t stop humping the instructor’s leg and barking, and she kicked us out. Not even a cattle prod could deter Menu. He was not, and never would be, a Proper Pup.
I took Menu to the Vet too, for his gas and slobbering problems. The Vet shook his head and told me me he could insert a removable charcoal filter in Menu’s butt, but I would have to change it once a week, or it would have to be surgically removed by the City’s hazmat team for $300.00. The slobbering was a different story. The Vet told me he could “stem” a number of Menu’s saliva glands using a newly developed Super Glue designed specifically for medical applications. It “only” cost $2,500.00 for the procedure. Both options were too expensive for me.
So, I was stuck, and like a lot of stuck people, I became inventive. I invented the remote controlled window—it went up and with the push of a button on a hand-held controller. I didn’t have to run around the apartment any more opening windows when Menu farted. I also invented a “Slobber Bucket” to catch Menu’s drippings. It is loosely based on the drool bucket I saw on TV when I was a kid. It hangs around Menu’s neck and has a special siren that goes off when it needs emptying. These two innovations make life with Menu nearly tolerable, and I’ve made millions off the remote control windows, but we’re still living in the apartment. Location, location, location. I live across the street from Hooters.
In my research I found out that Menu is actually a breed of dog: “The Drippinker Otcrotcher Schtinkmaken.” It is of Austrian origin and was originally bred in the late 19th-century to “cultivate and strengthen it’s owner’s Nordic virtues— the Stoic propensities necessary for living a lonely, detached, angst-ridden, and brooding life.” There are only 20 known Drippinker Otcrotcher Schtinkmakens left in the world. I don’t know who owns them, but there’s a good chance they are mentally unstable or victims of coercion.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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