Visions from a Diseased Mind #3: How to Kill a Dog


"Grape-Nuts!" my unknown companion proudly exclaims.
"Grape-Nuts?" I ask, confused.
"Sure! You know those collar things they put on dogs after surgery or something like that? Well, fill
       one with Grape-Nuts once, and the dog will eat the cereal until he dies."
"No way! Really?" I ask, not sure whether or not I should believe my faceless companion.
"Try it," he goads.
I whistle, and Max, my black lab of 17 years, comes limping into the room. He just had surgery, and
       he's wearing one of those stupid collars. How convenient. Max sits at my feet.
For whatever reason, I have an entire cupboard full of Grape-Nuts and an entire fridge full of milk.
I slowly begin pouring the Grape-Nuts into the collar. Max starts licking at the cereal. With one box
       emptied, I pour in some milk.
"Not too much now. You don't want to drown him."
Some of the milk dribbles down Max's neck, but most stays in the collar. I empty several more
       boxes of Grape-Nuts and several more pints of milk into the collar. For some reason, Max
       doesn't move, shake his head, or anything. He just sits there looking up at me, eating the cereal.
"Grape-Nuts are irresistible to dogs."
I continue to fill the collar with milk and cereal. The mixture is the consistency of concrete, or maybe
       of wet sand--the kind from which sand castles can be made. Most of Max's head is covered with
       the thick slop, and little more than his muzzle is visible.
"When bloody foam starts coming from his mouth, that means his stomach is full and he's filling
       up his esophagus."
Just then, a bloody froth begins to exit Max's mouth. It mixes with the milk and cereal, and Max
       continues to eat. His breathing becomes more labored.
"His stomach is packed with Grape-Nuts, and so is most of his throat. It'll only be a few moments
       now before he completely chokes."
And yet Max continues eating.
I pour in one more box of Grape-Nuts and some more milk and form it in a mound over Max's head,
       pounding it to keep its form...like building a sand castle.
"Good-bye, Max," I whisper.
Max falls over. Whatever was left in the collar empties onto the floor.
My companion nudges Max's bloated belly with his toe, steps back, smiles, and simply says,
       triumphantly, "See, told you so."




Originally written:    February 24, 2002
Put online:    March 10, 2002
Discussion:    This series of dream poems makes no damn sense at all. This particular poem is based on a dream I had the evening of February 23-24, 2002. It should be interesting to note that I have never had a dog, and I have never had any pet named Max.


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