Illustration by Jim Cooke

A-oooooga! The sound of the approaching tugboat shatters the night’s fog. I make the boat sound with my own wet mouth.

Summer time! Darn it—it’s time for a hair cut. If you are like me there is nothing you like better to do in the summer time than to sit on your expansive butt on a curb down by the water front, refusing to move despite increasingly aggressive yanks upon your handsome harness. See and be seen? I don’t mind if I do. The lovely ladies walk by and giggle and I giggle back to them. It comes out as more of a low-toned yawp.

“Yeeeaaawwwwppp,” I yawp. For I am getting a hair cut today.

Stately in my appearance and calm in my demeanor I waddle with loose hips into the arena in which my luxuriant tufts will be trimmed to a pleasing sleekness. The arena in this case is a mat of plastic laid upon the grass in the back yard. On a day of normality this is my office area, where I meet with Roberto the squirrel and plan our various contretemps and parlay-vouz. But today is no normal day.

Hair cut day! Hair cut day! Hair hair hair hair hair hair hair hair! What is today? Hair cut, and I might see a fat blue jay! Day!

Chin angled with dignity I gaze at the bluebird in the nearby tree and take on an appearance of aristocratic repose belying the voice in my head that wants to eat that bird so bad. “Come now, my hairs await,” I seem to say without speaking a word. At this time the barber man approaches me, his tools at the ready. My mane that has grown to an imperious length and sheen shall now tumble down to the earth which accepts it as an offering to the mother of us all. Dirt Ma.

I’m often given a peanut chew to occupy me while my hair is cut. I accept this with good cheer. I like the peanut chew and crunch. Peanut, boy!

Before I know it the affair-du-hair has come to an end. If the blades have been wielded correctly my coat is as sharp and even as the blades themselves. If they have been wielded incorrectly somebody had better call the whole police station because I smell trouble! Wield carefully these tools of power, my friend; for once the hair has been clipped from my glorious coif, there is no returning it to its former position.

If you cut my hair wrong I will bite you.

Like a Pea. Nut. Chew!