Short stories and essays by Shaun Costello, as well as excerpts from manuscripts in progress.

“Augie’s Doggies” by Shaun Costello




An exercise in conversational spontaneity.


by Shaun Costello





Yesterday I called my friend Bridget, but a guy answered the phone. He’s very suspicious. He’s been down this road before. He’s not to be messed with. I go into panic mode and use an alias. I figured that’s what Sam Spade would have done.

“Is Bridget there?”
“Who’s this?”
“Yeah, that’s right, Augie. From Augie’s Doggies.”
“Augie’s Doggies? You fucking with me or what?”
“Augie’s Doggies Canine Obedience Training. We teach your Poodle to Canoodle. Look, is Bridget there, or what?”
“Look friend, Some girl named Bridget called us. She left this number on our voice mail.”
“You a friend of the family?”
“Look, I’m Augie from Augie’s Doggies and I’m returning Bridget’s call. You gonna put her on or what?”
“Can’t what?”
“Put her on.”
“Why not? Look Buddy, I don’t have a whole hell of a lot of time here.”
“I’m not your buddy.”
“That’s neither here nor there.”
“Just put fucking Bridget on the fucking telephone.”
“You got a real bad attitude. You know that?”
“My dear sir, may I have the pleasure of addressing Miss Bridget?”
“That’s better.”
“Better than what?”
“Can’t talk to her though.”
“Why not?”
“Who’s dead?”
“Both of em.”
“Both of whom?”
“Bridget and her dog.”
“What the…..”
“Dog bit her.”
“What dog?’
“Bichon Friese.”
“Bridget’s Bichon Friese bit her?”
“Bridget bit her back.”
“Bridget bit her Bichon Friese?”
“Bit her big time. Almost ate the whole thing. Started choking, coughing up hair and paws and stuff. Then she didn’t move any more. Big mess.”
“Where is Bridget now?”
“Morgue. They took her.”
“And where’s the Bichon?
“Put her Bichon in the freezer. What was left anyway. Look, you want this dog or what?”
“Yeah. You’re Augie from Augie’s Doggies aren’t you? Look Mr. Augie, this dog’s real quiet. Won’t be any trouble at all.”
“I have to get off now. I certainly enjoyed speaking with you. You take care OK?”
“But what should I do?”
“With the dog?”
“Have you got any garlic or balsamic vinegar?
“No matter. Got to go. Take care of yourself, OK?”
“OK, Augie.”




©  2008  Shaun Costello


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