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Of Course I Drink Like a Fish, I’m a Mermaid Wine Poster
Stout, a telephone company lineman, had summoned the fanciers to call to their attention an ad in Pit Dog Report, an earthy, nearly illiterate “Mag. Of reading and not to many picturs” published in Mesquite and circulated nationally.
The ad read:OPEN TO MATCHAny time . . . Any whereBULLY, male, 54 lb.A DEAD GAME DOG!
Parties interested could contact Mr. Maynard at a post office box in Phoenix, Arizona. It wasn’t necessary to mention that challengers lacking the proper securities need not respond. They had all heard of Mr. Maynard and his legendary beast, Bully. Mr. Maynard was the Max Hirsch of pit bulldog breeding, and Bully was Man O’ War. Bully had every quality a fighting dog can have—gameness, biting power, talent, stamina, bloodline. As the saying goes, a dead game dog.
“We’re gonna get it on!” Stout declared, cackling and slamming the magazine on the table.
“He’s crazy as a mudsucking hen,” Crater said, addressing the table. J.K., a professional breeder who works with his daddy, ran the tip of a frog sticker under his walnut fingernails and said nothing. Annabelle, a girl with an Oklahoma Dust Bowl face who lives with J.K., was practically sitting in J.K.’s lap, which was as far away as she could get from Stout.
“I got fifteen hundred bucks,” Stout said. “That leaves fifteen hundred for the rest of you.”
Crater looked down at Princess, who was chewing on his foot. “What are we gonna use for a dog?” he inquired. “I’m afraid Princess here is a shade might young. Boudreaux’s dead…Tombstone’s dead…and that dark brindle of J.K.’s wouldn’t make a good lunch for a beast like Bully.”
“Tell him,” Stout said. Then J.K. Related what fate had brought their way.
It seemed that J.K.’s daddy knew a driver who knew a dispatcher who had a brother in El Paso who had a dog named Leroy. Leroy was so god-awful bad nobody in El Paso would speak his name, but for a price his owner was willing to loan him out. J.K. And his daddy had taken a pretty game dog named Romeo out to El Paso where Leroy had had him for high tea.
But that wasn’t all. J.K.’s daddy noticed that one of Leroy’s toes had been cut off—cut clean, not like in a fight, but like a man had taken a chisel and cleaved the toe with a blow from a mallet.