DogHouse Manifesto

The Anniversary

I got an early parole out of the doghouse but it won’t last. It never does. Rule # 2406a from the REMEDIAL PRACTICES– chapter of the Doghouse Manifesto reads, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Personally, I like rule #6 from the LIFESTYLES AND CUISINES– chapters, which reads, “If you’re hungry for Italian, don’t order Chinese.

I snuck down the hall, checked the breakfast nook, crossed the living room, slipped out the side door and was almost in the hammock when she jumped out of the Hydrangea bushes at me.

She scared me half to death. “Happy anniversary, Darling!” I’m going to have to get her a collar bell so she can’t sneak up on me.

Anniversary? I pause just long enough to do a quick systems check and data dump to the mainframe. What anniversary? This may be the shortest parole on record.

“You don’t remember, do you?” She narrowed her eyes at me suspiciously.

Remember? God, I wasn’t even thinking but I’m not about to tell her that! In the CORRECTIONS AND JURISPRUDENCE– sections of the Doghouse Manifesto: Rules 1-7a and 1-7b state respectively: “If I don’t remember, it never happened.” and “There’s no crime if there’s no proof.”  Both are good for all denials with the exception of: Law Enforcement breathalyzer results or an angry woman with a positive pregnancy test. You’re going to need a lawyer for both but you’re probably screwed when it comes to the angry woman with a positive pregnancy test, which is oddly appropriate… Don’t get me started.

Meanwhile, I’m about to blow a main bus fuse trying to instantaneously download every inane date since the first moment I laid eyes on her. I’m burning ether so fast my ears start to smoke but I’m getting nowhere.

“Can you give me a little hint, sweetie?” Which means the same as, ‘I don’t know.’ I smile, but it’s crocodilian at best; something just this side of serial killer chic.

It’s an anniversary, but who knows of what? There are so many: our first conversation, our first date, our first kiss, our first- well, you get the idea. I have the big one tattooed on the inside of my right thigh, but I didn’t know I was supposed to keep track of all of them. I’d need three legs for that!

“How could you forget?” She wails and stomps out of the yard. It’s not a question- it’s an accusation. I have been tried, condemned and sentenced all in one fell swoop.

She knows I only remember three dates: dollar night at Murphy’s Beer and BratwÜrst Emporium, her birthday and ‘Pudge’ Fisk’s Game 6 World Series Home run and sometimes, I forget her birthday. But I’m pretty sure it’s not today. Dollar Night at Murphy’s is 7- 9 next Tuesday.

The difference between what she remembers- the first time I helped her paint her toenails in the hotel in Cancun- and what I remember, is a twenty dollar sucker bet and Carlton Fisk bouncing a baseball off of the left field foul pole October 21st, 1975, in ‘The Green Monster.’

They all want to be in the fairy tale, but they want to come in at end of the story. They all want to be Cinderella, but after the evil stepmother and the ugly sisters and the incident in the ashes at the fireplace. It was dark. I was drunk. Don’t ask.

Look, even Prince Charming had a mother and you can bet she was one long suffering and patient old broad. The Prince Charming’s of the world aren’t born, they’re made and in the image of the woman patient enough to play Doctor to his Frankenstein. Uhm… that’s not exactly how I wanted that to come out. Well, Oedipus aside, you get the idea.

I could just confess and tell her I don’t know what she’s talking about but at this point, it wouldn’t help. Rule # A57-9801 of the ADMISSIONS AND DECLARATIONS OF GUILT– Chapters of the DHMF, (Doghouse Manifesto) clearly states, “Confession is good for the soul, but only if you can plead the original charge down to a lesser or suspended sentence. if not then keep your mouth shut and refer to subsection A57-9801-a,” which reads in part: “You have the right to remain silent…

Staring down the barrel of a gaily wrapped package, means it’s to late to plead. You can beg, but only for mercy with immunity. Mercy without immunity is actually punishment. For more on that, see rule # A57-9810ii, paragraph three.

Yeah, I know. Move over Eightball, and give me back my bone. Don’t worry, she’ll remember to feed you, she’s seems to be pretty good at remembering things.


Eightball Sneaky Laugh


 My Dear Readers- my book, A DogHouse Manifesto, is now available for purchase and is listed by title at,, Barnes & and other fine book-sellers worldwide.

A DogHouse Manifesto © by Mitchell L. Peterson.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced. Stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publishers, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or journal.

First printing.

This is a work of fiction. Names Characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, event, or locales is entirely coincidental.

PublishAmerica has allowed this work to remain exactly as the author intended, verbatim, without editorial input.



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