So I was in Boomerangs, my local skeevy dive-bar of choice, talking to my buddy Dave (aka “Monster”. Dave is the owner of the small, fuzzy dog that I posted the photos of and then got so many gooey emails about that I needed an insulin shot just to finish reading them. Now, typical of my area here in CA, Dave is a very funny, intelligent guy who never seems to have to work and probably lives his life a little more in line with Steve Rubell of Studio 54 that most of us can wrap our brains around… Well, other than that whole tax evasion thing, anyway.
So anyway, Dave was telling me a story funny enough that I actually asked him if I could relay it to the rest of you. The story revolves around Sir Bentley Turbo, the aforementioned furball. Sir Bentley is a Pomeranian, and is even more of a regular at Boomerangs than I am, which is pretty impressive. Everyone knows Bentley, and we can tell a newcomer a mile away by their reaction to our beloved mascot. Most people just maul the dog while making cooing noises and slobbering on themselves. A newcomer *always* asks whose dog it is and what kind of dog it is. And with that, our story begins:
It was a dark and stormy night…
Shit… no… that’s not right. It was a clear and warm night at Boomerangs, much like every other night in Del Mar. Dave, big Mark, and about 10 other people were all outside on the patio, drinking and smoking, as people in bars tend to do. All of a sudden a newbie who shall remain nameless – only cause I forgot his name, really – walks up to the bar and orders a drink. We’ll call the newbie GNG, for Gullible New Guy. GNG gets his drink and sits down outside. He starts up a conversation with Dave, explaining that he had just moved here and had only been in town for a week or so. *BIG* mistake. He then asks Dave “Wow… what kind of dog is that”? Somewhere in the distance, a death knell sounded, I’m sure of it. So Dave, who is quite used to answering questions about Bentley and generally keeps a stack of witty answers on hand, replies cheerfully “Oh, he’s a wild Puerto Rican Fence Climber.”
Now, the guy naturally has no idea what a wild Puerto Rican Fence Climber dog is, since they are nothing more than the fictitious works of Dave’s twisted Del Martian mentality. So again, he plays right in with “Oh really? I have never heard of that kind of dog.”
Now Dave couldn’t have scripted this better if he had planned the whole thing out, and the reality of how well this guy was playing into his hands made him almost giddy. “Oh yeah… they are trained to hunt chickens in packs of 50. They are fierce hunters and amazingly agile.” Now, bear in mind, this dog is the same size as my cat – and my cat is small for her age.
Dave goes on to explain that if someone were to get a piece of raw chicken and climb to the top of the 30 foot tree in the front yard of the bar, Bentley would be able to leap into the air and take it from them. Anyway, so the guy is dumbfounded and amazed. Dave then asks, quite seriously, “Do you know what the word p-o-l-l-o means? Shhh!!! Don’t say the word. That’s Bentley’s signal. Do you know what it means?” The guy answers very quietly that he knows that it means “chicken” in Spanish, and is looking pretty impressed.
At this point, the guy is on the edge of his seat, and the trap is about as set as it can be. Dave makes the final play by saying “Hey, if you don’t believe me, go up to the bar and ask Ray for a piece of raw chicken.” Without a word, GNG disappears inside the bar, and comes out with a piece of raw chicken in his hand. Dave responds quickly, covering Bentley’s head with his hands, urgently explaining that Bentley had a keen sense of smell, and we couldn’t let him get wind of the raw meat or things would turn ugly. He urges GNG to quickly climb the tree before Bentley smells the chicken in the air. GNG starts scrambling up the tree, wearing nothing on his feet but rubber flip-flops. He makes it all the way up to the top, and as he prepares to hold the chicken out for Bentley, proceeds to fall, ass over tea-kettle down the tree, rolling over 3 times and sliding into the dumpster in the parking lot.
But GNG would not be defeated so easily. Dave (and the rest of the audience who was just amazed at what was happening) urged him to try it again, and this time take off the rubber flops so he’d have more grip on the tree. As he gets closer to the top of the tree, he starts fumbling again, explaining that he can’t hold onto the tree and the chicken at the same time. Dave instructs him to put the chicken in his pocket and finish climbing, and GNG obeys. He gets back up to the top of the tree, takes the chicken in his hand, and as he’s about to utter the deadly words “Bentley! Pollo!”, he falls out of the tree again, sliding down the bark and removing most of the skin from the entire left side of his torso.
GNG finally gives up, and as he starts to walk back to the patio to rejoin the crowd, Dave quickly shouts “Wait! You still have the chicken! Go over to the street and throw the chicken as far downwind as you can. Then rub your hands in the dirt and pour beer on them to try and get the smell off” The guy hurls the chicken across the road as far as he can, rubs his hands in the dirt, and again begins walking back to the party.
â€œ Dave, man… why is your dog looking at me like that?? — GNGâ€
He sits down next to Bentley in the chair, and Bentley is just staring at him for some reason. This is really freaking the guy out, so he finally asks “Dave, man… why is your dog looking at me like that??”.
Dave thinks quickly, and replies gravely, “You had the chicken in your pocket.” In a hushed tone, totally seriously, he said “Get up very slowly… do not make eye contact, and for god’s sakes don’t make any sudden moves. Go in the bathroom and wash out your pocket, but be sure to use the back door”.
GNG’s eyes were wide with fear, as he snuck in the back door to the bar and ran to the bathroom. He returns about 3 minutes later, apparently having washed his entire pocket out in the bathroom, but to the rest of the crew it just looked like he pissed himself, since the entire left-middle side of his shorts were soaked.
The guy was a mess. Scraped up all over the place, soaking wet shorts, and severely traumatized. He apologized profusely for not being able to complete the task given to him. It was at this point that Dave decided it would be best not to tell him that the entire thing was a joke, there was no such thing as a Puerto Rican Fence Climber, and that the dog was in fact the most peaceful, harmless Pomeranian ever to walk the earth.
Now, this story is even funnier because the very evening that Dave was relaying it to me, a girl who had admittedfly had too much to drink, wandered outside for a cigarette and caught only the last few sentenceds of the conversation. And as if on cue, she looks at Bentley and says “Oh what a cute dog! What kind is it?”. Dave explains to her what kind of dog it is (and I’ll give you a guess as to what he said. A clue – he didn’t say a Pomeranian).
We didn’t make her climb the tree, but instead just had her stand up on the second rail of the parking garage which is next door and elevated above the bar. We did eventually tell her that it was all a joke, and she took it fairly well. I, on the other hand, was laughing so hard I think I ruptured my spleen.
I ran into her at another bar a few weeks later. Our eyes locked and that brief, confused look of recognition crossed our faces. She approached me and said “Don’t I know you?”. I answered vaguely that she might have seen me at Boomerangs. Her eyes opened really wide and she said in an almost quiet and apprehensive tone “Pollo?”. I just nodded and smiled. We still laugh about it.