I ran into my old friend Mooch at Whataburger a few days back. Many a fine friendship is based on the breaking of bread, ours is no different.
Standing in line to order, from the corner of my left eye, there he was, sitting in his usual booth by the window; head down, hands splayed on the table, palms prostrate as if he has lost his best hog.
Something was off. His bucket hat, the overalls, and the ever-present mustard stains on his denim shirt rang Mooch. Then, I noticed the absence of his everywhere buddy, little Giblet, the crusty Chiuaua that usually rides in a front mount baby sling, drawn tightly to his chest. I feared the worst, old Giblet is no more.
I took the opposite seat, clearing my throat to alert Mooch of my presence. Without looking up, Mooch muttered through clenched teeth, “Those rotten little bastards down in Austin, they ruined my Giblet.”
” Man, I’m so sorry Mooch, I had no idea Giblet had entered the realm,” being as conciliatory as possible.
He looked up, ” Giblet ain’t dead you moron, he ain’t Giblet no more, he’s now, Gabrielle, thanks to those little woke shits at that animal psycho place.” I’m thinking this will be one of his best stories yet, I need more.
Mooch took a swig from his Dr Pepper and began a lengthy explanation.
” A month ago, Gib started acting weird; wouldn’t eat his Wolf Brand Chili or watch his shows on Animal Planet. He stared out the window all day and paced the floor all night. Doc Barker over at the vet says Giblet has suffered a nervous breakdown, so we take him to this fancy clinic down in Austin. This doctor lady with green hair and a fishing tackle face says he needs to stay a few weeks for therapy and convalesce. We can check in on him via a remote camera in his suite, or do a “face call.” The first time we log on, he is laying on his Sterns and Foster bed watching Animal Planet, that’s a good sign. the next day, there is a Calico cat snuggled up to him and they’re watching “The View.” By the end of the week, he is watching the Food Network, CNN, MSNBC and now has a bunny rabbit and the cat hanging out in his suite. Mrs. Mooch and I jump in our truck and hi-tail it to Austin. I demand that they cough up my dog. After paying the stupifying bill, they bring old Gib out. He is wearing a wig and has pink toenails and false eyelashes. The doc says that Giblet has always felt to be a girl and has transitioned over to Gabrielle. He still has his junk, but that can be removed when he is ready. Mrs. Mooch has to restrain me from killing that sum-bitch doctor until the doc says the Government will give Gabrielle a check for 3 grand every month to help with expenses. What could I do? I bought Gabrielle a new Ford Pick up so she can ride around town in style.”