Mr. Snowball’s Miracle

Contributor: Craig M. Workman

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            I came in and slid the grocery bag down my thigh until the bottom tapped the linoleum. For some reason, it seemed a bit too quiet today.  Hey!  I’m home!  Anybody home? I said.  Where the hell was my dog?  Mr. Snowball always licked my hand the moment I got home, but was nowhere to be seen.  Ever since he’d been a puppy, he had always had this thing with licking the floor and chewing the chair leg.  He’d lick the computer desk and chew on the carpet.  Where the hell was he?  I suddenly remembered the need to send my online pals a reminder that I was going to be out of town for the computer gamers’ conference until Wednesday.  The back room had become my de facto study, and I kept my computer and everything else worth considering there.  I walked on back, and there sat Mr. Snowball in my Retune gel office-chair, his head bobbing up and down over the keyboard.  Hey there puppy I said.  Hey there puppy what’s…what…the fuck?  I moved closer and noticed he had a pencil clamped in his mouth, and was punching at the keys with the mealy pink eraser.  And guess what?  No, he wasn’t eating the pencil or screwing up the keyboard.  He hadn’t pissed on my chair.  He had shed a fair amount of his signature whitish-fur all over the backrest, but that doesn’t bother me.  This is the part of the story that gets weird.  There, on the screen, Mr. Snowball was typing something.  It said:
Rjrsdityo can youseeeee it turirueoyi  ittt—o
In the space of a moment, I realized that this was it.  This was the moment I’d been waiting for my whole life.  Mr. Snowball looked up at me looking down at him, pencil  wedged in his mouth.  Oh God!  Oh, good boy.  Keep typing!  Keep…do it!  Keep doing it, boy!  It occurred to me later that this was something of a dumb thing to say to a dog but he was just doing such a great job, and I didn’t want to ruin the moment.  The moment, nonetheless, was ruined.  He dropped the pencil and walked into the kitchen. 
            I had so much to do now!  So many people to contact!  So many others needed to know how special my dog was, and how special I was by proxy.  I saved Mr. Snowball’s document as Mr. Snowball’s Miracle in a folder called Special Documents, which I’d created some time ago for situations just like these.  I got online and sent out a mass email to everyone I knew praising my brilliant Mr. Snowball, and that they had to come see when the time was right.  I alerted the media; this was pretty difficult actually, partly because in the movies when they say “ALERT THE MEDIA” you don’t really understand that there isn’t one phone number that alerts the media.  It took a while to call the media, and even longer to convince them to believe me and come on out to this house of knowledge and miraculous typing.  Oh, this was it.  This was my time.  Finally, no more frozen dinners and frozen hamburger patties, cold cardboard pizzas from the shitty delivery joint down the street.  I was going to be famous.  Beyond famous.  Everyone was going to want to know about Mr. Snowball and about me.  Endorsement contracts, amazing weed, and chicks.  I was going to have sex with large-chested, fake, overly made-up women in droves.  Every day is a gift, but at least one day wasn’t going to be a necktie from my grandmother.
            Yesterday, the small backroom was so cramped with cameras, reporters, and all my online friends, there was barely room for Mr. Snowball to perform his work.  He sat in the office chair, the staccato pulse of flashing cameras and reporters’ voices droning in unison to their respective stations.  Then Katharine McNamara, the Voice of Austin Action Four nodded.   It was time.   Solemnly I wedged between two reporters and placed the old pencil in Mr. Snowball’s mouth so that the eraser stuck out.  I scratched him behind the ears, and he began to peck away like a furry chicken.  The video cameras whirred.  This was it.  There was no going back now.  It was time.  Chuck, chuck, chuck went the keys.  Mr. Snowball dropped the pencil.  He had finished for the day.  And what was his masterpiece? 
Fucking dog.

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Craig M. Workman is currently an adjunct professor of english at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as an I-PhD student there. His work has appeared in Kerouac's Dog, Midwest Literary Magazine and Literary Juice. His dog cannot type.
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