Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We Had a Gowdfish Dat Died

Tremendous thanks to all those who submitted questions in the Ask Jeeves post! I'll be answering those delightful inquiries quite soon, I hope, but I leave tomorrow for some time at the beach (YESSSSS) and shall be away for the rest of the week.  So, to tide you over until I'm gone, I present Summer Snippets.


“Don’t dogs usually just shake themselves dry?” Sylvia mumbled from behind her pile of towels.

“Indeed they do.  Which is why we have to dry Pumblechook because we never know where he’ll decide to shake himself.  One time he got inside the house somehow and did his drying in the living room.  Daddy’s editor was coming over that afternoon and Daddy hit the ceiling.”  Celia giggled.  “After that the absolute rule was that Pumblechook HAD to be bathed in the backyard and dried there.  We’ve all gotten really good at it-- in fact, a few summers ago Alice and Francie started a dog-washing business.  It didn’t get very many customers, but maybe that was because Francie had insisted on naming it the Toodle-Pip Poodle Dip because she thought that was cute.”

~The Rochesters

“Mark, for goodness’ sakes get down from there,” Francie shouted.  “If you fall and break your neck I’ll have to call an ambulance, and you know how I hate talking to strangers on the phone.”

~The Rochesters

Ethan has an incredible talent for waking up with a dirty face.  I’m not sure what causes it.  I mean, I do clean him before I put him to bed.  After every meal, too.  But all the same, he manages to present his bright eyed, bushy tailed self to me every morning with peanut butter or regular butter or toothpaste or who knows what smeared across his nose or forehead or even dabbed around his mouth.  Which is, of course, the area that I clean most thoroughly.  It’s infuriating and also a bit unsettling, because it makes me wonder if maybe he knows how to get out of the pack n’ play and go wandering around the flat to find himself a snack in the middle of the night.  (Hence the mess in the morning.)

I really hope not.  I was thinking I wouldn’t have to deal with random acts of eating at strange hours until he was at least thirteen or so.


“Oh, I hate pencils.”  The lady cheerfully arranged her handbag just so on her lap and beamed at Sylvia.  “Nasty little wooden things.  I’m quite sure you could get a splinter if you hold one the wrong way.  And with my rheumatism I’m always holding things the wrong way.  Besides which, the tips break too easily.  No, give me a good old-fashioned pen any day. Not that I blame you for using a pencil of course, dear.  Young folks will have their fun.”

~The Rochesters

“We had a gowdfish dat died,” said a little girl behind Derek, taking no notice of Mrs. Hennessey.

“Miss Darlene, I have a goldfish!”  Fiona cried.

“We flushed owah gowdfish down dah potty,” continued the little girl behind Derek, inexorably.

“My grammy flushes spiders down the potty,” offered a sober-faced little girl beside Fiona.

“So does my mommy!” shouted a little boy in the back.

“Use your library voice, Brandon." Mrs. Hennessey flipped pages loudly. "Let’s read our story, okay?”


Francie giggled as the screen door banged shut.  “She’s always making promises about being responsible when she’s left at home to be the oldest, and then we come home to find the laundry not done and the dishes sprouting vegetation in the sink.”

“I’m not sure who’s talking about dishes sprouting vegetation in the sink,” said Alice ominously, applying a washcloth with great gusto to certain portions of Timmy’s face.

~The Rochesters

Sylvia regarded the picture.  “Where’s the bear catcher?”

“He’ll be along in the next one.  We’re working on that.  You go ahead and write what they’re saying.”

“The bear, too?”

“Of course the bear, too.  That’ll be easy because you just have to write RAWR.”

Sylvia thought about this.  “How do you spell RAWR?”

Mark laid down his pencil, propped his chin on his hand and regarded Sylvia. “What kind of a school do you go to?”

~The Rochesters


Anne-girl said...

The last one is the best. ALong with the goldfish of course. Long live the goldfish!

Or not as the case may be.

Emma Jane said...

I loved reading these little snippets, Miss Dashwood! Most enjoyable. I think the one about the pencil from The Rochesters is my favourite. I just found The Quest for Stories, and it's so nice to read some of your writing!
And you named the dog Pumblechook!!!! : P


Kathryn said...

These are all swell! I especially like the first one about Pumblechook.

Hayden said...

heehee. "I'll have to call an ambulance, and you know I hate talking to strangers on the phone!"

These are delightful. Love 'em!

Anonymous said...


Great. Now I HAVE to read The Rochesters. (And whatever you say, I think you should still call it The Rochesters!) Are you going to publish it? DO YOU NEED PROOF READERS?!?!

And I'm VERY intrigued about Jennifer.... Have you done a post about it yet?


Anonymous said...

I love when you post snippets!!! These are all so funny! Do you know when you will be finished with the draft of The Rochesters? I would love to be able to read it and comment if you would like. Good work, Miss Dashwood!! :D

-God's Little Teacup

Kelsey said...

I think I will like The Rochesters. It sounds fun. I want to read it. :) (And for the record, I like the title as well. :D)