© 2017 James LaFond
What do you get when you cross The Wire, Watership Down and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? You get James LaFond's novella Buzz Bunny. This is the story of Tamar, a reserved boy with an active imagination and the target of harrowing bullying by the Simpson boys. Tamar is befriended by another victim of the Simpson's, recently reincarnated as a telepathic rabbit, and the two set out to exact their revenge.
LL: James, Tamar is tormented at school, on the bus, in the park, and his own home is no refuge. Is there anywhere in Baltimore a kid can relax? Is this why they all get high all the time? Now that I think about it, Tamar did have some peace and quiet in the library, but somehow I doubt there are huge crowds there.
JL: There is no safe place for a boy in Baltimore—none. I invented the library sanctuary in a whimsy.
LL: Are you surprised that these types of revenge killings don't happen more often than they do?
JL: I am saddened that these types of revenge killings do not happen regularly.
LL: Have you ever had a pet?
JL: There was Friskie, our hero dog, a beagle-fox terrier mix who survived a shooting, bit a hornet in half that was menacing us little tykes, survived a mauling by a mixed Cywolf-hound and was a true family pet from 2 to 17 years. There was Ace, my flaky stray mutt who went insane after her puppies died and had to be put down. There was Buddy, who was my four-legged pal, a Border Collie-Terrier mix who I saw get hit by a truck. Took the bumper right in the head and became mean thereafter and served as a good watchdog for my stepmother after I moved to Baltimore and he went the rest of the way nuts.
Then there was Bear, who was six inches long when I got him, a Manchester terrier who weighed 15 pounds and broke a 20-30 pound choke chain. I kept him on a 30 yard chain run in the large yard of the Baltimore house I rented with an 80-pound test choke chain, resulting in him repeatedly snapping the swing-set chain I used for his run as he ran after larger dogs who came around while his love—the Germen shepherd bitch next door, was in heat. Once, as she walked around him—her owners let her wander the yard, which she did not leave—but as he was too short to mount her, he looked at me for help and whine-snarled. I chained him by the porch and he barked aggressively. The giant gal came over and stood next to the porch and he repeatedly climbed on her back but kept sliding off onto the pavement. My wife thought I was a nut for doing this—but I was trying to help him out. Once I was eating my way through a pizza at 1 a.m. after work when I heard his run snap again as he went after a large Irish setter. I—in bare feet, shorts, and nothing else—then began chasing him around Cedonia as he chased this poor 100 pound dog, eventually treeing the poor thing on his master’s porch. Bear then led me on a merry chase. As I tried to cut him off over a curb I skidded onto my chest in the middle of White Avenue and noticed that he stopped and looked to see if I was okay. So I groaned and rolled over in a fetal position. When the little bastard started sniffing my face I grabbed his ass and carried him home while he tried to bite me.
Bear bit a neighbor girl in the face and Dante in the face—a mean little bastard. I gave him to a prison guard who had a pitbull and a German shepherd. I would walk by once a week to say high and when I came to the fence he would attack the two larger dogs until they backed off—only he would be petted by me, he being my owner after all. He had the most savage growl.
Big Rich, the prison guard loved, Bear, but when I came over to visit the last time, he said, “Jesus, I feel like the only white guy in the locker room—this little bastard loves you.”
That is my dog history. My wife had a number of Greyhounds she adopted but they were hers—Faye is like Duchess Dolittle, every animal that meets her becoming like men before a goddess.
Oh yes, once I returned into the bedroom to kiss her good night on my way to work after Bear had taken my spot in bed and heard him snarl like a gargoyle and dared not place my face close to the bed. You could not see this twerp in the dark—coal black.
Another time, I woke up on my morning off with one of those morning erections that plague younger men—yes, fellas, they eventually go away! As I walked to the bathroom and Faye groaned, “I hope my mother isn’t coming down the hallway”—she must have been channeling, because Bear jumped off the ground, jaws snapping, trying to rip my manhood off. I grabbed and spun and he took a piece of my tail instead.
Yep, that’s all my man-dog stuff.
I no longer have time for a pet.
LL: Thanks, James. Buzz Bunny is available in paperback, and as a PDF download.