My Best Friend Bert - #19

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
This fictional story has a true ending, maybe not for Bert, but it really did happen, dog, Vet, and oil. --- Honest!

Submitted: September 10, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 10, 2019



The sound of my house phone was enough to wake me from a mid-day snooze, and because the phone was on the table right next to the couch where I was resting, I answered it.

Ordinarily I would have covered my head with the couch pillow and waited for the ringing to stop, but the phone was within an easy reach so I answered it.


Oh, hi Bert.

No, I was just resting my eyes. What's up?

Lunch, sure. Betty's Place?

Are we walk-in or driven?

Sure, I could use a brisk walk.

OK, --- By.


My best friend, Bert, and I have no regular route that we take when we walk to Betty's Burgers and Beer.

I walk to Bert's house first, and then we go from there. If it is a hot day, then we take Harding Street, which is tree-lined with wonderful old oak trees.

If it is rainy, then we take Paterson Parkway to Main Street. On Main Street we can walk under the building's awnings; it's a nice relief from the rain

There are several ways that we can walk to Betty's and each has a reason for going that way. And, of course, discussing changes to the neighborhood is always a part of these walks.

Bert does most of the discussing and I do most of the listening.


As we entered Betty's Burgers and Beer I couldn't help noticing a new sign; someone had mounted it on the wall right next to the overhead menu. It said, "Beyond Meat, the No Meat Alternative!" Then the sign listed three sandwiches that you could try, all of which were meatless and looked like hamburgers.

"I'm going to try one of those meatless burgers," Bert stated. "How about you?"

I was shocked! Bert, the water-pill taking, salt monitoring, Bert. Was about to buy a 100% processed look-alike burger that contained two to three times the amount of salt, compared to an extra-lean beef burger.

"No thanks," I said, "I'll get plenty of salt with my fries, besides, I like my veggies fresh and steamed."

Bert looked puzzled by my answer, but said nothing.


After ordering we found our favorite table was empty, so we settled in with beers in hand.

Bert was in a reminiscing mood, I could tell because he brought up his only son three times in six minutes.

Bert and his wife had two children, just two years apart. The boy was the eldest and went into the army right after high-school. He was killed in Baghdad a year later.

Well, ever so often Bert likes to think, out loud, about some of his son's past antics. And when push comes to shove, I have to admit that I like hearing them; he was quite the kid and all boy.

Bert said, "Did you know my son took auto-shop in high-school?"

I nodded my head, "yes," as I crammed some french-fries in my mouth.

Bert chuckled and stated, "Yah, sometimes I'd go into my garage only to find my car sitting up on jack-stands, three or four feet off the floor."

"What was he doing to the car?" I asked, just out of curiosity.

Bert took a sip of his lite-beer and replied, "Oh, sometimes he'd have it up like that so he could change the oil, or sometimes he'd be rotating the tires; like tires need rotating.

But hay, he was learning and having fun doing it. And as long as the car kept running and the wheels didn't fall off, I didn't object."

"Thanks for sharing that with me, Bert," I said, hoping to sound truly grateful, and not too sad. And then I tried to lighten the mood by asking, “Didn’t you say your son liked animals?"

Bert came alive, he had stories to tell, I could see it in his eyes.

Bert said, "That boy didn't care much for animals when he was young, but then that boy went critter crazy.

At five years old, the girl next door gave him a white Rat named Fuzzy-Wussy, my son thought that name was too girly sounding, so he just called it, The Fuzz.

Then, at seven, the milk-man found a freighted and hungry Parakeet in his truck. My son ended up with the bird and named it Billy.

Well, it wasn't long before the word was out, "All lost and unwanted animals can find a home at the second house from the corner."

Thank God the kid outgrew that phase and started noticing girls. We were running out of room and being eaten out of house and home.

The last pet he had was a dog he named, Shane. That was during Jr. High and High-school."

I smiled and asked, "You mean while he was playing auto-mechanic in your garage?

Bert replied, “Well yes, and that reminds me of a funny story.”

I must say I was confused. So I asked, "A dog reminds you of a funny story, or your garage, or the High-school does?" 

Bert popped the last of the meat-less burger in his mouth and made a face I've never seen before.

Then after a swig of beer he stated, "This story all starts with my son changing my car's transmission oil.

It was Sunday afternoon and I went to the garage to get something when I saw a bucket sitting on the floor. The bucket had a square sheet of half-inch thick plywood covering the top of it, and then there was a brick on top of the plywood.

My curiosity got the better of me, so I lifted the brick and plywood off the bucket and set them aside. I still couldn’t see in the bucket so I turned the light on. That is when I saw a black something almost filling it.

I stuck my finger in that muck and discovered that it was the old transmission fluid that my son had drained out of my car's automatic transmission. In the light I could see that it had tiny visible metal particles floating around in it, and it smelled like rotten fish.

Well, just about that time the house phone rang. I was expecting an important call so I rushed inside to answer it. After a brief conversation, I went back to the garage.

You know what I found?"

I shook my head, "No," as I took a bite of my big gooey burger.

"I'll tell you what I found," Bert said very dramatically. "I found my son's dog, Shane, busily lapping up transmission fluid!"

"You mean he was drinking it?" I asked, unbelieving.

"Yep," Bert replied, he had one paw on each side of that nasty old bucket and his tongue was lapping up that pitch-black, 10 year old, transmission fluid like there was no tomorrow."

I didn't know if I believed what Bert was saying, but I was hooked on what the outcome was going to be, so I hung on every word.

Bert went on to say, "I yelled at the dog and he hightailed it out of the garage like I had hit him with a stick. Then I placed the wood and the brick back on the bucket and wondered what I should do.

"What did you do?" I asked without hesitation.

Bert replied just as quickly, "I called the Veterinarian! What else could I do?"

After getting the Vet on the phone I carefully explained what I had done, what the dog did, and then I begged for answers.

Well, at first the Vet didn't believe me, but after I stated that the bucket's contents smelled like rotten fish, he came around.

He asked a few more questions, like, "Is the dog moving, is it throwing up, does its eyes look OK, etc.?"

Bert took another drink from his beer, but I was in fits. So I blurted out, "Well tell me what the Vet said!"

Bert sat the beer down and said, "Well, that Vet told me to feed Shane a lot of bread. In fact, he said to feed the dog all the bread that it was willing to eat, and then some.

The Vet told me to keep a close eye on Shane and if, by morning, the dog was acting sluggish, and then I was supposed to bring Shane in to have his filter changed!"

I was Not Amused. ...



D.Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond aka JEF aka JE Falcon aka James Everett Falcon. All rights reserved.

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