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Third Reich Dingo

I was at the end of it. The dingo that belonged to the local Nazi had cornered me in my car for the fiftieth time. Each time I tried to exit my car, the creature would bare its teeth, growl low, as if it were from a Stephen King novel. I had had it. The Nazi had been warned too many times to count, but he laughed at such neighborly boundaries of civility.

“Scared you, didn’t he? Hahahaha. “ And then he would smile and chuckle.

I hated the fucker. Well, I hated both fuckers:  the dog and the Nazi.

The routine had followed its course over the last four or five years. I would be trapped in the car, the girls would be trapped against the fence, friends and family were too spooked to come by. Over and again the police had been called in to mediate. They would go over and visit the Nazi. He would burst into tears. “I’m and old guy, you know. Eighty-one. And the dog is all I have.” The cops would caution him to leash the creature. I called animal control several times, and he’d actually had the nerve to register the dog as a shar-pei, but any fool over the age of four could see it was a stinking dingo.

So that was it.

I called the lawyer, Michael, and we decided on a restraining order against the Nazi and his dingo. When court day arrived, Michael and I hoped for the best from the judge. We were pretty far down on the roster, so we took our seats. The Nazi arrived with his own lawyer, and he wore a straw boater and a seersucker suit so he looked as if he might break into song and dance at any moment. He beamed. This was his big day! He was clearly going to grandstand before the judge.

I sat quietly as the parade of irate normal human beings and their transgressors collided before a judge called Infante. Judge Infante. How appropriate I thought as Michael and I waited it out quietly, our turn. One after another, narcissistic, overgrown baby argued his right to intrude into the life of another, the collective of them arguing before a judge whose name mirrored back their own infantilism and derangement.

One guy had been stalking a co-worker and argued with the judge, “Look, Judge. I don’t live in her neighborhood, but you can’t tell me where to buy gas or shop. I’m an American!”

The judge said, “Oh yes I can. You stay 500 feet away from her or you will cool yourself in jail. Do you hear me?”  He banged the gavel.

Another brute insisted to the judge that he had the right to date anyone he wanted, and the woman looked frightened. Judge Infante told him that “No means no!” He was told to leave her alone or go to jail. The stalker stomped away like a tot who’d had his birthday cake stolen.

A third member of society—this one a certifiable idiot, for sure– strutted up to face the judge. He hadn’t shaven in days and looked as if he’d been dragged through ditch water. Stringy, oily hair hung in snake-like tendrils over his eyes. His jeans were torn and faded, and he wore a bright orange T-shirt that read in big black letters:  BITE ME!. The judge lowered his glasses, read the defendant’s public sentiment toward the court, and sighed deeply.

“Get out of my court,” he said evenly and then called the bailiff to remove him. He banged his gavel for the next miscreant.

When our turn came, an hour and a half later, the judge asked the Nazi, “Why are you using your dog as a weapon against women?” The Nazi eagerly informed the judge that his dog was a “free spirit” and needed to run about and have fun, and that he, the Nazi, would fight to the end to see that his dog had rights.

“I’m in my eighties now, and this dog is my best friend, he said emphatically.

Judge Infante lowered his glasses and said to him, “I don’t care if you’re a hundred and Mother Theresa. Put it on a leash. Do you hear me? Put the damn dog on a leash. And I mean a short leash, and stay away from the women. Do you hear me??” The showboating Nazi looked dejected for a moment.

The judge narrowed his eyes and said, “And, just a minute. Hold on. Tell me, just what, hmmm, breed of dog is this, anyway?”

The Nazi sputtered. “Well, it’s kind of a shar-pei, a mix,” he lied.

“Doesn’t look like a shar-pei at all. Looks like one of those Australian things, like a dingo to me. Sir, listen to me: cause any more trouble, and that dog, whatever it is, of yours is gone.” He hit the gavel. The Nazi shook his head and grimaced.

I was given the restraining order. This consisted of several pages that ordered the Nazi to keep the dingo leashed and to stay away from my family members and me.  Leash and stay away, or face jail. The judge had let his sentiments be known.

The next morning, as I opened the front door to leave for work, the dingo paced unleashed on my front step. Nearby, the Nazi stood beaming and glowing, his wrinkled, aged mouth contorted into a smirk.


Abigail Jardine has taught and written for many years. Her stories focus on gender, family dynamics, and American culture. She lives in California.

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