Friday, May 7, 2010

Sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the finger

I did a Frazz strip a while back involving the saying, "sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you." Frazz, or maybe it was Caulfield, followed up with something about the wisdom of not teasing bears in the first place. I'd hunt that strip down for you, but I'm hurting for time. Lately I've been getting eaten by the bear.

So today I'm stealing one guy's story and another guy's photo, which combine into something much better than I could make up anyway, and then I'll tie it together just enough to try and fake some sort of intelligent involvement of my own.

Hey. The creative mind at work isn't always pretty.

Last night was the final night of the spring-semester swim training class with world-class swimmer and coach Iian. After class, Iian hosted a pizza party at his house, where Alonso, one of my fellow swimmers, snapped this picture in which I am happily eating some pizza, disturbed more by what the cheese is doing to my blood vessels than I am by the human finger that Rich is holding next to my ear. (Rich is Iian's father and my other world-class coach.)

Iian and Jim acquired the finger a while back when he and Jim were out walking their dog near their home in coastal California. The dog ran off and retrieved something, as dogs do. This time, it was a finger, which dogs don't tend to find as often. They usually find things like little, dry, hardened turds. Which are evidently more disgusting than human fingers, given that Iian found himself somewhat relieved it was a finger, and given that I'm not so sure I'd have kept on eating my pizza had Rich been holding a nugget next to my ear.

Anyway, these are the kind of people I'm so happy to hang out with and steal material from.

Life is good, even when it's overwhelming. Sometimes you're the finger, and sometimes you're the dog. And if you do it right, sometimes your friends are Santa Cruz, where you never know what you're going to retrieve but you know it's going to be a lot more interesting than, well, you know.


Sara Davis said...

HELLO! You don't just write an essay about finding a human finger and not tell the REST OF THE STORY. Who's finger? Was it a recent loss, was there a dead person, perhaps and ancient mummy? Is there a person around who lost a finger and would appreciate it being returned? Story is missing!!!

Jef Mallett said...

I don't know, Sara ... if anyone knows any more of the story than that, it's the dog, and she wasn't talking.

Speculation is that it was from a cadaver. Too well preserved for much any other option. But wondering is more colorful!

Joel said...


May we all presume that your friend reorted the finding of a human body part to the local police? Now that the story has gone into the blogosphere, he may have opened up a can of worms for himself, if, indeed, he has kept this a souvenir. Perhaps you may wish, for his sake, to inquire.


Jef Mallett said...

Just about all my friends are smarter than me, and these friends are at the top of the heap. I have no doubt all proper channels were followed. Thanks for asking, though -- and for proving that most of my readers are smarter than me as well.

La Professora said...

The bear strip can be found at:

The Santa Cruz mountains, unfortunately, have a reputation for being the land of lost bodies. No bears there. Mountain lions, on the other hand....