Archibald The Dog
by Ian Birnbaum

One of the things I’ve started doing in an effort to get something, anything, down on paper is what’s called “improv writing.” I just start writing and randomly name the characters and situations off the top of my head. Sometimes something good comes out of it, and sometimes utter crap comes out. Sometimes you get a character and a situation that are interesting, and you want to see more of them. Just like investing, where it takes money to make more money, here it takes writing to make good writing.

All of my writing this week, though, hasn’t been as good as one improv I did almost a year or two ago. As such, I thought I’d reach way back in the archives and share this one with you; bear in mind that it was written in about 10 minutes.

Confederate%20Flagboots.jpgFairly recently, in a nearby small town, then was a young man named Joe. Among the many notable things about Joe, perhaps the most notable was that he had a dog named Archibald. In fact, Archibald was the most notable thing in the entire town (it was a very, very small town). Joe and Archibald made quite the pair, always following each other around; usually, contrary to popular opinion, Joe was the one doing the following.

Ok, so this story is mostly about Archibald. Archibald and his human, Joe. Archibald was a tall, muscular dog with a proud face and a distinguished nose; his human was just sort of ugly. Every day at four o'clock, Archibald would suddenly take off running into the hillside, nimbly ducking branches and hopping rocks and leaving in his wake only a whoosh of wind and grass and the huff-puffing and ethnic slurring of Joe, who was wildly out of shape and always felt better about his fitness levels when he insulted various persons of various colors.

Archibald had such excellent agility, however, that he would eventually leave Joe behind and would, for a short while, be all alone in the hills and crests of his home in the crappy little town. And every day when Archibald returned to the small farmhouse, Joe would always ask him, "where ya been, mutt?" then spit some tobacco juice onto one of Archibald's paws. Archibald would stare up at his human, shake his head sadly and go circle something enough times to warrant a good lie-down.

Life continued in this plodding, monodramatic way for poor Archibald, surrounded by the concentrated dosage of redneck that was Joe. One day, after many weeks and months of Archibald's daily run-aways and slow-returns, Joe was sitting in his rocking chair underneath his confederate flag and was waiting for Archibald to return from the hills. Off in the distance, he saw an approaching spot that materialized into Archibald, slowly plodding his way back home. When Archibald finally closed the distance, he looked up at his human, who spat and said "where ya been, mutt?

Suddenly, Archibald leapt back on his hind legs, grabbed Joe by his filthy collar with his front paws and pushed him down onto the porch and shouted "I've been trying to get away from your damn nasty stench, you sack of crap! Christ!" Joe stared back up at Archibald completely dumbfounded.

Archibald walked off to find some shade to sleep in, and Joe very slowly got up off the ground and dusted himself off. Very carefully, he said to himself, "I gots ta git rid of that thar dog--he must be broken."

This story is so good it even comes with a moral. The moral of this story? Adopt a pet from a shelter, because you never know what retarded reason some hillbilly had for putting them there in the first place.



We got Max from a shelter. He was 9 months old and "mostly" house trained. He's fully trained now. The other dogs were jumping around going "Pick me, oh meeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Max just sat there watching us with great interest. When we met in the "Get acquainted room." he jumped in my lap and nearly knocked me over. He was about 40 pounds at the time. A Blue Heeler with the most amazingly calm and lovable nature. He's completely devoted to the family now. Don't know who turned him in or why, but we're just as lucky as can be.

Always go to the shelter for your dogs. They're so grateful it almost hurts.


i got one dog from a professional breeder. She was cool but I wouldn't recommend anyone paying what I did (or what my mom did) for a dog.

The other dog I got was an abandoned dog. She was really cool.

Anyways, anytime someone wants a dog I steer them to the shelter first.

Lotta cool dogs there if you don't have your heart set on just one breed.


I like your improv style.


Thanks guys. I rescued a golden retriever who was hands down the greatest animal I have every spent time with - and still is.

He died a few years ago, but when the time comes to get myself another dog - I'm headed straight for the pound.


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