Rock Music


Carl is obsessed. He works day and night on the musical score for the movie version of my novel, The Five Names. All the while he maintains his happy-go-lucky smile. How does he do it? “Pace yourself,” I told him.

He responded with a brief pause and a far-away look. “This is far bigger than I anticipated. It’s developing into a musical, a rock musical.”

“I never thought of Inkie being into rock.”

“Have you forgotten what you wrote?”

“It’s been known to happen. But I’ve worked the manuscript over so many times that it’s hard to imagine I wouldn’t recall….”

“I offer my rendition of the prime example of a rock song.” Carl barked out a drum beat, and then mimicked a guitar. Then he howled out the words:

Rock in the bucket,

Rock in the bucket,

I must get them all,

Big ones, small one,

Carry them over,

Put them on the wall.

I was astonished. “A real rock song, a song about rocks. Carl, you have one-upped me. But that hardly justifies the movie being turned into a musical.”

“You say that because you have forgotten the secret, hidden-in-the-lyrics code. First of all, the song is recorded on page nine of the novel. Now, if we take that number and divide it by the twenty-five words in the song and multiply that product by the twenty-fifth ascending prime number subsequent to the number three. Then divide that by the circumference of the moon, Titan, we soon see that there are exactly seventeen songs hidden in the novel—thus the need of the musical format. You’re with me, aren’t you?”

There are times in a person’s life when diversion is the best strategy. “Carl, how would you like a premium doggy biscuit?”


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The Score

 “Carl, what are you doing?”

“The score.”

“March madness? The final four?”

Carl looked at me peculiarly.

“I didn’t know you followed basketball.”

“I don’t.”

“Then why are you listening for the score on the radio?”

“I’m working on the score.”

“There isn’t a lot you can do about that. It’s pretty much up to the players?”

Carl scrunched up his face. “Do you mean the musicians?”

I was totally baffled. “Carl, are you talking about the pep band?”



I took us sometime to unravel the situation. As it turns out, Carl was working on the musical score for the movie version of The Five Names. I momentarily thought Carl had sold the cinematic rights for my fine novel. But he said he just didn’t want to leave things to the past minute.

The good news, then, is that these rights are still available, should any of you wish to invest in this excellent opportunity.


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“But there’s a real need for cooks.”


“It’s only food for two hundred.” My Corgi whined. “I know I can do it.”

“I’m sorry, but I think it’s a disaster in the making.”

“What if I prove I’m able? Would you let me then? Huh, would you? Pleeeese?”

I have a hard time resisting Carl’s groveling, especially when he smiles in his special way.

“For you I will cook my rendition of spaghetti called, ‘Pasta Strings with Catsup a la Carl.’ You’ll love it.”

“As long as you don’t use real cats.”

Carl’s ears drooped. “I suppose I can alter the recipe.”

I left the kitchen to my Corgi and the house teamed with cooking-noises. But moments later, the activity seemed to drop off. A whimpering cry came from the kitchen. “Help. Help me please.”

I found him in the undignified situation shown below. Apparently Carl had lost an epic struggle with a whisk.

I released him and have never used the incident for an, “I told you so.”



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Does Carl have a secret love interest?

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Nuclear Bomb

When Carl and I visited theNationalNuclearTestingMuseum, we started out together. But soon he had rushed ahead. This was to be expected. Carl just doesn’t have the patience to read all the exhibit captions.

When he came dashing back, the expression on his face told me he had another of his big ideas.

“I know how we can double the sales of your book, The Five Names.

“In my case, doubling is not very impressive.”

Carl snickered, then said, “What if we could increase sales by two megatons!”

“Impressive, but how?”

“Elementary marketing theory—explosions sell products.”

“You just made that up.”

“And I, Carl, can give you the biggest explosion in history. I’ve made friends with a nuclear bomb. Sure, the sign on the wall says he’s retired. But if we put together the right package, I believe he can be persuaded.”

“That will never work. There is a reason the bomb is no longer in use. IT’S DANGEROUS!!!!”

“I’ll offer him a case of autographed copies. He’ll be convinced.” Carl voice slipped into the tones he uses when he’s in his own world. “Think of the marketing spinoffs: Five Names Sunburn Ointment, Carl’s Anti-Radiation Elixir. The possibilities are endless.”

When Carl gets going like that, there are only a few ways to stop him. I cut our museum visit short and headed to the nearest, In and Out Burger. Carl was still jabbering (about network news coverage) up until he slurped the first sip of his vanilla milkshake.




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Seaside Limerick

A writer who wrote in the sand,

Upon gravity neglected to plan,

His thought were amazing

Setting his soul ablazing

But the tide laughed, “Create it again.”

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Where’s Carl?

One day, while Carl and I were strolling around the nursery, he said, “I have an idea for a picture.”

I was suspicious. “What’s the picture for?”

Carl turned toward me, his smile, steady as ever. “For promoting your excellent book, The Five Names, of course. It’s always about you and your book, isn’t it?”

I could think of dozens of instances when that wasn’t the case. Regardless, hope sprang up. “Okay, where should I aim the camera?”

“Close your eyes until I tell you.”

I did as directed.

“You can open them now.”

Carl had vanished. I looked all around and couldn’t find him.

“I’m in the bush—right in front of you.”

I finally spotted him. “You want me to take a shot of the bush?”


I still hadn’t put the pieces together. “Carl?”

“I would have thought it obvious. It’s an eyesight exercise. For people to read your book, they will need good vision—especially when they become blurry-eyed. You know, the passages where they are overcome with laughter and the places where high drama leads them to tears.”

“Good job, Carl!”

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