Lame Adventure 441: My First Public F-bomb

If dogs had life spans that equaled humans, my childhood canine companion, Mean Streak, would have turned forty-five this Friday. Meanie only made it to sixteen years and four months before he started leg lifting on the Pearly Gates.

Mean Streak was my brother Axel’s dog. We got him on December 26, 1969.  Axel wanted a dog for Christmas, but our parents were anti-dog. There was no puppy under our tree. Instead, they gave my brother $20 and extended anemic approval to him to find his pet.

With our sister, Dovima, driving our mother’s 1963 Chevy Bel Air, we spent December 26th combing San Francisco Bay Area pet shops in search of Axel’s four-legged friend. We discovered that the day after Christmas all that remained were the rejects. Axel felt that if we did not return home with a dog that day, we ran the risk of our parents changing their minds and telling us that we had to remain dog-less. We were determined to find a dog.

We met an adorable tan Cockapoo, but that dog was too small. We encountered a very exuberant Bluetick Coonhound mix that so desperately wanted to go home with us, her nails got caught in Dovima’s wooly sweater. Axel was concerned that she might be too big when fully grown. If he came home with the second coming of Marmaduke, he’d never hear the end of it. We kept looking.

As our hunt drew to a close, we went to Teddy’s Pet Shop in West Portal, not far from where we lived. A litter of just weaned puppies was playing in the window. The pet shopkeeper told us that these pups were exactly six weeks old. Off to the side, Mean Streak snoozed by himself. Axel selected the little sleeper, erroneously assuming that that pup was the most peaceful one of all. We later realized that Meanie was just being his usual anti-social self.

Meanie was a feisty, mighty mutt who was born to bark. He was very protective of our house and made it clear to all visitors — friends, neighbors and extended family members:

Mean Streak: I take no prisoners!

Puppy Mean Streak on the alert for trespassers, or anyone.

Puppy Mean Streak on the alert for trespassers or anyone.

Even though Meanie weighed only thirty-five pounds, no one ever called our dog’s bluff. He was equal opportunity and would gladly rip out the lungs of any perceived intruder i.e., every single visitor outside of my siblings, parents and grandmother, but he granted an exemption to my pet turtle.

Mean Streak: I cut the turtle a pass.

When my turtle died and I buried him in the back yard, Meanie, who was not a digger, dug him up. I could have lived quite nicely without ever having seen that sight. My dad reburied my turtle in another hole so deep in our yard Meanie would have had to dig all the way to middle earth to reach that corpse again.

Axel said I could own a five percent stake in  Mean Streak. I was allotted Meanie’s tail. A few years later, when my brother got a part time job, he paid me a dollar a week to walk Meanie when I got home from school. I  liked the job, but there were these two old guys with big dogs that were bad news. They walked their dogs unleashed, flouting the leash laws. They lumbered slowly and their dogs walked far ahead looking for trouble.

One day when I was walking Mean Streak, we encountered the two old guys exercising their pony-sized unleashed beasts. Both hounds from Hell came barreling at us. They pounced Mean Streak. The two old guys thought this was hilarious. I was a whippet thin twelve-year-old whose dog was under attack. I didn’t get the joke.

Me: Get your dogs off my dog you bastards!

They quickened their pace and pulled their dogs off of mine.

One Old Guy: You’ve got a mouth on you, little girl!

Me: Fuck you!

That was the first time I dropped the f-bomb on anyone in public. I reported back to Axel what had happened, including my use of profanity. Axel approved. He hated those guys and had his own share of run ins with them. One of the bullying big dogs died prematurely. We attributed it to the owner’s bad karma.

Looking back, those “old” guys were younger then than I am now. If there is an afterlife, I hope that Mean Streak is nipping them in the ankles for eternity.


44 responses to “Lame Adventure 441: My First Public F-bomb

  1. Mean Streak sounds lovable … not … We’re not dog owners, but I frequently approach them … but sometimes the owners advice against it … so I oblige so I don’t get marked forever. … Meanwhile, good reason for the F-bomb!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now THAT is a great name for a dog! Love the memoir-ish quality of this post, V! I can’t remember the first time I dropped the “f bomb.”

    I’m trying to get my butt back in the saddle. I did manage to post something a month ago, but have been busy teaching workshops, looking at self-hosting my blog and writing my memoir (yes, I’ve been doing that), but I will make an effort to get something new out this week, including photos of our new home. Sorry to have been absent of late.

    Sometimes it feels like I just don’t have the endurance I need.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


    • That was the first f-bomb I dropped in public, Kathy, but not the first f-bomb I spoke. Family legend has it that when I was four and watching my dad paint our house, he got splashed with paint and said, “Fuck! I’ve got paint in my eye!” I proceeded to march through the house repeating that quote … and I’ve been uttering a variation of it ever since.

      No need to remind me that living one’s life is an obstacle to blogging! It’s good to know that you guys seem to be doing well. That’s what matters most.

      Hugs back from the Big Apple,


  3. That seems a well-placed F…bomb. They deserved it.

    We have several neighbors with small white fuzzball dogs. They act like they want to rip a leg off when you walk by. Two on the corner have an invisible fence around their yard. They get about 6 ft from you and follow barking wildly. They bring out the field goal kicker reflex in me.

    A different neighbor has a similar small white fuzzball. It is well-trained to heel and not bark. I like that little guy so much more. A well-behaved dog is impressive.


    • I completely agree with you about the placement of that f-bomb, Jim! Those guys were card carrying rat bastards!

      Mean Streak’s successor is a white fuzzball named Thurber who is Dovima’s hyper barking machine, but he’s just an extremely vocal sweetie who’s more inclined to jump all over you than rip anyone’s leg off. It just takes him a while to calm down. When he’s mellow, he’s the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think we own an ancestor of mean streak. Devil Dog doesn’t like any visitors and we have had many run ins with annoying dog owners that do not leash their dogs. It really pisses us off– it is the law! I don’t remember the first time I used profanity but I have many memories of biting a bar of ivory soap at the instance of my mother. Gaggggg

    I wish I could have witnessed that scene 🙂


    • Little Me takes on the Big Goons: it was not a pretty scene, buddy. Those guys were two turds on feet. Yeah, I’m with you: leash your mutt, play by the rules, respect others. Forty-odd years later, they still make me growl.


  5. We have a neighbor who has owned a streak of large attack-dog type breeds (Rottweilers, Weimeraners, Boxers, etc.) that he lets out to roam and doesn’t even walk with them claiming that he has a bad heart. My take is that his heart would probably be better if he did walk with his dogs.

    Anyway, while they actually haven’t bitten us, they will charge at us in our own yard. Unfortunately, the local animal control has done nothing about this in spite of numerous complaints – I just don’t get it. And we do have leash laws. Maybe using the F-bomb would help, V.


    • I SO agree with your take, Cathy. That guy sounds like quite a sloth to me. I’m pretty sure that one of those Goliath-dogs that attacked us was a Rottweiler; the other was a German Shepherd the size of Mr. Ed. Until someone is injured and sues your neighbor, then local animal control will spring into action — and spin why they didn’t act sooner.


  6. Great timing for an F-Bomb, they certainly deserved it! – I’m raising my cup of Cuban coffee in honor of Mean Streak this morning. – Cheers!


  7. Omg! Teddy’s is where we got our cat! Yay West Portal back in the day.


  8. Damn…I came out of the womb swearing. Mom said it was a character builder.


  9. My first dog was a pitbull-boxer mix. Also, a reject dog from a man that was so upset that his purebred princess pitbull was taken advantage of… Anyway, it was a big’ger’ dog. I walked that dog everyday too, and it ran into a dog just like yours. It Got It’s @ss Kicked. I had to pull that little dog off of him. R*I*P* Rambo.


    • Mean Streak did not like male dogs that were bigger than him. I suppose he suffered the canine equivalent of Little Man Syndrome. But he got on very well with dogs his size and smaller, no matter the gender. He approved of all lady dogs no matter what the size. He was quite a Romeo.

      He also got on famously with cats. When they saw him coming, they hung around and greeted him.


  10. I can sympathize with your 12-year-old self. There’s this woman in my neighborhood who walks her large Lab on a retractable leash (hate those things) while pushing her baby in a stroller and talking on her cell phone. Can you say “distracted”? So when her dog rushes up to Reggie, jumping and twirling around, I want to drop the F-bomb myself. But I just cross the street. 😉


  11. “One Old Guy: You’ve got a mouth on you, little girl!

    Me: Fuck you”

    Best comeback EVER. 😀


  12. That was a perfect time to drop the Big F!
    I can’t remember mine. It probably happened while driving when someone wouldn’t let me into their lane. It was many F’s ago.


  13. I am a dog lova big time, but I can’t stand it when owners don’t control their pooches. Usually when pups act up, it’s because of their owner so I don’t blame you at all for dropping an F-bomb at them, V, they deserved it. Sounds as if Mean Streak held his own. Good for him. Sigh, the fact that you said you thought those guys were old and you’re older than them now. I feel you, Sista. I do.


    • I share your dog love, Brig. I like cats, too, but unfortunately I’m deathly allergic to them, so I have to keep my distance. Those guys were such jerks! I’ve always been a fan of the saying, “rules are made to be broken”, but not at the expense of the safety of others. That’s arrogant disregard. They were such orifices! And you know I’m not thinking about the ear canal.


  14. Great story! I think it’s cool you remember the first time you dropped the F-bomb. I don’t recall when or where I did that. But, of course, there must have been a first! Meanie looks like a little sweetie. He’s just protecting, doing his job I’m sure.


  15. I think ownership of the tail is a great deal. Dogs are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think that’s a pretty good and pretty satisfying first use of the F word in public. What a dick. I still see a lot of people who rudely don’t leash their dogs, but I remember it being a lot worse when I was a little kid (at the time this story would have taken place).

    I’m glad Mean Streak lived as long as he did. The best dog I ever had, Winchester, I got when I was in the fourth grade, and he lived just long enough to see me graduate from college. I’ve got a picture of him hanging here in my office, and I’m looking at it now.


    • As ornery as Mean Streak was, Smak, he was our Mean Streak, unforgettable and very special. Now that we’re orphans, we’ve had that emotionally exhausting task of going through the archives of our ancestors that no one tells you you’re signed up for until that day arrives. Dovima and Axel have figuratively (and literally in his case) done most of the heavy lifting. I showed up briefly. In a bag of trash that broke, Axel found a snapshot we took of Mean Streak over forty years ago. That made his day. He carries it with him now. It sounds like you feel the same about Winchester. What a great name!

      P.S. You nailed it! Those guys were dicks!


  17. Don’t blame you for the profanity there, LA, justified indeed, it was!


  18. This makes a great holiday story. I think the film version should be called, “Merry F–in’ Christmas.” Write a scene where you stuff a couple of stocking with dog poop and hang from the inside mirrors in their cars. I predict this will be the next holiday classic.


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