The Wise Novelist

Discerning Dogs

The above photo is of Christopher Hitchens, named after the brilliant British-American author, essayist and renown debater on all topics, including religion and politics.

He is cared for by my lovely SIL, Mary (née Moran) and my older brother Eddie. Rumor has it that he is the reincarnation of the original, as a bit of a prank, for all those years he denied God’s existence.

Eddie refers to him as St. Christopher. During a recent car trip, the dog did something intentionally distracting (spoke) in the back seat which diverted Eddie’s attention as he was about to enter a 4 way stop sign intersection, and the extra delay prevented Eddie from legally entering the intersection just at the moment another car raced through the stop sign to his left at 60 MPH. Dog and brother definitely avoided being t-boned and killed that day.

Anyway, like his name-sake, Hitchens loves to read. And recently, while Mary was reading their advanced copy of Finding Jimmy Moran, Hitchens heard her laughing and came to see what was so funny. When Mary explained it was the book, Hitchens insisted on reading over her shoulder for the duration.

Hitchen now understands the “eyes.”

When Hitchens learned that some of the other dogs that have read FJM were sending in their photos, like the Key West Socialites Rose and Breezy Hillman (Anna Hillman – who not only helped edit the book, but is mentioned as a character in FJM – is their caretaker) —

That’s Rose,

And that’s Breezy,
and that’s Anna —

then Hitchens was adamant that he too would appear. Given that one of the main characters in the book is based (literally) on my older brother – this image from a real event in his past captures Eddie’s literary character –

and that Mary had already provided her “eyes” photo,

I was thrilled Hitchens made the offer.

Thank you Hitchens. I know you are not one to easily hand out your endorsements, so I really appreciate your vote of confidence. And yes, you correctly figured out the riddle of the “eyes.” But please don’t share it with the others. Let them buy a paperback/hardcover version of the book and figure it out themselves.

The other benefit to Hitchens reading FJM, is that Mary now has someone in their home with whom to share inside jokes about the book. And there is lots to share. Mary was a sometimes witness to the (totally fictional) events back in the day, and thus enjoys confirming (and denying) their purported truth.

My legal background demands that I restate in a PSA for the record that the work is totally fictional.

This of course is driving my older brother so insane (he was very close to the edge anyway), that when both Mary and Hitchens refused to disclose the story, he was forced to pick up the book and read it himself. Luckily Eddie reads slowly, so it will give me a chance to disappear a second time before he finishes. I’m running out of hiding paces.

Now I would be remiss if I also did not include another human set of eyes, belonging to one of my wife’s younger sisters, a Wallen Witch, Amy Buccola, whose husband, Lori, was kind enough to loan me the use of his last name for the last name of one of the main characters in The Claire Trilogy and FJM.

Thank you Lori, thank you Amy.

Well, the day awaits, so I must flee.

But first, my kitty cuddle, my rounds and then the treadmill torture.

Then to my Green Acres outside chores.

Now you fine, five readers have earned your weekend, so get out there and enjoy it.

And make today a great one.

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