My Dad and Eating the Family Dog

by Regis Boff

My dad was good at being cheap.
He was an everyday man living in the compost of his 1930’s Depression memories, which he had passed to us with regimented seriousness. I still carry his odd, but brightly austere shrapnel in me now into my own old age.
I have long forgiven him everything. He gave me a good reason to be smarter than him.
My sister and I never entirely escaped the atmospheres we grew up in. We simply Windexed his fears off of us, as best we could, and carried on without his advice. His penny-pinching ingenuity still shows in my behavior. Clemson, my dog, and I will both eat merrily out of cans for pennies a day if left alone too long.
Our Dad invented “entropy.” It is a hypothesis in physics that contends that all things gradually decline into disorder or in his words, “wear out.”
” Every light bulb has only so many on and offs,” he would threaten as he hit me. Of course, I turned this into a lifetime of glancing skyward expectantly figuring the universe was going to run out of daytime.
Growing up we had a lot of dogs. They would disappear, (usually hit by cars,) with such regularity that we would sniff our dinner meat if one were absent at dinner time.