“Algorithm – Feeding a Dog,” by Carl Foster

Jul 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

1.    Begin

2.    Process – decide whether dog is hungry or not
If yes, go on
If not, do not feed dog.

3.    Process – go to the garage
a.    grab garage doorknob
b.    give it a “savage twistin’”
c.    pull in your direction
d.    enter with trepidation and fear of heat-crazy, confined meadowlarks

4.    Process – locate the dog food
a.    grab garden hose, say, “thisyer ain’t no derg food!”
b.    caress wall for lightswitch
c.    brush hand over exposed nail, retreating and clutching hand in pain.
d.    say, “dern it!”
e.    notice crunching sound knee makes as it bumps a bag.
f.    Theoretically define bag as “full of all the kibbles.”
g.    Lower hand, palm down, upon top of the bag.
h.    Say, “Eureka!”

5.    Process – open the dog food bag
a.    rub fingertips gently over brim of closed bag to locate clothes-pin clip
b.    grasp clip tightly between thumb and forefinger
c.    squeeze and pull upward carefully, just far enough to free the clip from the bag and not hit yourself in the face with it
d.    uncurl the tattered top of the bag, noting the greasy feel of the paper and noting the hot meat-like breath that emanates from the (now open) bag

6.    Process – reach in the bag and retrieve the scoop
a.    take a single hand (both not necessary) and place it within the confines of the bag
b.    Wince at more of the greasy feel and unappetizing smell
c.    Feel around, run your fingers through the beef flavored cereal
d.    Grab the scoop at its handle.

7.    Decision –
a.    if the dog is watching you with your hand in his food bag, say, “What do you want?  I’m going to eat all this myself!”
b.    if the dog is not watching, proceed without remark.

8.    Process – fill scoop with food
a.    dip scoop into food concave side down.  This is important.
b.    As you remove the scoop, it should be full of kibble.

9.    Process – re-enter the kitchen from garage
a.    walk back through the garage doorway.  By now the dog should definitely be in the vicinity.
b.    Grasp the scoop tightly and on a horizontal level.  If you casually carry it at your side, all the food will spill out.
c.    Wave it around over the dog’s head, making him look sad and curious.
d.    Pretend you only scooped it from the bag to throw it in the trash, watching the dog spy you with fear and confusion.
e.    Repeat with the sink, a flowerpot, and other things that could willingly hold a scoop of dog food.

10.    Process – place food in dish
a.    Standing directly over the dog’s dish, lower yourself into a crouching position.  Maintain the food.
b.    Place scoop directly over the dog’s dish.
c.    Hold the excited dog back with your other hand, saying, “you cannot eat it until the Master of Handsome-town pours it.  Hey, stop it!”
d.    Overturn scoop, noting the dry spilling sound into the dish and relishing in its clarity.
e.    Return to standing position, allowing the dog to feast.

11.    Stop – the dog has been fed.

Carl Foster writes short pieces for newspapers and journals as he pursues his dream of possessing the education of four individuals, among whom he plans to split the debt from his student loans. He writes even more for family members, who store his works safely wherever they keep spices in the kitchen (at his request). He lives in New Orleans and is currently at work on another chilling tale.

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