“Episode Guide for the Upcoming Gritty Reboot of Wishbone,” by Tyler Austin and Patrick Eme

May 11th, 2022 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Season 3, Episode 3: Pawfka-esque (The Metamorphosis by Franza Kafka): Wishbone is confused when his owner, Joe, invites him on the couch, while Joe’s mother, Ellen, yells at him to get down, putting our furry friend in a no-win situation.  With such absurdity, he may as well be Gregor Samsa going to bed a dog and waking up a person.

Season 3, Episode 7: A Family TaiI (The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen): Joe visits his dementia-plagued grandfather for “one last Christmas,” while his Uncle Mikey tries to rope the rest of the family into another one of his get-rich-quick schemes. Wishbone is reminded of another deeply tragic holiday story that’s, like, kind of funny, too. Our favorite pooch also refuses to go on Oprah to discuss it further.

Season 3, Episode 11: The Year of Cheap ‘90s Nostalgia (Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace): While Joe’s friend Sam becomes addicted to Adderall to dominate on the tennis court, Wishbone becomes the most annoying pet in the world when he draws parallels to a particular post-modern doorstop of a novel. The dog loses total interest after re-enacting the first footnote that goes on for over a page.

Season 3, Episode 19: Wishbone Wishbone (Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov): Wishbone enters into an affair with a puppy at the park, something that fills him with tremendous guilt when his lust turns into forbidden love, not unlike the deeply troubled Professor Humbert. Wishbone’s analogy is excellent, but maybe too problematic to be anybody’s favorite episode.

Season 3, Episode 26: The Fetcher in the Rye (The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger): Joe’s friend David runs away from home, after failing his midterms. Wishbone does nothing to help find this child, but he does imagine himself as Holden Caulfield chickening out with a prostitute, before being beaten by her pimp.

Season 3, Episode 27: Bone Girl (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn): Wishbone is wrongly blamed for wacky neighbor Wanda’s missing pair of gardening clogs. The pupper understands what Nick Dunne must’ve gone through when he was falsely accused of murdering his spouse. Half-way through, we switch to the clogs’ POV, which aren’t as lost as they appear…

Season 3, Episode 32: Knausdog (My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgård): Wishbone accompanies Joe everywhere he goes for a totally unremarkable day, which we experience in excruciating detail. To make it even a little interesting, Wishbone pretends to be a middle-aged Norwegian guy.

Season 3, Episode 35: A Dogwork Orange (A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess): After biting the mailman, Wishbone is sent to obedience training. There he sees himself as Alex the Large, where a programmed aversion to violence comes at the expense of free will. When Wishbone returns home, he bites the mailman again, anyway, because he read the American edition of the novel.

Season 3, Episode 44: Terrier, Run (Rabbit, Run by John Updike): On his fourth birthday, Wishbone has a quarter life crisis, reflecting on his accomplishments and failures thus far. Slipping into the role of a canine Rabbit Angstrom, he does exactly the same thing… What? We’re sorry they can’t all be The Time Machine with spooky morlocks and stuff. Sometimes books hold up a mirror to our reality, instead of being a window into a magical world where everything’s “fun.” Gotta grow up sometime, kiddos…

Season 3, Episode 48: Chew Toy’s Complaint (Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth): When he’s found humping his stuffed alligator, Joe takes Wishbone to the vet to get “fixed.” Under general anesthesia, the Jack Russell Terrier puts himself in the place of a certain Jewish intellectual who’s always whacking off.

Season 3, Episode 50: The Good Boy Gatsby (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald): When a cute girl moves in next door, Joe develops an obsessive crush on her. Wishbone recalls a Jazz Age millionaire who went through something similar. This one isn’t joke, would’ve made an awesome episode during the OG run.

Season 3, Bonus Episode: Fear and Loathing in Dog Vegas (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson): In his mind’s eye, Wishbone travels to Sin City with his companion Dr. Gonzo to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race. With them they have two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers. Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. All to see the high-water mark where the wave of the ‘60s finally broke and rolled back… Um, we think Wishbone goes full Raoul Duke because Damont the Bully tried to peer pressure Joe into sharing a joint or something? These connections are hazy.


Tyler Austin and Patrick Eme met at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where they continue to reside for some reason. Their work has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, here on Defenestration, and in the trash folders of mid-tier Hollywood executives’ email accounts.

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