Max: Mom says we need to learn a new trick. We need to learn to mellow out.
Bubba: Yeah, Dad says the same thing, but he says we’ve got to chill.
Max: I don’t know if I can learn any more tricks. I already do roll over, jump, dance and drool on dad’s pillow.
Bubba: Mellowing out isn’t a trick, it’s a state of being.
Max: Like the beings Mom puts in salad.
Bubba: Beans. Those are beans. Black beans, white beans, garbanzo beans.
Max: And carrots. She puts carrots in the salad. I like carrots. And celery.
Bubba: (Sighing) Mr. Attention Span. Okay, try to concentrate. (She flops to the floor) See, this is being mellow. Notice that I’m calm and quiet.
Max: Quiet. Sure, I get it. That’s what Mom wants us to be so she can write.
Bubba: And so we don’t have to go to the timeout place.
Max: You mean Dad’s office in the basement. He’s got a nice sofa and soft pillows and sometimes he eats snacks and drops stuff on the floor and after a while he lets us out.
Bubba: And then we run up and jump on Mom’s lap and tell her we’re sorry.
Max: But you’re really not because in a few minutes you’re sitting on the back of the loveseat and barking at anything that moves on the street.
Bubba: Oh, like you’re perfect. Every time that cat comes into our yard you yap your head off and keep going even after I stop. And don’t get me started about the day you chased the fly up and down the stairs.
Max: It was a big fly. It had a wingspan like an eagle.
Bubba: Eagle, schmeagle, it was a fly. A housefly. A baby housefly.
Max: Okay . . . well . . . so . . . but that fly had big teeth. You just didn’t see them. Besides, it’s my job to chase stuff that gets in here ‘cause I’m younger and faster and I have to protect Mom and Dad because they have opposable thumbs and credit cards and they buy the dog cookies.
Bubba: Well, I’m older and slower and it’s my job to bark at stuff on the street so it goes away and doesn’t get in here in the first place. I can’t mellow out and protect the house, too.
Max: Right, ‘cause if you were mellow you’d sound about as mean as Dad when he tells me to get off his pillow. You’d be all like, “Yo, dog on the street, don’t mean to bother you, dude, but you’re blocking my view. Would you mind shaking a leg instead of your tail?”
Bubba: I’m an intelligent female dog. I’ve never said “dude” in my life.
Max: (Sticking out his tongue) Wrong, you just did. Guess you’re not that intelligent after all.
Bubba: (Snarling) Oh, go chase a fly.
Max: (Sprawling on the bed) Later, dudette, right now I’m chilling out.