I am Chato Mamet. Hear Me Woof!

•03/10/2009 • 3 Comments

• I’m Chato Mamet Treviño. I’m a Boston Terrier. I was born like 6 or 7 years ago. In October I think. I remember seeing a bunch of kids in costumes. Woof! Six or seven. That’s like 42 years old in man years, I guess. So I’ve heard. It’s all relative to me. I still feel good. I can chase after a bird or squirrel with the best of them. My first memory, I think I was almost one, was the time I was being locked up in a bathroom after I took a shit in the living room, in front of the television. I was living in “La Casa Azul.” That’s what Pop and Tito called it. I’m not sure why we called it La Casa Azul. It was an apartment, not a house. Anyway, I was watching Family Guy (that Peter is a hoot. . .”and then another…”) and I was too lazy to pounce with my paws on the patio door to let me out into the backyard. Woof! Shit, trust me, when you’re a dog and there’s a choice between lush carpet and blades of grass, Give me Carpet every day I say! Woof! Woof! You try taking a shit with a blade of grass going up your ass every time you shit. Plus, I was not in the mood to pee and poop in the cold. One quick lift of my hind left leg and my left nut would have been frozen. Woof! So, anyway, like I was saying I’m Chato Mamet. Woof! Woof!

• I understand both English and Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish as well as Pop does – and he doesn’t speak it all that great, either. There was a time, when Tito was younger, that he spoke to me in Spanish, too, but now he speaks to me only in English. Pop loves listening to Spanish music, or classical music, or 70s and 80s music. Whenever Pop washes dishes, sweeps, mops, or cooks, he’ll blast music in Spanish, mostly. He lets out these screams, “Hechate un grito mi’jo! Ay! Ay! Ay!” Sometimes, when it’s just the two of us, he’ll talk to me in nothing but Spanish. I get most of it. It – Spanish, I mean – seems to be more passionate than English. I can usually make out what he is telling me. I may not know exactly what he is saying, but as passionate and colorful as Pop gets when he speaks or sings Spanish, it’s not too difficult for me to figure out what he is saying or feeling. I wish he would play more of Tito’s music when he washes dishes, sweeps, mops, or cooks. Sometimes he does, but not too often. Woof!

• When I do watch television, I enjoy: Pimp My Truck/Car, American Dad, Family Guy, Two and a half men. Animal Planet. The Girls Next Door! Woof! Woof! Pop hates this show! He says its one of the many shows that is a complete waste of time and space. Pop enjoys watching: Law & Order (the episodes with Lenny, and Ray-Ray, and Angie Harmon (Nueve, Tito’s mom, looks like Angie! Woof! Woof! Woof!), The History Channel – shows on or about Pyramids, Philosophers, Aztecs, Mayans, Space, Anthropology, Wars, Conquerors, Religion, Time, Art, and Science, especially), Corner Gas, Home Movies, PBS, and Fox News. Pop will watch Fox News and say, “Can you believe this shit, Chato?!” And he’ll start laughing. And then he’ll say, “Priceless! Un-fucking believable,” And then he’ll clap and laugh some more! So I guess he really enjoys it. Woof! Woof! Woof!     

• The guys who take care of me and brought me into their home are Pop and Tito. But in case you meet them don’t be surprised if you hear different individuals call Tito by: Flaco, Alberto, Orion, and I-love-you-mi’jito. Tito answers to all of them and he doesnt seem to mind at all. Pop also has other names he answers to, including: Alberto, Pop, Padrino, Beto, Bet, Mi’jito, Baby, Honey, Al, Asshole, Fucker, Compadre, Primo, Cuz, The Mystic Man, and Buddy. Woof! He smiles and answers to all of them, too. I alternate between calling him Pop and Bet. I figured since he smiles the most when he’s called by those names, I should call him by the same. Woof! I choose not to call him Honey, Baby, Asshole, or Fucker. I’ve noticed these names are reserved for his lady friends to call him. Woof! So I call him by Pop or Bet. It’s the least I could do. He feeds me. Hugs me. Talks to me. Teaches me all these cool ass tricks. And! And! And! Pop got me this killer new backyard with a patio, mazes of cobble stones, and two magnificent trees (sometimes Pop climbs the tree…and sometimes naked! Woof!), the right of amount of bushes and plants, and a whole bunch of squirrels. It’s bitchin. Woof! Woof! 

• My name is Chato Mamet. I know I said that, but Imma ‘splaining sumtin to uze. Woof! That’s the way Pop would say it. But without the Woof! That’s purely me! Woof! Pop says it like he’s some big time movie star or radio announcer. He’ll stand in the middle of the kitchen and start talking like he’s on camera and holding a microphone. The kids get a kick out of it. Sometimes he’s talking to Flaco. Sometimes he isnt talking to anyone but me. I listen to him all the time. Woof! Woof!

(a) I’ll turn my head this way. And then that way. I stick my ears up. I may let out a little woof to acknowledge him. I understand him. Sometimes I think he knows that I know what he knows and what he is saying. He tells some crazy shit stories. And if you didn’t know him, you would think they were just that – stories. Like fiction stories. He’s one ruthless and shameless cat. Well, almost ruthless and shameless cat. Woof!

(b) He tells Thomas (that’s his best friend. I’m not sure if I mentioned that. I have a great
 memory, but sometimes I get so lost in my thoughts that I temporarily forget the most recent memory) that, “There aint no way I can cut the vein like our writing professors told us to do. No way. Are you kidding me?! I’d be more loathed than I am already. Or my family would disown me. And we’re Mexican. That’s one big fucking family.”  And Thomas will laugh and say, “I hear you, buddy.” Woof!

(c) Pop wont even write about his own experiences. Even if he were to exaggerate and call it fiction his family and friends would know that it’s not fiction. Shit, Pop tells Thomas that if he, Pop, would write a story about a caterpillar and a firefly having a debate on the aesthetic beauty of a tomato while in the middle of a cornfield that is nestled within a chicken farm, then the majority of his friends and family would know who is the caterpillar, the firefly, the tomato, the cornfield, and the chicken farm. And then many, I wont mention names, would say to Pop, “Why would you write that?”What were you thinking?” Or. “You shouldnt be writing about that.” Or. “Cant you write about something else?” Or. “I cant believe you wrote that.” Or. “That stuff is private.” Or. “XYZ is going to be pissed. XYZ is going to be pissed. XYZ is going to be pissed. XYZ is going to be pissed. XYZ is going to be pissed. “ (just like that. Verbatim. Repeated, stated, five times, maybe even six, seven or eight times. The same sentence. Over and over and over. Repeated.) Or “I’m not going to say anything.” But the curl of the brow, the snapping of the tongue, and the nod of the head when the individual would say, “I’m not going to say anything,” says everything. So Pop will never write the next great American novel or be the next Cheever, or Carver, or Boyle, or Diaz that he aspires to be unless or until Pop cuts the vein – lets it all out. Sometimes a I get so antsy at Pop! I make this funny face and I bark at him and I make sniffling sounds with my nose and mouth and I want to tell him, “You pussy! Just fucking write what you gotta write!” Or “Whose got you by the balls?!” But I don’t. That’s no way to motivate anyone – or at least not Pop. He’ll do it when he’s ready. I hope. Woof! Woof! Woof!

(d) Pop told me this one story about this time when he was about 13 years-old and he was trying on a Polo-shirt in front of the mirror and … Nah. Never mind. It loses something in the translation if I were to tell you. Woof! Woof! Besides, Pop’s my master. He hasn’t written about it. So I shouldn’t. I should respect that. I will respect that. He should be the one writing it. It’s his story. I’m not the one aspiring to be the writer. Shit, my goals are simple. All I want to do is do the doggie with Desdemona (or any bitch!), catch another squirrel and that bunny rabbit! play fetch, do some tricks, nap, and run around the backyard! Woof! Woof!

(e) But back to my name. Chato. Pop tells those who ask what my name means. Chato, he says, means snub smushed pudgy nose. And Mamet is the last name of this director and writer that Pop likes, David Mamet. Pop says that Tito wanted the name Chato and Pop wanted Mamet.  So they stuck the two together – Chato Mamet. There are some days I also go by – Pinche Perro or Quitate Pinche Perro or Quitate Sombra or Who’s A Good Dog? Or Who’s A Great Dog? (He asks Thomas, who has 3 dogs himself – I’ve never met them but Thomas and Pop talk about them all the time – How come we always say, Good Dog? Why not Great Dog? So Pop says Great Dog, too) And sometimes I go by just Chato. A few of my names – the Spanish ones – scare me so I will bend my ears back and go hide under the kitchen table. I’ve still haven’t quite figured out what some of those Spanish names mean. I just know they don’t sound as nice as Great Dog! Woof! Woof! Woof!

• I still have my balls. Pop still gots his balls. He’s got bigger balls than me. Huge balls. I imagine all men do. I guess. I can’t be too sure. I haven’t seen too many naked men – and that’s not a complaint! Woof! Woof! Alex and Pop have walked around the house naked when nobody is home. So I know they got their balls. The rest of the family wraps a towel around them. Maybe they got no balls and are ashamed of it. Or they do have balls and are even more so ashamed. I lick my balls at least 11 times a day. Sometimes more. And, no, not because I can, but because I need to, thank you very much. I’ve never seen Pop or Tito lick their balls. I guess showering trumps licking. But I do see Pop put Baby Powder or Vaseline (not both!) on his balls when he goes for a walk. (Pop says, “Ahhhh! Fucking chaffing!”) I’ve met some dogs with balls – Iggy, Rocky, and Dante. And some dogs without balls – Macho and Butch. Even though I haven’t done it doggie, yet, I am glad I have my balls. I try to hump anything that smells good and anything I can press and grab on-to. I have a pretty good guess that it’s not quite as good as the really thing! Woof! Woof! Woof!

• I use to have another master. Alex Treviño. He took care of me for awhile. I loved him. I still do. He’s in Chicago studying art. He was cool. He is cool. He’s one cool cat. He would have naked young ladies in his room. The young ladies would take off one piece of clothing at a time – Woof! Woof! Woof! And I’d be thinking this is going be good! Woof! Woof! Woof! But then Alex would paint their nakedness onto the wall or a canvas. It wasn’t quite the show I expected Woof! Woof! Woof! But it – art, painting – is part of Alex. You cant say Alex without saying Art. So Alex would say words to the naked young ladies like, “Beautiful. Yes, beautiful.” And then he would look at me and he would say, “How about that Chato. Beautiful, eh? Look at that! Just look at that!” And I would tilt my head to the left and then right and stick my ears straight up. And then look at the young beautiful lady. And then look at his canvas. Woof Woof Woof!  

• Once, when I was a little more than a pup, Alex put me inside of a hefty bag. I think he thought it was funny. I was scared shitless! Woof! Woof! Woof! (Don’t call the SPCA on him or anything. I’m okay. Woof!) But to this day, I run like Botitas (he’s this dog I see in the park. He runs like the wind) whenever I see a hefty bag! Woof! Woof!

• At night, or when I am napping, I dream of doing the doggy with Desdemona, the French Poodle down the street. I wonder if her masters realize the irony in naming a female dog Desdemona. For awhile I was interested in Itsy-Bitsy, but she’s too tiny. I would hurt her. Woof!

• I’ve caught three squirrels since we’ve moved into our new house, but have not yet caught that bunny rabbit! Woof!

• I sleep all day. Well, I get up when Pop comes home between 1 or 2 and I go outside. (Sometimes Pop works from home. He knows when to wake me.) I like sleeping. Pop lets me sleep all day. He never asks me what’s wrong. He just lets me sleep. He lets me be. He knows I am okay. He doesn’t ask me every 15 minutes, or at all for that matter, “Are you okay?” Every time I’m in my own world, daydreaming about Desdemona or catching that bunny rabbit or finding a fresh new place to piss on, Pop just pats my head and says, “You’re a great dog, Chato. Great dog.” Life is good. Woof! Woof! 

• At night I am a pinball. I want to walk all around the house. I like hearing the tic-tic-tic-tic of my nails on the wood panels and tiles. I do my nails in the back yard, filing them down a bit on the earth and leaves. Pop gets a manicure. He thinks it looks professional to have manicured hands. Gross nasty yellow bitten mal-formed nails looks gross he tells me.  And besides, he says, since he is on the computer all day – typing, writing, creating – he loves the massage he gets on his forearms! Woof! Woof! He told me about this one salon where two ladies would massage his forearms – one lady for each forearm – and a third lady would be behind him and massage his shoulders and neck! “Are you kidding me, Chato!” he would say to me. And I would say, Woof! Woof! Woof!” And he would say, “Got that right!” He stopped going there when the lady doing his nails, “Ripped the shit off my cuticle, Chato! A waterfall of blood everywhere.” So anyway, at night, in the early evening and at night, I want to go in the backyard and smell the bitches down the street, look for rabbits, and pee in every corner and curve of my yard! Woof!

• And at then late at night when I am done pin-balling all over the house and in the backyard, I sit on the chair next to Pop. After 10 pm – after Pop has gone for his walk, cooked dinner, watched Keith, spent time with Tito (eating dinner, talking, going over homework), practice Tai Chi in the backyard – Pop is Yahoo IMing his team in India. He’ll look at me and say, “Can you believe this shit, Chato? What part of my question that I have written is poorly worded? Seriously.”  Woof!

(a) And I will pop up my ears and tilt my head to the left and then tilt my head to the right and then put my head back in between my paws on the seat. This will go one for three or four hours. Seventy five percent of the time spent talking to India, the other 25 percent split between marketing and writing. We’ll get up and go back to the Zen Pen and I will sit on the giant bean bag and Pop will grab his black marker – on the way to the Zen Pen, in the kitchen, Pop will serve himself a glass of water with little ice and a lemon wedge – and after he grabs a lemon, he’ll say “Chato, close the refrigerator.” And I will jump up and close the refrigerator. Woof! Woof! And Pop will give me a juicy wet smoky piece of Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Ham. Woof! Woof! Woof! And then back in the Zen Pen room Pop will start writing on the walls. Woof!

(b) Pop has giant wide strips of white butcher paper on the walls. He’ll write for an hour or so and I will sleep. Every now and then I’ll pop my head up when Pop asks me a question or makes a comment. Woof!

(c) And then, right before taking one more trip to the computer to IM India or check emails or finish
a sentence he was writing, Pop will come to the room, open both windows Woof! Woof! Woof!  brush his teeth, strip to his boxers and a t-shirt, do some Tai Chi, go back into the Zen Pen, cross his arms or put one hand on his chin, read the wall and nod yes or no, and then come to bed. Woof!

(d) He’ll lift the blanket for me and I will crawl under and crawl to his shins. Pop has nasty-ass scruffy dry heels, but Woof! Woof! Woof! In the middle of the night he’ll scratch his shins and knees with his heels and then scratch my back and down my neck! Woof! Woof! Woof! And then in three or four hours Pop’s up at it again. Not me. No sir. Woof! Woof! I stay right there under the blankets and sleep some more! Woof! Woof! Woof!

(e) In the morning, Pop will take me to the backyard. He’ll sit and drink a cup of coffee and read the New York Times or The New Yorker or write in his journal. (This is after he has fed the 44 birds he feeds every day.) And I’ll do my thing here and there and then come sit next to Pop for awhile. He’ll talk to me. And he’ll say, “Where’s Alex? Where’s Tito? Where’s Iggy? Where’s Waldo? Meow! He says Meow like I don’t know who Waldo is! Woof! Woof! Woof! And I’ll look all over the yard and run to the door looking for them. I don’t know why he teases me like that. They’re never there whenever he says that. Woof!

(f) Waldo is our cat. He’s a mixed Russian Blue. Pop and Tito don’t let me hang around him too much. Pop’s afraid I’m going to rip Waldo’s head off. I don’t think I would do that, but I’m not sure.  Sometimes when Pop or Tito are not looking, I will eat all of Waldo’s food. And then Pop will yell at me, “Ahhh! Pinch Perro!” Woof!

• I can do tricks. I can: Roll Over. Who is it? (All I have to do here is say Woof! When someone asks, Who is it?) Louder! (Louder immediately follows Who is it? And I have to Woof! louder and three times – at least. Woof! Woof! Woof!) Close The Refrigerator! (I think I have already mentioned this trick.) Play the Piano. (I’m not very good. Not like Tito. I just hit a few of the keys.) Bang! (Like playing dead. I close my eyes and lift my legs in the air. Woof!) Roll Over. Crawl. Turn Around. And Dance. I think that’s it. Maybe a few more but I cant remember right now. I need to nap. Woof!

• I may be a small (I am not as small as other dogs that look like me), but I can kick some ass. I have fought two pit bulls, Macho, and some Pit from around the corner. I didn’t catch his name. I was too busy trying to rip his neck in half. Woof! Woof! I would call both fights a draw, which is pretty good, I think. I mean I’m a BOSTON TERRIER! Woof! Woof! And I fight PIT BULLS! They should be having me for dinner. But I’m telling you…I’m Hercules! I got a chip on my shoulder. And what of it?! I am me. You are you. I dont judge you anymore than you should judge me. So when some Pit thinks he going to judge me and get the best of me…shit…he’s got another thing company. The worse lickin’ I ever got was when I fought Rocky and Dante. Two on one. They got me good. My right pupil was hanging all the way to my paw, but it’s all good. I still have my eye, but I cant see anything out of it. I can see just fine with one eye. Watch out Pit Bulls…I may be blind…but Imma coming after you! Woof! Woof! Woof!


I am Chato Mamet.


On Woody & Bush (et.al)

•03/04/2009 • 2 Comments

Where was I? Oh, yeah.

Fast talkers. I wonder if any linguists or neurosurgeons or psychologists (or all three collectively) ever conducted research on whether there is a direct (or even indirect) correlation between fast-talking/slow-talking and intelligence/idiocy?

I wonder if Edison was a slow talker? I wonder if Einstein was a slow talker? I wonder if Aristotle was a slow talker? There are more I wonders, but I don’t want to get too boggled down on more I wonders. (I suspect there are archived videos of Einstein and Edison speaking. And in regards to Aristotle, historians would have to trust the writings of a student or professor or friend who described the form and style of Aristotle’s speech.)

But what of today? Who comes to mind when you think of fast talkers? Slow talkers?

Does a fast-talking-salesman come to mind? Does Droopy Dog come to mind?

Hmmmm? Let me think aloud…Keith Olberman. Fast-talker. Intelligent. William F. Buckley. Slow talker. Intelligent. Woody Allen. Fast Talker. Intelligent. (Okay, maybe what he did was not intelligent; I write maybe since I don”t know all the facts. Susan Sontag. Slow Talker. Intelligent.

(I met Susan Sontag. She came to speak to our journalism class; we had about 18 students in our class. I often wondered, afterward, why she only spoke to our class? Did the school administration think that other students would not be interested in hearing Sontag? She was a condescending (((A tangential parentheical thought within a parenthitical thought: **but first a word from another thought that just came to my mind…future tangential parenthetical thoughs within a parenthetical thought will be known as – “atptwapt.” Atptwapt is prounounced vocally – when explaining it to others or reading these words aloud or prounced within the neurons, electrons, protons, and “Hind brain, Midbrain, Forebrain, Neural pathways, neuroendocrine systems, vascular systems, dural meningeal system” ((soure WIKI!!!! ALL HAIL TO THE WIKI MUSE!!! HAIL WIKIE MUSE!!! HIIPP HIIIPP HOOOORRRAY!!!)) of your brain and causes that little voice that sounds out vowels and consanants in your head:  “AT-Pee-Tee-WHOP-TEE”) she told our professor, (did I lose you? just keep reading. go with it), after he had asked a question, “What an utterly idiotic question, from a professor no less.” I was going to insert his question in one form or another in the preceding sentence, but I have now thought better of it; I am hoping to receive at least one reader who comments or asks: What did your professor ask? Or any other comment for that matter)) arrogant ((think of the most arrogant person you know or that you have met or that you have seen on television or a movie and triple that arrogance)), bitch ((ditto but times two)), but she was brilliant. ((She remains brilliant. Her book Against Interpretation should be required reading for every incoming freshman; I dare say it should be required reading regardless if one is attending college.)) Three students walked out of the room after a second question was asked, but before Sontag could answer. I stayed. I cared more for her substance than her style; the what-ness of the message not the how-ness.)

Robin Williams. Fast talker. Intelligent. (Then again, didn’t I read somewhere at one point he was so coked up that all he wanted to do is Na-Nu-Na-Nu full throttle every single second of the day?) George W. Bush. Slow Talker. Idiot. Enough said.Steven Wright. Slow Talker. Intelligent. Mr. Rogers. Slow Talker. Intelligent. Rush Limbaugh. Fast Talker. Idiot. Howard Stern. Slow Talker. Intelligent.

What about professions? Is there a predisposition or propensity (is that redundant?) for fast talkers or slow talkers as: policemen, attorneys, doctors, salesman, bankers, teachers, custodians. (A tangential parentheical thought: I read an article years ago that discussed a study on whether laughter was genetic or learned. Did you read it, too?)

And is it true that when one gets nervous there is a tendency to talk fast or faster?

Who knows?

I don’t, but I care … for now at least. (And I will care later when this topic surfaces, again.)

I think it’s time for a kiwi. YUM!!

Oh, remind me next time to tell you what’s A Leah Tuesday…