The year was 2020. There was a man, except he was a dog. The dog, however, was a wolf. The wolf was a werewolf. And inside the chest of the werewolf beat the heart of a man, as one might expect. That’s where things got interesting, for inside the heart of a man was the heart of a hound dog, or some other dog that likes to make noise at the slightest provocation. The important thing was that howling was an option for getting things off his chest.
Beyond that, though, was another heart. That’s right. For inside the heart of the dog beating inside the heart of the man beating inside the heart of the werewolf was a small gnome, as opposed to a large gnome. The gnome had all sorts of levers and pulleys with which to operate the various hearts, as well as the various appendages attached to the werewolf. There were a few arms and a few legs, two expressive eyebrows and similarly expressive ears, as is befitting a dog.
He had no tail, though, and that was the source of his discontent. People tended to shy away from a werewolf bearing down on them when all he wanted to do was play fetch. A tail would be a handy way to communicate that, not that he was bitter or anything.
I refuse to be defined by the actions of my phantom limb.
— Blather Wince Repeat (@xerxesbigboy) December 10, 2019
He did, however, want to be defined by oral hygiene. It wasn’t something werewolves normally practiced, but it was near and dear to one of the hearts beating in his chest.
I just wanted you to know since I met you I’ve been flossing more regularly.
— Lounge Fly (@mrjohntofu) December 3, 2019
Still, though, he was mildly perturbed at one item contained in this catalog.
get a list together of the things you’re not taking into the next decade
— now what (@jaimiealley) December 5, 2019
Besides, there were other areas he could focus on improving.
I was at a red light and I realized that I didn’t know which hand I throw darts with.
— Rich Harrington (@McNarstle) October 11, 2019
There was also this to consider.
What if pursuit of happiness is a tactical error, what then?
— Tatheta (@thetaneaa) December 9, 2019
Plus he could always fall back on his long, luxurious, flowing hair.
mullets are back
— (@erica_steussie) December 2, 2019
As well as his overarching mission.
Can anyone tell me how to get back to my old parallel universe? The one with the Berenstein Bears? This one is stupid.
— Geoff Fial (@TheAngryMailGuy) December 5, 2019
Though maybe his mind was just asunder because it had been so long since he’d slept. The whole full moon thing was myth. The real secret to his transformation was much more mundane.
When the beds are made perfectly my mind is a storm
— Vision Bored (@VisionBored1) December 2, 2019
As was his secret to cross country travel.
Magic is real and it’s called snow tires.
— [brittany’s⛄salty name] (@_maybe_not_ever) December 10, 2019
Plus, lycanthropy wasn’t his only curse.
I am legally required to inform the staff of any Mediterranean restaurant I enter that I am prone to fits of baklava madness
— glo_stevens (@glo_stevens) July 29, 2019
Not by a long shot. He was also triggered by overly-creative presentation.
Say what you will about Gen X, but I don’t recall any Baby Boomers making a burrito out of salad.
— ES (@ESXIII) October 5, 2019
Fortunately, his wingman was there to help. Or “help.”
[to a desk top cactus, the only non-transactional relationship you’ve been able to maintain] pride can’t feel itself
— retsoor (@retsoor) December 6, 2019
Though they did have disagreements.
Okay but we both can’t do the Julia Child voice.
— Sooz (@CruisinSoozan) December 9, 2019
Except when it came to ribs.
If it’s not measured in slabs I don’t want any.
— Cathryn (@AngryRaccoon2) November 14, 2019
And artistic decisions.
I’m not going to another baby shower unless it’s directed by Michael Bay.
— Alvilda (@Alvildalikely) November 7, 2019
And also professionalism.
It is my duty to make wise cracks as you’re frantically trying to work on a deadline.
— Lisabug BBQJonze (@Lisabug74) November 28, 2019
He had another thought with which to share with his cactus.
Do you know how charming and intelligent I have to be to pass as normal?
— Wartime Catlady (@mariangelavitti) December 11, 2019
Not that he didn’t have concerns. Well, concerns other than the lack of a tail.
Of course, you can do anything. As long as the void doesn’t get you first.
— Nimble Steward (@AndeeCurt) December 12, 2019
This concern, too.
I hate it when I’m about to duel and my sword malfunctions.
— Jane, you ignorant slut (@Babasnookie) August 3, 2019
Better than a silver bullet, right? Or maybe worse.
You will not be assassinated. Only important people are assassinated. You will be impaled on a mop handle by three Taco Bell employees.
— Philosopher to the stars (@signalborder) January 1, 2020
There was also the fact that the whole full moon/well-made bed paradigm tended to leave him wandering around wondering. That gave him an idea for a bumper sticker.
Yes, I got lost…but I decided to go with it anyway
— Yesterday Girl (@yesterdaygirly) November 25, 2019
Also, a potential career path.
When an angel grants your wish to have never been born, you could learn the value of your wonderful life, but why not become an untraceable international assassin?
— cap’n watsisname (@capnwatsisname) December 26, 2019
Which wasn’t without its own challenges, especially as the lack of a tail meant people didn’t know he was just being friendly.
I always get the worst hostages.
— Ava (@avainwordland) December 7, 2019
He also knew that things could be worse.
Horses can tap out coded messages with their hooves. Unfortunately they have nothing to say.
— John T. Biggs (@biggspirit) December 10, 2019
Thanks for giving me everything I asked for but what I meant was the ideal versions
— Recovering Soy Boy (@Fredzipfel) December 10, 2019
Nevertheless, he decided to move on.
I’ve tried misery, what else is nice to wallow in?
— Bandersnaaatch (@Bandersnaaatch) November 2, 2019
For he did have fancy plans, and pants to match.
I’d like the weather to stop, let my climate take over
— Buddawiggi️ (@MarkBuckawicki) December 10, 2019
Not least because he was tired of worrying about his lack of a tail, expressive, prehensile, or otherwise. That wasn’t really his problem.
I don’t think I like your attitude or anyone elses.
— Trouble Tara (@SoNotThePoint_) November 30, 2019
Because, again, he had plans.
I’ve dreamed my whole life of a big break into the business of graphic blandishment.
— PamsMyth (@mrsauntiepam) December 6, 2019
And he had a chariot.
If the situation calls for a bigger boat and it’s unavailable, maybe the neighbors unattended ’79 Impala wagon will suffice.
— Charles Lake (@mesealake) October 5, 2019
No one said these plans or even his chariot were good.
Shenanigans gonna shenanigate.
— Algonquin K Farquhar, Esq (@buddhatree) November 12, 2019
Nor has anyone ever said that mythical animals can’t have spirit animals.
You know the little bugs that die in the globe of a light fixture that you can see when you turn on the light? They’re still there.
— Mark McFeeters (@mark_mcfeeters) November 9, 2019
Or that they couldn’t be some sort of mythological deity shapeshifting into a shapeshifter.
*dark look* If I were Nyx, Greek goddess of the night, you would think twice about saying that.
— Marly (@VerbsRProudest) November 29, 2019
Then he remembered that he couldn’t remember who he was talking to.
“You have no idea what’s coming,” she whispers to no one at all.
— Czarina_of_None (@czarina_of_none) November 28, 2019
“Same,” he thought.
I was born under an angry star. What’s your excuse?
— Roxy (@laboxalaroxa) December 10, 2019
It was then that he realized his chariot might offer him some difficulty.
I’m existentially exhausted. And also someone is parked in my space.
— richie (@theregoesrichie) December 1, 2019
Nevertheless, he was footloose and fancy free.
If it makes you feel any better, I’m doing fantastic.
— Bummer T. Vibes, Esq (@VibesBummer) November 1, 2019
Minus one eternal truth.
Of course I have a curio cabinet in my house. It’s where I keep my taxes.
— Mary (@AnniemuMary) December 31, 2019
Growls and phantom tail wags were much more effective, especially when planning for the tax man.
Ghosts usually communicate in bangs and knocks which is just no good for the modern workplace. I know who is on the fast track to promotion and it’s not that spectral time-waster.
— Justin (@ThePocketJustin) December 10, 2019
Though he wasn’t averse to technology. He was a lycanthrope, not a luddite.
Sorry about the cloud of drones I haphazardly programmed (they keep clacking into each other) to follow you around
— Bacon, Lettuce & Potato (@DominicCaruso1) October 7, 2019
And for that, he made no apologies.
I don’t have any guilty pleasures. I have pleasures. You can feel guilty about yours if you want.
— FRONT TOWARD ENEMY (@armyVet1972) December 7, 2019
Especially as he had no team. As Martha would say, that was a good thing.
When my team isn’t playing, I root for chaos.
— Gretchen von Tongeln (@Metalligretch) December 10, 2019
The moon high in the sky, our hero lurched off into the distance, his non-existant tail not between his legs, but proudly wagging out various messages. His plans were slowly taking form, unlike his hair visage which quickly took form upon being bathed in moonlight or viewing an especially well-made bed. Maybe those plans were just a nugget of a kernel, but they still counted, like a pebble in your shoe.
Not that our hero wore shoes as his big paws just ripped them up, as did his extra-large toenails. In any case, he was alert, focused, and intent. The world would know he didn’t have any ill-intent, except for all the ill-intent he harbored. He wagged his phantom tail and made a proclamation, one filled with love and understanding. The villagers may have misunderstood, what with all the howling, but he didn’t let that stop him. He was filled with the love of multiple hearts and gnomes, after all.
And on this rock I shall build my terrordome.
— Rich Cromwell (@rcromwell4) August 27, 2017