1. Dog Days
Let the record show that I do believe in God. I really do. Mea culpa: this is not a very chic opinion. But how else can something spring up, sinuous and strange, from out of nothing at all? Sad as I am to say it, it is just the only answer there is to be had.
I do not, however, for a second believe in heaven. Some people can’t understand this, but it’s really very simple if you care to think about it: how could God stand to spend an eternity with the things he has created?
In the beginning was the act.
I was 29 when I wrote the international hit series Dog Police!. In those days, I spent much of my time sitting on park benches along the Embarcadero. I would watch people as they descended the great big hills which wind through the city and disappear halfway up the tall buildings. When I tired of that, I would watch the boats moving slowly along the water, causing modest waves to expand ever outwards. And when I tired of that I would leave and try to think of what people did with their lives.
The first episode of Dog Police! introduced our hero: Barkly, a down-on-his-luck Dog Policeman. What that means I couldn’t tell you, but the audience knew that he was on the skids because he looked disheveled and because, in an establishing shot in the first episode, he stares at the water bowl in his doghouse apartment for a long time without taking a drink.
Barkly’s boss was a bloodshot St. Bernard named Mantooth. He was always shown in shirtsleeves and suspenders, and didn’t much care for Barkly’s unorthodox ways.
Are you with me yet?
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