So, now they say that John Steinbeck’s travelogue novel “Travels With Charley”, about driving across the country with Charley, a French-speaking poodle, in a camper truck named Rocinante, for the horse of Don Quixote, is fake. He was supposedly having conversations in New Mexico about events occurring months later, when he was actually in North Carolina at the time, that sort of thing, and his wife was there, and so much for man camp. Ooh! Load up the truck with the guns.
Then my airplane companion was reading “Of Mice And Men”, and honest to God, every time I would glance over, someone was drowning a puppy, shooting an old dog, inadvertently suffocating a woman and having to deal with bodies of both woman and puppy…oh, am I ruining a Great Novel for you? Steinbeck is a jackass, Grapes Of Wrath notwithstanding.
So I figure the truth is that, left alone with a dog, that Charley would’ve avenged the we-hope-fictionalized-puppies and done Steinbeck in, like elephants who, unprovoked, one day stomp the head of their oppressive trainer. So I went on a real life road trip with my cat, Hugo Montenegro. He was fine. Despite his many international names: his namesake, a mariachi brass composer whose name is fun to sing (I recommend singing “Hugo Montenegro” to the tune of “Gary, Indiana”), aka Huigi, Huierre, and his hip-hop name, Hugizzle, he had not done much traveling. I tarped the back seat just in case.
No worries. He quickly settled into life in the trailer park.My childhood friend, Valerie Vigoda, violinist from Vienna, Virginia, played violin for Cyndi Lauper, who was the opening act for first Tina Turner, then Cher. You might hope that these gals would be folksy enough to hang out with their opening acts and its hangers-on, but no.
So Hugo just retired to his trailer and wanted to sleep all the time, like Cher. Apparently she has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In defense of Steinbeck, you can see how one might need to make the stuff up.