A Dog and His Anthropologist
“The tail is a nice
touch.” Daniel grinned. “Very . . . manly.”
“Really? I’m not sure.”
Jack twisted, trying to look over his shoulder, but succeeding only in turning
in a circle, his thin, whip-like tail slapping Daniel on the shin before
knocking a book off the coffee table. With an apologetic shrug, Jack looked at
Daniel. “Ya think?”
Daniel grimaced, trying not
to laugh. “Yeah, it definitely works for me.”
“So,” Jack put the book
back on the coffee table, knocking an empty soda can off the end table in the
process, “what’s with the shorts and the knee socks? And the,” he frowned,
pointing at Daniel’s upper lip, “the magic-marker mustache thingy?”
“I’m Louis Leakey.”
“They’ve got medicine to
help with that, you know.”
“No. Jack, Louis Leakey
was a famous anthropologist. He lived and worked in Africa.” At Jack’s blank
stare, Daniel continued, “He was responsible for discovering Homo Habilis in the
“I discovered something in
the ‘60s, too.”
“Well sorry, Jack, but I
was all out of tie-dyed t-shirts and home-rolled ‘herbal’ cigarettes.”
Jack chuckled softly. “And
yet you have knee socks.”
“Shouldn’t we be going?
Sam’s party started ten minutes ago.”
“Fine, fine. Whatever.
But if Siler shows up wearing the same outfit as last year, I’m outta there.”
They stepped into the
hallway, and Daniel locked his apartment door. “What was wrong with his costume
“You don’t remember Elvis?”
“And he kept grinding his
hips and asking if anyone had seen his big wrench?”
The elevator doors slid
open and they stepped inside. Jack pressed the ground floor button. “Hmmm,
“I don’t remember the big
“Well, not to worry. I
heard him talking yesterday, and he said he was having trouble choosing between
Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody.”
Jack squinted, deep in
thought. “Tough call. Both subtle, yet each uniquely apropos.”
“Speaking of subtle . . .”
Daniel studied his friend’s black leather jacket and tight, black t-shirt.
Black jeans and black, insulated Wolverine boots completed the ensemble.
Jack opened his mouth to
speak when the elevator stopped and a young woman stepped in. She looked at
them, smiling softly. Jack nodded and grinned. “Ma’am.”
“Hi.” The woman’s smile
faded as she stared down at Jack’s crotch, a slight frown suddenly puckering her
forehead. “Um, sir, you have a - um . . .”
Jack glanced down at
himself. “Oh!” He grabbed the offending protuberance which was trapped between
his thighs and pointing up at his female companion. “Sorry.” He pushed the
tail back between his legs and pulled it to the side, holding it in one hand.
“That thing’s always getting in the way and causing me trouble.”
She laughed softly. “I’m
sure.” Still grinning, she stared over at Daniel.
When Daniel remained
silent, Jack cleared his throat. “Daniel’s Leakey.”
“Oh!” The woman’s eyes
widened and she blushed. “I’m - I’m . . .” She turned to face the front of the
elevator, obviously praying the doors would open and release her. Either that,
or that the car would plummet, putting them all out of their misery. Daniel
glared at Jack, who shrugged his shoulders. When the doors slid open with an
anticlimactic, pneumatic hiss, the woman stepped out and hurried down the
hallway. The men slowly followed.
“Gee, Jack. Thank you.
Thank you so much.”
“What? What’d I do?”
“Hey,” Jack opened the door
to the underground garage, “you’re the one with the stained upper lip, my
“Big talk for a man walking
around with his tail tucked between his legs.”
Jack laughed. “That’s
funny. But, you know, it still beats knee socks.”
“Who or what the hell are
you supposed to be anyway, Jack? ‘James Dean Got Some Tail.’”
Jack’s eyes widened. “Oh,
I like that. I hadn’t thought of that.”
“I’m Anubis, you idiot.
What, are you dense?”
“Anubis wears a cape.”
“I ain’t wearing no cape,”
Jack declared, punctuating his sentence with a finger pointing in Daniel’s
“Okay, then why the tail?”
“You said Anubis was a
black dog, right?”
“A jackal,” Daniel
“Same thing. So. . .”
Jack grabbed his long appendage, holding it up and displaying it proudly.
Daniel shook his head and
wished he’d worn a longer coat. His knees were freezing. “I heard Hammond is
dressing up like King Richard.”
“Again? He did that last
year.” Jack unlocked his truck. “Did you hear about Carter and Doc?”
“No.” Daniel climbed into
the passenger seat, snapping his seat belt in place as he watched Jack carefully
arrange his tail on the seat between them. “What about them?”
“Two words, Daniel: Xena
“Really? Which is which?”
Jack turned the key in the
ignition and looked over at Daniel. “Does it really matter?”
He didn’t have to debate
The truck roared to life.
Jack slipped the vehicle into reverse, then sat there - his foot on the brake,
staring out the windshield at the drab concrete wall.
Daniel frowned. “What?
“I don’t know.” Jack
scrubbed a thumb across the dash, then picked up his tail and used the limp,
fluffy tip of it to brush away an unseen fleck of dust. “Teal’c’s coming as
“So? I thought you liked
“I do. It’s just . . .
Teal’c in tights?” Jack shrugged, gently beating his fuzzy appendage lightly
against the steering wheel. Suddenly, he smiled and glanced over at Daniel.
“When I was a kid, at Halloween, we had a neighbor who would chain his
Rottweiler to the front porch. Then, he turned on a tape recording of people
screaming and a dog growling, and him and his wife would dress up in these gory
outfits. You know, arms missing, blood everywhere. You had to want candy real
bad to go there.”
“So, did you?”
“Of course, I did.”
Daniel smiled. “Of course,
“Charlie would have loved
Caught in the act of
scratching his icy kneecap, Daniel froze and frowned over at his friend. Jack
had resumed staring out the windshield. Not knowing what to say, Daniel said
Finally, the truck idling
smoothly, comfortingly, around them, Jack casually tossed his tail back onto the
seat. “So . . . Hammond and Teal’c in tights, huh?”
“Yeah, but don’t forget
Xena and Gabrielle,” Daniel grinned.
Jack smirked, backing the
truck out of the parking spot. “Gotta take the good with the bad, I guess.”
“Um, I thought it was the
other way around, Jack. The bad with the good.”
“Is it?” Jack slipped the
truck into first gear.
Daniel frowned in thought.
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m pretty sur–”
“Hang onto your shorts,
Leakey,” Jack laughed, and punched the accelerator.