Penny has a pet peeve. In fact, she is completely ticked off about it. Her highly emotional character has been consumed with anger, and she is about to release it on anyone and anything that enters her path.
You know, we all have them, these pet peeves. It might simply be how someone squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle, or how someone leaves the toilet seat in the upright position. It may be how your significant other leaves his or her clothes scattered on the floor instead of depositing them in the hamper.
Imagine yourself puttering up the highway. It doesn’t matter which one. It could be I-5 in California, or I-40 in Tennessee. For that matter, it could be the Autobahn in Germany. Anyway, you’re driving along, minding your own business, maybe even speeding a little—unless you’re on the Autobahn—when all at once a little red sportscar passes, then darts in front of your 1987 Chevy Cavalier, only to slow down. Doesn’t that make you a little peeved? Don’t you want to rip his tires off and wrap them around his spindly little neck?
Well, that’s just how Penny is feeling this fine morning. Donald left her all alone again. She hates to be left alone, and it’s driving her crazy with jealousy and envy. He gets to go out everyday and see the world, while she has to sit at home and look at the same four walls. She’s had it up to her neck with his lack of concern about what interests her. This time he will pay! She will sit right there in front of the door, and when he comes in…look out!
When he left this morning, he grabbed Penny by the cheeks, told her he loved her, and said they’d go for a walk and do some talking when he got home. Talk? Right. He does all the talking and she does all the listening. She has to just walk along like an obedient little girl, going where he wants to go, and doing what he wants to do.
Then he walked over and turned on the TV so she could watch it. That’s all she needed, soap operas and Jerry Springer all day long. He must feel compelled to control every aspect of her life. He tells her what to eat. He tells her where to sit. He doesn’t allow her any visitors. She’s had enough! It’s over today!
Sure, she’d tried to express how she was feeling before, but he just wouldn’t listen. Last week, when he’d left her alone, she’d gone into the bedroom and thrown all of his clean laundry all over the room and ripped the bedclothes off of the bed. She thought maybe that would get his attention off of his own little world long enough for him to realize that she has needs too. It didn’t work. When he came home, he was furious. He slapped her around and kicked her until she was a whimpering mess lying in the corner.
This time would be different. She’d had enough of this purgatory he called home. She would make him pay, then leave to find her own life, apart from Donald. So, she waited, watching the door, listening for the sound of his engine and his footsteps on the walk. It would be good; he’d be expecting her to run over and greet him with a kiss like always. He’d want her to shower him with attention, then slink away so he could watch the evening news. Well, not this time. This time she would surprise him.
Minutes turned into hours, and she was still sitting there watching and waiting when Donald pulled into the driveway. Penny’s pet peeve had turned into anger, then to fury, and her eyes were burning embers as he shut off the engine and stepped to the walk. The muscles in her neck tensed as he approached the door.
This was it! Life would be different from this day forward. No more long days all alone in this hot little house. No more taking orders from this pig of a man who cared so little for her feelings. Her opportunity had arisen and she was determined to take advantage of it.
She heard the key in the double-sided deadbolt lock, and she prepared herself for action. Every sense was heightened. She could feel every muscle, every nerve ending. The hair was standing on the back of her neck. Another second or two and he would pay!
The latch gave and the knob turned. She was crouched just behind wall separating the entry from the living room. Donald stepped inside, announced his return, and glanced around. “Penny, where are you?”
Penny emerged from behind the wall and leapt at him. She caught him off guard and wrapped her mouth around his throat, sinking her fangs deeply into his flesh. With one massive thrust, she pulled the life from her master and bounded out the door. Penny was free, as all dogs should be.
By Michael DeCamp (July 6, 2001)