Dogged pursuit of a bank robber

June 10, 2012

[The following story, created under severe time constraints while driving through eastern Oregon, was inspired in part by the joke “Tall Tail,” which is track #4 on the album Puttin On The Dog.]

The Pendleton police department doesn’t have a lot of officers, but it does have an unusually smart and brave dog named Lucky. So when the notorious criminal Upton O. Good robbed a bank in downtown Pendleton, the police chief sent Lucky to investigate, along with a new officer.

The robber fled into a forest, but it wasn’t long before the officer and Lucky spotted his footprints along the muddy trail. They followed the footprints for a long time and eventually traced them to a large cluster of tall trees with lots of branches and leaves. It was clear that the robber had climbed one of the trees and was hiding there.

“Look, Upton, we know you’re up there,” began the officer. “But it could take us hours and hours to find you and arrest you, and meanwhile you might get cold and hungry. Why don’t we settle this with a quick contest? If you can beat Lucky in a simple three-question quiz, I swear by the statutes of Oregon that I will let you go free. On the other hand, if Lucky beats you, you must let me arrest you and put you in jail.”

The bank robber, not being the sort of person who was smart enough to avoid leaving footprints, agreed to this deal from his unknown perch.

“OK!” shouted the officer so that both Lucky and the robber could hear him. “First question: Does the face of a bearded man feel smooth or rough?”

“Ruff!” replied Lucky instantly. “Oh, come on!” protested the surprised robber.

“Now, Upton, a deal is a deal. Second question: what is the 18th letter of the alphabet?”

“Arrrrrr!” howled Lucky with enthusiasm. “Good grief!” was all the agitated robber could say.

“Last question: Is my wife a boy or a girl?”

“Grrrrrrrrrl!” was Lucky’s immediate growl. “Lucky wins!” yelled the officer.

The robber was quite upset at this point. Being a man of his word, though, he hopped down from his hiding spot and let himself be handcuffed and taken out of the woods.

As the triumphant officer and Lucky returned to the station with the robber in their possession, another officer spoke. “Look, I don’t know what happened out there,” he said to his coworkers, “But I can tell you one thing: I’d rather be Lucky than Good.”


  1. Good one!

  2. I thought the questions should have been:
    1. What’s the top of a house called? (roof)
    2. What’s on the outside of a tree? (bark)
    3. What’s the name of an Alan Ginsberg poem? (Howl)


  3. […] on the road with Phil last summer, I made up a couple of stories about a police dog named Lucky and a ne’er-do-well known as Upton O. […]

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