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Author Topic: EP253: Eugene  (Read 16233 times)
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« on: August 12, 2010, 08:39:34 AM »

EP253: Eugene

By Jacob Sager Weinstein
Read by Tim “ShoEboX” Crist of Worm Quartet, Cirque du So What?, and The Funny Music Project

First appeared in Popcorn Fiction

As he puts the cruiser in gear and takes off, I calm down a little bit, and smell something that worries me. I smell Apurna on him, like always, but she doesn’t smell right. She smells of nervousness bordering on fear, and come to think of it, he does, too. It’s an old smell–I’d say from late yesterday evening, just after work–but it’s unmistakable. And there’s a hospital smell, and the smell of Apurna’s pain.

I shouldn’t say anything. Francisco doesn’t like me to pry.

But he took Apurna to the hospital.

But he doesn’t like me to pry.

But he took Apurna to the hospital.

But he doesn’t like me to pry.

But–

“What’s wrong with Apurna?” I say.


Rated PG for minor police excitement.

Show Notes:

Feedback for Episode 245, The Moment


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 10:05:30 AM »

  At the start of this story I thought "Oh, another talking cop dog story. Okay, the last one was good, so lets see what happens", and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked the interaction between Eugene and Francisco as well as the crime drama aspects of it, although if Mur had not tipped me off at the beginning that this was about a dog I may have thought Eugene had some form of autism and enhanced senses at first.

  In the closing Mur comments that the details about Eugene and his origins are not that important, and I find myself disagreeing a little bit. While I did like the story, I found myself wondering exactly what a dogman was. Does Eugene look like the wolfman (he mentions having fur a couple of times)? Is he a human body with a dog's brain (and if so, why does the dog's sense of smell and hearing still work)? This did not ruin the story for me, but I kept hoping we would get some sort of physical description so I could solidify my mental image of him. This was hardly a story-killer for me, but it was distracting.
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jenfullmoon
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 11:10:14 AM »

Did I catch that Eugene's last name was Gromit?!

I was pretty much assuming "dog's head/brain, human body" throughout the whole story. It sounds like he's visually not normal human, and using a super sniffer, and yet has hands/wears shoes. I did wonder about what his mother uh, went through...

I totally enjoyed it, to be honest. Eugene is a GOOD COP. Heh. It's not exactly a huge plot, just a slice of life for a good K-9, but fun.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 01:01:07 PM »

First: Thanks again for a meaningful rating at the beginning of the story, I continue to appreciate that!

This was a fun fun story and reminds me of the first time I listened to escapepod.  It was of course another dog-cop story, and I loved that one as well.  I agree that some additional physical description would have added to the story, but this was a fun bit. I call it Fifth Element meets Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and has a puppy. I also imagine that it'd be sponsored by "Yuppie and the Alien".

On a more specific note I really enjoyed the way the scent-information was explored.  Its not the first time it's been done well, but this is definitely one of the better.
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ehudokai
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 02:42:38 PM »

Yep, this one brought back memories of http://escapepod.org/2008/08/01/ep169-how-i-mounted-goldie-saved-my-partner-lori-and-sniffed-out-the-peoples-justice/ .  I remembered when it was aired because I was on a motorcycle trip listening to back escape pods as I drove through the giant redwoods of northern california.  Awww.  Memories.
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acpracht
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 03:13:58 PM »

"Bad Eugene, bad partner."

That one left me rolling...

I loved the way the dog nature, literally, personified itself.

I think a dog man would make a better person than an actual person - truly loving and enthusiastic for life.

Anyone else agree?
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KenK
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 04:00:36 PM »

"Man's best friend stories"  never get old do they?  Cheesy Modern dogs evolved from the Gray Wolf subspecies located in modern day Syria. Today's dogs act like permanent wolf cubs. Humans over time have bred the wolf into a companion animal for their own varied purposes. No wonder we love dogs and their qualities. We feel like gods looking down on our own creations.
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 08:56:13 PM »

I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.  It took me a while to figure out just what our main character was. I thought it was a good light story.  I always think of my dogs and what they would be like if they could talk like that.  I guess they would be like a 5 year-old that never shuts up.   
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 09:37:27 PM »

I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.  It took me a while to figure out just what our main character was. I thought it was a good light story.  I always think of my dogs and what they would be like if they could talk like that.  I guess they would be like a 5 year-old that never shuts up.   

Yeah, How I mounted Goldie came right to my mind, made me smile.
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 09:38:48 PM »

"Man's best friend stories"  never get old do they?  Cheesy Modern dogs evolved from the Gray Wolf subspecies located in modern day Syria. Today's dogs act like permanent wolf cubs. Humans over time have bred the wolf into a companion animal for their own varied purposes. No wonder we love dogs and their qualities. We feel like gods looking down on our own creations.


It could also be that they were bred to help us survive.  You know, not as an ego boost.
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 10:53:11 PM »



(from WE3)
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 06:16:16 AM »

Insert stock "This is like [insert story here]" comment.  Doesn't make a story better or worse for it, in my opinion, but then that's just it: My opinion.

I WILL say, however, that I have listened to a good number of tragic tales on Escape Pod.  Of lost loves, beings persecuted for being different, and civilizations doomed to failure.

None of them encouraged me to register on this forum to leave a comment.  But then, none of them moved me to tears the way this story did.  Eugene's simple desire to stay with and comfort the girl until everything was all better again really got to me.  I've seen other dogs do the same thing, including the one I had for 16 years.

Good author, Mr. Weinstein!  Good author!
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 06:55:44 AM »

A cracking story. And on the plus side, since the two main characters weren't both fully human, the horrible term 'bromance' isn't strictly applicable. Excellent.

Now let's have a cat-as-cop story: "I got to the crime scene. There was blood everywhere so I decided to take a nap. Someone tried to wake me, but I ignored them."
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Boggled Coriander
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2010, 07:23:28 AM »

Yes, this also reminded me of That Other EP Episode About a Talking Police Dog, but so what?  I don't care about whether an idea is original; all that matters is that it is done well.  Eugene is an effing hilarious character, and I'm a cat person.  (Aargh!  Started a flame war!)

Also reminded me of Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire, which features a talking St. Bernard who hosts a TV talk show.  And of course, Dug from Up.

Only quibble I have is that I grew a tad confused about what exactly Eugene looks like.  I initially pictured him as looking more or less fully canine, perhaps with the addition of a bigger cranium and opposable thumbs, but as the story went on I came to think of him as more of a dog-human hybrid.  I would've liked more hints about what he was.  Didn't wreck the story for me, anyway.
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2010, 05:54:58 PM »

I enjoyed it though, like almost everyone else, it made me think of How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed Out The People’s Justice and that wasn't a good comparison because I felt the characters in How I Mounted Goldie were more fully formed. I felt I knew them from Lori on down to Goldie and even the killers. I didn't really have a sense of any of these characters except Eugene and even with him I was mostly left with questions about how he ended up a dog/man.

(/offtopic) It did remind me of a question on the scifi section of reddit about what kind of new series SyFy should do. I suggested a future police dog series and linked to How I Mounted Goldie. This story makes me realize how difficult such a series would be. It would be very difficult to train a dog to play someone like Officer Bull. This story might be a way around it. Have a dog/man cop. But it would be very difficult to write and act. Still, maybe having a trained dog but with someone like Steve voicing Officer Bull, that might work. I also missed Officer Bull's partner Lori but if the officer was a dog/man they would almost certainly partner it with a male officer so there would be no bestiality hints. But I would still miss Lori. I really liked her.

Hell, there was a Lassie series and there's the talking (fake) cat Salem on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. As long as it is explained that the voice is computer generated they wouldn't need to show the dog's mouth moving.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 05:59:19 PM by alllie » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2010, 09:36:14 PM »

Okay, it has to be said and it might as well be me.

GOOD MUR! GOOD EDITOR!

This one had me giggling aloud in my car on the way home from work, and really, that's what these stories are all about to me. They keep me entertained. This one certainly did that.
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2010, 02:14:49 AM »

Had me grinning with pleasure in the first five minutes. Simply, a delight. Excellent!
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2010, 09:40:19 AM »

I immediately thought of "How I Mounted Goldie" at first.   

[aol]
Me, too!
[/aol]

I suspected I was not the only one.

I had a bit of trouble picturing Eugene, but eventually settled on a man-sized bipedal canine with humanlike hands and feet (since he can dress himself and wears shoes). Definitely has the head of a dog, probably a German Shepherd.
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2010, 03:12:52 PM »

I'm a cat owner, but I love dogs too, for exactly the reasons that came through in this story, their loving, open quality. That's just one of the reasons I enjoyed this tale so much, it really felt like it captured Dog Personality. I just wanted to give Eugene a cuddle and a scritch behind the ears!

A good reading, too.
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2010, 09:38:54 PM »

Now let's have a cat-as-cop story: "I got to the crime scene. There was blood everywhere so I decided to take a nap. Someone tried to wake me, but I ignored them."

This is great. And exactly right.

As for 'Eugene', I was smiling all the way through and laughed out loud more the once. I thought it conveyed perfectly how a human dog might act.
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