…And Other Fond Recollections” is the tentative title for my autobiography. Though, I must admit it’s highly arrogant to proclaim oneself suitable for an autobio, when one has done little of anything classifiable as perceptibly interesting.

In my defense, however, I was indeed attacked one afternoon last summer by a neighbor’s bewitching little pug. The portly beast (it goes by “Napoleon”) was on its side of a wooden privacy fence separating our yards. The Emperor was going about his normal business, carefree in its affairs: shuffling along the grass, sniffing what needed sniffing, urinating on what obviously deserved it, all the while delightfully snorting and wheezing, as pugs have been witnessed to do. I, with little better to do, approached the fence, bent down, and slipped three fingers into an inch-wide gap in the fence as a gesture of greeting. I’m not sure what my particular plan was, but let’s just say I desired to pet his drooly snout. Nap’ apparently thought otherwise. Briskly, with a whistling grunt, he clamped his pebble-sized nibblers down—hard—on my right ring finger. I snapped my hand back reflexively, issued a pained “daah!” and slunk back to the patio. A gaping wound there was not, but partially bloodied skin there was.

Lesson learned: all future pug greetings must be accompanied by an adult and/or antisceptic spray.