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Ralph Nader Barbecued My Puppy — A Story of Horror and Heartbreak by Crad Kilodney

Ralph Nader Barbecued My Puppy — A Story of Horror and Heartbreak by Crad Kilodney

October 2004

She was my one love — Fifi. My little poodle. So full of life, so affectionate. She made life worth living.

He was a presidential candidate, consumer activist, lawyer, author, founder of numerous organizations, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard — and puppy-eating monster! He took her from me. The world has never heard this story. Now it shall be told.

I had rented a lovely house in the country in Connecticut to work on my next gay novel, Cowboy Buddies of Dodge City. I had Fifi with me. I didn’t need anyone else. She was my joy, comfort, and inspiration. Her antics were so charming. I would read her my rough draft, and she would sit there, head tilted and tail wagging, as if to show approval. The work was going well. My publisher in the Czech Republic was sure to be thrilled.

The only other house in the area was about a half mile up the two-lane road. The real estate agent had told me it was a summer rental, like mine. I walked past it one day while taking Fifi for a walk. On the mailbox was the name “Nader.” I thought nothing of it until I saw the occupant step out of the front door briefly to pick up his newspaper. Even at a distance I could tell: it was Ralph Nader.

I wanted to meet him but was too shy to knock on his door. However, the opportunity arose a few days later when I had to go into town for several hours and couldn’t bring Fifi along. Rather than leave her alone, I decided to ask Ralph Nader to look after her. Surely he would do it. Why wouldn’t he? If he hated big corporations, he had to love cute puppies. So I walked over to his house, with Fifi on a leash. He was sitting on a lawn chair, reading his paper, while a big, muscular black man was washing his car — a late-model Volvo. Both looked at me with suspicion as I boldly strode up the gravel driveway.

“Mr. Nader!” I greeted him chirpily. “I’m your neighbor from down the road, Crad Kilodney. And this is Fifi.”

“How do you do,” he said, not smiling. “What can I do for you?”

“Can you look after Fifi for a few hours while I go into town?”

“No, I can’t, I’m sorry.”

“She won’t be any trouble. I promise.”

“No, I really would prefer not to have that responsibility.”

“You’ll love her once you get to know her. Here…” I held the leash for him to take, but he wouldn’t touch it.

“No, honestly,” he said, looking helpless. “I’m not good with dogs.”

“Just for a few hours,” I persisted. “It’s no big deal.” And I tied the leash loosely around a large ornamental rock. He gaped at me, mouth open. Really, he could have been more polite. I was disappointed. “I’ll be back before you know it. Thanks a lot.”

Ralph and the black man exchanged looks of disbelief, shaking their heads. Well, never mind. They’d be all smiles when I returned, without a doubt. Some city folks need time to loosen up, that’s all. Probably it was all the pressure from leading the good fight for the American consumer and breaking down the walls of the power-hungry corporate elite.

I went into town and did my important literary errands, happily anticipating making friends with Ralph Nader and a black person.

When I returned a few hours later, I could see Ralph at the barbecue in the backyard. The black man was now dressed in a dark suit, which seemed quite out place in the country. He walked down the driveway and met me halfway.

“I’ve come to get Fifi,” I said expecting to be invited for lunch.

“Yo’ dog run away,” he said, his expression slightly hostile.


“Yo’ dog run away.”

“What do you mean? How?”

“She slip her leash and she run away. It wasn’t our fault. We didn’t say you could leave her.”

I was confused. Was this a joke? And then I noticed the foul smell coming from the barbecue. Whatever Ralph was barbecuing, it wasn’t something a normal American would want to eat.

“What’s that smell? What’s he cooking?”

“Never mind what he cookin’. Now please git off de prop’ty.”

What was going on? Where was Fifi? What was that bad smell?… And then it hit me!…He was barbecuing Fifi!

“Fifi!” I screamed. “He’s cooking my dog!” I started to run forward, but the black man grabbed me.

“You crazy sonofabitch! Now, look, I ask you to leave, so you leave, unnerstand?”

“He’s barbecuing my dog! He killed my dog!”

“You damn fool, he ain’t barbecuin’ no dog! Nobody kill yo’ dog. I tole you she run away. Now git off de prop’ty!”

“You can’t fool me! That’s my little dog!” I started to cry.

This time the black man put both hands on me firmly, frog-marched me down the driveway, and gave me a measured shove into the roadway. “Don’ choo be comin’ roun’ heah no mo’. We got nothin’ to do wit yo’ dog.”

I staggered home in tears, my whole world shattered…my Fifi…dead….All cut up into pieces and burning over hot coals! What sort of fiend….Just a sweet little puppy….How could anyone….

Now I know the meaning of Pure Evil. And you, dear Reader, can you comprehend my pain? Can you feel anything for me in your heart? Think about my poor little Fifi when you step into the voting booth and make your choice. Ralph Nader barbecued my puppy. And I want the world to know.


by Crad Kilodney



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