What REALLY Happened.

It’s situations like this that make me grateful that I have four dogs.

They’re pretty smart, so at least one of them is bound to be on top of this if it ever comes up.

Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman’s chest. The dog’s owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life.

Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself but it didn’t work. After she began beating on her chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.

“The next think I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders,” she recalled. “He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.”

That’s when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said.

Isn’t this a totally sweet story? The things animals do for the love of their owners never ceases to amaze me.

But a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny part of me is wondering something else, and this never would have crossed my mind if it weren’t for a stupid game my friend Mailon

…invented called What REALLY happened.” The game actually came about after I enthusiastically recounted to him what I believed to be a bittersweet moment of how I rescued an elderly man last summer who had fallen back into some hedges and no one stopped to aid him.

It was sweltering outside that day, over a hundred degrees, and the elderly man was lying face up, helpless, in the sun. I was walking my dogs and noticed him as I rounded the corner. I called out to him, asking him if he needed help. I didn’t wait for an answer, just ran to my house (two houses away), shoved the dogs inside without taking their leashes off, and ran back to the man. I pulled him up out of the bushes and helped lead him to a place in the shade to sit (he could barely walk, easily in his late eighties, maybe early nineties, so it took nearly ten minutes to go just a few steps). I ran back across the street to my house and got him a tall glass of ice water…

…then waited with him until the arrival of his wife, who had been around the corner at the DMV. (I sent a neighbor to go try to find her.)

He and I sat and talked about all manner of things. I told him I was a writer. He told me he was a writer, too. He asked me who I had voted for in the last election. I don’t always like to discuss politics, as it can be immediately polarizing. Still, I said it: “John Kerry.” He replied, “I knew it!!! That explains why you helped me!!!” His wife pulled up with the neighbor about fifteen minutes later, extra grateful to me as she helped her husband into the car. As the man and his wife drove away, his tearful eyes met mine and stayed on me until the car was nearly out of sight. I still can’t figure out how he was able to walk from the DMV around the corner, as painstaking as it was for him to take even a step. Just telling the story again to my friend Mailon almost made me cry.

After a long pause, Mailon, very deadpan, says, “Now I’m going to tell you what REALLY happened.”

He then took my lovely tale and the tone suddenly went from sunny and good to something dark, bleak, and sinister.

He launched into a bitter jeremiad of how the old man had been trying to flee his wife after decade upon agonizing decade of misery, and had, at long last, managed to make his escape while she waited in line at the DMV. His plan was to hurl his weak, decrepit body back into the bushes so that he could die a quick death under the blazing sun. Then along comes my black ass, foiling everything, and, even worse, delivering him back to the wretched harpy he’d been fleeing. The old man couldn’t stop staring at me as he rode off, once again in the custody of his enslaver, thinking, “I hope that black bitch burns in hell!!!

It was a real eye-opener for me. What if that was what really happened? It was downright mind-boggling to consider. I’d been so proud of myself for being there in a time of need for my fellow man, even having told the story as an example of how God sometimes uses us as angels in the lives of others without us realizing it at the time. Silly me. As a result of Mailon’s startling-yet-hilarious take, we started playing this game with a bunch of other incidents.

Well, in the spirit of “What REALLY happened,” here’s my take on what might have occurred with the woman and her dog. Keep in mind this is told from the dog’s perspective as he watches his owner eat an apple:

Damn, that looks good. She likes those, but won’t ever let me taste them. All I get is that damn dry stuff. I guess I’m lucky. She could be giving me some of that wet shit that’s been killing all my friends. Listen to how it crackles when she bites it!!! Yum!!! And juice is dripping all down her bony neck…gimme some of that, you selfish bitch!!! It’s not gonna kill me. I’m a dog!!! I drink out of the toilet!!!

Ooops, what’s that?? Oh, so now she’s taunting me. Okay, I get it. Your stupid little people food is so good, it’s making you fall back and stagger. Woo-hoo, you’re in control. I guess it makes you feel like a big person by teasing a helpless animal with your stupid people food.

Stop it…stop the thrashing!!! C’mon now, either quit it, or gimme a piece!!! I can’t take it!!! Why is she taunting me with all the histrionics?!! (ed., dogs in my world are highly-advanced and use words like “histrionics“) I want some of whatever the hell that is!!! Give it to me!!!

(Stands on his hind legs, pushing against her, trying to get a piece…)

Gimme!!! Gimme!!! Gimme!!!

(Knocks her down, then jumps on her chest, still begging…)

Gimme!!! Gimme!!! Gimme!!!

(A piece of apple flies out…)


(Catches the piece of apple mid-flight and scarfs it, then proceeds to lick the juice off his master’s face.)

Meh. It was alright. The crunchy stuff she gives me is better.

Thank you!!! Thank you!!!


My next show’s at midnight. Tip your waitress!

Feel free to offer up YOUR version of “What REALLY Happened.” Heck, we could keep this going all day.

NBC News: Dog saves owner with modified Heimlich

16 thoughts on “What REALLY Happened.

  1. >Mailon, Whew! Lo, I could not read the post cause he was looking too good in his pics. LOL. WHEW!I will read it later and comment. SMH. LOL.


  2. >I know Shai, I know. You ain't neva lied. I felt the very same way the first time I saw him. Im kinda used to it now, but I had to adjust in my seat. All that man just come atcha while you are scrolling is enou…


  3. >Oh……..my……..god. If that wasn't the funniest freaking thing I've read in a while. The part about the old man wanting your black ass to burn in hell was insanely hysterical!!!!!!!!!I love the fact that you're not some poufy author and I'm so glad I took the time to find your website. You've been my favorite writer for a long, long time now. It's great to learn you're so down to earth and as funny in real life as you are on the page.


  4. >okay im still wondering how the man ended up in the bushes in the first place. My imagination takes me to seeing him kicking his legs fighting to try to get some footing to stand up but he but to no avail, it wouldn't work. How did he get there? Was he trying to pick up a penny, get dizzy, and fall over? confession: that happens to me when i try to paint my own toes.


  5. >Sheletha, I immediately thought of my daddy (who passed away in 1999). That's one of the main reasons I rushed to help the man.


  6. >How is it that Lo seems so disinterested in him, as cute as he is? She introduces him as a detail of how WHAT REALLY HAPPENED came about, then goes on with the rest of the post. I would have still been stuck on him. Dog? Heimlich? What are you talking about?Are these the kinds of guys Lo has in her world? If so, I want to live on Planet Lo!!!!!


  7. >Sheletha, it's easy to see how it happened if you could have seen the location and the condition the old man was in. He was barely able to stand and walk, but for his cane, so each step was a Herculean effort. The hedges ran along the entire length of sidewalk, widening into a huge spread right at the corner of the street. He apparently toppled backwards when he got to the corner, perhaps losing his footing altogether. He was just lying there, face up, having given up all hope at being assisted. He wasn't saying anything, just staring up at the sun.When I rounded the corner and saw him, I was so shocked to see somebody backwards in the hedge. Then I noticed it was an old man and I saw his cane on the sidewalk and I realized what must have happened.


  8. >cute???? Are you kidding me??? cute is an understatment.the puppies on cortneys page are cute…that african* is fione!*although I slip, Im trying to stop saying niggah.p.s. I hope Mailon isnt embarrased.


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