The Dead Dog Farm Upstate, by Luke Pohjala

You’ve probably been told it before, sometime in your childhood: “Buster (or any other dumb, thoughtless dog name) had to go to a farm upstate. Don’t cry. He’ll have plenty of room to run around in the fresh air. He’s in a better place now.” By now you’ve realized that was a lie. This probably made you question lots of things your parents told you. Will you really grow big and strong if you eat your vegetables? Do they actually love you? Will we really get there when we get there? The truth is that anything your parents told you was, in some way, a lie.

But I’m here to tell you they weren’t completely lying when they said Buster was sent to a farm upstate. He actually was sent to a farm. I know this because I own that farm. The part they lied about is that your dog is still alive. I can assure you your dog is dead, but is still being put to good use.

You may ask why I accept all these dogs. That’s a very good question. Pat yourself on the head for that one. Who’s a good boy? You are!

The simple answer to that question is that, as a farmer, dead dogs can be very useful for me. First off, their carcasses are a remarkable fertilizer for the corn I grow. The corncobs I grow are the size of dachshunds. So the next time you’re eating some delicious corn at the dinner table, think of your dead dog.

Another use I get out of dead dogs is that they make wonderful scarecrows. Think about it, are birds going to be more afraid of a human-looking scarecrow or a dog scarecrow? Humans are afraid of crows. Haven’t you ever seen Hitchcock’s The Birds? I know crows have. It’s one of their favorite movies, right after Forrest Gump (everyone loves Forrest Gump). Plus one of the guys in my book club is a wonderful taxidermist so it works out perfect for me.

Now you’re probably wondering why all farmers don’t accept dead dogs. That’s another good question. Here’s a treat. That’s a good boy.

That’s because life on the dead dog farm is a brutal one. It ruined my family. Every time a new shipment of dead dogs came in, my kids would bawl their eyes out. After the first two years, my wife divorced me and the judge gave her full custody of our children. He said my farm was “no place to raise a child,” but what does he know? Farms are perfect places for things to grow, so why not let a kid grow up on one?

It also hasn’t been good neighbor-wise either. My neighbors to the north moved out soon after the first shipment of dead dogs, which doesn’t make sense because they don’t even get to see the dead dogs. All they see are boxes labeled “This Side Up. Or That Side. It Doesn’t Matter The Dogs Are Already Dead.”

My neighbor to the south still lives there but she hates my guts. She’s some crazy, old lady with about twenty-some (alive) cats with there. But I’m not even entirely sure the dead dog thing is the reason she hates me.

It’s not the best life but I need to make a living somehow. Farms aren’t as profitable as they used to be. Plus, someone has to take the burden away from parents who are too afraid to tell their kids the truth. Well, I have to go now. A group of little kids are trying to pet one of my scarecrows.

Luke Pohjala is a writer attending Ohio University. Watch him live tweet his panic attacks here.

The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit, send an email to Brian Boone.

The Dead Dog Farm Upstate, by Luke Pohjala