Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things

Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things.
Bards & Sages Publishing. USA.
2012. 1st ed.
December 2014. 2nd ed.
Buy it here.

There is much to be gleaned from anthropomorphic tales populated with spacelings, with anxiety-prone rabbits, and with literate penguins. By placing our moral onus on hairy or on scaly beings, like the ones populating Don't Pet the Sweaty Things, we humans can safely poke at occupational hazards, relationship foibles, and never-actualized bucket lists.

More specifically, by reading about sentient hedgehogs, biker lizards, and intergalactic entrepreneurs, we can cautiously stretch our considerations of how we treat ourselves and others. It's less daunting to cheer on warring sugar ants than to confront a boss, to hope for the success of a Tuna Olympics contender than to give advice to an adolescent child, and to think up salutations for a space cowboy than to properly word a greeting to a new neighbor.

The stories in this assemblage include ones in which brave, spiky mammals face down fuzzy adversaries, postpartum tree hoppers work out libido problems, multi-headed creatures affect Earth's economies, couch potatoes realize our lack of preparedness for alien attack, and juvenile chimera chicks illuminate our cultural prejudices. Simply, the critters in this book are as fond of gulping down social codes as they are of devouring people. Accordingly, as these beasts scoot across these pages, they teach us a little about self care and a lot about heroes not always having to be ethically superior or physically superlative. They leave trails of slime, too.

Reading damp, modern fiction, such as is exemplified by Don't Pet the Sweaty Things' contained works, can help us grasp how to defeat the monsters within ourselves simultaneous with helping us cope with the ones we meet. This collection of outlandish musings gets us to reach beyond personal turpitudes, while still making for a night's entertainment.

Foreword by Don Webb, Founder and Managing Editor, Bewildering Stories
1. Familiar Fauna
1.1 Illusionary is the Hedgehog's Strength: An Allegory
1.2 Daisy Chains
1.3 If Only They Could See Her Now
1.4 Female Troubles
1.5 Erinaceous Behavior
1.6 That Thermochromic Whatsit
1.7 Object du Jour
1.8 The Crystalline Chanticleer
1.9 The Champion of the Tuna Olympics
1.10 First, Penguins Driving Mazdas
1.11 Kelev Liked to Suck the Marrow Best
1.12 The Dog and the Fence: Trashing Out
1.13 Taming Zebras
1.14 The Lizard and the Dumpster Cats: Another Allegory
1.15 Squamata's Rumble: Certain Results of Biker Attitude

2. Foreign Critters
2.1 Betting on the Outfield
2.2 Space Divers
2.3 The Martian and Potter: Cat in the Hat for Grownups
2.4 Powered by Gas
2.5 Monkey and Bunny
2.6 Buffaloberry and the Spacer
2.7 Shuffling through Onion Grass: A Rhapsody about the Limits Family Can Impose on Xenography
2.8 Secondhand Bizarre
2.9 Terrorgator
2.10 The Problem with the Retlins’ Kind of Wealth
2.11 Nest Eggs and Cryptids
2.12 A Mother's Perspective on Impositions
2.13 Suboptimal
2.14 The Misguided Traveler
2.15 Guess my Vocation

3. Alarming Outlanders
3.1 Maneuvering the Facts around Strong Feelings
3.2 Pattern Recognition
3.3 Replacement Parts
3.4 Car for Sale
3.5 Outcursed
3.6 The Process of Becoming a Noncorporeal Being on a Higher Plane of Existence
3.7 Another (Purple) Crayon
3.8 Storing, Retaining and Recalling ‘
3.9 Star Bright
3.10 Pragmatics
3.11 Goldie's Lie Over: A Eulogy
3.12 Sugar Ants
3.13 To Pursue a Criminal
3.14 To be Millionaires, We'd Have Gone into Dermatology

4. Sticky Humans
4.1 Simple Combinations
4.2 Droving Away Unpleasantries
4.3 Granny’s Habituations
4.4 Permanent Deprivation of Ownership
4.5 Mute
4.6 Zephyrs
4.7 Finished with Alterations
4.8 A Stone’s Throw
4.9 Augmentation
4.10 This One’s for Daddy
4.11 Without Sorrow
4.12 A Much Worse Life than She Remembered
4.13 Snowfall
4.14 The Inheritance of the Meek

5. Chimera Tales
5.1 Professional Responsibilities
5.2 Charles in the Tree Tops
5.3 Not an Imaginary Figment
5.4 Brutes
5.5 Just One Case of Flash: Another Chimera Tale
5.6 Something More for the Fireplace
5.7 Mentally Incarcerated and Otherwise Locked Up
5.8 Sales@liveperson
5.9 First Response (Reactions to Daylight Murder)
5.10 Self-Conceit and the Befriending of a Chimera: Three Perspectives
5.11 Replete with Fire Sleeve
5.12 Paradigm Shift
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