Bad Mood Rising

My one dog has no poker face. When he’s about to do something he knows he isn’t supposed to do, his eyes go wide and he wears this stupid grin like I’ve just given him a suitcase full of bacon.

Then he’s confused when I catch him before he does it.

I tell him, “Dude, I know you.”

But he just blows out a “woof” and sulks.

Like it’s my fault he sucks at deception.

YA Author Tom Hoover Has a Bad Mood RisingOn most days it’s cute—he’s freakin’ adorable—but there are days when, y’know, I’m in a mood. One of those really crappy, everyone must die, kinda days. The ones where all the telemarketers decide you’re their pigeon. The ones where the annoying friends—the ones you keep telling yourself you’ll get rid of, yet you never do—want to hang out and play army men or something.

The ones that need to die first.

My mom used to ask me, “Didja get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”

Where did that phrase even come from? It’s stupid. First of all, I shared a tiny room with two brothers, and the beds had to be pushed up against the wall so there’d be enough room to walk. Translation: There was only one side of the bed I could wake up on!

Second, the saying presupposes that you can get back into bed and get out on the other side feeling better. I tried that in my first apartment. Several times. After the last one, I just yelled, “Screw this!” and pushed the bed up against the wall.

I didn’t need no stinkin’ choices.

Then my roommate stuck his head in and asked me who I was talking to.

He dies second. I should make my mom kill him—after all, she started the whole bed business.

You know the worst thing about being in a bad mood? You still gotta go to work. It’s so wrong. I mean, why aren’t there “crap mood” days. There’s everything else: sick days, maternity leave, even personal days. There should be a day where you don’t have to be around the people you so desperately want to kill. But no, they just throw you together like cats in a bag.

Speaking of cats, that’s another thing my mom used to say on days like this. She called me a sour puss. Me. Her beloved son. And how would you even know if a cat was sour? Pop a couple in your mouth?

I tried that at my first apartment, too, by the way. They didn’t seem to like it.

Here’s another one my mom tormented me with: “Hey. Why the long face?” That one cost me way too many days in front of the bathroom mirror with a protractor, a yardstick, and a grease pencil. But I proved that, rain or shine, my face was always the same length.

And if I stick out my tongue, my face won’t freeze that way—an added bonus.

Was that a smirk?

Don’t make me have to kill you.

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