How My Neighborhood Relationships Went Downhill

I started in the publishing business as a writer illustrator back in the 1980s. The survival movement was big then, I had always been interested in firearms, camping, and similar things, so soon I had a series of how-to books which I wrote and illustrated, all aimed at the survival movement.

Business was good but the movement soon attracted a wide range of strange rangers, some of whom quickly painted the whole movement as being full of malcontents and weirdos.

It was during this transformation (with the media seeking out the strangest of the strange) that I had the misfortune to agree to a magazine interview. During it, the reporter asked whether, if food were scare, I might consider eating my neighbors. One weird question, but the subject of a Donner Pass survival situation did seem somewhat pertinent in an odd way.

Well, I laughed at the question because it seemed so outlandish, and then said, "No, eating my neighbors to survive is not a part of my planning, nor do I recommend such to my readers." Then, jokingly, I added, "But I might eat the neighbor's dog."

I had assumed that my remark had been taken for what it was, simply a joke.

Of course when it went to press, the tag line for the story was something like, "Survivalist Plans to Eat Neighbor's Dog."

My neighbor's never quite looked at me the same again. And pets were watched carefully whenever I did yard work.

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