156 thoughts on “Quick question #2”

  1. Squeaks. Ratel saga was very good, but Squeaks needs to be seen by as many people as possible.

  2. I vote for Squeaks also, but you need to include the story of Major Gecko the Chit-chat in your list as well!

  3. They’ve both excellent. But as much as I love Squeaks, I think the nod has to go to the Ratel saga. There’s just more to it, and longer means there’s more belly laughing.

  4. Squeaks, but I see Squeaks, The Ratel Saga, and Major Geko as chapters in one story.

  5. The Ratel would have to get my vote.

    But I don’t really think it’s a good comparison. The Ratel Saga is made of three or four different, but interrelated stories, whereas Squeaks’s tale is a single story.

  6. Very difficult choice. No fair!

    You ARE writing a book, right? Pretty please?

    If I absolutely had to choose… Squeaks, may your mother forgive me.

    But it was close. And I might change my mind.

  7. Ratel, but only by virtue of length alone…no pun intended.

    Interesting childhood you had.


  8. Definitely umm… heh.. umm… it has to be… well… snigger… ah… They’re both hilarious; I love Ratel, but can relate to Squeaks, so Squeaks it is, by a scale.

  9. Ratel! Ratel! Ratel, all the way!

    Although the story of “The Major” would run a close second…

    – ISU Tinkerer

  10. Another tough call. Squeaks, by a narrow…uh…squeak. Sorry, LawMom!

  11. I love then both, but give the nod to Ratel, perhaps due to the persistent torment of a corrupt, conceited, officious government toady. I’m funny that way. If only in Squeaks, the python could have run into Sneezy on the way out.

  12. I’ll vote Ratel Saga by a nose, just to give a concrete answer. But if anyone else asks I’ll say to read’em both, it’s a toss-up. If you’re having to decide which to put into a book, please go with both.

  13. Both great stories. With the length as the only determining factor I vote for the Ratel Saga. Although either would do!

  14. Ratel. It has more depth and character development. Plus, it’s longer and funnier!

  15. Ratel, by a whisker.

    I’d read both before and while Squeaks still leaves me with a chortle and a smile…Ratel wins, with hissing/giggling/and damn near falling off the couch.

  16. I would have to say Ratel. Ali Cheap-cheap is a fun person to have around, but having someone like Sneezy get the fate that he so richly deserves, with the aid of two unflappable parents, two fine soldiers, a covey of inebriated but enthusiastic engineers, and a bowling ball, is the kind of yarn that lets one appreciate the ingenuity that the universe can display in delivering 25 pounds of sharp-toothed karma to the appropriate ham.

  17. I like both, but I guess I’ll go with The Squeaks Adventure being the better?ย ย  Great ending!

  18. Oh itโ€™s not fair to make me choose. Not fair!


    I do so love The Ratel, but being married to a Redhead myself and picturing your mom go to DefCon 1 just gives me the warm fuzzy thoughts of my own wife turning into Frothing Kabod Yahweh herself. So Iโ€™m going for old Squeaks.

    But for the love of all that is good and pureโ€ฆ donโ€™t forget about The Chit Chat.

  19. The Ratel saga. The difference between laughing until it hurt, and just laughing.

  20. Ratel saga hands down. Drinking, siege engines, stupid bureaucrats, and ginger ale that isn’t mass produced sugar water…I was crying.

  21. LawDog, it has to be Squeaks, The Ratel Saga, and Major Geko the chit chat.

    Honestly, they are too good to leave out, and no book would be complete without them. ๐Ÿ˜›

  22. I’ve always loved Squeeks. The ratel is awesome but Squeeks is a classic.

  23. I’m all in for the Ratel.

    tiger trap, that’s one I didn’t try.
    Hmmm, I’ll add that to the misconduct file for future reference, esp the bamboo spikes.


  24. I refuse to vote in the hopes that you’ll throw more stories our way as a tie-breaker.

    […………………. is it working? …………]

  25. Pound for pound I would go with Squeaks, but the Ratel story has more pounds. I vote for Ratel

  26. Ratel Saga for this one. They both had me rolling, but tweaking the nose of a corrupt official is hard to resist.

  27. First time I’ve seen them.

    Ratel, definitely Ratel.

    Wny? Because the related side stories make it all the more funny.

    Brilliant, and what an excellent childhood you must have had.

  28. I love them both, but I think the Ratel Saga has to get my vote. I just love each of the stories involved in the telling of it, and it is incredibly hilarious.

  29. The Ratel Saga. No contest. Among other reasons, because in the Squeaks Story, the person most angered/annoyed/embarassed/generally discombobulated didn’t deserve it. In the Ratel Saga (and in the Major’s Tale too, for that matter), there’s a welcome element of karma coming home to roost, vulture-like, on them as most richly deserve it.

  30. “You know, there is a peaceful, almost serene, moment that occurs just after the last chance to prevent the fit from hitting the shan, a moment that is almost like a deep sigh as if the Universe is thinking about what a nice day it had been up to that point, and in all that quiet, you can quite clearly hear that little voice in the back of your head saying: “Oh, bugger.”

    Pratchett, Adams, and Lawdog.

    And this is why the ratel saga is my choice.

  31. Difficult choice. But to spare poor Lawmom any (more) embarrassment, I’d say go with the Ratel story.

  32. The Ratel Saga.

    Next time ask me to choose between a short blonde and a tall redhead, why don’t you.

  33. The ratel sage. I see me and my brother so clearly in that one it isn’t funny. Ok, it is damn funny, but still, that could just as easily been my brother and me doing that.

  34. Squeaks. Hopefully the story about the Major comes up for a future vote as well.

  35. Ratel. There are so many more threads in the tapestry, and it would have been so easy for you to lose track of one or more of them and damage the end result. Squeaks is funny. Ratel is masterful.

  36. Squeaks, hands down. I snorted my morning coffee as I re-read it.

    Ratel is a good second place.

  37. The ratel story, but only because Sneezy is a better character than Ali Cheap-Cheap, and because I remember trying to build with banana trunk supports. Honestly. Both you and your brother survived? Astonishing.

    Never had a mini-mongoose, though. Might have made a difference.

    Ratel. By a whisker.

  38. You’ve gotta stop with the Hobson’ses!

    The Ratel Saga is longer, with more detail and subplots, whereas Squeaks is more nuanced, with intimate detail. Plus, being a fan of Rikki Tikki Tavi, Squeaks himself strikes a chord.


    Once again, I must refuse the choice and demand both.


  39. Depends. Is this going to be published stand-alone? Because if so, Ratel, because it provides enough context to understand your and your family’s situation. If not, Squeaker, because I have a weakness for mongooses (mongeese?).

  40. I love them both, but the Ratel saga made me laugh until I cried.

  41. I’m voting for the Saga of the Ratel God.

    Not that squeaker is anything but lovely, but there are not trebuchets in that story.

  42. both — BOTH, darn you.
    Unfair to all those who’ve not encountered LawDog’s prose to only provide one of the stories. They are both excellently written, guaranteed to provoke gigglesnorts (to use your own phrase) and more hilarious each time I peruse the archives.
    Peggy, RN in Ohio

  43. I would have to say the Ratel story is better especially with all the little stories inside.

    Jay in Utah

  44. this is much harder ..

    but i would say Squeak squeaks first over the victory line by a whisker


  45. I’d combine ’em under the heading “furry critters.” As opposed to non-furry critters…

  46. Squeaks is wonderful, but I have to vote for the ratel trap – more story, more laughs (I especially liked the section focused on your parents).

    And what’s the deal with Sneezy and the raft (which may or may not have sunk)?

  47. hmmm, which is better now?

    this? or this??

    you been to the eye doctor lately? ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Both of these in the top five of my favorite things you’ve ever written, they’re both excellent. But, of the two, I think the Ratel squeaks out to the lead.

  49. I’m have to vote for the Ratel.

    I once had an Arizona badger take up residence in my left, steel-toed boot. The fact that I was wearing said boot at that moment didn’t seem to affect his choice of residence at all.

    I would have felt much better had I been holding the .44 magnum revolver, rather than my somewhat trigger-happy companion.


  50. Squeaks.

    I do love the ratel saga though.

    Again in a perfect world you wouldn’t be forced to choose.

    You write wonderfully.

  51. Dawg, please don’t exclude ANY of the childhood-in-Nigeria stories! Iloved them all–the Nigerian Space Program, the Major, the Chemistry set, The lizard under the porch….

  52. Squeaks. But this time there’s actually some kind of competition.

    And they’re both great.

  53. Squeaks!

    It was not only the story that hooked me on you, but also the only one that I’ve read aloud to the entire office!

  54. If Kipling and McManus could collaborate, they might turn out something like this. Simply excellent, LawDog.

    And no, I won’t pick a “better” tale.

  55. Squeaks, hands down. One of the funniest pieces I’ve ever read. (And, I’ve read all of Mark Twain.)

  56. I’m gauging this based on how tough it was not to alarm the other people in the room on a re-read.

    I can safely say, Ratel had the most laughs. It’s multiple stories, to boot.

    But if you’re getting this published, especially in a magazine, I prefer Squeaks. Ratel doesn’t start off with such a bang, and it jumps around in the narration. Both had me in stitches anyway – you can’t go wrong!

  57. Kipling meets McManus, indeed. Well done, LD.

    I choose the ratel.

  58. There has never been anything to rival Squeaks. I literally can’t read it to someone without laughing out loud.

  59. I liked The Ratel Sage best, but like the rest of your loyal readers I’d plead for both to be included in any memoir

  60. Ratel Saga, hands down.

    I have never laughed so hard in my life. I’m sure you now have at least 5 new readers from office because of it.

  61. Wow.

    My mind is reeling from the hilarity it has just ingested. I went and read the comments just to let it all sink in, and have come to a conclusion.

    Ratel. Perhaps the tones of boyhood shenanigans tug at my once-boy heart, but I also find it a more rounded-out story, and particularly enjoy the background stories that led to the circumstances of the characters in the main story thread. The fact that Sneezy gets his comeuppance in the end just adds a cherry to the top.

  62. Both are superb. I think, however, the edge must go to the story of the Ratel.

  63. Yet another hard choice, but I guess I will go with the Ratel story line.
    Who doesn’t like to see a gov’t toady take it in the rear?

  64. Please don’t force us to make a choice! All of your stories are good! It’s very difficult to have to choose between your stories.

    I’ll have to say that my favorite is the LawDog stories, yes, all of them!

  65. They’re both drool-on-myself funny, but I vote Squeaks- and like Rick T, I actually like the Major Gecko story more. That one STILL causes me to nearly slide out of my chair with helpless laughter.

  66. Oh, Lordy….

    I love the ratel saga, but it played out over many chapters (all of which were needed to properly explain the characters involved).

    But as a short story, Squeaks gets the nod.

    Don’t forget Major Gecko. Or the bowling ball launcher.

    Just so you know, we’ve already cleared space on our bookshelf for The Compleat LawDog Anthology, right next to the works of Patrick F. McManus and Lewis Grizzard.

  67. Ratel, most definitely! Squeaks was good, but Ratel had me rolling on the floor.

  68. They’re both wonderful – and hilarious! I do, though, think that Ratel would work better. Longer, great intertwining of the stories, et cetera.

    But really? I would love to see a “LawDog’s Childhood: The Memoir” type of book on the shelves. A whole collection of your Africa stories? In print? Dude, I’d shove my beloved David Sedaris collection over to make room for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. My Dear Law Dog,

    I can see, Sir, that you are amazed that your parents let you live.

    I’m astounded that my parents let me live.

    However, I must vote for Ali and The Snake.

    Someday I shall tell the story of the Oil Well, The Cop, and The Baby Carriage.

    Trust me, Law Dog, assemble these stories in a book and publish. Don’t edit – you already did that. Just publish.

    You’ll make enough to keep you in Adult Beverages for quite some time…

    Ward ร’ยฟร–

  70. I laughed until I cried while I read both stories. However, the ratel saga was my favorite.

    Your poor mother…

  71. I think all the stories of you and your brother involving hapless large and small beasties need to be published.

    I like Squeaks a lot, esp the end where your dad mentions that your mom is going for her machete…

    But Ratel had so MANY delicious moments where you could think: hmm.. this is not going to end well for Mr. Sneeze. And, then…hehhe.. it didn’t.

  72. Ratel, though it could be nothing else than I prefer Akiziwe in misfortune than your mom; also it was something you had a hand in happening more than squeaks vs snake.

    Major gecko would be somewhere between them.

  73. Typically, I read The LawDog Files whilst at work. It’s to the point where, when my employees hear me giggling behind the monitor, one of them will mutter, “LawDog”, another will nod knowingly, and they will leave me alone for a while.

    Now, I’ve read both Squeaks and the Ratel tale previously, at work, giggled uncontrollably at both, but those in my little sphere of limited and self-important influence have only thought they might have to call paramedics on one occasion, and that occasion was during my perusal of the Ratel incident.

    Blue of face, glisteny of countenance, short of oxygen, flirty with the Reaper funny, it is. Not an easy choice to make, but Ratel gets my vote.

  74. The Ratel Saga because it’s longer. Squeaks is good, mind you, but the Ratel Saga just has so many beautiful mental images.

  75. Wow. Tough call.
    If I have to choose, I will go for Squeaks. Your internal dialogue for the mongoose always makes me laugh.

    I agree with Larry that the Ratel story is masterful, but I am hoping, if you do not use it now, that we can get a second book from you.

  76. Ratel. This sounds like the sort of stuff my brother and I got up to as kids, but with better characters and slightly more annoyed pit monsters.

  77. Ahhh, an easy one this time. Squeaks make my cheeks hurt, but I swear I perforated a lung over the Ratel Saga.

    So that it is.

    Ratel, hands down.

    (That’d probably be different had I ever had the pleasure of LawMom’s acquaintance, but as it stands, martinets getting it in the hams wins. Also, trebuchets).

  78. So, Dawg, when are you gonna gimme a yell so I can transfer the domain to you (total cost: a cold frosty beverage, should our paths ever cross)? If you’re doing a book, you’re gonna need a real web site.

  79. Squeaks! Having been a roommate to an Okinawan mongoose for a year, yeah, it’s not only hilarious, it’s totally typical of the little beggars. I still miss mine (he answered to MacArthur).


  80. “Squeaks” by a very narrow margin. “Ratel” is great, but the image of LawMom coming up off the chair while roundly cursing Ali Cheap-Cheap is priceless.

  81. Might I ask when we may learn the story behind the astro-lizards and your discovery of Ammonium Tri-Iodide? I suspect there is still gold in that stream… BTW, I think I found a picture of Phydeux, or at least one of his close relatives…

  82. I have to vote for the Ratel. That one had me in stitches, tears running down my face, and nearly doing things I’ve not done since I was in diapers.

    Squeaks is a hero, almost as big a hero as the nose-biting house gecko.

  83. I have to say I too envy your childhood!

    Although I did love Squeaks, I have to say The Ratel Saqa made my day!!

    You have an amazing ability to tell a tale, keep up the good work!

  84. Oh good grief.
    Now there’s 4 to choose from.
    Impossible to decide,
    All I know is I am not sure whether I want to be there or very far away when you have your next adventure.
    Marvelous stories.

  85. I’ll throw in for the Ratel Saga.

    Nothing against Squeaks, though. I’d hate to not see that one.


  86. Ratel.

    Squeaks is good, but Ratel was the one that made me collapse in helpless laughter for a minute. (It was the Land Rover that did it for me.)

  87. These stories are so equally rich and side-splitting that I am hard-pressed to choose.

  88. They are both sidesplittingly funny but I’ll have to vote for the Ratel Saga simply because of the artful way you strung it out over so many posts.

  89. I don’t know that the Johnson story was “better”… and I’d much _rather_ read Pink Gorilla… but the Johnson story _should_ be read by anyone and everyone at least once. It’s a more _important_ story.

    For the current question: Ratel

    However, if you ARE collecting that anthology all four stories really should be in there.

  90. LD, hard to choose between the two. Squeaks has more of a human interest angle and will rate higher with women, especially those who hate snakes. The ratel saga, well, let me say that I’m jealous of your childhood.

    Ratel gets my vote.

    BTW, I remember the story I ran across once in your archives about the little lizard that bit a man on the nose. Been a while and I can’t seem to find it again.

    Anyways, I can say I’ve spent good money on books that don’t hold my intrest as well as your writing. Excellent job, and thank you for sharing.

  91. Squeaks was very good, but the Ratel was better…longer and had me rolling harder on the floor. If you’re deciding which to include in your compilation I’d say “Both.” but if only one can go in, make it the Ratel.

    Doug in colorado

  92. I gotta go with Ratel- I just laughed hard enough to get threatened with a dose of thorazine.

  93. “Squeaks” is good, but “Ratel” is more three-dimensional.

  94. From someone else’s link, I got Ratel #1, and then I just spent the entire day today reading your entire blog archives just to make sure I didn’t miss any Ratel follow-ups. And now you’ve got the whole set all lined up together–thank you!

    (P.S. LOVED the gecko story!!!)

  95. Squeaks is the better single story.

    The Ratel saga actually has several other stories in it – the ball python, and the trebuchet. All great stories, and as it stands now, far more giggles, but it’s unfair to compare that to the singular Squeaks.

    If you separated them out, I think you’d find Squeaks still wins out.

    “Madame has gone to get her machete” is pretty much the deciding factor. ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. The ratel story, by far. The snake story was good, but the ratel story was worthy of Mark Twain. Brilliant!

  97. Both were quite enjoyable. I prefer the Ratel story. So much to love there.

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