birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Ugliest Pet Shop

My first job was at the pet store in the local mall. It was next to the JC Penny’s and directly below the Spencer’s Gifts. We regularly had women in comfy jeans and sweaters next to goth teenagers with dildo suckers, all staring at puppies lined up in cages. It was 2005 and one year the cast of American Idol came in. Carrie Underwood giggled as she held a beagle that licked her face. Lucky beagle. After my first year the pet shop moved to its own location in a nearby strip mall. I made $100 every time I sold a puppy. At 17 years old I learned how to sweet talk a family into a buying a monster that would surly destroy their home. One time a man brought back a golden cocker spaniel and plopped it in my arms. He didn’t care that we had a strict no return policy. I resold the puppy later that week. Another $100. The store shut down a few years after I left. Dirty conditions and animal cruelty charges came down on the owners. People still talk about that pet shop.

Culture v Biology