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Brent Sigmeth

Session Stories
Procrastination Dispatch

"Procrastination Dispatch"
Photo: Jane Doe

Call of the Wild
Originally printed in The Canon Fall's Beacon Newspaper

If you’ve ever had difficulty coercing your preoccupied dogs to come home from the woods or fields, you might want to try my method: the Tarzan yell. Now, I haven’t actually done the yell myself. I use a P.A. system and broadcast a recording of the original 1930s MGM Tarzan yell; it’s a very complex phrase – half yell and half yodel – and it has proven to be physically impossible for me to emulate.

It all happened by accident. One summer day while setting up a P.A. system for a graduation party, I noticed our dogs run off down the yard to greet some neighbors walking near the end of our driveway. My dogs were too excited to pay attention as I whistled for them, so I thought I’d give the Tarzan yell a try. I quickly found it, hit play, and that unmistakable call from 1930s Hollywood blared out through 600 watts of loudspeaker, echoing through the valley – and by golly if those dogs didn’t just stop in their tracks and high-tail it back to the house!

The only problem with this method, as I soon found, was that my yard simultaneously began to fill with a variety of eager wild and domestic animals – obviously heeding the call to assist The Lord of the Jungle himself. Raccoons, deer, possum, a Shetland pony, wild turkeys, a three-legged poodle, an owl, a walking stick, and one mangy coyote gathered, clearly awaiting some sort of direction from Tarzan. But, when I myself stepped out onto my front stoop to address them, wearing much more than a loincloth, beer-gut protruding, they all seemed to collectively sigh and slink back to where they came from, resuming the animal business that my false alarm had interrupted. Sorry, animal kingdom – I’m no Tarzan.


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