"Courage in Vegas"

Written by Jonathan R and Chris Gammon

The story so far…

It all began with "Courage and the Hendersons."  Kevin Henderson was 16 at the time and Courage had his first encounter with Sandy and her human family.  Two and a half weeks later, "The Return of the Hendersons" took place, and Courage once again battled against evil along with secret agents and other familiar characters.

Next, came Chris Gammon's "That's Perfection."  Chris's story takes place six months after "Return of the Hendersons."  Kevin was 17 and had received his driver's license.  Many new and "interesting" perils occurred, including the introduction of Chris's original characters, Armadillo Rex and Dark Sonic.

Now, you must read those three stories IN THAT ORDER before reading this one.  "Courage In Vegas" takes place about one year after "That's Perfection."  Kevin is 18 and has just graduated from high school. The story begins here, on a lonely L.A. road.

"Enter the K9 Krew"

A large bus was driving out of the smog-covered city of Los Angeles and heading towards the lights of Las Vegas.  The driver of the bus was a large, fat man in a tank top and shorts.  His eyes were locked onto the long stretch of road ahead.

The man sighed.  "I turned down a job at Boeing for this?  Driving my friend's son's tour bus with his weird little band?" he mumbled to himself.

"Hey, at least it pays your salary," said a voice behind him.

Joe Nathan entered the bus cockpit.  He was 22, tall, lean, and handsome.  His thick mess of brown hair sat atop his head like a mop.  He wore a white T-shirt with "Gorillaz" etched onto it.  His Bermuda shorts hung down from his hips, and his feet were outfitted with sandals.  Joe swung into the passenger seat.

"Say, Allen, how far is it until we hit Vegas?" asked Joe, propping his feet on the dash.

"'Bout a day, or so." answered Allen the bus driver.

"C'mon, quit joking," said Joe.

"No, really," argued Allen.  "We might stop for a few things.  It could take a while."

"Whatever," sighed Joe, rolling his eyes.  "Wow, our first out-of-state gig!  You know, me and the Krew have really been looking forward to this."

"Yep, and I was the cheapest bus driver too."

"Hey!  Selling records online from an independent label doesn't get you much moolah, my man."  Joe stared across the vast desert wasteland.  "Damn, I'll bet it's hot outside."

Allen nodded.

Just then, there was a howling sound in the back of the bus.  "Well, I'd better go check on the band.  An agent's work is never done.  And stop calling my band 'weird'." Joe warned.

"Yeah," grumbled Allen.

Joe turned around.  "Look, I know you don't like dogs much, but if it wasn't for me, they'd all be put to sleep, just like that.  They've all had really bad lives, and I'm just giving them a second chance at life, okay?" Joe snapped, pointing his finger in Allen's face.

"Alright, I'm sorry!  Sheesh," scoffed Allen.  "No need to get personal." And he looked back at the road.

"On a tour bus, everything's personal."

Joe got up and walked back down the hall.  He opened the door and came across five dogs huddled around the TV.  That's right, the band is made up of five dogs (the same exact dogs from Courage's dream in "Return of the Hendersons!")

The brown mutt in front of the television turned to look at Joe.  His name was Psycho and his plain white eyes proved it.  He was the band's lead singer and could also play the keyboard and DJ booth. 

Next to Psycho was a French poodle with purple-dyed fur, blue eyes, and a very attractive figure.  Her name was Gina and she played bass.  Her front paws were the only parts of her body that looked unsightly.  There were several calluses on them that proved that she was very experienced on the bass guitar.

Sitting on the recliner was a light brown dachshund named Rex (his stage name is "R.X.", which is pronounced the same way.  I'll use this name so as not to confuse him with Armadillo Rex.)  He was an electric guitar virtuoso.  He could crank out outrageous guitar licks and knew the chords to numerous rock songs.  His appearance mirrored his music playing.  He had yellow, spiked fur on his head and had an earring in his droopy right ear.  

Next to RX was a golden Cocker spaniel-mix named Daisy.  She played pretty much any guitar that was given to her as long as it could be played left-handed.  Her large blue eyes stared at Joe with a constant look of concern and interest.

Finally, lying on the rug was a large pit bull named Humphrey.  His white fur covered his entire body from back toe to the tip of his large muzzle.  His ears stood up from his well-muscled body…well muscled because Humphrey played the drums.  

Together, these five dogs made up the band, "The K9 Krew."  Psycho was holding the group's first and only CD…the self-titled, "Joe Nathan and the K9 Krew."  (Although Joe is their agent, he is also the band's announcer and plays back-up on several instruments.)

"What's with the howling, guys?" asked Joe.

"Uh," said RX, tugging his shirt collar, "We're just so excited about playing in Vegas for the first time."  The other dogs agreed.

Joe eyed them suspiciously.  "You were watching that TV channel again, weren't you?"

"Hey, it's not our fault we have satellite," argued Psycho.  "We're adult dogs.  We can watch whatever we…"

"Yeah, yeah," said Joe.  "You guys really are excited?"

"C'mon, Joe," said Humphrey, who sat up on the rug.  "You've been training us for five years now, and I think we deserve to let our public finally hear what our deal is!"

"Yeah, once we stop in Vegas," said Daisy, "I wanna see all the sights!  MGM Grand, the big, Strato-tower thingy, Caesar's Palace…"

"I just can't believe my best online buddy in the world asked us to play at HIS casino! This could be our big break!" Psycho said referring to none other than Armadillo Rex, or as he affectionately called him, William.

"Well, be sure to get ready.  We should be checking into the city in a day or two."  Joe went further back in the bus to his room.

"I ain't going to Caesar's Palace," announced RX.  "The gambling's great, but anyplace Celine Dion performs isn't where I'm gonna be!"

"Amen to that," muttered Psycho and Humphrey in unison.

"AND NO GAMBLING!" yelled Joe from the back room.

"Killjoy," said Gina, who wrapped her arm around Psycho's arm.  Those two dogs had a VERY close relationship.

The bus kicked into gear as it rounded the mountains of southern California.

(For more info on Joe Nathan and the K9 Krew, go to my bio or, if you want to know what the Krew actually looks like, send me an e-mail and request a pic of myself with the Krew!)