She’s baaack! The bicoastal, bisexual, and biracial Tomato Rodriguez returns in the second installment of Erika Lopez semi-autobiographical trilogy. This time Tomato lands herself in prison with some very bad women because she did a very BAD thing. The last we knew of Tomato was in ‘Flaming Iguanas’ where at the end of the book she discovered the joys of lesbian sex and love. In ‘They Call Me Mad Dog: A Story for Bitter, Lonely People’ she now discovers the heartache and outrage of lesbian betrayal. That’s right; a woman done her wrong! But rather than let Queen Karma, in her infinite and merciless wisdom, even the score, Tomato decides to take
revenge er justice into her own hands. It appears that Tomato never read that Japanese proverb, “If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by.” Nope, our girl subscribes more to the philosophy of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” That puta needs to pay NOW! And with that in mind plus a restraining order against her, she hires Bark Flammers, a revenge business entrepreneur to fly out to San Francisco. If you read ‘Flaming Iguanas’ you’ll remember Bark was a bisexual man married to a French lesbian ― hey, she needs a Green card! They both operate a Revenge business out of Texas. So Bark flies out to San Francisco to further discuss and strategize what sort of retribution to mete out to Hooter Mujer ― yeah, that’s the ex-girlfriend’s name or at least that’s what Tomato calls her.
Not only is Tomato too impatient to wait for Queen Karma, Bark’s not thinking or acting fast enough for her either. She decides to take matters into her own hands, bad idea. Who knew a Bic pen and a can of whipped cream could get you into so much trouble? That little payback stunt gets our girl, Tomato, into BIG trouble and has her sent to the big house, the slammer, the Zucchini Cave! The latter is what the inmates call the prison facility where Tomato is incarcerated. The building got it’s name due to its various shades of painted green as well as the green uniforms the inmates must wear. Tomato is now locked away with some bad, bad people. Actually, they’re not that terrible. And while initially Tomato was terrified of being brutalized by Ilse, the prison warden (there is no Ilse the warden, it’s all in Tomato’s paranoid imagination) she finds instead Sister May, a kindly if eccentric nun and cellmates that are more Lord of the Flies meets the Island of Misfit Toys than hardcore criminals. By the way, Sister May has her own interesting secret past.
The book is littered with quirky illustrations and rubber stamp art and the plot does meander a bit with Lopez’ outrageous metaphors and similes. The tone is sarcastic and scathing throughout in this follow up to ‘Flaming Iguanas’ and some readers may be put off by Tomato’s dirty mouth and dirty mind but if you don’t mind reading about perversely hilarious situations then I think you’ll enjoy this crazy and nasty ride of a book.
As of this writing, ‘They Call Me Mad Dog: A Story for Bitter, Lonely People’ is no longer in print. However, you can still find a used or even a new copy through third party vendors on Amazon and elsewhere.