Dead winter. It’s that time of year when the rhythm of daily life is reduced to a series of petty annoyances each carrying the weight of lead. For Charlie it begins with his morning walk, when his companion in life, Shirley the mutt, becomes a rabid dog. She brings the same level of crazy intensity to each perceived threat, be it a child, poodle or Audi. Charlie loves Shirley, loves being outside with her. If he moved deep into the woods, life with Shirley might be perfect. Then there’s his morning and evening commute. His equally rabid clients expect instant answers and so Charlie, even though he knows that it’s dangerous and against the law, sneaks in a text whenever the traffic slows. Commuters blare their horns at him as they tear pass, roll down their windows, shout obscenities as Charlie hits send. At work, the Office Manager, in an effort to save money, has switched from his favorite blond roast to a cheaper brand. The taste of bitter burnt beans coats his tongue as he manages one crisis after another. His only respite is at night. With Shirley at his side, Charlie defends his title of Grand Master against premiere players from around the globe. Online no one knows that Charlie texts when he drives or loves a dog who radiates hostility.