Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mad Dog

I was lost, so I drove up the gravel drive of the ramshackle country house to ask directions. As I pulled up I could see that there was a dog lying out next to the barn. Off away from that was a pen with a pack of dogs in it and they were barking loudly. I opened the door to the car and got out to ask the man who was standing next to the dog for directions.
"Can I help you?" The man asked
"Yes, I was wondering how to get back to the main road." I looked around at all the dogs over in the big pen. "What're all the dogs for?"
"Oh, those are for hunting mostly. My dad bought a couple of puppies back before I was even born. He raised them here on the farm and bred them with others from neighboring farms. I carried on with that even after my dad died. Now I've got both hunting dogs and fighting dogs."
"Do you ever sell them as pets?" I asked.
"Oh no, these aren't pets. They stay outside all the time, they're good security too. Once my mom kind of took a liking to one of the puppies that my dad had bred, so we did take it inside and tried to make a pet out of it. Problem was that it was hard to house break it, and as it got older it kept trying to hump my mom's white poodle. She surely didn't want some half breed pups living around here, so she put it back out in the pen with the rest of them."
As I stood there the dogs in the pen barked and yelped even louder.
"Shut the hell up over there before I beat you little bastards." Screamed the farmer. He looked back at me, "You gotta beat them once in a while to keep them in line."
It was at that point that I looked down at the dog lying on the ground.
"Is that dog dead?" I said with a bit of shock in my voice, realizing it had not moved since I drove up.
"Yep. Damn thing was a monster, even after all I did  for it. No matter how much I beat that thing, no matter how much I punished him, I couldn't tame him. Just before you drove up the son of a bitch came at me, teeth bared, and tried to bite me. So I shot it. Shot it dead. Maybe that'll teach those others who the hell is boss around here.

Explantion; I put this post up on Wednesday morning and left it up for the whole holiday weekend because I wanted to see what kind of comments I would get. First of all, it isn't a true story. I meant it as an allegory. It has nothing directly to do with that Ferguson, Missouri incident, yet it does have something to do with it. Basically I was trying to point out that if you mistreat people, over time they will eventually rebel and probably hurt you. Of course striking out at your oppressor can very often lead to your demise. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get very many comments and that a dialog never developed in the comment section. I find that when I do what I perceive to be controversial posts, that I get fewer comments. I mean, I didn't even get a bunch of outraged dog lovers to bite on this story.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Post Sucks

I remember when my mom got her new Kenmore vacuum cleaner. I was probably  around eight years old and that new vacuum impressed me. Mostly because it had a headlight on it. I'd pull that thing out at night and run it around in the darkened living room pretending I was driving a car, something I'm sure my mom found delightful. A few years ago Mark requested a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas. It seemed like a pedestrian sort of present, but I obliged. Then it dawned on me, Mark probably didn't even know what a vacuum looked like. I had never seen him pushing one around. The new vacuum was for me. Thank you Santa.

Over the years I have learned of the secret powers of vacuum cleaners. They're good for sucking up dust bunnies, small scraps of paper, and coins. Anything you don't feel like bending over to pick up, a good vacuum cleaner will grab it for you. Vacuum cleaners are also great dog training tools. My dogs immediately skulk off into another room when the vacuum is pulled out. Turn that sucker on, and I can herd a pack of dogs better than an Australian Shepherd with a flock of sheep. I've also learned of the power of the vacuum cleaner to stop spousal nagging. For two days Mark has been nagging me to clean the house for Thanksgiving. So yesterday afternoon I dragged the vacuum cleaner out into the living room and leaned it against a bookcase. It gave the appearance of something being done without anything actually being accomplished, other than my being able to sit and watch television for a few more hours without being nagged.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Yes I Have Been, and I Still Am

It's weird how close the senses of smell and taste are. I swear that on many occasions things taste the same way that other things smell to me. For instance, last week I bought a new tube of toothpaste. It was a familiar brand, but a whole new formula that promises to fix every ill your teeth could possibly encounter. The minute I shoved the toothbrush into my mouth with the new toothpaste on it, I recognized the flavor. It was very familiar to me. The toothpaste tasted exactly the same way that Ben-Gay smells. I did a quick brush, rinse, and spit, but I couldn't get that taste out of my mouth. I have never had a mouthful of Ben-Gay, but I seem to know what it would taste like, and it tastes disgusting. This experience then reminded me of a chilly morning at my mom's house a few years ago. Mark and I spent the night at Mom's, and early the next morning Mark woke me up.
"What's that smell?"
"Humph, wha... huh?"
"That smell. Do you smell it? It's kind of minty but not minty at the same time."
"Smell, minty?"
I was now awake, and as my senses slowly came about, I did smell something.
"Oh yeah, now I smell it. Sniff, sniff, I think that's Ben-Gay."
Sure enough, I got up, put some clothes on, and when I walked out to the family room there was my mom with a giant tube of Ben-Gay, slathering it on every joint and muscle. Now, as I get older and every joint and muscle in my body has started to ache and hurt, I realize why my mom would go through that every day. This all made me curious. I wanted to know if Ben-Gay had an odorless product, so I went on the Ben-Gay web site and I learned two things. First, I've been spelling Ben-Gay wrong through this whole post. It's now spelled like this, BENGAY® , all caps and no dash. Secondly, they now have a product called Vanishing Scent BENGAY® . The stink is still there, but before you can figure out what the hell smells, it will vanish. Hmmm...  Mom's birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ooooh Oooh That Smell...

I just got back from Abandoned Pet Rescue. I volunteered to do something that I've never done before. I'm filling in for APR employees who take care of the big dog kennel and need a day off. I will do the same thing on Sunday, and then on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The job description would be that you are cleaning the kennels, but there is so much more to it than just 'cleaning'. What it involves is putting all the dogs out in the big dog run, cleaning their cages while they are out there, putting food in their cages so that when they come back in they have something to look forward to, and then cleaning the big dog run when all the dogs have been put back inside. It sounded easy when I first volunteered to do it, and while it's not too hard, it also isn't that easy. There is one prevailing factor that you have to deal with more than any other thing the entire time you are there, and that is shit. The dog shit smell, and the dog shit that produces it. There is dog shit in the cages, dog shit on their bedding, dog shit on the walls, dog shit in the most unlikely places, shit, shit, shit, everywhere shit. Some of the dogs are fully house broken and will choose to explode before they make a mess in their cages. If you want to adopt one of those, I'll tell you who they are. But many of the dogs there poop at the drop of a squeaky toy. Food in one end, poop out the other in an never ending flow. Some of the dogs return to the cage that I just scooped out, scrubbed, and disinfected, and immediately poop as if they are trying to tell me something. When I finished today my clothes smelled like dog shit, my hair smelled of it, and I think I got some in my mouth because I'm sure I can taste it. I don't know how the paid employees of Abandoned Pet Rescue deal with this onslaught of dog shit day after day, but I do know that they are not paid enough to do it. In fact they couldn't pay me enough to do it. That said, I just did it for free and I plan to do it again on Sunday and Wednesday. But if I were doing it for money, there wouldn't be enough.
Hi, I'm Kobe and I'd rather explode than make a mess in my kennel.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Toasty, Comfy, Warm

Well the cold weather has arrived, lower sixties today, but the closet in the hallway is empty of coats. They are all still on the sofa in my office. I put them there when I had the big air conditioner mess so that the repair guy could get in that closet. Yes, we need coats down here in Florida. Sometimes it can get really cold. I remember the year I moved here, 1989, the temperature dropped to twenty nine degrees on Christmas eve that year. You need to be prepared for those once in a decade cold spells, so I have three cold weather coats/jackets. I have a hoodie sweatshirt, a suede jacket, and for those really cold mornings a pea coat. Mark on the other hand, has a whole bunch of jackets and coats, around twenty of them. Because you never know when that climate change thing will kick in really good and turn Florida into the arctic and palm trees will sprout in Minnesota. Just kidding, there is really no need to have that many coats when you live in Florida, or Chicago for that matter. I have asked Mark to go through the pile on the sofa and get rid of some of the excess coats so that the hall closet won't be so overstuffed, which explains why they are still on the sofa and why the dogs have turned the pile into a nice little dog bed.
Find the dog in this photo