Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ms. Creosote

I've been a bit worried about my dogs lately. Chandler has had diarrhea ever since Christmas. I know what caused it, smoked prime rib, so he has been on a chicken and rice diet for the last two days. Bette however, has not had diarrhea. In fact she dropped the largest turd I have ever seen her drop the other day. It was huge. Which makes what Bette has been doing so strange. What she has been doing for the last few days, is not eating. I have tried everything. Gourmet dog food, home cooked meat, fried eggs, bacon, all kinds of food has been put in front of that little bitch to no avail. At dinner time she does sit over in her corner by her dish, but when I fill it with dog food she walks away, as if I had put actual crap in the bowl. Yesterday she did not eat any food in the morning, she did not eat any food in the evening. Which makes Chandler very happy, because he gets to gobble up what she leaves behind. So there I am, all worried that my little baby has no food in her stomach and that she is starving to death. Then, while Mark and I are watching Jeopardy on the television, Bette stands in the middle of the living room and spews a huge pile of vomit onto the rug. Honestly, it was enough to feed a small village in Africa. So Bette has been getting food from someplace, from somebody. Thinking back, I realize that she sits loyally by Marks chair during dinner. Also, I give her a doggy treat every time she pees outside instead of inside on her pee pads.  One more possible food source for Bette could be my tenant. I have noticed that Bette runs right over to my tenant's back door when I let her out. She then sits there patiently... like maybe she is waiting for a treat. So I have instructed Mark to no longer toss Bette treats from the dinner table, and I will have a talk with the tenant about no treats for Bette. And then there is that reward for peeing outside. Screw it, from now on if she hits the pee pads in the sun room, I am fine with it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I Walk Among Them

This is absolutely true, and not one of my made up stories. It happened a little earlier this year. Mark was driving home when he saw a bunch of the neighborhood kids running down the street, screaming and laughing. Behind them was another kid with a rifle. He was aiming it at the running kids as he walked briskly after them. The kids running and the kid with the rifle are all about the same age range, twelve to fourteen. Now here's the interesting part, Mark did not call the police to report a white guy with a gun, pointing it at people and waving it around. The police did not come speeding up the street, jump out of the squad car, and immediately shoot the kid with the rifle. None of this happened BECAUSE MARK IS NOT A MORON! I don't know if the gun the kids were playing with shot rubber bullets, or was one of those squirt guns that look real, but Mark rightfully figured that it was a toy. Highly unlikely a thirteen year old kid would be out with a rifle gunning down the other kids in the neighborhood. That's something kids around seventeen do at school.

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion it is all out of my control and that I will have to live my life among people who think Donald Trump as president is a good idea, among those who think that if black people were more polite to the police they wouldn't get killed. I will have to be out in traffic with gun toting, open carry enthusiasts and those people who think it's a good idea to be looking down at their iPhone while traveling through a busy intersection. There is no choice, I must walk among them. I have to go to bars where people are drinking cotton candy flavored vodka, and listening to mind numbing electronic dance 'music'. Worst of all I find myself living among those who find shows about "Real Housewives" with fake titties and fake tans, entertaining. I could just stay home and choose not to walk among them, except that last one, the one that likes the Real Housewives shows. He lives in my house.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Get Your Kicks at Sixty Six

If you watch the evening news on the ABC, CBS, or NBC networks, you will notice that ninety nine percent of the commercials are for pharmaceuticals or other old people related medical things. And what you might notice further is that the pills, contraptions, and retirement plans will all make your old age a beautiful thing. In almost every ad, at one time or another they will show a group of old folks doing Tai Chi in the park, leering at each other like school kids because they're all high on Cialis. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless there is heroin in those pills they're selling, nothing is going to make you feel like you did in your youth besides good DNA. 
They're not exercising. They're drunk.
I turned sixty six over the weekend. I am not happy about that. Although my mind seems to be still young, my body says no, you are an old decrepit fart. Things that I used to be able to bounce back from in three or four days now take me weeks and even months to recover from. I'm still fighting a sore ankle that I was assured would take no more than two weeks to heal by my doctor. No matter what kind of malady hits me, I will never be like I was before. Each cold, each twisted muscle, every bent joint, will not ever go back to how I think it should be. Oh well, what the hell. I'll just keep the bar stocked with vodka and wine, with some of those edible pot products on hand (Smoking is out of the question), and enjoy the ride. Besides, like I said, my mind is still young. I'm still hip and in tune with all that's going on around me. Although, they showed the top five songs for 2015 on the early morning show the other day, and I didn't recognize one of them. Has anybody heard that one called "Uptown Funk"?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pre-Season Greetings

One of the most cherished traditions of Christmas morning is the requirement of assembly, or as it is written in small print on the package, "Assembly Required". We all remember our dads cursing their way through Christmas Day while Mom finished preparing the big dinner. There in the living room, spread out on the floor, would be the bits and pieces of our presents while Dad studied the instructions on a large foldout sheet of paper. Inevitably there would be a few screws and bolts left over, but who needs those when getting out on that new bicycle was paramount. It mostly worked just fine without them. At least when my dad was assembling our presents on Christmas Day, the instructions were written in English by English speakers.

Mark gave me his Christmas list a couple of months ago. Right at the top of the list was a meat smoker. Mark wanted an electronic smoker so that he could cook up pork, ribs, and other delicacies without having to go through the process of starting a fire out in the barbecue grill. I couldn't argue with that, since I would be the beneficiary of said delicacies. In fact, Mark promised me a prime rib dinner for Christmas, cooked in his new smoker. So he got his wish. On Christmas Morning, under the tree... well, next to the tree, sat Mark's brand new meat smoker with a big red ribbon on it.  Now I knew that there was some assembly required, but I figured that I could do that early Christmas Day with enough time for Mark to cook my prime rib roast. Mark informed me that it would take around six hours to fully cook the roast. So I allowed that if I started assembling the smoker around noon, I would have it together by twelve thirty, and dinner would be ready before seven in the evening. I was wrong. It took more like an hour to put together, and when I got to the very last line of instructions there was this, "The smoker must be pre-seasoned prior to first use. Set temperature to 275 degrees, and run unit for three hours." That bit of instruction is something I would put in large, uppercase letters, at the beginning of the manual. In fact I would put that on the cover. So do the math. We ate a little later than expected.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I heard Mark squawking the other day and meandered in to see what it was all about.
"That little bitch opened her present."
In the middle of the living room floor sat Bette among a pile of shredded wrapping paper, and a full bag of doggy treats. She did not seem the least bit disturbed by Mark's anger. In fact I think I detected a slight smirk on her face. I'm sorry that I find so much humor in this whole situation, but Mark decided to put all his gifts out next to the Christmas tree, "Because it looks festive."  It looked festive to Bette too, so festive that she later opened two more of her doggy gifts. One of which she shared with Chandler, a flattened skunk squeaky toy that doesn't squeak. It is only  audible to dog ears.

Watching my dogs pure joy at receiving Christmas presents, even if it's early, reminds me of the happiness that Christmas brought for me when I was young. I think it was around the age of eighteen that I stopped enjoying, or even expecting gifts, but before that I have fond memories of all of them. The bicycle that I got one year, even though I couldn't ride it until the snow and ice melted. The Lionel train set with the smiling boy on the box exclaiming "Gee". It wasn't until second or third grade that I realized the kid wasn't saying gee as in 'geek', but gee as in 'Jesus'. I think the last good childhood present that I remember getting was a carton of Winston cigarettes from my girlfriend when I was seventeen. I really liked that one. Which makes me wonder, will Bette remember Christmas? I think she will, and not for the gifts that Mark got her, but for the wrapping paper that she'll get to shred Friday morning.