Archive for March, 2009

It was the first time I’d been to the park in over a year. The four of us — Biscuit the VBD included — were feeling quite cheerful. Until we heard you.

We heard you before we could see you; you were hidden by forest, around the next bend of the paved walkway. We heard your menacing voice shouting, “What did I tell you?! You know better! You will NOT behave this way…” I felt sorry for your poor kid, just trying to have a nice afternoon stroll through the park.

Then I saw that it wasn’t one kid, but two. And it wasn’t kids; it was dogs. Two grown, but young, chocolate labs. You were coming toward us, leashed dogs cowering, your face a scowl. The VBD became very excited to meet your two dogs. I held him firmly to my right side as we passed you, because I feared that he would incite your dogs to “misbehave” in your eyes, and incur your wrath again.

I don’t know what they did next, but you took it quite personally. Just as we were beside you, you yanked their leashes down to the ground, forcing them to their bellies. You pinned the one by the neck, and started screaming in their faces again.

“You KNOW better! What did I say?!”

I wanted to kill you. At least hurt you badly. You don’t abuse dogs. And you don’t fucking ASK a dog, “What did I tell you?” Did you think he was going to answer you?

Are you psychotic? Or just mean? We didn’t confront you, because you were out of control. And I didn’t want to talk to you; I wanted to yank you to the ground by your collar and scream in your face, “You KNOW better! You will NOT behave this way!”

I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I wanted to follow you, see where you live, so I could report you. Jif said, “But what would we report? That he’s an idiot? That he yells at his dogs?” I thought if you’d act that way in public, there’s no imagining what you do to them behind closed doors.

We were still talking about you that night. Clearly, you wanted to be noticed. You weren’t a frustrated dog owner, hissing “Oh, come on!” under your breath. You were putting on a show. You wanted people to see you.

Jif said you were showing off. Showing how authoritative you are, what a good animal trainer you are. It took me a minute to get my mind around that, but I think he’s right. You thought you were impressing someone.

You weren’t. Least of all, your dogs. They snicker at you behind your back, and fart in your shoes while you sleep.


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They’ll have to make Hell bigger.

I was on the phone with my Mom the other day. Eighty-five years old, has had a couple of strokes, widowed, and allows my 40-something crazy addict brother to live with her. It’s not a happy conversation. It’s really heart-hurting. She’s calling to say that because my brother has run up her telephone bill, and taken the money to pay for her TV service, she’s going to have to turn off both phone and TV.

We talk for a long time about her money trouble, and the absolute need for her to cut my brother off and throw him out. She can’t/won’t. And the rest of us won’t send her money because he takes it. We tried sending things like grocery store gift cards, but he’s taken those, too, to sell. It’s a hell of a mess.

Then she’s on to the next topic: Social Security. “Have you heard that Social Security is ending any day now?” she asks.

“What? No it’s not, Mom. What are you talking about?”

“I get a letter almost every day saying this month could be my last getting my Social Security check . . . ”

“From WHOM?”

“Washington! I’ve got six or seven of them right here . . . ‘the situation is urgent’ . . . ‘you must send us at least $5 to help save Social Security’…”

“Mom, look; you have enough trouble dealing with reality. That’s not real. Don’t worry about that. Those are scams. They just want your money. Unless it comes from the Social Security Administration, just THROW. IT. AWAY. Don’t worry about it.”

“But it says Congress has wasted all our money . . . right here, let me read it to you . . .” and she skims . . . “says they’ve spent all the Social Security money on . . . ‘expensive vacations’ and . . . and ‘PORK!'”

And there is the laugh I’d needed.

Later, telling Jif about the Social Security crisis created by the U.S. Congress’s love of the other white meat, we agreed that once you get started, it’s hard to stop:

“There’s bacon . . . chops . . . don’t forget RIBS!” Social Security is in big trouble.

But really, six or seven different groups who are making money by getting frightened little old ladies and gents to send them $5 to save their desperately needed Social Security checks? They’re gonna have to make Hell bigger to accommodate such.

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This will be an encore Sunday Post, from July, 2007. I learned yesterday, from Lois Lane, that Old Hoss (Gene Maudlin) passed away. I went looking here for times that I’d linked to him, and I thought this one would be as fitting a tribute as I could find. Rest any way you choose, Hoss:


“You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.” –Arlo Guthrie

John 12:46

Oh, and I just remembered something I wanted to share with you. This past week, as I was out visiting, I came across Old Hoss, making perfect sense (I know; I couldn’t believe it either!). Worth reading.

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Airplane there, smooooth….bus ride from airport to resort was hi-larious . . . driver had some flavor of an accent I could not identify . . . she stood at the front of the bus and called out, “OK, how many ol’ jews ah going to thee Shree-bear-sigh?” . . . crickets . . . “SHREE-BEAR-SIGH! SHREE-BEAR-SIGH!” . . . could she be saying, “Riverside?” . . . slowly, tentatively, the Riverside-bound among us put up our hands, glancing around . . . then she called out “And how many ol’ jews ah going to thee Bitch Club?!” … that one was a little easier, the Beach Club-bound raised their hands, giggling . . . and later when she pulled in to the parking lots, she too-enthusiastically shouted out a welcome: “HWELCON TO THEE BITCH CLUB!” heehee, so everytime someone behaved irritably the rest of the week, I thought “HWELCON TO THEE BITCH CLUB!” . . .room not as expected; more motel than hotel, but we’ll deal…weather nice, 60s-70s, not sun-bathing weather but great for walking around parks … omg, I could LIVE on SOARIN’ ride . . . FastPass is the way to go, and with a BIRTHDAY FastPass, there was NO WAIT AT ALL in any line on LG’s actual b’day . . . WTF was not much of a factor at all, the first 4 days . . . the last 3 were a struggle, pain, tears, etc. . . very thankful for 4 good days — even better than I’d hoped . . . meal plan totally confused me; at one point (Wednesday), I thought we couldn’t eat again until Saturday . . . but we could, and did . . . loved Artist Point, Hollywood Brown Derby, Coral Reef and Sci-Fi Theatre restaurants . . . restaurants where I’d made reservations and mentioned LG’s b’day gave her cards signed by staff or even printed birthday wishes on a special menu for us! . . . Magic Kingdom my least favorite park (I know, it’s unAmerican to say that), and the other three are all my favorite . . . parades were great, and I don’t like parades . . . discovered I like to be stirred, not shaken, on rides . . . liked Space Mountain better 30 years ago . . . I was the only one to get wet on the Kali River Rapids ride, and I loved it . . . no, I did not do Expedition Everest (didn’t want to), but Jif and LG did . . . didn’t do Tower of Terror (they did, I wanted to, but WTF wouldn’t permit that day) . . . we got to ride almost everything we wanted to, and never waited more than 25 minutes . . . if this is the “slow” time of year there, I NEVER want to go at the busy time; it was plenty crowded for me . . . LG met Prince Caspian who thought we were the Royal Family of Baltimore (possibly because I told him we were) . . . she was mortified/horrified . . . her BFF’s family coincidentally was also on vacay there at the end of the week, so they met up a couple of times . . . the Lion King show was fantastic . . . got Jif singing “Hakuna Matata” all the time, which annoyed and embarrassed LG no end . . . among my favorite parts of the trip — and truly, my favorite parts of any ordinary day — were the meaningful interactions with strangers: like the lady from Texas, via New Orleans, who explained to me about the whole Disney Pin trading phenomenon, and then asked, “Hey, do you know anyone named Laura?” and as a matter of fact, I know a very dear young lady named Laura, so the kind stranger gave me a Disney pin with “Laura” on it to give to her; she had seen it in a thrift store and bought it in the hope that she’d meet someone with a Laura; and the very large man on the even larger mechanized scooter, who couldn’t fit into the store aisle where the OTC meds were, and politely asked me if I could find him some motion sickness pills . . . at first I said they had none, but then I found them! and he was very thankful and so was I . . . great 13th b’day trip . . . plane home among the bumpiest ever for both Jif and me, but we’re here . . . I did seem to bring back the Mouse Flu — hit me the next day, still with chills, fever, aches, etc. . . and I am SO thankful to have it after I got home and not while we were there . . . all good.

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