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Gobble, Gobble!

22 Nov

Gobble, Gobble!

Here are some things I’m thankful for today: my sunshine time in the morning, Lola when she’s asleep, car rides, the kind of back-scratching that makes me curl my lip like Elvis, long walks, the dog park, and Big Red’s distaste for dog sweaters. The list goes on and on, because there are lots of people and things I’m thankful for, and not just today, but every day. Dogs actually spend a lot of time being thankful; it’s part of our daily routine. If we saved it up for only one day out of the whole year, we’d be just as exhausted and cranky and ravenous as most people seem to be around this time. Spread it out, I say; pace yourself. (Also, I’m not sure why people dedicate a whole day to celebrate some people in funny hats who stole everything from the Indians. I mean, I enjoy snatching a toy or a bone away from Lola every now and then, but I wouldn’t dedicate a whole day to it.)

If I did, though, my special celebration food of choice would be Vienna Sausages. It seems impossible that anyone could be unacquainted with these tubular boons, but they are bite-sized weenies from Sigmund Freud’s own hometown. You can make your own joke about that. (For some reason, the label says that they’re made in New Jersey rather than The City of Music, but no matter.) They’re chock-full of “mechanically separated” chicken, water, beef, pork, salt and corn syrup, so your purchase keeps lots of machines employed and embraces all the major food groups! Plus, the can has a cool pop-top, and the only side dish you need is a good burp followed by a long nap. Vienna Sausage = Party in a Can! The holiday doesn’t have to be complicated, although I know that humans enjoy that sort of thing.

Finally, I’m very thankful for you, my loyal readers. What’s the point of telling stories if nobody listens? You might as well be Lola. (haha) And, all you dogs reading this, remember that our coyote brothers and sisters are getting pretty hungry these days, so keep your people on a leash when you’re out walking, no matter how well-trained they are. Happy Howie-days!



Opining, on Opiates

28 Oct

Omniscient Floating Taco of Coolness

If you’ve never been to the mall on morphine, I really recommend it. It’s like every kind of good thing is wafting gently around you while you’re wrapped in a delicious pink swath of cotton candy. The doctor has me on painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories at the moment. It seems that I’ve aggravated an old back injury, probably one I incurred during my circus days. Now that I think about it, it probably wasn’t under the Big Top, but under the grandstand with a prancy poodle named Lola, she of the sparkly pink legwarmers and killer strut. She later threw me over for… gosh, those pills make me chatty.

Anyway, we went to the mall! Big Red and Biff took turns carrying me in my bed. I was an omniscient floating taco of coolness. Smiling faces, blurry lights, and drool-inducing smells engulfed me as I drifted along in a beatific haze. I mean, I was the Mighty Morphine Power Ranger. I knew that Olive, the barky she-devil in our building, could feel my inner victory dance across the miles. It gave her a sharp neck pain and an aggravating facial twitch. Ha. The Apple Store was our destination, and don’t be fooled, Reader, because they don’t have any food there at all. Some of the sales people were pretty snippy, too. (Note to self: If we go back to the Apple Store, 1.) Bringa snack, and 2.) Casually pee on pretentious shoes of clerk. Game on, “Genius.”)

I had a fleeting notion to go into the “As Seen On TV” Store at the mall, to get a present for BrotherDog. His idea of watching TV is staring raptly out the upstairs window all day, though; so unless they had some kind of robotronic squirrel, it probably would have been a bust. That would have been great, though, with eyes that light up and a rotating tail. He would have been so surprised. But, suddenly, we were back at home. Did I mention that I’m taking medicine?

I’ve noticed that it makes me pretty creative in addition to all-knowing. Today, I thought my Kittaboo was looking at me funny, so while I was frowning at it, I came up with a little choral interlude set to the tune of Karl Jenkins’ “Adiemus:” “Kittaboos don’t say they’re sorry, they just like to play Atari, while they sit and sip Campari…” Then, later, when the meds had kicked in a little more, I was feeling quite smitten with the faithful furball, so I amended it thusly: “Little Kittaboo, I love you, I could never weary of you, I will hover close above you…” Songwriting is pretty easy. Good thing Big Red is taking notes for me, because I’m a little muzzy, and the Muses come a-courting so concupiscently that I can’t quite keep up.

I have to start weaning off my morphine soon, but for now, I’m enjoying every minute. I’m riding the snake to the lake, my friend, and that snake is wrapped in cheese, thrice daily. The other day, we were on a short road trip, and I got my afternoon feeding in a crumblicious wad of Queso Fresco, purchased at an atmospheric bodega featuring carne asada, King Cobra and heaps of Horny Goat Weed. It reminded me of my San Gabriel Valley pup-hood. Snarfling up the last crumbs of queso off the back seat, I settled dreamily into my bed, remembering the sounds of mission bells drowned out by the rumbling of Harley engines. I started to tell my Kittaboo about it, but then I guess I drifted off…

It Wasn’t Me!

17 Oct

Not to cast ass-persions, Dear Reader, but sometimes I suspect that humans hang around with us so they don’t have to own up to the whims of their own digestive systems. I’m the first up to fess up to my own odious emissions. For years after my Oktoberfest bouncer gig, I had serious sauerkraut farts. I think being subjected to “The Chicken Dance” over any significant period of time alters your DNA for good. I still have nightmares where that deer on the Jaegermeister bottle polkas around the room on his cruel, pointy little hooves and taunts me with empty schnapps snifters hanging from his horns.

Anyway, I’ve been sick. Apparently, last week when Big Red and BoyChild were walking me and BrotherDog, I snacked on something I shouldn’t have. You know… sometimes a guy needs a little nosh along the way, and a lot of youngsters walk along our street going to and from their daytime kennels, so probably one of them dropped a tasty tidbit. Whatever it was, I guess it had aged too long or been tagged a few too many times, because suddenly I started spewing. Red kindly carried me home, and then I think she had to burn her clothes.

Then I had to go to the vet, and, once again, a rubber glove made me its bitch. Humans have some real fetish-circus proclivities, and apparently petroleum jelly is a must-have condiment. Weird. Any kind of jelly would improve the taste of the food I’ve had to eat since then. Big Red tried to sell it to me as something “special” and “healthy,” so I used the mentalist training I acquired while working at the circus, and let her know that it was just as “Special” as all that gluten-free, non-dairy stuff she’s been grimly forcing down her pie-hole. Now we understand each other. I only have a few more days of my punishment food left, and now I’m taking bets with BoyChild, BrotherDog and Biff as to how long it will take her to dive face-first into a greasy loaf of cheese bread. (I’ve got October 30th, so she’ll have some momentum going for the inevitable Halloween candy debauch.)

Speaking of cheese… I love cheese! Cheese is like the Universe’s way of saying, “Sorry about that rubber glove thing, buddy.” Cheese is right up there at the top of my personal Hit Parade, just this side of a tricked-out Harley and a swivel-hipped Schipperke sworn to spite her ex. Cheese is the ray of rennet-based golden sunshine in my gastrointestinal ordeal. I’ve convinced Red and Biff that the only way I can possibly take my medicine, and thereby protect the questionable integrity of their wall-to-wall, is for them to hand-press it into a compacted haystack of shredded taco-mix cheese.  Bastion of coolness that I am, friends, I will happily prance like an organ grinder’s monkey on a hot sidewalk for cheese.

The only real side-effect of the medicine has been a strange metallic mouth-taste. It makes me want to jump up in Red’s lap and gnaw ceaselessly at her necklace with my tiny bat-teeth, a practice which both of us find somewhat unsettling. (Note to self: On Christmas List, put “pimp chain” somewhere between “alpaca” and “limo ride to make Olive and Butter burst into furious green flames of envy.”) Next time we’re together, remind me to tell you about my days doing prom security in a limo. Spoiler alert: it goes back to the subject of flatulence, but heroic journeys (and cheese wheels!), do tend to be circular in nature.

Let There Be Peas on Earth

1 Oct

It’s World Vegetarian Day! No worries, I didn’t get you a card either. Don’t get me wrong; I put the “me” in “meat-eater.” Just thinking about vegetarianism gives me piss-chill flashbacks to my days at the Retreat Center, where meat-free punishment food was the norm. Even the odd snake crawling across a pathway conjured up drooly visions of a slowly rotating spit over a campfire and a big bottle of barbecue sauce. I may have gained some wisdom during my time there, but I lost a lot of  weight. To this day, I still have full-body love handles, which I call my “meats,” as a dewclawed nose at the Tofutopians, because of shrinkage. Well, starvation shrinkage and the cumulative pruning brought on by too many hours in the hot tubs with a sybaritic, sloe-eyed Shih Tzu named Shirley. But, I digress.

Anyway, vegetables… I do have a favorite, and it is that juicy little bundle of goodness, the Snap Pea. My initial discovery of these piquant little pod-monkeys required, as is often the case, some educating one of my people. One day Biff was sitting rakishly framed in the mesmerizing glow of his computer screen, and, from my perch on my Pimp Chair, I heard the crackling of a plastic bag. This almost always means something good, so I came over to investigate. He was snacking on snaps, and I knew immediately that I wanted some.

I sat looking meaningfully up at him and put on my “please” face. Nothing. I lifted my ears so they looked like little fortune cookies, and cocked my head winningly. Nothing. Finally, he noticed me, and said, “Howie, these are snap peas, dude. You don’t want any of these.” But I did, with that inner sureness that flies in the face of all things holy. So, undaunted, I upped my game by doing a little dance and emitting a series of well-modulated yips. Gentle reader, I worked it like the rent was due and the children were hungry (which I learned from the aforementioned Shirley, but, again, I digress) and finally I wore him down.

He put a niggling few snap peas in front of me, thinking I would eschew, rather than chew them. But I crunched away joyously, savoring their crispy deliciousness. Honestly, I would have eaten a few even if they hadn’t been so gob-smackingly toothsome, because by then I was savoring his astonishment as well. As you can see, he even busted out the video camera to immortalize the moment. Turn up your computer’s volume so you can hear my arrestingly cute munching. Note: It’s helpful to try new things every now and then to keep your humans on their toes and help prevent complacency.

Now there is always a pack of peas in the fridge, or “Narnia,” as I call it. They’re good any time, but after a long walk on a hot day, nothing is better. I could just fill up a tub with cool, succulent sugar snap peas and roll around in it. (Shirley? Call me.) Also, blah blah blah blah, nutrition! Believe me, Slim Jims will always be mother’s milk to me. If faced with some slab of gut-bomb bean crud (curd, haha), I’d be looking around for one of those bags Big Red uses when we walk. Chick’s got some weird hobbies, I’m just sayin.’ But, really, snap peas are brilliant.

Happy World Vegetarian Day, everyone! Now go grab some pork rinds and get over yourselves.