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.


25 Sep

I have grass. Walking on grass is one of my great pleasures. It allows me to embrace my inner critter, if you will, because I can get a whiff of who’s been there before me and then I can claim it for my own, thus temporarily establishing my place in the ever-changing mosaic of life. Plus, it tickles the hair between my toes.

Anyway, my people, Big Red and Biff, finally caught the hints I was sending them subliminally. Sure, they were very good about being taken out for walks both long and short, so that I could revel in the many pleasures grass has to offer. But I wanted some of my own. So after they finally got tired of cleaning up the little memos I was leaving them, they installed a doggy door and sank some sod in the patio. The really cute part is that they thought it was their own idea.

It’s delicious, my grass. Often, in the afternoon, when the sun is just right, I retire to the patio for my daily meditation time. Usually, I just meditate in one of my beds, but then I call it “Beditation,” which is a somewhat less formal, yet no less fulfilling, approach to the discipline. But I’m a sucker for soaking up the rays, and here you see me in full absorption mode, inwardly chanting the mantra, “Bacon fat.” This was such an energizing sitting that I composed a commemorative haiku:

“Badass in repose.
Lo, he is meditating,
Fierce yet focused one.”

The grass really gets the creative juices going, especially when it’s fresh. I’ve got the folks on a routine now, so they replace the sod every seven to ten days. If it starts looking a little tatty, I go outside and pace with an intense expression, then come back in looking dejected and trot purposefully upstairs as if to commit some vile act of random, inopportune urination. This is highly motivational, and usually the sod is quickly renewed. Patient training does pay off.

Another great thing about my grass is that it really irritates the barky little dog at the end of the building! Fortunately, that’s not hard to do, which is great, because I thoroughly enjoy it. For our purposes of dirt-dishing here, let’s call her “Olive” (for Our Lady of Vexation). Olive has a quiet, cherub-faced sister, which seems to add to her ongoing state of general annoyance. We’ll call the sister “Butter,” because she’s so sweet that she wouldn’t melt in your mouth. I’d be afraid to make her melt in mine, because I suspect she’s the brains behind the whole operation. If I had to live with them, I think it would require lots of gunny sacks and duck tape, but I delight in their dramatic balcony presentations from afar.

Every time I walk past, Olive grimaces and growls and yaps, so I give her a look that clearly says, “I have grass and you don’t,” and it irks her.  (That’s okay, because when I first moved here, she tried to make me believe that she had a cell phone and her own Petco card.) One of these days, she’s going to bark herself into a state of spontaneous canine combustion, and Butter will just sit there looking pretty and appearing oh, so mystified by it all. I believe it’s part of her Master Plan. They could both do with some meditation, if you ask me.


10 Sep

(This is my “please” face, designed to reduce the beholder to a soft, pudding-like state of submission by the sheer force of its unblinking, winsome sincerity. A soft sound goes along with it, a sighing little moo of hopefulness. It’s taken a bit of fine-tuning, but I think it’s pretty devastating, and I only save it for special occasions.)

Mom. Dad. I need an alpaca. They’re smaller than llamas, and they only spit at each other. I did some research online before mentioning it to you. (And, also, I could do with a nail trim, because keyboarding is a bit unwieldy at the moment. If something impedes your net-surfing, and it can be fixed with a pair of clippers, does that make the procedure an “impedicure?” Okay, good, you’re laughing. I’ll continue.)

You see, I have a natural talent for herding. You’ve probably noticed this. At home, I shoulder Brotherdog around to indicate my desire to play, or just to usher him off the bed, because that fuzzy blanket is really all mine, but he forgets. At the dog park, a subtler approach is needed, so I combine my shouldering techniques with the mentalist training I learned during my time with the circus. I gaze meaningfully around the area, and I just know who’s up to something. Ha, right there, that shifty-eyed Schnauzer’s thinking about peeing on the leashes. I give him a heavy-lidded glare, and if that doesn’t put the kibosh on his malfeasance, I move towards him, slowly at first, to give him the option of retaining a little dignity, then I beat feet like a veritable Kimba the White Lion to preserve justice (because, Kimba’s your favorite, Mom, right?).

Mom, I was thinking the alpaca could live in Boychild’s room when he’s at school or off-leash with his pack. Alpacas are very gentle, Mom, and they eat grass, so it could trim the grass on the patio that you and Dad put in every week so I have a nice place to do my business. I could teach the alpaca to go there, too. (Umm, we might need a bigger dog/alpaca door, but you’re really good at stuff like that, Dad, right?)

And, Dad, speaking of business,this is just between us guys: alpacas are humpless, but I could fix that. (Nudge, nudge, wink wink.) When it’s not grazing or being herded around by me, it’s gotta lay down sometimes. Imagine that big silky mound of fleecy goodness. I do. You know how guys are, we love us some exotics, Dad, right?

Seriously, Mom and Dad, I’m ready for some responsibility. It would be good exercise for me, so you wouldn’t have to walk me so much. It would save you the costly investment of hip and back supplements later. We could sell the fleece to stuff into dog beds. We could put reindeer horns and a red nose on it for the Christmas card picture, or even have our own living nativity scene. Think of it as an investment in family fun! And the environment! We could sell alpaca poop to the tree-huggers for their orgasmic gardening, because… something about nutrients!

Okay, I’ll give you some time to talk it over, because I’m getting kind of dizzy from doing my “please” face for so long. Thanks.


5 Sep

This is what I’m doing today. The last glimpse my people had of me, however, was trembly and droopy-tailed, with my head lowered and my eyes moist. Hopefully, it’s seared into their retinas and laying heavily in their guts like half a dozen hastily gobbled Krispy Kremes. You see, my people are away.

They call it “vacation.” This appears to be a two-legger term for spending a lot of money to put stuff in a bag and then hurry to get somewhere. Once there, they take the stuff out of the bag, then proceed to eat, sleep and poop in a strange place. (I’m thinking it must take a lot of time to go around and pee on everything at the new place, and that’s why they’re gone so long.) Then, as I understand it, they put the stuff back in the bag and hurry to get into something uncomfortable that finally brings them back to me.

I, meanwhile, am “visiting.” The people here are very hospitable and polite enough to not laugh out loud at the complicated directions for my care that my people gave them. I spend most of my time here basking in the sun and checking in with the neighboring dogs on a rotating basis. I make the rounds. But the best part is B-Randy. A great Amazon of a Yorkie, B is the very essence of humpability. I tell you, if I could bottle that backside, I’d be firing people from the yacht.  B will usually sit quite patiently while I play pop goes the weasel, almost ignoring my masterful ministrations, whipping me into a hellacious hump-frenzy.

Sometimes (to make the game more interesting, I suppose), he’ll move away at a critical moment, leaving me to dig a trench of frustrated despair as I slink off to self-soothe. Then the game begins again. My short-term goal is great patches of B’s fur will be worn off by the time the folks get back. I’ve been practicing my nonplussed reaction to the sudden deforestation, so they’ll think I had nothing to do with it.

They’ll be so glad to see me, and I’ll be glad to be seen.  Soon we’ll be yelping and nuzzling and wagging, and sleeping together in a pack again. Oh, those people… their arcane notions about vacation may be lost on me, but they’re cute, and they’re mine, and best of all, they smell like home.

Big Pimpin’

22 Aug

Click to enlarge.

This is my chair. Apparently, Boy Child originally thought it was going to be in his room, but it wouldn’t quite fit through his doorway. It stayed downstairs, waiting for someone with the necessary brio to properly occupy such a noble space. My chair is round and it spins, so I can see everything that’s going on, and do my regulating from one central location. It comes in especially handy when my step-doggy is here. I like to lure him out the dog door onto the patio.

He stands out there, looking genuinely perplexed, and I come quickly back in and hide. When he finally realizes he’s been duped and comes in, I hurl myself off the chair at his head. It never gets old. Anyway, I call it my “Pimp Chair,” and when I say “Pimp,” I mean it in the dog-park parlance of “Please Inspect My Privates.”

Yes, dear readers, I am just that cool in my chair. I like to curl up in it and drift away down memory lane, to that security stint I did at a brothel in Pahrump when our bike broke down during an off-road race. (“Mammary Lane” might be closer to the truth, but that’s a story for another time…)