Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Things that go bump in the night...

Flesh-eating zombies, blood-sucking vampires, chainsaw-wielding cannibals and psycho killers. These are the stuff of modern horror, but for this writer they are nothing compared to the real nightmares of 21st Century life. In honor of Halloween, I present some things that really scare me.

The Tax Man- the Internal Revenue Service has the power to seize bank accounts and property, levy fines and in general make your life a living hell. No agency should have so much power.

The Department of Motor Vehicles - staffed with bureaucrats imported from the fifth ring of Hell, waiting on line at the DMV is akin to an eternity amid the fire and brimstone of Damnation.

It's a Small World - Devised by the most deranged minds at Disney, this is truly one of the horrors of the modern world. I was once trapped on this ride for 10 minutes and was afforded a brief yet vivid glimpse of Hell (imagine the unrelenting horror of children singing that song ("Its a world of laughter, a world of tears...") over and over and over.)

Opening up my 401K Statement - These days few horrors compare to the utter gut-wrenching feeling of opening the mail box and finding my latest 401k Statement. Opening the envelope should definitely be accompanied by shrieking violins a la the shower scene in Psycho.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary Great Pumpkin!

October 26, 1959: The Great Pumpkin is mentioned for the first time in Peanuts.

Poor Linus is probably still waiting him

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales, R.I.P.

In his memory, throw a pie in the face of someone you love.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So Much For Astrology...

The following people were born on October 20...

Bela Lugosi (1882)
Margaret DuMont (1889)
Jelly Roll Morton (1890)
Grandpa Jones (1913)
Art Buchwald (1925)
Dr. Joyce Brothers (1927)
Mickey Mantle (1931)
Jerry Orbach (1935)
Tom Petty (1950)
Keith Hernandez (1953)
Snoop Dogg (1971)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Martha Stewart poisoned my dog and other adventures in veterinary medicine

Disclaimer: (for the benefit of Martha Stewart and her attorneys) Ms. Stewart did not knowingly poison my dog; it was just a hook to grab your attention (but she is peripherally involved).

Now that he's on the mend, I can relate the tale of my two-year-old golden retriever Casey's recent illness. As anyone who's ever owned a golden will tell you, they love to eat things. Especially things they shouldn't eat. Over the past two years, Casey's dietary intake has included several remotes; one cell phone; countless books; a bag of fresh-baked apple cider donuts (that hurt a lot); the pedal of my wife's Kurzweil Piano; assorted toys; numerous CDs, DVDs and video tapes; the legs of our dining room table; and a pile of shoes (Casey doesn't discriminate; his taste in footwear ranges from 11-year-old Connor's flip flops, to Kim's leather boots, to my loafers). He also loves to eat houseplants, which is where Martha enters the picture.

My wife's best friend's sister (herein after known as BFS) works for Martha in some type of botanical function; she's a gardener or landscaper or something along those lines. Anyway, this past summer BFS allowed Kim to take some cuttings of assorted plants to transplant at home. One of these plants was a shrub from Africa known by various names including Pencil Tree, Sticks on Fire, and Milk Brush. Unbeknownst to us, the sap is extremely toxic. Unfortunately for Casey, he decided to devour most of the plant this past weekend.

He experienced a burning sensation which he tried to alleviate by eating anything within reach; before we knew what was happening he devoured a good sized section of an old queen-sized sheet. Since bed linens are not part of a dog's normal diet (Egyptian cotton or not), he proceeded to get a tummy ache which he attempted to relieve by eating grass. Over the next 18 hours or so he proceeded to vomit pieces of half eaten sheet. What he didn't vomit he pooped out (which made for interesting and rather festive bowel movements).

We took him to the animal hospital and they gave him a thorough exam during which the vet literally reached into Casey and pulled out a piece of sheet (sort of like a magician performing an x-rated handkerchief trick; I half-expected her to say "TA DA!" after extracting it from Casey's ass). Meds were prescribed and we were instructed to make sure he doesn't eat anymore grass; vomiting will cause more irritation to his already sore throat. Best of all, I am under instructions to check his poop to make sure he's excreting any stray pieces of linen that may still be inside him.

Our twice daily walks have turned into a battle of wills; Casey trying his best to eat grass while I try to keep his head up high while speaking soothing, encouraging words to help him to poop. Last night he was in a particularly playful mood and ran thorough our dark, wet field following the scent of some long-gone bunny rabbit, dragging me behind with my trusty flashlight in hand ready to illuminate his poop for inspection. As we made our way through the damp brush, I kept looking for the telltale signs indicating he was about to poop - what I like to call his "Poop March" (whenever he's about to go, Casey walks briskly back and forth - it's like he's marching a few paces, then does an about face and marches in the opposite direction before finally settling down).

The good news: he finally went. The bad news: my flashlight went out and I lost track of the poop. The good news: it came back on and I found the poop. The bad news: I was standing in it. I just realized I've used the word "poop" far too many times in this post. Anyway, the important thing is Casey is feeling much better and we've relegating what remains of the offending plant to the burn pile.

Not to be outdone, last week our Italian Greyhound Bella (who is no where close to being house broken) suffered several days of projectile diarrhea. I was thinking about giving this it's own blog under the title "The Number One Reason Why Bare Floors Are Better Than Carpeting", but really, the least said about it the better.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

File this under "H" for How Times Have Changed...

On October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned after pleading No Contest to charges that he failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967. Now-a-days, failing to report taxable income gets you a Committee Chairmanship or Cabinet Position.

Also on October 10, but in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologized to the Finance Minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, who had been refused service in a Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Dover DE. I wonder if Minister Gbdemah (pronunciation anyone?) popped in for the all-you-can-eat clam dinner? Remember those? The waitresses would walk around the restaurant with trays piled high with fried clams and french frieds and laddle them out as soon as your plate was getting low (is it any wonder why I have to fight hard to keep my cholesterol in check these days?)