Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Dog Who Ate Mother's Day

Mother's Day is something of a struggle in my house. My own mother passed away a few weeks before I graduated from college, so my Mother's Day obligation is limited to one mother: The Mother-in-law. She and I get along just fine. The struggle is getting my Significant Other to participate in the whole Mother's Day ritual.

Don't get me wrong, the Sig loves his mother, he is just not a fan of Mother's Day.

"It is a Hallmark holiday," he will say, as if he has hit upon a truth of which few of us are aware. "It isn't a real holiday."

Which begs the question, which of the red-letter days is a real holiday? Christmas? Not if you don't believe in either Jesus or Santa Claus (and Sig does not.) Easter? Same as previous, only substitute Easter Bunny for Santa Claus.

Hallmark Holiday or not, on Saturday we did the requisite shopping and were prepared when Mother's Day dawned. After lunch on Sunday, we decided to gather gifts and card and head for Mother-in-Law's house.

My Significant Other has a nephew. About a year ago, two men with a gun woke The Nephew in the middle of the night. They robbed him of cash and a few DVDs, but mostly they robbed him of his sense of security. So he went to the pound and picked out a big ornery dog.

He named the dog Boone. Boone does not like the Sig or me, and on the few occasions we have been at The Nephews house, Boone has been less than cordial. I am not generally afraid of dogs, but I am pretty sure Boone means business.

Recently, The Nephew found another rental house in another (safer) neighborhood, but the landlord does not allow dogs. So, The Nephew left the dog at the home of his mother and his grandmother, his grandmother being the Sig's Mom and my Mother-in-law.

The trip to The Mother-in-law's is a brief drive. We pulled into the driveway, hopped out of the car and immediately heard the loud and cacophonous barking of Boone.

"I forgot about that damn dog," the Sig started to say. He was interrupted by the physical eruption of Boone, as the dog pushed open the screen door and lunged in our direction. We took the most logical course of action: we jumped back in the car.

Boone ran around the car barking, generally telling us about ourselves, with an occasional snarled threat and much fervor.

Soon The Mother-in-law appeared in the doorway. She came out on her front porch, stood at the edge of the porch and in an insistent but quiet voice said, "Boone. Boone. Come here." The dog did nothing of the kind.

I doubt Boone could even hear her over his own barking. "Boone. Boone," she quietly reiterated, "Come Here." There was a little more emphasis on the "here" but really, not particularly effective.

Boone must have realized that he was now a free range canine and instead of wasting his time on us, decided to take off down the street. From my vantage point in the car I could see him happily digging up a neighbor's lawn a few doors up.

"That can't be good," I thought. Soon Boone came loping back, barking all the while as if to say, "You'd better keep your ass in that car!"

During all of this, The Mother-in-law continued her plaintive but pathetically understated cries of "Boone.Boone. Come here," without ever stepping off of her front porch. While she is not exactly an athletic woman, she can walk and I was sort of wondering why she didn't make more of a physical effort. I was, however, in no position to quibble about her dog catching abilities, no matter how critical I felt.

As Boone went loping past, heading in the other direction up the street, the Sig ventured out of the car. "He's chasing someone!" he reported.

I did not see the hapless pedestrian, but apparently Boone chased a man who had attempted to walk down the street. When Boone came back the other way, toward us, the man who had been chased retreated to his own back yard, which borders on the side of The Mother-in-law's yard.

Chased Man began to shout, "That's the second time that done happened to me! I got a gun! If that dog does that again I am going to get my gun and shoot him!"

The Neighbor on the other side of The Mother-in-law, who I did not know was even involved in this situation, called back to Chased Man, "It's not my dog! It belongs to the lady next door!"

"Well, I am going to shoot that dog!" Chased Man called back.

Being neighborly, The Neighbor replied, "OK, I'll tell her."

About this time I decided to slink out of the car. "Hey," The Neighbor shouted at me, "That man is gonna shoot that dog!"

"It's not my dog!" I said. "He doesn't like me either."

Then the Chased Man started up again, "Hey, hey, that dog done chased me. If he comes around again I am going to get my gun and shoot him!"

By this time my Sig, not the most patient man in the world to begin with, shouted back, "He got out. She's trying to catch him!"

"Well, I am gonna get my gun and shoot him!" Chased Man ranted.

The Sig exploded, "Go ahead! Do us all a favor! Go get your damn gun and shoot him!"

I couldn't see Chased Man, but I was pretty sure at this point he had indeed gone back into his house and I was thinking, "Hmmm. It is entirely possible that a gun will soon be introduced into the situation."

This suddenly had all the earmarks of the kind of dumbass tale of homicide the local news channels lap up with a spoon:

"Mothers Day Massacre! Man is shot over argument about a dog! Film at 11!"

While I sat in the car pondering the pros and cons of potential widowerhood, The Mother-in-law, in between quiet cries of "Boone. Boone. Come here," went into her house and called The Nephew.

Meanwhile, The Significant Other inched his way onto the front porch. Boone came back and stood a few feet away from him, barking his brains out. The Sig picked up a small step ladder to wield in case Boone decided he wanted to take this fight to another level.

The Mother-in-law returned to the front porch and resumed her fruitless but consistent, "Boone. Boone. Come here."

I stayed in the car wondering, "Can I get a blog out of this?"

After a while, Boone seemed to lose steam. He stopped barking and slowly wandered over to The Mother-in-law. Apparently all of those quiet cries of "Boone, Boone Come here," finally bore fruit. She put Boone in the house and sat down on the porch swing.

Alas, the entire adventure had taken a toll. She opened the Mothers Day card, but with trembling hands. She was truly appreciative of the gifts, but I couldn't help but see that the whole dog incident had put a definite damper on this Mom's special day.

Of course The Nephew arrived after the problem was resolved. (There is never a nephew around when you need one.) He gave his grandmother a gift card to a seafood restaurant and then he was off.

I couldn't help but think the best gift he could have given her was to take that dog off of her hands, but I held my tongue.

Since the Dads on both sides of our family passed away years ago, we are off the hook for Fathers Day. Thank goodness. I can only handle so many Hallmark holidays a year.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Spam Is The New Poetry

I have been having some weird e-mail experiences lately.

At work I discovered an all day event on my Outlook calendar that I had no recollection of accepting. Mine was the only name on the appointment. It read John Smith NLM Important Don't Forget. Clearly I have already forgotten and therefore will not be attending this all day event.

I don't even know a John Smith.

What does NLM stand for?

Your guess is as good as mine. No one I work with has any idea what it means. The appointment happens tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

A more poetic exchange is coming to me via my AOL e-mail account. Most of the time these emails show up in my spam folder and when you weed through them they are come-ons for online pharmaceutical sales. Even the subject line tells you that:

From Me with Flonex

Listen to the body of the e-mail:

Good day.


to bring Grav Bent here, sheadded in the same light and

course non-alcoholic since his traveling this entire

Simple child of nature that you are, Inskipp said,

Uh huh.

This was followed by a handy chart telling me the cost of various drugs such as Viagra. (Who told them I needed Viagra, who? That's a cruel lie and you know it!)

Then there is the one entitled I like Tetracycline?

Apparently there is some doubt as they have included a question mark.

I like tetracycline when I have an infection of some sort and to treat certain diseases (again, who is spreading this vicious untruths about me to the online pharmacies?)

This one has another poetic and mysterious message:

Good day.


Well, well old chicken-hearted revealed at last. Rough and

he had never made a sound.

concealed compartments or drawers built into your steel

Is it just me or does this have a certain e.e. cummings meets Richard Brautigan thing going on? I especially like concealed compartments or drawers built into your steel. I think we've all felt like that before, haven't we?

There is one called Do You Like Protonix? that has a bit of a sci-fi bent to it:

Good day.


read the code words carefully, shaping them with his

equidistant. What was more important was the fact that

Get the Communications Officer in here at once, I shouted

They had me at equidistant. That one gives me chills.

This one is my favorite:

Good day.


removed my earlier bathing desire. There was a deep

would have penetrated it by now. With this realization

the beginning. It was different from the feeble animal

I like the way the poet is so polite and always begins with "Good day."

From there this particular poem takes us on a journey into the spam writer's soul.

Apparently he had thought about taking a shower, but has since had that notion undone is some fashion. Perhaps the water has been turned off? He does not say except to note, "There was a deep."

An aspiration to penetrate something is followed by the realization that "the beginning" was different from the "feeble animal."

How come the pharmacist at Walgreens never speaks in Haiku?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Now Let Us Speak of the Penis

I appreciate that my readers are a mature and sophisticated crowd, so I am sure there won't be any immature tittering when I announce that the topic of todays blog:

The Penis.

I heard there is a play called The Vagina Monologues. Since I don't know what it is about, I will leap to the conclusion it is about a talking vagina. If it was a musical, I would assume it was about a singing vagina but as far as I know, there is no music in that show.

I don't believe there are any shows about talking penises, although I did once see a musical called Naked Boys Singing. It was about these naked boys. And they kept singing.

I also saw a DVD of a show called Puppetry of the Penis.

All I can say is, don't try this at home! Take my word for it...

I get a lot of mail about the penis. Well, not just any penis, but specifically mail about products that will allegedly improve my penis. I am not sure why these mailings get sent to me.

I am told cookies placed in certain websites will trigger certain emails. Buying certain products by snail mail will put you on the mailing list of other products involving certain regions of the body.

I am reasonably certain these mailings are somewhat random and not because someone from my past has filed a formal complaint. At least that is what I tell myself.

Randomness would also account for the mailings that promise me creams which will enlarge my breasts--a project, by the way, which I have no desire to undertake.

Some of these penis related mailings promise to enlarge the penis--sometimes with a pill, sometimes a cream. More frighteningly, sometimes there are devices involved. Scary looking devices. I wouldn't put the tip of my index finger inside some of those contraptions, much less another more delicate appendage.

I received something via U.S. Mail recently that both amused and astounded. If I may, let me quote the brochure:

Now! Instant Hard-Ons On Command Every Time You Want One! Yes! Huge, Rock-Hard Erections 4, 5, 6, Times A Night No Matter How Many Times You Come! (up to 6 times a night!)

I don't know about you but that pitch left me in dire need of a cigarette and a nap.

The brochure goes on to promise that this product Makes every love-making session a sexual marathon!

Again, I am getting a little winded.

The brochure goes on: Great for Women Too! Turns Her On, Turns Her Up. Turns Her Into A Sex Hungry Tigress of the Boudoir!

To which I reply, you go, girl!

Besides excessive use of the exclamation mark and some serious capitalization issues, the thing that struck me the most is the way this product is delivered. It is packaged like, and is ingested just the same way as, a Listerine Breath Strip. You pop open the little plastic container; slip it on your tongue and it melts in seconds. The brochure promises, Not only will this great formula help super size your erection, it will also freshen up your breath with the great taste of cinnamon.

Wow. Rock hard erections AND cinnamon breath. No one will be able to resist my charms now.

Which lead me to a wicked thought; wouldnt it be fun to switch this product with somebody's real Listerine Breath Strips? Like, maybe somebody at work who was about to make a big presentation to a bunch of executives?

It made me think it could be like an episode of Bewitched if Bewitched had been a little dirtier:

Poor Darren has an erection that won't go away. He has a permanent tent in his suit pants and Larry Tate is about to blow a gasket because Darren has to make a pitch to a big client. I can see Endora hovering nearby, chortling, "Durwood has a woody!" while Samantha sighs with exasperation. Uncle Arthur pops in, "I think I can take care of that for you," he says to Darren. "What?" Darren asks desperately, "You've got a spell?" Uncle Arthur chuckles with a leer, "Who said anything about a spell?!"

Please don't misunderstand, I am not making light of erectile dysfunction. I am sure it can be quite heart breaking. I just don't think cinnamon breath strips are the most viable solution.

I don't know how many times I've seen this in movies and TV shows (but not in real life, thank God!)--a man and his partner (usually a woman) are in bed together.

The man looks distressed. Something like, 'someone just ran your puppy through a blender' distressed. The partner either looks annoyed or excessively sympathetic.

The man whines (in that way only men can whine) "This has never happened before!!" And the partner, even the annoyed looking partner, says something along the lines of, "Gee, thats OK. Don't worry about it."

I think the more appropriate response would be, "OK. This never happened before. I understand. But for your information, this sort of thing does happen to most males at some point in their lives. Meanwhile our good time has turned into your pity party. Why don't you use your imagination and figure out an alternative plan here?"

No one ever does that, but I think they should.

As the great '80s gay singing duo Romanovsky and Phillips sang:

Penises are cute

But they're not logical

The have no IQ.

Don't let them make decisions for you!

To that I add, when the little head isn't doing the job, use your imagination!

But back to the breath strips.

I have some serious concerns about this product.

After a while don't you think the flavor of cinnamon might become hardwired in your brain and become synonymous with erection? That seems possible. Someone offers you a stick of Big Red and then pop! Instant erection.

That could be inconvenient. For example, I understand a lot of people chew Big Red in church.

On the other hand, maybe love making isn't going so well and your partner turns to you and says, "Is there anything I can do?" "Yeah, babe," you reply, "Do you have any Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal?"

So there could be an up side too.

My biggest concern is, even if the cinnamon hard-on breath strip is THE GREATEST VIRILITY BREAKTHROUGH EVER ACHIEVED BY MEDICAL SCIENCE, I'm worried that if I am with someone who smells a bit too much of cinnamon, I might be tempted to forget the whole sex thing and run to the mall for a Cinnabon.

I seriously need to stay away from Cinnabons. I start eating one of those and I just can't stop.

Some things are just plain addictive.