Jude and I just regained e-contact with the rest of the world. Our phone and internet problems were resolved yesterday. That meant the only way we could reach other humans was to drive to our neighbours, leaving us with satellite TV.
But that was distraction writ large. I’m watching so much CNN that I’m hoarse from yelling at Trump. I do watch the occasional sporting event, so I can yell at the tube as God intended.
How could I resist the implosion of Droopy Donnie, the explosion of the GOP, and an election so screwy that Hillary still has to fight for every vote? The distance between Michelle Obama’s soaring speech and Trump’s bragging about his package in the primaries would have to be measured in light-years. That high/low thing, don’t ya know.
Even though I hope Clinton deals the Donald a soul-crushing (if he has one) defeat, I more so hope that we’ll mark 2016 as the year sexual assault came out of the shadows and into the national conversation. Even Trump’s female surrogates don’t seem to get it. They parrot his outrageous misogynist fabrications so reliably that they’ve ruined irony. One of them, Dr. Gina Loudon, even works with abuse victims.
In general, the surrogates are a textbook case (nay, a textbook itself) of how to lie, misrepresent, deflect, obfuscate and spin. Watch them in a CNN panel discussion. When they hear something — facts, for example — that they don’t like, many of them shake their head vigorously. Jude and I call it the Kayleigh shake, named after Kayleigh McEnany. She’s not the worst of the surrogates, but we’ve voted her most irritating, edging out Scottie Nell Hughes. Corey Lewandoski, who looks like he’s actually spitting venom, wins Mister Noncongeniality.
Our puppy Katoo chose Trump himself. She often barks at the TV when he speaks.
The major issues aside, I can’t peel away from the set too long because every day provides hilarious sideshows. This afternoon Droopy Donnie suggested, in his incomparable passive-aggressive way, that Hillary is juicing for the debates. Forget ISIS, he wants her to drug test.
One of the news shows had a segment on how employable the Donald would be outside of Trump Tower. Can you imagine him as a Wal-Mart greeter? “Sporting goods, aisle 34, pal. Get a gun and take yourself off the welfare rolls. Cosmetics? Don’t even bother, lady. You’re a three, tops. Groceries? Don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
I urge you to vote. The more who do, the more accurate a picture we’ll have about the mood of the country. And Hillary is gonna need it. She’ll inherit a sharply divided nation. It will help her to know how many Americans are okay with racism, xenophobia, enhanced torture and sexual abuse.
I won’t breathe normally again until November 9th, but my gut is slowly unclenching as Droopy Donnie’s campaign continues to implode. I’ve gone Trump on Trump because Hilary is classy enough to not counter his “Crooked” label of her. People are saying — I certainly don’t believe it — that the Screaming Cantaloupe has had problems satisfying Melania (or was it Ivana? Some of the people were mumbling) in the bedroom.
Should Clinton choose to use this nickname in the debates, she would ensure her election when Droopy sputtered and denied and possibly whipped it out to dispute her. Her campaign is welcome to use the moniker. Perhaps I should contact it.
Trumpeters are cheered that he hasn’t done anything outrageously negative for a few days, but how long can that last? True, he predicted he can have 95% of the black vote by 2020, but that’s really in his normal range of bullshit. Not even Obama can get 95%.
Donnie’s mellowing so far has consisted of some on-prompter speeches, an “apology” for something new campaign director Kelley Conway suggested, and an appearance in Louisiana to hand out supplies to flood victims. I’d wager that that effort lasted just long enough for the cameras to roll, then Trump jetted to New Orleans for dinner at Brennan’s. As a survivor of many Louisiana Augusts, I can assure you that only the suicidal or desperate wear a blue blazer in the brutal heat and humidity.
So keep struggling, Droopy. At least until mid-September. The filing deadlines to change names on the general election ballot has already passed in several key states, but let’s play it safe for my gut’s sake.
In 1964 my dear friend and fellow miniature golf enthusiast Gordon and I were ardent Barry Goldwater supporters. The GOP nominee for President was being hammered so soundly by the media that we wrote a parody to “Goldfinger” to help turn things around. It had such memorable lines as “he gets cold water, every time he opens his mouth — ‘cept in the South”.
Fortunately the song had minimal impact, likely because we never showed it to anyone else. Goldwater got trounced. If I hadn’t done a 180-out from conservative politics (and guilt in general), I might still blame myself. Then again, humourist Art Buchwald, when asked why Barry lost, said, “lack of votes, mainly”.
Anyhoo, I was watching “Goldfinger” recently. It’s still my favourite Connery Bond film. And it hit me. Trump is the new Auric Goldfinger. Consider: the sneer, the ostentatious life style, the obsession with accumulating even more wealth, the willingness to use nuclear weapons. I rest my case.
So we need a new parody, and here ’tis:
He’s the man, the man with the orange hair.
You’d best beware!
He wants closed borders.
To save whites from all of those blacks and browns.
He puts them down!
Pure bullshit freely flows from his mouth.
But it’s still gobbled up in the South.
‘Cause his redneck fans eat up Don’s turd words.
It’s a crock of crap from Mister Gold Hoarder.
Foreigners, he thinks of them all as slobs.
Except Odd Job.
Trump would build up a ginormous wall,
Insist Mexicans pay for it all.
But when they refuse, he’ll skip out on the bills.
Head out for the hills, will Mister Gold Hoarder.
Voters all, don’t fall for his phony con.
His heart is gone!
He loves only him.
He loves him.
He loves only him.
He loves him!”
Jude and I are in an extraordinary stretch to get not only our own firewood up before the rains return in two months, but ten cords we’ve sold to others. I can’t even find time to bitch about Trump. That’s when you know for certain that you’re too busy.
Fifty years ago this summer I was in boot camp metamorphosing from a mere mortal into a U.S. Marine. Until I can find the time to write you the posts you deserve, please relive those days with me by reading this, this and this.
In all this busy-ness, we’ve had a smiling nod from the universe. Although we weren’t looking for another dog as we properly grieved Slinkee’s death, we had one dropped in our lap. Meet Katoo. Much more on her soon.
I very much appreciate the condolences readers have extended Jude and I for the loss of our beloved Slinkee. Her obituary dwelled only on her good points, as obits are wont to do. But Anonymous brought up a valid point: “You forgot about the chickens.”
Point taken, Anonymous. I didn’t forget so much as selectively remember. So here’s the full disclosure. I don’t think Slinkee would mind. She didn’t much care what others thought of her.
About five years ago, Jude and I started keeping chickens. Slinkee took an immediate and unhealthy interest in them. We did our best to keep them protected, but they are adept at finding breaches in our netting fences. Sometimes we found the escapees first, sometimes Slinkee did. Over the years she killed at least eight of them.
I blogged about two incidents here and here. Her worst infraction was the day she whacked three hens who got too close to the fencing. As angry as I was at her at those times, I had to remember that she was merely following her canine instincts.
Jude worked with her to tame that streak, but she couldn’t train it out. Just a few months ago, Slinkee went after a grouse caught in some netting.
Her faults lie gently on her. When Jude and I would come home at night, she would go in the house first and let Slinkee out to pee. I would call out to her in the dark and she would come full-throttle to me like she hadn’t seen me in ages. I miss that most.
Our cat Ollie still misses her, too. A friend came by two days ago with his really small dog. Ollie, an imposing 18 pounds, tried to play with her, but merely scared her back to her master.
But help is on the way, Ollie. We have found a puppy we think will be perfect for the farm. She should be here in a few weeks. Stay tuned.
In mid-September 2005, Jude and I were settling into our greatest adventure. We had just moved to the farm and the possibilities seemed boundless. With 38 acres to play with, we thought we thought it prudent to get a companion for our dog Roameo. So off we trundled to the Campbell River animal shelter.
The shelter had a fenced area where we could watch Roameo interact with potential playmates. The first candidate was just a pup, and bounced around him vigourously. Roameo gave us a “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding” look, and that was that. The second candidate, a year-old female named Cleo, showed a perfect balance of playfulness and deference to him. She got the job.
We didn’t particularly like the name “Cleo”, and she didn’t seem that committed to it, either. We didn’t call her anything for a few weeks, believing that she’d name herself with her behaviour. One day we were showing our new property to some friends. We were crossing a narrow foot bridge when she spotted something on the other side that demanded her immediate attention. She got around us with impressive contortions.
A few nights later she was lying at the foot of our bed. She sighed a huge sigh, as if she’d just realized she was finally safe, and started stretching out as she decompressed. She seemed to double in length. “Slinkee” was born.
And she never stopped expanding. In short order, she was queen of the farm: officially greeting visitors, tutoring visitors’ dogs, making sure all food dropped was quickly cleaned up, and keeping those pesky dragonflies off her pond.
She also protected us from birds, deer and a black bear. She chased off a raccoon before it could finish chewing up our cat Ollie. She and Ollie were great good friends, in fact. We loved to sit in the swing under the maple tree and watch them cavort. He is still asking us where she is.
She was slowing down as she started her twelfth year. It took more and more encouragement to coax her upstairs to bed. Her hearing was fading. A month ago a friend was visiting. As he drove off, I heard a bump and Slinkee yelping. She must have been under his truck (something she had never done) and didn’t hear him start it.
She soon calmed down and was able to climb the front stairs. But she didn’t do much else for several days. We took her to the vet. An X-ray showed significant internal damage. She didn’t seem in pain, so we thought we’d wait a few days as we weighed our options. Jude and I slept downstairs to save her the climb.
A few days later she showed marked improvement. She walked around the yard, even went down to the pond to check for dragonflies. Our hearts soared, but it was her last patrol. The next day she started fading. The following day we stroked her and sobbed as she was put down.
The sting of losing a beloved pet is doubled when you make the call for their death. Even when you’re absolutely certain it was the right call to end their suffering, the pain is unbearable at times.
Our first night without her, I had a vivid dream. I went to heaven. She ran by surrounded by many others. She smiled at me and said “Hi, Dad! I really like it here! I don’t have time to talk, I have all these other dogs to organize.”
Long live the queen:
Last week the two people I would’ve guessed least likely to marry got married. The fetching Jerry Hall exchanged vows with the not-so-fetching Rupert Murdoch. Let that sink in.
I know. Preposterous, yes? The 59-year-old Hall, who once shared an apartment with co-models Grace Jones and Jessica Lange. Who broke up Mick Jagger’s marriage to Bianca and spawned four little rolling stones with him. Rupert Murdoch, who turns 85 today, the midhusband of Fox News Channel and The Weekly Standard. The asshat whose work on earth will be done if Trump is coronated next January.
So naturally I started thinking if there could be any odder couples on this particular planet. So far I have a dozen possibilities:
1. Don Knotts and Leslie Jones
2. Kanye West and Shirley Temple
3. Jerry Falwell and Mae West
4. Doctor Phil and Doctor Ruth
5. Doctor Ruth and Wilt Chamberlain
6. Prince and Princess Leia
7. Queen Elizabeth and Freddy Mercury
8. Catherine the Great and Man o’ War
9. Dame Judi Dench and Gary Busey
10. Pope Frank and Madonna (the singer one)
11. Michelle Bachmann and Neil DeGrasse Tyson
12. Michelle Bachmann and Marcus Bachmann
Any other suggestions?