A Recipe For the Aegis

My folks decided that I should be on a mediterranean, gluten free, salt free, vegetarian, taste free diet to preserve my aging but awesome body.  So, I’ve been on the program for 2 1/2 hours, and already I’m seeing a big difference in my mental state (i.e. I’m going insane).  But, I’m trending on all the social media hotspots, like Yahowl and DogBook, and am already in demand on the rubber chicken circuit.  I’ve got speeches lined up for months on the merits of food that is so healthy, the taste alone will give you the will to survive in order to hunt down and kill the dietician who devised this crap.  And I’ve already created my own recipe for Greek style phony frittatas, a Greexican dish that’ll mock your socks off:

In a large bowl, carefully layer the following:

5 cups rice flour or sawdust

1 cup unsweetened, nonfat Greek orthodox yogurt or 2 hours of Greek history

3 tbl organic, raw walnuts or 2 wallflowers

1 goat

5 egg whites from cage free, limited range chickens, the kind that only lay egg whites

5 llbs raw mixed vegetables, pulverized to the consistency of tile grout

Mix all ingredients for one hour while engaging in a Greek tragedy, Zumba, jazzercise, sky diving or any other activity that will keep your mind off regurgitation.  Then carefully empty ingredients into a greased garbage pail, pick up the phone and call for a non-mediterranean pizza.

There’s nothing like a restrictive diet to make you appreciate freedom of food.  It’s all about balance.  Strikes and gutters. Yin and Yang.  Greco and Roman.  Rhubarb and Snickers.

The Vatican Can

Life is full of coincidences.  The new Pope was installed today, and we installed a new water heater.  So, while the Pope will try to extract the church from the scalding water heated by pedophile priests, we are seeking to get ourselves back IN hot water.  On top of that, our plumber’s name is Francis St. Peter, and he promised that our first tankful would be filled with holy water.  In the words of a sidekick named Robin, “Holy water heater, Batman, I am so tankful!”

Now I’m as tolerant as the day is long, and I respect all religions, faiths, faith-based philosophies, those with no religious or spiritual leanings, and especially those who respect the word made when God is spelled backward.  Catholics are great.  Any religion with the term “lic(k)” in it just can’t be bad.  But let’s face it, their church has some issues.  Today I found myself singing a song to the tune of “The Candy Man”:

Who can take a cardinal, turn him to a Pope,

Who can change the planet with a puff of white smoke,

The Vatican – The Vatican can

From that humble domicile they will deal with pedophiles in every neighborhood.

Who takes gays and women, keeps them in their place,

Who can help the poor but continue this disgrace

The Vatican, The Vatican can

Gay marriage, birth control, they will surely damn your soul, so repent real good.

A cardinal just flew in and landed on my dog house.  She (yeah, SHE…the birds let females in) told me not to be disrespectful.  She instructed me to say ten Hail Marys, five Hello Dollys and two Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggios.  Heaven help me.  Meanwhile, think I’ll take a hot shower.

Bench Coach

I never played organized baseball, so I resigned myself to enjoying a myriad of disorganized sports. With no professional experience, I was shocked when I was selected to be the bench coach for the Australian Canine Baseball national team, The Wallaby Wannabies.  I really never knew what a bench coach was, and my ignorance continued well into my first (and only) season.

Nobody gave me a manual to read.  Nobody tutored me on bench coaching duties.  The manager, a surly Schnauzer by the name of Klaus Krakyernuts, gave me no clue as to what he expected of me.  So, as I have learned from watching the St. Louis Cardinals, I winged it.  I figured my job as bench coach was to prepare the dugout bench before and during the game for all the action.

So, I wiped the bench off before and during the game to keep it refreshed.  I encouraged it by telling it how others ‘pined’ to be in its position.  I screamed at it when I felt it was sagging.  I warned it to prepare for certain plays.  Stuff like:  “Alright, set yourself, this fatso’s got heat.”, or “This guy ate 3 burritos before the game, so he’s gonna bring the gas.”  I even iced it down after irate players demeaned it by throwing equipment, water coolers and other players at it.

But my tenure in the position was sorrowfully short.  One day I polished the bench with 3 coats of premium wax before the game.  All the scratches were gone and it looked magnificent, but five players suffered significant injuries and went on the D.L. after their slick butts soared off the bench and slammed onto the dugout floor.  Ironically, my work at removing scratches from the bench resulted in my being scratched from the team.  The manager said I didn’t know the first thing about being a bench coach..ya think?  Where was he when I opened the wax?  Where was he when I literally shined on my career?

Since that disaster, I have learned what a bench coach actually does.  And although I have been banned from baseball, other bench coaches seek out my wisdom.  As a self-proclaimed bench coach emeritus, I have catapulted others to the glory I never attained.  All this history has exhausted me, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna grab some pine.


Dreams of St. Patrick

People always challenge me with the most perplexing inquiries, such as “Do dogs dream?”, “How can a door be ajar?”, and “If I had a foot amputated, would I suffer from lack-toes intolerance?”  While it’s true that I know almost everything worth knowing, I’m no WikiFlapia. Still, permit me to answer the ‘dream’ question.  You’ve seen dogs sleep, as they whimper and twitch their legs.  What did you think was happening? (And please don’t give me that old song and dance about dogs – in their sleep – doing an old song and dance).  Of course we dream..dreams of elusive grandeur, disturbingly prophetic dreams, and dreams of transcendent corned beef.

Last night I dreamed of corned beef…and cabbage…and Irish whiskey.  Was it a coincidence that St. Patrick’s Day is near?  Or was it just another typical drooling dream of ethnic food?  It must be the former, because the dream involved St. Patrick himself, patron saint of Ireland and the  Boston Celtics.  He appeared to me in a white robe, wolfing down a huge shepherd’s pie and a pint of Guinness.  After I ensured that the pie had no Australian Shepherd ingredients and that he had an extra pint for me, we had a conversation.

He explained that the story of him driving all the snakes out of Ireland was a complete myth.  He said that there were never any snakes in Ireland, but he did do battle with a few tape worms and a defective plumber’s snake used to clear a drain.  He also invented artificial boulders for landscape purposes – much lighter than real boulders.  They were known as sham rocks.

Before he died, St. Patrick befriended and redeemed a dwarf leper who made his living by swindling people out of their hard earned gold.  Each such incident was known as a leper-con.

St. Patty handed me a few lucky charms (which was, to my disappointment, a bowl of cereal with yellow moons and pink hearts), and some financial advice (something about finding the end of a rainbow).  He then patted me on the head, and disappeared.   When I awoke, I found a real 4-leaf clover on my bed.  Could it be that the saint somehow left it there for me?  I have heard that this rare clover leaf is a sign of good luck if you keep it with you at all times.  Perhaps.  But I ate it.

As everyone eats and drinks to celebrate the day, you’d think I’d be positively green with envy.  But for me, it’s enough to know that the man himself gave me a bit of his time and a St. Pat on my head.

The Ides of March

With all eyes on Rome this week, and this being the Ides of March, my always relevant mom and dad decided to throw a Roman-themed Pope  Party.  Sparing no expense, they featured take-out pizza from Caesar’s and cheap Italian wine.  The new Pope, who is apparently into the whole austerity thing, would undoubtedly approve.  I understand that he eschewed the trappings of his office as cardinal and now as Pope in favor of more modest and humble attire, transportation, food and a general approach to life.  He fashions himself a man of the common folk.  He enjoys soccer, he tangos like a native Argentinian (so what’s new Buenos Aires?), likes cooking his own simple meals, and is even fond of watching old movies.  He took the name Francis, ostensibly after St. Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of animals, and probably the first vegan.  But insiders confide that he actually named himself after one of his favorite 50’s movie stars, Francis The Talking Mule (a gesture that would probably amuse St. Francis).

But back to the party.  Mom and Dad invited a few friends over, and set out all the food.  One couple brought their two canine companions, Casca and Brutus.  Casca is a small cocker spaniel, and Brutus – a long-time friend of mine- is a burly bulldog.  While all the humans were watching the U.S. lose to the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, I decided the time was right for the buffet to lose a few items.  I’m not big on pizza, but I love the sides, particularly the bread sticks which are to die for.  So, I quietly lifted a few of them from the table, as Casca and Brutus looked on.

For no apparent reason, Casca decided to bark at my audacity.  But, with the excitement of the baseball game, nobody heard her feeble cocker croaking, and I thought I was home free.  But then, to my amazement, my old friend Brutus betrayed me and joined Casca in alerting the humans to my thievery.  Brutus had a tremendously strong bark.  Mom and Dad quickly turned and saw their beloved, noble Aussie with no fewer than five bread sticks hanging from his guiltily smiling mouth.

As I was led unceremoniously on the walk of shame to my dog kennel, I looked back at my former friend and couldn’t help but wax Shakespearian as I muttered, “Et tu, Brute?”  Later, while lying on my toga and licking my wounded pride, I recalled the warning of a gypsy-esque Chow Chow I had met in the park earlier that day:  “Beware the sides of March!”

I will be appealing to Pope Francis the Talking Mule fan to absolve me.  While he’s at it, he could do a lot worse than to put me on a fast-track to sainthood.  St. Flapjack.  Patron saint to all who have been betrayed for following the call of the breadstick.

Inadmissible Evidence

My life is sufficiently complicated without having to endure legal quandaries like the one in which I am currently embroiled.  Here are the facts:

After suffering numerous instances of Dad invading the sanctity of my dog house to remove objects that I placed there, I installed a video camera to record these acts of blatant theft.  Last week, I recorded Dad removing a bone from my abode.  I had worked diligently on the bone, orally crafting it to just the desired shape and texture.  He apparently felt that the bone was old and worn, so he took it, without any expressed or implied authorization from yours truly.  And although he replaced it with a new bone, what he had done was nevertheless a criminal act…recorded with digital clarity on my canine cam.

I love my dad, but he needed to be taught a lesson.  I don’t invade his underwear drawer and remove his briefs willy-nilly at my leisure (although I’ve given it serious thought), and I don’t expect any less of him.  So, I contacted the D.A. ( the Dachshund Attorney next door, who is actually not an attorney, but was paper trained with old copies of the bar journal, so he knows some things).  He informed me that my video of this heinous crime would be inadmissible in court because it was recorded in a place (bedroom of sorts) where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.  And even though the video doesn’t lie about the crime, privacy rights trump the injustice that was clearly done.

But who’s privacy are we talking about here?  Mine!!  The D.A. says that doesn’t matter.  Even if I wanted to waive my privacy rights to prosecute my bone-stealing Dad, I cannot.  So, as the video is inadmissible, it would merely be my word against Dad’s.  With the judge and jury being non-dogs, the chances of conviction are as likely as Dad keeping his nose out of my dog house.

So, my privacy rights are protected, and Dad skates after committing a brazen home invasion in broad day light.  I lick my crotch in public…I don’t much care about my privacy rights.  But I do care about justice.  So, where the law has fallen woefully short, I am compelled to engage in vigil-aussie-ism.  Dad would be well advised to hide his underwear.  An eye for an eye,  and a brief for a bone.

The Pope and a Guy Named Ricco

Since I am still sequestered in my dog house, I’m feeling an unseemly bond with the cardinals sequestered in a man cave..uh, I mean conclave.  So, I thought I would pass the time by conjuring up a little multiple choice quiz for all you Jeopardy junkies who can’t wait for “The Vatican” to come up as a category.  Here goes:

1.  When the Pope retired, he had to give up his gold ring.  What was to be the fate of the ring?

A.  It will be destroyed in the fires of Mordor at Mt. Doom by a Hobbit, along with that other pesky ring.

B.  It will be melted down and re-formed into a golden chalice specifically to hold Diet Popesi.

C.  It will be pawned at Ricco’s Pawn Shop in Florence.

2.  Similarly, the Pope had to relinquish ownership of his red shoes.  What will become of them?

A.  They will be a museum piece, like Dorothy’s red slippers, then auctioned at the weekly Vatican flea market.

B.  They are slated to be worn by Scarlett Johansson in an upcoming re-make of The Pope of Greenwich Village.

C.  They will be an inspiration for a mass-produced line of footwear, including papal pumps, sacramental slippers, and liturgical loafers.

D. They will be pawned at Ricco’s Pawn Shop in Florence.

3.   The Pope’s retirement will be funded by:

A.  AARP (Almighty Association of Retired Popes); current living membership: one.

B.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys in priest child abuse cases.

C.  Planned Parenthood.

D.  Ricco’s Pawn Shop in Florence.

4.  The former Pope’s new home will have 50 windows.  With what company has the Vatican contracted to provide window coverings?

A. 50 Shades of Gray. (colors limited)

B.  It’s Curtains For You.

C.  Venetian Blinds, Seriously.

D.  None, as the former Pope wishes his retirement activities to be transparent.

E.  Ricco’s Shades ‘N Stuff.  (yeah, he’s a busy guy)

OK, if you answered all correctly, you are obviously a proud pupil of papal profundity.  If you guessed three correctly, you are a slow-flying cardinal.  Two right means you are a bishop and can only move in limited ways on a chess board.  If you scored only one right, you will be banned from St. Peter’s Square and all Pope-a-John’s pizza places for life.  If you failed to nail  even one question, you have one last chance to score with this bonus question:

When a new Pope is elected, the world will know by the following:

A.  The Vatican Band will begin playing “There’s a New Kid In Town” by the Eagles.

B.  White smoke will appear from a Vatican canon as it misfires and knocks four apostles and eight pigeons off a nearby wall.

C.  Eight disgruntled cardinals will run out of the building, screaming for a publicly-witnessed re-count.

D.  The new Pope will be revealed when he is inaugurated by swearing himself into office.  Holding the bible will be..you guessed it..Ricco.

There.  Now I’ve passed the time, served my sentence, and my sequestration has at long last ended.  I wonder how many cardinals would have aced this quiz?  They should limit the Papal finalists only to those who did.  Amen.

Isolating The Word ‘Sequester’

As I sit here, sequestered in my dog house, compelled by Mom and Dad to think about what they deem was inappropriate conduct, I can’t help but think about other notable sequestrations occurring this week.  The cardinals are sequestered in conclave at the Vatican, compelled by their retired “Papa” to elect a new one.  I’m quite certain I’m not in my dog house for the purpose of selecting a new dad, but hey, as long as I’m here there are worse things I could do.

Then, in D.C., the infamous “sequester” has taken effect, essentially effectuating drastic across-the-board budgetary cuts.  In this I see a similarity.  My sequester will likewise result in drastic cuts.  After an appropriate period of solitary reflection, I must curtail certain behaviors which have consistently met with the disapproval of my human companions.

All this, and my lonely seclusion, has caused me to think about some other forms of this word of the week, as it applies to the election of a new Pope.

SEQWESTERN:   A western movie watched by the cardinals as they reflect on their decision.

SAQUESJAWEA:  A Native American girl who helps the cardinals find their way to a resolution.

SEQUESTRIAN:  Horseback riding while in conclave (it’s a big room).

SEQUEJESTER:  The Vatican clown who gives the cardinals comic relief.

SEQUASTRATION:  What may await a cardinal who leaves conclave without good reason.

I could go on, but I’m starting to make even myself a bit sick.  I can now see why I’ve been left to ponder my misdeeds here in these lonely confines.  Perhaps I’ve learned a lesson.  But what’s going to happen in Rome, not to mention in D.C.?  Now, that’s a good sequestion!