Meeting Minutes From A Proud Kibble-ist

In our weekly kibble klatch, my canine friends discussed the tenets of communism, socialism, anarchism, monarchism, minarchism, libertarianism, and finally kibble-ism.  We exhausted our discussion of the first 6 in 10 minutes.  But kibble-ism was hotly debated and will have to be continued in future meetings.  We all agreed that the flow of high-quality kibble to each of our bowls must continue unabated.  But that’s where our consensus terminated.

One portion of our group, led by a wizened and wise Weimaraner, posited that there should be unlimited, unrestricted kibble, controlled only by the free market.  Another sub-group, headed by a spunky Shih Tzu, asserted that there must be at least some governmental oversight of the quality of the product, so that we’re not all poisoned by unscrupulous producers who will gladly cut corners to increase profits.

The remaining portion of the group, with yours truly at the helm, roamed far afield and contended that each of our human companions should make our own kibble.  They love us (OK, in some cases that’s a stretch, but just go with it), and they would take great pains to see that they produced an outstanding food source made from only the finest ingredients.  This would put kibble manufacturers out of business, and compel them to find work better serving society.  Actually, the underlying reason for my revolutionary position was to get my Dad off his lazy derriere and force him to do more for me, but I kept that reasoning to myself.

It would be easy to adhere to McCartney-ism and just “let it be”, remaining dumb and happy about where and how we obtain our kibble.  But our astute clan of canine collaborators agree on one general premise beyond an unabated flow of kibble:  If we allow things to go unquestioned, merely because they are the norm, we are no more than lemmings headed for any number of cliffs.  Kibble-ism may seem of little importance in the grand scheme of things, but once digested, it’s a springboard for matters of increased gravitas…such as leash-ism.

Civics and Civility

Dad told me about a bill before the California State Senate which will require state employees to pass a civics exam.  Then he followed this idea to its totally logical end and devised his own civics test for me.  He said that, if I fail, he will subject me to remedial tutoring.  As I would rather be hit by a speeding train than sit through a pedantic, snooze-fest he calls instruction, I opted to take and ace the quiz.  Here are his questions and my answers.

1.  Why are there 3 branches of government?

For the same reason there are 3 sides to a triangle, 3 strikes and your out, 3 coins in a fountain, the holy trinity (the father, the gun and the holy target) and 3 brain cells left in the test administrator’s head:  Some moron thought that 3 was a spiritually significant number.  We all know it’s 7.

2.  When can the police search someone’s home?

When they have a warrant, when they believe they have a warrant, when they wish they had a warrant, and when the situation warrants.  Also, upon consent, or if the police thought they heard something that sounded like consent (e.g. a cough, a barking dog, a distant rooster or even a rooster who is totally engaged).

3.  In the event of the President’s death or incapacity, what is the line of succession?

The President’s dog, the Vice President, the First Lady, the cleaning lady, the Majority Whip (assuming there is someone to use it), the Minority Whip, the Cool Whip, then Kim Jong Un.

4.  Do local governments have the power to levy fines on dog owners who fail to license their animals?

You should know.  To avoid licensing me, you asserted to the county for three years that I was a deformed mutant cat.   Then, when Animal Control came to take me away, you had me remain perfectly still and claimed I was stuffed.  When I sneezed, the jig was up, and Mr. Compliance was up to his butt in back fees.  So you concealed an undocumented working dog, escaped a well-deserved prison sentence, and still have the unmitigated gall to ask this idiotic question.  Shame on you, sir!!

Gosh..hope I passed.

The Right To Bare Arms

The relatively recent spate of shootings in public places, including schools, and the U.S. Senate’s rejection of even a completely watered down gun control measure, has caused heated debate (again) about the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” clause.  I know this because it’s my duty as a blog dog to observe and comment.  Now, I’m no expert on constitutional law, history and interpretation, but my dad thinks he is.  So I sat down with him this morning to interview him on the topic.

Flap:  Exactly how did the Second Amendment originate?

Dad:  Well, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, he carried 10 amendments..

F:  I think your confusing our Founding Fathers with Moses.

D:  Well, there was a’s an easy mistake.  Next question?

F:  Does every American have an unrestricted right to bear arms?

D:  I think it’s unreasonable to expect any American to suffer through a hot summer in long sleeves.

F:  I’m talking about the right to carry a firearm.  Do you believe that more restrictive gun control laws would violate the people’s right under the Second Amendment?

D:  I’m sorry.  I didn’t hear the question.  I was cleaning my .357 when it somehow went off.  You weren’t hit, were you?

F:  No, but I’m pretty sure I’ve lost 95% of my hearing, and – look!  We now have a skylight in the family room.  Do you agree with the NRA’s position on gun control?

D:  I don’t know its position on guns, but the National Rhubarb Association has done a damn good job keeping the vegetable out of the hands of those who are allergic to it or who would use it as a weapon.  It’s suffered a bad rap because people use the word ‘rhubarb’ to describe a fight.  But I know it as a peace loving vegetable.

F:  To preserve what little sanity I have left, let’s move on with one last question.  If your gun was sinking in quicksand at the same time that I was about to fall over a cliff, which one would you save?

D:  You, of course.  Then I’d throw you in the quicksand and tell you to fetch my gun.

F:  Well, I think your expertise has amazed us and given everyone a better understanding of what I experience on a daily basis.  You may be a few rounds short of a full magazine, but nobody can ever accuse you of  not consistently obfuscating every issue you address.

D:  Uh..thank you.


These days, it seems everyone has a passion.  Mine happens to be eating and sleeping, periodically outwitting my dad (boringly simple), and coping with the insanity of my household.  My dad’s passion is basically the same as mine, including outwitting himself.  But my mom is a different story.  Her passions are all over the map.  No, not cartography.  She loves website design, gardening, literature, networking and other pursuits about which I have absolutely zero interest.  But one of her passions really gets my goat, even if I don’t have a goat to get.

She loves elephants.  Now, before I proceed into a typical rant, let me state unequivocally that I think elephants are great..wonderful, and especially deserving of our attention and affection in light of their plight.  Their environment is quickly diminishing as are their populations due to criminally barbarous poachers.  That said, Mom has definitely gone off the deep end by turning our home into a sanctuary for all things elephant.

We have ceramic, clay, glass and stuffed elephants in every room of the house.  There are elephant lamps, paintings (the subject, not the artist), throws, pillows, bedspreads, screen savers, toilet seats (pahleez!), elephant-shaped pasta and a book entitled “The Eloquent Elephant” (the author is actually just an obese blowhard with a long nose).  All this would be bad enough, but there’s more.  Mom harbors this fantasy (alright, elephantasy) that one day, an elephant will casually show up at the front door.  To prepare for this likeliest of events, she has dug a watering hole in our backyard, amassed a 2-year supply of peanuts, and put together a first aid kit.  The kit includes skin cream just in case the animal is suffering from pachydermititis, and CDs containing the soothing sounds of that great jazz singer Ella Phantsgerald (sp?)…each track on the CD is trunk-ated to accommodate the rare elephant with a short attention span.  It’s beyond obsession.

One last note of annoyance on this subject.  When Mom and Dad are intimate, they banish me from the bedroom because Mom insists on privacy.  As if I cared what they’re doing.  Their intimate acts are less  interesting to me, and probably less active, than a snail glacially moving across the patio.

But, while Mom’s edict bans me from the bedroom, she has no problem with 15 stuffed elephants observing the proceedings.  You might say that this overt discrimination is understandable because the stuffed elephants are inanimate objects (of course, one could make the same argument about my dad).  However, since she knows I have no interest in her cirque de boudoir with Dad, one would reason that I am no different than the stuffed animals.  OK, but I think you’d be literally ignoring the elephant(s) in the room.  That is, her affection for elephants affords them the dispensation to be where I cannot.  Well, looks like I found a new passion – being disgruntled at things I don’t care about.


Green Jacketed Aussie

In his ongoing moronic attempt to have his dog reflect holidays, world events and sports highlights, my dad has me parading around today in a green jacket.  This is due to the stunning victory in the Masters yesterday by Australian Adam Scott, the first Aussie ever to win the prestigious tournament.

On Christmas I’m dressed as Aussie Claus, on Easter I’m the Aussie Bunny, on Passover I’m Moses From Down Under.  When Margaret Thatcher died, I wore a black arm band on each of my 4 legs.  The absurdity has become debilitating.  So, when Dad ceremoniously placed the green jacket on my back, he wondered why I wasn’t filled with pride, me being an Aussie and all.  I patiently explained to him, for the sixth time, that my breed of dogs actually originated in the American west, probably in Colorado.  Some rancher thought one of his new-fangled herding dogs barked with an Australian accent, and the rest is history.  So, while I’m happy for Adam Scott, I bear no false national pride in his victory.  And yet, I’m walking the neighborhood adorned in this ridiculous coat.

But then I thought about the increasing blurring of national affiliations.  In the recent World Baseball Classic, a player could make  a team roster if he once belched in the team’s home country or could come relatively close to pointing out the place on a globe.  And adding to the confusion are all those relatively new blends, like  African Americans, Swiss chard, Irish tenors, German chocolates and Spanish moss.  Yeah.  So what if I’m not from Australia?  Adam Scott was born there, but he went to school in Las Vegas and lives in Switzerland.  I occasionally gamble and eat Swiss cheese.

So, on the broadest national scale, we are brothers.  The green jacket feels better now.  And, hey mate, put another shrimp on the barbie.  I’M AN AUSSIE!!

Salivation From Above

Normally, when my folks decide to vacate the premises for a few days and leave the most important member of their pack behind, they drop me at the local canine resort.  I stay behind because I suffer from an anxiety disorder which began when my original pack left me high and dry as a puppy, wandering in the wilderness.  This disorder manifests in a stomach-churning bout of projectile…well, you get the picture.  As do my folks.  So they let sleeping dogs lie.

Recently, they left and I, having not been dropped off at the spa, was left wondering.  My primary concern, naturally, was where my next meal was coming from.  Hunger was already beginning to set in, and the cycle was starting:  worry – anger – panic – hallucinations – lunacy.

Then, it happened.  I saw a shadow from an object flying overhead.  It was silently circling my backyard, becoming ever larger as it descended.  I immediately thought it was a vulture, coming to feed on my tasty Aussie carcass after I died of hunger.  But I was shocked to see a package drop from the thing’s belly, and I had to move quickly to avoid being thumped on the head.  I approached it cautiously and sniffed.  It smelled very familiar, so I ripped the package open and found a baggie of my dog food.  Then, after chowing down of course, I started to put it all together.

Dad had been reading and talking a lot about the private use of drone aircraft.  Drones have been used for surveillance and for dropping things like bombs and – apparently, dog food.  So, in his quest to save a few bucks on the dog spa, he spent – with characteristic logic- a few hundred grand on one of these infernal contraptions.  Nice.  Now I am not only abandoned by my pack, but devoid of any human contact.  Well, not exactly.  When the food dropped, I heard what was obviously Dad’s recorded voice coming from the beast.  It said, “Here’s your dinner, Flap.  Be good, we’ll see you soon..”  You gotta love the personal touch.  There was more in the recorded message, but I stopped listening.  He just kept droning on.

I knew he was watching from a remote location via the drone’s onboard cameras, so I saluted his ingenuity by lifting my leg on the remains of his carefully wrapped package.  I may be low-tech, but when it comes to communication, I’ve got a leg up on him.