The IRS Scandal

The homeowners’ association (HOA) in our neighborhood was contacted by certain of my neighbors.  Their complaint?  I had allegedly micturated repeatedly on certain yards, having targeted them for special treatment because I disagreed with the political views of the property owners.  Thus, I had violated the HOA’s IRS (irrigation regulatory scheme) rules and policies.  The neighbors went directly after my dad, as the buck stops with him for any and all of my misdeeds.

They demanded to know exactly what my dad knew about my allegedly nefarious activities, when he gained any such knowledge, and whether he directed, allowed or neglected to preclude my targeted urination practices.  It was insufficient in the eyes of these neighbors that Dad relieved me from relieving myself in any but my own yard after the complaint was filed.  They wanted his head on a stick (actually, I can relate to this desire, but I’d never admit it).  And so, they have demanded a formal investigation by the HOA.

My dad certainly has loftier and more important things to accomplish than to defend himself over something his dog did.  But it comes with the territory.  In fact, I have a record of embroiling him in issues he had never foreseen, and I’m quite proud of it.  Still, I can’t help but sympathize with his plight.

I have been subpoenaed by the HOA to testify about this unfortunate state of affairs.  I could claim 5th Amendment privileges, but I will not hide.  Anyone who knows me can attest that I would never urinate at a specific location because Dad so directed.  In fact, when this has happened in the past, I peed on his foot.  So, they will find that I acted independently, but they will also find that Dad, as my supreme ruler and master, is ultimately responsible for my behavior.  In short, he’s going down unless there is a groundswell of support in his favor.  I will lead the charge.  It’s the least I can do.

The Rites (and wrongs) of Spring

Ah, springtime.  Nesting birds, blooming flowers, itchy eyes, and raw, basic desires – barely constrained by the laws and mores of society – to engage in acts of longing and desire…like “freshening up” my kennel.

Yes, this is the time of year when Dad feels compelled by the tug of the season to don his ever-expanding tool belt and rudely invade my private space.  He calls it remodeling.  I call it laying siege to my fortress.  Last year, he got off easy.  Sprained thumb, a hole in his foot, diverticulitis, double hernia a nail through his right nostril and a near-decapitation.  This year, he said, would be quite different.

He looked like a knight going out to do battle:  Hard hat, full eye shield, steel-toed shoes, shin guards, chain mail body armor, and most importantly, a cell phone which automatically dials 9-1-1 when it detects him screaming, bleeding, or unconscious (his phone dials 9-1-1 on the average of twice daily).

Today, he was half-way finished in his quest to totally destroy my home.  Every time he completed the smallest task, he looked at me as if I should be impressed.  When I rolled  my eyes and turned my back, he was undeterred.  My kennel made the devastation of recent news-worthy disasters look like the cover of Good Housekeeping.  In the dust rising from the ruins, there was Dad..obliviously doing God knows what, without a hint of a plan or a clue as to how to implement one if one existed.

Then, at precisely 2:07 p.m. – a moment that will live in infamy – it happened.  Dad was standing victoriously atop a large pile of debris when he lost his balance.  The weight of his chain mail alone was enough to bring him crashing down just as a large tree branch (which he had inadvertently severed while he was chain sawing everything in sight) fell on his head.  His cell phone was crushed…so much for the auto-9-1-1.  I calmly went in the house and called the paramedics.  When they arrived, I embarrassingly  escorted them to my pathetic companion.  They asked me if this had been a suicide attempt.  I said, “Definitely, but not knowingly.”

Doctors assure me that Dad’s head will be back to its normal huge size in a month or two, but that I shouldn’t be surprised if a sapling starts growing out of his ear.  My dog homeowner’s insurance is processing my claim, and I have called a reputable contractor to repair the nightmare that once was my home.  After repairs, I will once again live in peace.  Until autumn clean-up is upon us.

Dog Consumed By Alien Tabloid!!

The pet store I frequent has lowered its standards by stocking checkout stands with tabloids, much like those found in supermarkets.  I am understandably appalled.  I thought dogs and their companions were many levels above this tripe, but I am apparently as wrong as the stories in these rags.  The publications are selling like proverbial hotcakes (not to be confused with Flapjacks).

Solely for the purposes of research, I thumbed (yeah, I know, no opposable thumbs, but just go with it), through the latest edition of one of these stellar examples of American journalism called The Dish On Dogs.  Like most readers, I was attracted by the headlines, but then had a “Aw, c’mon, man” response when I read the stories.  Here are a few examples:

Headline:  Secret Chemical-Producing Lab Uncovered By Government Officials

Story:  County animal control officers responded to a report of a Labrador Retriever being hidden in a ‘no dogs allowed’ condo.  They found the lab being hidden under a blanket.  The dog was producing an inordinate amount of stress-producing hormones.

Headline:  Dog Sues “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” Songwriter for $50 Million.

Story:  An Australian Shepherd in Napa, CA, who has been herding sheep through the vineyards for 12 years, claims that he was the inspiration for the song and deserves a cut.

Headline:  Golden Retriever Has 100% Cancer Detection Success!

Story:  The dog wags its tail (a sign!!) at every patient he visits…at the chemo treatment room at a local hospital.

Headline:  Chihuahua Calls 911 – Saves Owner Who Suffered Heart Attack

Story:  OK, this one is true.  But I still think he meant to dial 411 for the number of the nearest delivery pizza.

You get the idea.  Now, I like being entertained as much as the next Aussie, but I don’t like spending my hard-earned dog biscuits being duped by unscrupulous pseudo-journalistic manipulators preying on those at checkout counters who are short on time and long on gullibility.  I know…1st Amendment, freedom of the press, buyer beware, carpe diem, keep hydrated, and all that crap.  Well, I don’t buy it.  Literally.  The point is, it’s getting more difficult to ascertain news from entertainment…take this blog for instance…  Um,’s all good.



Cinco de Mayo

Today is the celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  A recent U.S. poll of non-Mexican Americans showed that 98% thought that cinco de mayo referred to five bottles of mayonnaise.  What an insult to Mexican Americans who celebrate Mexican heritage and pride on this day, and to those here and in the Mexican state of Puebla who commemorate the Mexican victory over French forces on this date in 1862.

As is his senseless custom, my dad dresses me up on holidays and parades me around the neighborhood in a bizarre display of his declining sanity.  Today, he left nothing to the stereotypical imagination.  Heads turned as I walked down the avenues with a large sombrero on my head, an oversized fake mustache, bandoliers across my shoulders, a Taco Bell knapsack on my back, and a Viva Mexico flag hanging off my rear end.  My embarrassment level was off the charts.

It was almost inevitable…Dad was confronted by a female neighbor of Mexican descent who told him in no uncertain terms that this display was offensive and inappropriate (I told him this 5 times while he was dressing me, and that obviously did a lot of good).  When Dad told this nice lady that he was doing this only out of the deepest respect for our Mexican friends and neighbors, it only made matters worse.  One only had to see how ridiculous I looked to interpret Dad’s purported “respect” as a satirical attempt at ethnic humor.  And that was precisely the reaction of this growingly agitated lady.  As the discussion became more heated, a crowd gathered.  It was unimaginable to me that some in the crowd were actually siding with Dad.  Others supported the more reasonable view of our offended neighbor, including yours truly.

I feared that this dispute was going to become violent.  Weapons appeared out of nowhere.  Someone called the police.  I can’t say who threw the first blow, because my sombrero slipped over my eyes.  In a few minutes, it was all-out warfare.  Ironically, a small war was a far more fitting way of commemorating this holiday than dressing me up for a humiliating public display.  The police appeared and arrested Dad for inciting a riot, and the show was over.

Mom showed up, quickly disrobed me to avoid further disturbance, and we drove down to the slammer to bail Dad out.  He’s already preparing his defense for what should be a trial which will polarize our community…not quite what Dad intended when he outfitted me this morning.  No good deed…  Viva el Lunatic!!!!

An Ark-aic Idea

My canine friend’s human companion is definitely one plank short of a deck.  He told my friend that God had spoken to him, told him that the second great flood is coming, and commanded him to build an ark.  He began work in his backyard, but the homeowners’ association quickly abated his heavenly work because arks were considered a prohibited outbuilding.

Undaunted, God’s servant merely altered his plan, and began converting his house to an ark.  Again, the dreaded HOA stepped in and advised him that any house-to-ark conversions had to be approved by the Ark-etecture Committee, which would take a minimum 6 months.  Because the flood was forecast in three months, he threatened the entire HOA board of directors, and was locked away in a psych facility.  He must have really blew a gasket last week when a water pipe at that facility burst, flooding the entire property.  In the confusion, while patients were being evacuated, he escaped and is now at large.  Rumor has it that he got a job constructing ships for Carnival Cruises.

All of this excitement caused my friend and me to devise a short quiz that must be passed by anyone who has been directed by God to build an ark.

1.  Come on, who actually spoke to you?

A.  An ark-angel

B.  A contractor from Arkansas

C.  My spouse (who I sometimes mistake for God)

D.  James Earl Jones

2.  What do you know about ark building?

A.  I took a workshop at Arks-R-Us

B.  Nothing, and that’s why God chose me

C.  More than you

D.  I built a dog house which only leaks when it rains

3.  What would you load into the Ark?

A.  All the animals Noah forgot

B.  My “Titanic” action figure collection

C.  My meds and my shrink

D.  Life vests for every animal, and Lifesaver candies for the really little ones

(For the correct answers, check with God).  For help with construction, we suggest you consult the Bible to find the ark-etype.