Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Previously: Barry wasn’t kidding nor was the newly arrived Trank. OK, it wouldn’t have seemed possible but Pops turned even paler. Could anything be whiter than Pat Boone?

 And now: Well, yeah it could, but why go into that now? At this moment, Pops had to find a way out of this. He had tickets for the Cyndi Lauper Really Final Tour of My Career show that night and he never missed one of those. By his count, he had seen this show 53 times. Final tour…really? After Pops had a few, he would wax enthusiastically if not somewhat remorsefully how Cyndi, even in her younger years, was an overlooked and misunderstood musical genius. I don’t know… maybe he was huffing some Sterno with Polly too. But I digress, again. In the meantime, Tranks was humming happily, probably thinking about the mayhem he was about to unleash.

2564228353_bfc1736120 Polly’s “drug” of choice.

Pops looked at Tranks with wonder. I’d seen this look before and it in itself was a wonder. Pops had an idea out of this. I waited with an uneasiness to see what foolhardy thing this would be.
“That’s it!’ screamed Pops. “Let’s call Patti Page!” OK, we were all now wondering if Pops had lost it for good. Patti Page, wtf?

“Pops, what are you talking about?” we all asked. “What does she have to do with this?”

Pops, eyes gleaming with triumph answered, “When I came over to New Jersey, there was this song on the radio, ‘How much is that doggie in the window?‘ She must like dogs,  she loves animals, we’ll give ’em to her.” Ahhh, that was the song Tranks was humming mindlessly.

8343027767_85958a3247Patti Page wants to know how much the mutt costs.

As usual, when Pops has an idea, it’s probably based on a somewhat faulty historical recollection. And this one was no exception. “Uh Pops, you fool, Patti Page is dead.” snorted Polly gleefully between Sterno huffs.

“No, no, I see her on Entertainment Tonight, she’s still alive with all those animals.” Great, now Pops is channeling some screwed up TV show. Great. Just great. But, and I hate to admit this as it means Pops had had an influence on me, he might just be onto something. Thinking as Pops might, he was confusing Ms. Page with another singer of that time, Doris Day. And to the best of my knowledge and the internet, she was alive.

Fast forward a couple of days. Somehow or another, we were able to make contact with Ms. Day, a lovely lady of 91 and still a looker as far as Pops was concerned. He wanted to pack up a truck immediately and make the delivery himself. He had had the hots for her for years and he thought this would be a good opportunity to put his moves on her. Jeez, I thought the tyranny of testosterone died down at his age. Evidently not. But it was arranged, she agreed to take the mutts and give them all a home on her estate and that solved a couple of problems. Pops could keep his questionable vegetarian pizzeria open, he didn’t have to serve dogs on the menu, and Tranks got the dogs off his hands. Win, win, right? Yeah, right. No, not so easy.

2131086396_1e072e2d2c Doris Day wants the mutts.

A couple of weeks later, Tranks comes in with a new idea. Doesn’t he have any other place he can unload this crap on?

“Pops, how’d you like to be a lawyer?”

Fog Calamari.

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Animals, Food
Tags: , , , ,

From the previous post:                                                                                                         “Ahmed.” No need for words between us. Hell, he doesn’t know much more English than that anyway. He nods to a booth on the far wall. I look over. Damn, if it isn’t…

And now…

Yeah, the last thing I needed was to see that beast again. I thought when I dropped her off at The Pound, a bar for real dogs if you catch my drift, they would put her down once and for all. The only putting-down though that night were the rude but accurate comments on her clothing that she really didn’t deserve. After all, her clothes were fashionable – once, a long time ago, maybe two or three owners before. But, she survived and always landed on her feet. They say a cat has nine lives…who the hell loaned her another one?

3120368915_82a1127005 The girls from the Pound.

Since she saw me seeing her, I had to go over, and short of putting her in her place, the basement usually, and politely ask her to get the hell out of O’Shea’s. Nothing will ruin a good falafel more than an angry, poorly dressed, terminated house-keeper looking for a handout. But did she have to bring her bucket of cleaning crap with her? Really? To O’Shea’s? I glanced back at Ahmed and he quickly wiped that smirk off his face. Not that it was easy as the scars from a Tupperware party gone wild left it pretty much permanently in place. He knew the effect she would have on me. Look, it ain’t easy firing your mother. And that too is a story for another time.

“OK, Polly…what’s up? What dragged you away from your Ricki Lake show this time?”

She looked at me, snorted in her inimitable and loving motherly fashion, threw a smelly, wet sponge at me and walked out. Again. It’s always sponges. I’ve accumulated quite a collection over the years waiting for that one perfect moment in which I can bury her with them. At least they don’t hurt.

The last time I saw her was at the all-you-can-eat Hawaiian buffet at the bocce court. She would keep score for the old guys who made sure she always had an ample supply of poi. Finger food was all she was allowed as her dentist and the court had decided she was not permitted to be in possession of any sharp objects. That edict was handed down shortly after she was found while opening beer bottles with her teeth at the local PathMark prying off the lids of containers of Breakstone’s sour cream and sampling each one with a pocket knife, then slicing summer sausage and handing them out as samples. In her own screwed up way, she could be generous. And now she was back in my life. Why? Hell, if I know. But I did know she would show up again in the next day or so and all would be revealed, not that I really wanted to know. How she found me was easy. I need to find a different bar and falafel joint to hang out at. Maybe I’ll look next week.

In the meantime, her absence was all too short as she staggered back into O’Shea’s. “We need to talk, Foggy.” I hated that nickname more than my regular name. What the hell now?

TBC.

It’s no secret the other Bruce has a fondness for orphans, lovable losers, small cars, and stray puppies. So it should come as no surprise when Bruce, unbeknownst to me, brought home yet another stray dog. However, this was not your typical ASPCA, look-at-me-with-the sad-eyes dog to the strains of Sarah McLachlan music mutt. No, this was Frankendog.

After a lengthy argument as to whether or not we would keep it, (we did), the OCD gene kicked in and Bruce had to determine its lineage. This is of course easier said than done. One can’t just go to their local Petco and get a DIY home canine DNA kit. We had to travel 347 miles to the dog equivalent of a genetics lab who specialized in such nonsense. So, we loaded ourselves and said pooch into our trusty Pignasaurus GT and off we went in search of doggy DNA.

Now, before I go any further, let me describe Frankendog, not his real name. That has yet to be decided. The two names in the running currently are Grendel and Petey. Can you guess which one Bruce wants? Petey – aww c’mon! Frankendog is without any doubt the most unusual looking dog I’ve ever seen. I don’t need to see the results of a DNA test to know he is the bastard off-spring of some demented canine version of Dr. Moreau. He just isn’t what nature intended. Anyone who has been around dogs agrees with this description. Frankendog appears to be the result of an unholy mating of a Pomeranian with a Newfoundland dog. If these are unfamiliar to you, let me just say this – the Pom is really, really, little; the Newf is really, really, big.

Pom.

Newfoundland.

Poms yap. Newfs make a sound like something out of a Sherlock Holmes story – deep, soulful, bellows. I don’t even want to imagine the conjugal image of this creation. However, here he is. With such a hybrid, he shares a melded body, personality, and voice. The body defies easy description, but I’ll try to do it with compassion. Frankendog is almost as big as a full size Newf, but blessed/cursed with rather short front legs that give him the appearance of a jacked-up hot rod ready to leap off the starting line. The problem is when he actually tries to do that. Because of the uneven weight distribution, he usually winds up grinding his face with much injury into the pavement. When that occurs, he lets out his unique bark – it’s a keening whine followed by an emphatic cough.

But, he is incredibly smart. He already understands complex math problems. Ex: If you have three bones and you eat one, how many do you have left? He knows the answer! When certain types of music are played, he displays an unerring ear for quality – loves opera, hates rap. Likes classic rock, looks down his misshapen snout at country. And as a watchdog, has the size, sound, and terrifyingly odd look that stop miscreants from proceeding any closer to our humble abode. Lucky for us that stops these wannabe thieves for if they came any closer, they would probably just drown in his slobber.

His personality too is a contradiction. He has the gentle, good natured attitude of the Newf, but it’s punctuated by the gritty, growliness of the Pom. It’s like he’s saying “I really like you” when in reality he’s probably saying “I’d really like to bite you.” Keeping Frankendog is going to be a test of our friendship.

So, we make the trip to the lab and get the tests done. In spite of the wonders of technology, we got the results back in four days. We were told it would only take a few hours, but upon seeing the results they ran the tests over and over again as they felt they must have been wrong. What they found is what I’d already postulated – a Newf and Pom mating. There was $ 1,600.00 out the window! But that was only the start of the “good news”.

We then learned that Frankendog was only 9 months old and would not reach full physical maturity for another 2 years. It was estimated that when fully grown, Frankendog would be about 250 lbs, requiring at least one full side of beef per day to stay fed properly. Walking the Frankendog is a singularly unique experience. Were this the frozen tundra, he on his own could win the Iditarod! Try it on pavement though at your own risk. Because of all the scraped hands and knees received from trying to teach him about walking on leash, we now have a standing order for neosporin at our pharmacy.

Bruce wants so much to keep him. I so much want to ride him. But neither of those are really good options.

This is what riding Frankendog might look like.

We could put him back on the side of the road where Bruce first found him or we could get him a job as a judge on American Idol. I’m opting for the TV gig.

Bruce and I were having one of our late-night-up-until-the-early-hours philosophical/theological discussion. He’d just seen an episode of Whale Wars and was bemoaning the fact that there were fewer and fewer whales in the world. I misunderstood him and thought he meant that with all the whales gone there’d be no more episodes of Whale Wars. Boy, was I ever wrong! He was really worried about the fate of the world, the way we take things for granted, our criminally poor stewardship of dear old Mother Earth (his words, I swear!), and the amount of waste in our lives. Taken in the context of his life of wretched excess and gas-guzzling cars (the Pignasaurus not withstanding), this was an amazing about-face for him.

It just made him weep.

I looked up and he was crying! “What is going to happen to all those poor, dead whales just floating around in the sea?” I opined that they could be harvested for ambergris, a key ingredient in his favorite cologne, but he found no comfort there. And it went downhill from there.

He calmed down enough for us to go out for dinner as our dear Mrs. Crosby had the night off again. (Aside – does she ever work? I’ll have to ask Bruce when he’s in a better mood.) So on our way to Casa del Pies for a favorite dish of ours – the pigs feet in rose wine and guacamole, Bruce saw a dead raccoon in the road. This set him off once again. First the whales, now the raccoons. (Please lord, give me strength!) But this gave me a brilliant idea.

Since Bruce was now exhibiting a concern for the world around him, this was going to be a winner. If you are like us, and we assume you are for you are reading this blog, then you are probably hyper-aware of the increasingly large amount of road kill these days. Ignoring them and leaving them on the road is poor stewardship. As our primary premise, we will be publishing the first ever gourmet road kill cookbook. Think about it: no more unsightly animal carcasses befouling our thoroughfares; we will now use all that is provided to us by a higher power, if you believe in such things; and finally, nutritious meals that can be had by all. We are going to provide a few of the recipes now slated for inclusion in our new French-inspired, but globally-adaptable cookbook, Rue de la Morte. What you will undoubtedly notice is that all palates can be entertained by these and all road kill can be adapted to multiple cuisines.

We wanted to make sure no children were traumatized by this post.

Tex-Mex Armadillo stew: 1 armadillo; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in stock pot for 6 hours.

New England whale chowder: 1 whale; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in stock pot for 6 hours.

New Jersey squirrel pate: 1 squirrel; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in blender.

Montana Bambi stew: 1 deer; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in stock pot for 6 hours.

Brazilian dolphin ragout: 1 dolphin; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in stock pot for 6 hours.

Pepe Le Pew Jambalaya: 1 skunk; 4 tomatoes; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 slices American cheese; two large Idaho potatoes; 4 cups of chicken broth; 6 tablespoons sugar; 1 bay leaf. Toss in stock pot for 6 hours. Add ketchup to kill smell.

Jambalaya – it’s all good.

I think you get the idea. Anything with this universally helpful recipe can turn the most disgusting road kill into a gourmet’s delight. And keep in mind, if it’s been on the road for a day or two, even better. It’s just like aged beef. So, take a chance. What have you got to lose?