Brexit Is Not A Harbinger Of Doom

brexit

RUN!

Long ago I was in a tavern in Europe witnessing an interesting discussion. I manned my seat, overindulged in wine, and listened. Folks told me how awesome their future European Utopia was going to be. They cheered for it like a soccer match.

I’m skeptical of Utopia. Utopia sucks. I don’t want to live in Utopia. I prefer to live in Reality.

My European friends were enthralled with the EU. The EU was going to fix how traveling in Europe was a pain in the ass. They’d just spent hours telling me how awesome Eurorail was! Their general feeling was that American’s insistence on driving overpowered wheeled dreadnaughts was silly when you could sit in a train seat. But now travel was a pain in the ass? How’d that happen?

The EU would eliminate the misery of carrying a passport. At the time Americans and Canadians could cross our mutual border with only a driver’s license. If Americans and Canadians could do such a thing couldn’t other nations too? Why must France and Germany merge when a simple handshake would do?

Another complaint was the need to exchange currency when traveling. I liked their colorful money and big coins. American greenbacks look stodgy and our coins are worth jack shit. More importantly it seemed to me that a slew of moving currencies would efficiently measure out their relative value.

They said I was missing the point. With the EU everything was going to be fixed! I didn’t understand quite what was broke but nodded politely.

I make a point of not having an opinion about how other people should run their countries but I did listen carefully. What I heard seemed to indicate the absence of a purpose more than explain the purpose itself.

My passport was in my pocket (where I always keep it when I’m overseas). I bought another round of wine with a Visa card. Money came out of an American account (measured in dollars) and made a European purchase measured in a different currency. Without leaving my seat I’d overcome the two biggest travails leading to the EU?

I asked a few questions. “Do you really want to merge your country with people against whom you’ve fought wars?” (Everyone in Europe has fought everyone else. Each town has local history about how “Fred the Awesome” slew the shit out of the dirtbag invaders from the next town over. This is documented in “the glorious sagas of 1247”. The next town over will have a competing story about “Ralf the Hearty” who ended Fred’s reign of terror in 1289. They’ll have a commemorative statue. It goes forever.)

Also was there no value in everyone’s cool stamps, traditions, local cuisine, culture, and markets? Everyone was simultaneously proud of their country’s culture and stampeding to shitcan it.

Was this how the Romans did it? I thought it was “get with the program or we’ll kill you.” Maybe it was “check out this excellent road” followed by cheers for the road?

Also why would anyone let the French make rule about bananas? (Bananas were a big thing in EU news. Imagine news reports about NATO that revolve around turnips.)

The currency thing seemed mere logistics. Was it so hard to swap Deutsche Marks for Pesetas? Does not algebra and a calculator provide the solution? “Math is hard so I’m going to subsume my country’s economy.” Really?

I was assured that yes it was going to be super cool for everyone to join together and calculating currency was absolutely the definition of pure hell. It dawned on me that there must be some other justification and I wasn’t going to hear it.

Before giving up and agreeing that the EU was going to pay the rent and cure cancer I asked one more question. “Is it wise to chain all the swimmers together and lose your diversity?” I related that in America if one state goes broke the rest of us get hosed. It’s an inherent weakness of our system.

Everyone listened politely to the clueless American but they had a simple answer; “that will never happen”. I was speechless. “Really? There won’t ever be a member nation that does something stupid? Nobody’s going to build something ridiculous, invest in tulips, or flip out and invade Russia? People make bad decisions and go broke all the time don’t they?” Everyone was chill. “‘Aint gonna’ happen.” My questions were dumb because the EU was going to be awesome. End of story.

Of course it all played out in due time. Some nations tanked financially. They became a burden on the other swimmers to whom they were chained. It’s much like my milder examples in America. California is freebasing on high speed rail and Puerto Rico is broke. Their choices burden the taxpayers of Iowa and Maine.

Meanwhile the EU is its own straightjacket. if you want a banana in Spain you’d better clear it with a team of examiners in Brussels who regulate them in deference to an inexplicable French obsession. (I never understood the banana thing.)

Ironically my example of US and Canadian cooperation is gone. People like me need passports at our mutual border (the same at Mexico) but a zillion illegals have an exemption. They tromp right through Texas while I dutifully hand over a passport on a fishing trip to British Columbia. For America that debate will never end. Texas and Arizona scream for mercy over immigration (legal or otherwise). Maine and South Dakota are a thousand miles away and ignore them. The EU plays the same game. Substitute Greece and Germany for Arizona and Wisconsin and you’ve got the same shit, different continent.

Years after that discussion in the tavern Europe is freaking out that Britain choose to incrementally separate itself from the Borg. As if it’s Britain’s responsibility to maintain the Borg? If the EU was really awesome wouldn’t “adios fucker” be a fine response? Instead it’s “we’re super hot and you’ll never be happy without us”. Sounds like a psycho ex-girlfriend.

I never fathomed the true reason behind everyone’s enthusiasm for the EU but it’s a moot point now. Utopia was promised and something else arrived and everyone experiences the something else. Flaws I noticed three weeks into my residence in Europe were questions nobody was willing to consider. Thus they weren’t addressed.

As for me, EU’s development validated my skepticism over any endeavor where advocates won’t even consider questions. It works regardless of the subject; global warming, gun control, buying a used car, where did the last donut go? If asking questions is verboten you’re dealing with a sham.

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Ten Safety Tips For Independence Day

FEMA, God bless ’em, is trying to keep us knuckle dragging dipshits alive. As such they’ve posted safety tips here. Somewhere there’s a person so dumb they need these tips. This person is either institutionalized or a politician. For the rest of us I’ve decided to provide further details. They’re in bold at the end of FEMA’s text.

No need to thank me; I’m here to help:


Release date:
June 30, 2016
Release Number:
RV-NR-2016-05

CHICAGO –Ensure your Independence Day weekend is filled with celebration and not regret (Regret is bad. Remember that one time in band camp you did that thing? Photos on the cloud are like forever man. Live and learn eh?) with these 10 fire safety tips, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V office in Chicago. Trust us when we talk about safety. We’re from Chicago. We’ve had 326 homicides in 2016. (City motto: “Well on track to double the number homicides in 2016!”) We’re real good at protecting the people who don’t get gunned down by gangs before lunch.

  1. Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them. Either that or just do what everyone has done for generations; pick ’em up next time you’re visiting a free state. Nothing that says “America” like visiting Grandma’s retirement home in Florida and coming back with a box of Roman candles. It almost makes the trip worthwhile.
  2. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Fortunately the other 364 days a year you can let your kids run feral. Let the little monsters play in the street. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. Like light beer and masturbation, sparklers are only a hollow shadow of the real thing. If you’re going to go to the emergency room at least have the decency to blow something off with a mortar.
  3. If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire. Also you might need to deal with the Wicked Witch of the West… or Hillary Clinton.
  4. If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away. The safest way to dispose of fireworks that didn’t light or burn properly is to dump them in your neighbor’s pool. A full swimming pool on a teacher’s salary? Once a year that asshole can fish out some paper. It’s for the good of the community!
  5. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal. In case you have trouble with the physics behind this request feel free to ask your nearest mad bomber. They’ll explain it to you.
  6. Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs. But don’t be silly and try to cook on the lawn like a common Neanderthal. You might get wet if it rains. Real men stuff a grill in their van and run it there. You don’t want to get wet.
  7. Open your gas grill before lighting. Also take your pants off before shitting.
  8. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited. Handy tip: spread that shit on bread. It’s delicious.
  9. Declare a three-foot “kid and pet-free zone” around the grill to keep them safe. Kids suck. Ship ’em off to college where they can get stoned and screw without disturbing your barbecue.
  10. Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill. Grilling naked is probably safest.

You can find more information and tips on being fire safe this Fourth of July, by visiting www.usfa.fema.gov and be sure to download the FEMA app, available for Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices. (We totally promise this won’t track your every movement for the rest of your life. You don’t have anything to hide do you? Well do you?) The app includes home fire safety tips and reminders users can set to test smoke alarms (monthly), change smoke alarm batteries (yearly), and practice fire escape plans (every six months). (Cliff notes version: set ’em on fire, wire ’em to a car battery, run motherfucker… it’s a damn fire!)

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. (The first big hurricane that hits Memphis is when it’ll all unfold. We’re going to round you up in camps and grind you into cat food. Whoops did I just say that aloud?)

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We Are Not Obligated To Participate In Bullshit

I’ve recently returned from a few weeks “off grid”. I like to unplug from time to time. You might like it too. The world did fine without me. It’ll continue without you. Also you should eat your vegetables. I’m just sayin’.


Unfortunately (and predictably) stupid, evil shit went down in my absence. I’m talking about Orlando. I carefully avoided the media frenzy and ensuing Facebook shitstorm. My only regret from June is I didn’t spend more time fishing. That last sentence is the whole point of a life well lived (or at least the best I can do). Also I may go fishing this weekend so there’s that.

Back to the topic at hand, I had the benefit of distance and had a single point I wanted to make. I let the dust settle. I took my time. I wasn’t out for more hits or whatever passes for blogger cred. I just had something to say.

I wrote a post and deleted it. Wrote another and deleted that. I wrote again and it’s on a hard drive somewhere but I’m not posting that either. My single simple observation eludes my feeble writing.

Fuck it. I’ll try again.

Please: don’t be someone else’s political puppet.


Somewhere in your head you’ve got a list. I’ve got one too. We’ve all got a mental list where we store our memories of terrorism and evil. There are so many attacks that nobody remembers them all. A comprehensive list requires a spreadsheet and proves what Stalin said about the death of millions.

So we winnow it down to a few key points. For just the last year or my memory dredged up several instances; Paris 1 (Charlie Hebdo), Paris 2 (November), Nigeria (several events that blur into the single idea that Boko Haram aspires to Nazi/Stalin/Pol Pot levels of evil. Also Boko Haram reminds me that I was embarrassed by our first lady using social media to it’s full irrelevancy.) Domestically recent years have included Chattanooga, Sandy Hook (caused, apparently, by magazines), San Bernardino, Charleston (caused, apparently, by Confederate flags), and now Orlando (which has variously been attributed to Republicans, the NRA, homophobia, and the AR-15).

But what’s the point? To what purpose are we sticking these data points in our precious (and lets face it, limited) brain cells? Are we learning? Are we adapting? Are we, as individuals, getting better at handling evil?

Ask yourself this. “If I am not formulating or improving my world view and personal plan of action from this information, is it nothing more than a horrific political sporting event? If so, should I participate in something that gross?”


I notice that nobody in politics or the media did anything other than what was expected:

Obama can’t say the words “Islamic Terrorist”. He’s that fuckin’ indoctrinated. How can we take seriously a Hogwarts schoolboy that can’t speak the name Voldemort. Obama also hasn’t presented a novel idea in decades. As a human wind up toy he did what he always does. He blamed Republicans and explained that if he aggregated more power to himself things would be perfect.

Hillary Clinton isn’t as dumb as Obama but, like him, she hasn’t had a new idea in decades. She has an insatiable lust for power and never liked Americans’ messy insistence on self determination. We should exist as game pieces on her chessboard. Thus in 2016 she’s pitching the same solution she supported (and was enacted) 22 years ago. Almost reflexively, she insists that if she had Godlike powers (which is what she misconstrues from the office of the president) she’d solve all our problems. She’s a grim reminder that hubris is deadly to the soul. She’s the third act of a Greek tragedy. She depresses me. I’d like to think that 22 years from now I’ll have 22 years more thinking upon which to draw. I aspire to grow and learn. She reminds me it’s not a sure thing.

The hairball from New York surprised me by unexpectedly failing to wow the press. He’s the king of verbal judo. Long ago I presumed that somewhere under that plastic wig of his was a planned response to the near certainty of a terrorist attack. I expected him to stride up to a podium and say something that seemed off the cuff but was finely tuned to make Hillary shit herself and rocket him toward the big chair. Instead the hairball described no new ideas. Just the usual blather about illegal immigrants (Orlando guy was neither illegal nor an immigrant). The Trumpster seems hunky dory oppressing those on a secret list of people too dangerous to fly but not dangerous enough to arrest… so long as he keeps the secret list.

The press… well nobody expects them to think so I’ll skip them. OK so the one guy that shot an AR and flipped out was kind of funny. We should give that guy a huge book deal. Anyone who’s smelled his own shit that deeply is comedy gold.

Bernie is a commie and commies never have ideas so I didn’t bother with him. (If he said something other than “give the government more power and I’ll fix your sorrows” tell me in the comments.)

I was disheartened by folks with whom I largely agree. There’s a small but dedicated section of the Citizenry that’s law abiding, well armed, and self reliant. Go team! We’ve already considered terrorism and planned as much as one can plan for such things. Even so we largely reacted exactly as we always do! Obama (and his pet press) made the usual noises and we went apeshit. I presume AR15s are flying off the shelves again? The usual discussions ensued; “it’s a magazine not a clip you gun grabbing nitwits”. Some folks pushed the whole “there’s no reason you can’t be gay and properly armed” angle. It’s a positive message but anyone willing to listen already knew that. People who think gun owners are homophobic morons is just stupid and regurgitating NPR press releases. Yet we tried to join in “a conversation”. Distance allows me to see that it’s pointless and repeated. How does it happen? Self reliant people become a marionette on a string whenever an evil fuckwad shoots innocents? Why?

We should avoid playing their game. Both the game of terrorist (who would kill us) and of politicians (who would oppress us). If someone on Facebook really wants to know if an AR15 has accursed evil abilities then by all means help them with the details… but if they’re just bitching about a Glock with lots of clips or begging for God or Government to unleash the Precrime Division then they’re still lost. Only they can find themselves.

Step away.

You cannot help find those who want to stay lost. Leave them to their internal contradictions. When (or if) the contradictions open their mind, greet them with a smile and welcome them to reality. But don’t try to pry open a clam and insert reason. If a mind never opens it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The next time a terrorist commits evil (and there will be a next time) consider going fishing as an alternative to the nationwide post tragedy emotional scrum.

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Every Year I Temporarily Lose Ground

It happens far too often. I have too much to do, too little time to do it, places where I must go, and duties to which I must attend. Minor tasks get neglected of necessity. It piles up until a cascade of failure sets in. When that happens I’ve temporarily lost control of my little homestead.

Many things get chaotic but one that bothers me most is when the lawn goes feral. How pathetic can I get? A damn monkey can mow a lawn yet I can’t rise to monkey level of competency?!? (Hint: you can’t mow the lawn when you’re in another time zone.)

As with other busy summers I’ve resorted to triage mowing. Even that’s not working well but it’s all I can do. Hopefully things will hold together a few more weeks. Once I get a chance I can gain the upper hand. After that I’ll gladly deploy the brutal efficiency of setback mowing. Once I’ve initiated setback mowing I’ll be home free. It’ll take many weeks before that fine day arrives.

It is what it is. There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes you make trade offs. Sometimes you fail to attain otherwise reasonable goals. Sometimes your home looks like a crackhouse…

I’d made peace with it. But today I got an extra insult. It was from my dog.

The dog was pacing back and forth. Obviously distressed. After half an hour I realized my dog had deemed my lawn too unkempt and thus wouldn’t shit on it.

A lawn unworthy of dogshit is rock bottom! I’m half tempted to fill the sprayer with Roundup and kill everything.

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How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love (Tolerate?) The Bomb

I haven’t blogged lately. I’m busy rectifying deferred maintenance and sipping bourbon. Also I’m reluctant to comment on the creepy obfuscation of our election cycle.

With warmest regard for Slim Pickens

Author’s depiction of the 2016 election cycle.

Yet it’s too big to ignore. It’s not the 800 pound gorilla in the room… it’s the 10,000 pound sack of shit that raped your cat. Eventually one must say something.

I’d like to offer a lifeline to fellow realists who aren’t drinking the Kool-aid. It helped my sanity to follow simple guidelines. They’ll help; if not in this election then the next. You can ignore or ridicule them. It’s up to you. I’m only saying what works for me.

A selection of guidelines to avoid going apeshit during election cycles:

  • Guideline 0: These people aren’t in charge. You are. Politicians like Obama, Trump, and Hillary don’t know you, they never will know you, and they aren’t going to solve your problems. Voters who think otherwise are seeking not a president but a God.
  • Guideline 1: I don’t vote for people who inherit power. I decided I’d never vote for the son, brother, wife, daughter, concubine, maid, pet, or sex toy of a former president. Each family gets one shot at the big chair. After that they’re done. Dynasties welding their ass into a throne is Un-American. There’s a reason they had to stab Caesar.
    • My guideline eliminated the total loser we call Jeb: Madness seized the (aptly named) Stupid party and they embraced Jeb explicitly because of his family. Everyone sane (possibly including Jeb) knew better. I suppose Stupid Party apparatchiks huffed Kennedy glamour off a stripper’s ass and overdosed on visions of dynasty? I don’t care if a candidate walks on water while curing cancer, I won’t vote for a successionial line.
    • My guideline eliminated the total loser we call Hillary: Hillary is a greedy, corrupt, power mad, misanthrope who schemes like Gollum and we’d have never heard her name if not for Bill. Imagine being so close to something you covet and earning none of it. What does that do to a person? Hillary’s grasp exceeds her merit and, like a Greek tragedy, she invariably fails spectacularly. She seeks not to earn power but cheat her way into it. Earning things gives you self respect and humility. Lacking that, Hillary is a toddler with a flamethrower. Her entire career is that she married someone important. That put her off my list. I wasn’t forced to stifle gag reflexes over a human puppet spawning cascading ethical lapses. It seems like even Hillary’s supporters are tired of her problems. I picture a few naive innocents swept along with tide of fearful courtiers bowing to Lady Macbeth. I’ll never vote for someone based on their spouse.
  • Guideline 2: I don’t vote for commies. I grew up in an America that ate steak and owned overpowered Buicks. Russian peasants grew up eating turnips and waiting in line for toilet paper. The ghastly Utopian cult of socialism always fails. No matter how much  indoctrination is hurled at me I’ll never regret being free and rich! People who’d take my freedom and ruin my economy are dangerous. I won’t trade freedom for the fiscal hand job of a free cell phone or college tuition. I’ll never vote for a Communist. Nor will I vote for their newspeak word du jour; Socialist (as mentioned in acronyms for USSR and NAZI). I won’t be fooled when they rephrase it as Progressive. Regardless of their mask, commies are off my list.
    • My guideline eliminated the unemployable wingnut called Bern: Why submit myself to an obsolete deadbeat who learned nothing from history? Free things are not free and socialism ends badly. Almost uniquely among candidates on both parties; Bern can’t actually do anything. He can’t practice law, he doesn’t run a business, he has pretty much done nothing with his whole life. Until he can do something all by himself; run a business, drive a dumptruck, program a computer, craft a fly rod, set a broken bone, or grow a carrot I presume he’s seeking the Whitehouse because he needs a couch to sleep on. He’s a creepy old loser handing out candy and student loan forgiveness beside his rusted van. Don’t get in his van. You won’t like it.
  • Guideline 3: Thunderdome works but you don’t get to pick who’ll emerge from it. I believe in meritocracy and honest competition. America’s search for leaders benefits from battle not coronations. On the right side of the equation, they got one. They got it good and hard. The race began with a healthy stable of participants who milled about like little pussies for a while and then finally got into the spirit of things. Most did their best. Hats off to ’em. Better to lose in honest competition than whine from the sidelines.
    • My guideline helps me make peace with the hairball from New York: To everyone’s amazement (aside from Scott Adams) Trump strode into Thunderdome and shredded all who opposed him. Go ahead. Say it aloud. Let it out. Take a breath. “Trump and his ego won the nomination fair and square.” There, it’s over. Don’t you feel better? Trump won even when the Stupid Party conspired against him. He won on the cheap. He won when the press assured us all sentient mammals loathed him. Trump remembered the old fashioned (forgotten?) notion that it’s all about the  people. It’s a lesson the Stupid party needed. A million people chant for Trump and we’re supposed to look for approval from Mitt Romney? Fuck Mitt. I thought he was an OK guy and might have made a good president but he failed. Mitt’s opinion is now exactly one vote among 300 million. That the press and Party hate Trump tells me more about them than Trump. The American people have made their voice heard in a way that made George Will’s little bow tie spin. They stepped over the twitching corpses of a dozen vat raised elites and handed the baton to a smarmy real estate developer. That’s a “clue”! More importantly, competition honed Trump. I prognosticate that Trump (regardless of who I’d prefer to be president) will tear weak and scheming Hillary into tiny bits before setting fire to the pieces and pissing on the ashes. (I could be wrong.) Trump is probably not the best choice for president. Lord knows I wouldn’t pick him. But I have faith in competition and whomever would be better (in my eyes) either has or will fall to Trump’s sword. Thunderdome doesn’t pick who you want. It picks who is strongest. Perhaps (we hope) it picks what America needs. Even if he’s a freak, Trump is the only thing standing between the Whitehouse and a harpy who commits crimes. Thunderdome is how you know Trump is the real deal. He entered Thunderdome and fucked up everyone within reach. I’m less fearful of candidates who’ve handled competition.
  • Guidline 4: Free citizens owe nothing to any political party. If two New Yorkers, a hairball and a harpy, are just too much to swallow, vote for someone else.
    • My guideline helps me make peace with voting my way: The Stupid Party and the Evil Party can kiss my ass. They aren’t the boss of me. I will not vote for someone I loathe just to be on the “winning side”. I will vote for whomever I wish. It may be the aforementioned hairball or it may be third party. Vote in a way that will let you sleep soundly at night.
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New Cat Report: Part 4: We Defend Against Cat Seizure

With no warning Mrs. Curmudgeon shouted; “Lock and load! They’re coming for the cat!” Nothing will light a paranoid survivalist type’s fuse like hearing “lock and load! I jumped up, spilled my coffee, and made a gesture which meant roughly “point me at the target and what happens next will be awesome…”

It did no good. Mrs. Curmudgeon barely registered my attentiveness. She just glared at her iSlab; angrily scowling at Facebook. This was not good. Peer too deeply into Facebook and Facebook peers back at you.

“They’re coming back! If they want this cat back they’re in for a fight!”

“Um… honey? Sweetheart? The Facebook people will not kidnap our cat.”

“When they come just be an asshole, OK? Let’s face it, you’re good at it.”

“Dear? My beloved? Cats are like zucchini. They breed in the weeds. They’re plentiful. Someone is always trying to dump half a dozen on the doorstep. There’s no shortage of cats.”

“What if they pull a Lassie?” She moaned and slumped into a chair.

Lord Skullcrusher Fluffington sensed her concern and jumped in her lap. The cat’s a walking comforter. In the months he’s been here he has defined a new job: Staff Psychological Comfort Critter. If you’re feeling down he’ll sense a disturbance in the force, find you, and induce mellowness. He’ll sit on you and purr and suddenly everything is OK. He’s a furry dose of Soma.

I was heretofore unaware we needed a Staff Psychological Comfort Critter. I stand corrected. I grudgingly respect cats for being incorrigible little bundles of claw and fang that kill rodents. I like the idea of miniature untamed lions prowling the living room. I’d rather have miniature dragons but cats suffice. Alas not all creatures are cut out to be Rikki Tikki Tavi. Lord Skullcrusher Fluffington (accepting the name the Internet has given him) is priceless for the unexpected reason that a household benefits from hosting a deep pool of ambulatory mellow.

Time to bravely face what men fear most; an upset wife. As I inched toward the dangerous but calming Mrs. Curmudgeon, the half somnolent cat bailed out. Apparently it deemed Mrs. Curmudgeon sufficiently comforted. Traitor! Leave me alone in the kill zone? You damn pansy!

This was going to take diplomacy. “Honey? Sweetheart?”

She looked at me.

“I only ask because I care. So… What the fuck?”

We’ve all been psychologically damaged by children’s movies about questionable pet ownership like Lassie or Snoopy. I’d never inquired about Lord Skullcrusher Fluffington’s backstory. He just appeared one day. (It’s my opinion that as soon as a cat eats food I’ve paid for, it’s mine.) Eventually I grokked that around Christmas Mrs. Curmudgeon had an acquaintance with a cat and he was leaving town; the acquaintance, not the cat. He was seeking a home for the cat. Mrs. Curmudgeon answered the call and that’s how we ended up with the world’s most psychologically adept mellowness generator.

Now, months later, the former owner reported to the universe (via Facebook) that the move hadn’t worked out. He was coming back.

“He’s not taking this cat!” Hissed Mrs. Curmudgeon.

I’m not good at remembering names, or people, or really anything. Actually to be clear I probably forget people because I simply don’t give a shit. (I presume they return the favor yet they seem to remember me. Disturbing really. But that’s another story.)

Time to determine who this threat might be. “Who is he again?”

“Gunter. Remember!?! He worked at the place and then he worked at the other thing and then that time we met them in the grocery store?”

I had no idea. Gunter sounded German. “The hulking dude with the shaved head. The guy who’s into MMA?” Oooooh, this could get interesting.

“No the other guy. Remember that dinner? The tiramisu?”

I vaguely remembered. A uniquely dressed individual, highly urbane, well spoken, probably weighed 80 pounds soaking wet. He was hanging out with some other guy wearing a tie. Mmmm… I like tiramisu.

“The uniquely dressed dude with the business partner?” I confirmed.

“Hello Neanderthal, that’s his boyfriend. And he wasn’t uniquely dressed. He’s a chef.”

“That explains the tiramisu…”

“He’s coming back. He might want his cat.”

“I don’t think we need to worry. The cat’s already here. It’s shedding on the couch as we speak. I can’t freak out about a chef and an accountant showing up and taking my shit. I’d be concerned about Janet Reno and the ATF, or maybe the Hell’s Angels, but not those guys.”

“And they’re really gonna show up unannounced here in the Godforsaken tundra…”

“Now you’re just teasing me.”

“…probably immaculately dressed and driving a Prius. They’ll approach our homestead. A setup which could legitimately be called a ‘compound’…”

“Well…”

“And he’s going to hop out of that Prius, wearing a chef’s hat, and stride past the hundred pound dog, and the rusting tractor, and walk up to me. Me?!?”

“Um…”

“And his partner is going to participate? Keep the Pruis running as a getaway car? Or initiate a flanking maneuver behind the oak trees? And the first guy will stand at our threshold and make demands? ‘See here my good man, hand over the cat or there may be trouble’.” I chuckled. “Unless he’s bringing a brace of dueling pistols I’m a level of ‘don’t tread on me’ a nice guy like that probably can’t imagine. Also he seemed pretty reasonable. Reasonable people don’t give away things and later demand it back.”

“You think so?”

“I’m sure of it. As a civilized being I’m sure he’s happy that Skullcrusher here…”

“That’s Lord Fluffington…”

“Which just proves my point. Nobody who names a cat Fluffington is demanding a damn thing of the residents of this house.”

“Hm.”

“Why don’t you welcome him back ‘home’ on Facebook? Tell him the cat’s happy here with us.”


Ten minutes later a delighted Mrs. Curmudgeon reported that the fellow was entirely pleased to hear the cat was happy and wanted nothing to do with reclaiming it. No muss, no fuss; “lock & load” false alarm.

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New Cat Report: Part 3: Portraiture

Mrs. Curmudgeon drew a picture of Skullcrusher Lord Fluffington.

Lord_Fluffington_1

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