Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Litterbox of the Damned!!!

Another favorite old thread from Facebook; and one of Bob Secco's finest hours...

The Cat is now radioactive...

Following radiation treatment, we have to keep her isolated from the other cats for a week, carefully package and dispose of her glowing poop and pet her only with a stuffed mitten attached to a stick.

Of course, I'm trying to decide how to employ radioactive tabby-turds to terrorize and subjugate the good citizens of Vernon Hills.

I'll be needing a really cool super-villain name, some costume suggestions and a plausible flowchart for most effective utilization of deadly cat muffins.
Bob, you start...December 14, 2010 at 7:25pm · Unlike · 1

Dennis Harris ‎...and remember, "Senor Bag-o-Crap" is a Mexican wrester name and is already taken.December 14, 2010 at 7:26pm · Like

Dennis Harris The cat has a runaway thyroid and has dropped to 4 lbs. RadioCat in Arlington Heights specializes in radioactive cat thyroid ablation. (Apparently thyroid ablation is popular among cats, just behind bulimia and cutting themselves...) It's spendy but Staci won't accept my proffered addendum to Shroedinger's famous thought experiment ( I call it the "Cat Disposability Postulate...)December 15, 2010 at 7:32pm · Like

Dennis Harris At any rate this should fix her and will remove the need for chasing her down twice a day to stuff pills down her. She's smarter than me and can fake accepting medication like a tiny, well-groomed Amy Winehouse. We keep finding the pills later on, usually in my shoes or on my toothbrush.December 15, 2010 at 7:35pm · Like · 1

Dennis Harris After all this brouhaha, though, we'd better get at least another 5 years out of her or I'm going to have her stuffed and mounted and keep her around like Roy Rogers did with Trigger.December 15, 2010 at 7:36pm · Like

Dennis Harris I seem to remember hearing, at the time, that Dale Evans also wanted to be stuffed and mounted, though not necessarily in that order...December 15, 2010 at 7:37pm · Like · 1

Staci Tull Harris Torture is finally getting your very affectionate cat back from 3 very long days away from us (for radiation treatment)... only to have to keep telling her "I'm so sorry. You're still glowing. I can't hold you, or pet you for 2 weeks. I can only look at you!" The looks she is giving are killing me (not to mention the constant meowing all night long outside our closed bedroom door)!
December 17, 2010 at 12:34pm Like

Brion Davis Thompson- I don't know if I could do it!December 17, 2010 at 12:40pm · Like · 1

Robert Secco Sure you could, Brion. The hard part would be breaking into their house so you could get close enough to their closed bedroom door to start meowing. (I'm not sure why you'd want to do it, but it could be done!)December 17, 2010 at 1:16pm · Unlike · 4

Robert Secco And as for you, Staci, you want to hug your kitty even though she's radioactive, yet when Dennis gets a little too "gassy", you have no qualms about locking him in the basement for the evening. For shame!!!December 17, 2010 at 1:24pm · Like · 1

Dennis Harris Bob, that was the best reply to the best set-up line in memory. You must still be basking in the afterglow...December 18, 2010 at 5:35pm · Like · 1

Bill Harris Sr. I had the thyroid ablation done, myself. While I was radioactive, Carolyn made me sleep in the basement by the water heater. My meowing got so loud that the neighbors called animal control and they shot me. Fortunately I was able to create a protective bubble around myself at the last minute. Carolyn finaly let me back into the bedroom after she couldn't get me to stop levitating outside the bedroom window. Sadly when the radioactivity wore off, so did my powers. It takes a week or so ....... until then I would be very afraid .... I'd hide the car keys ...
December 18, 2010 at 12:12am · Unlike · 4

Dennis Harris    The Cat is now back home... 

Smurfette and I have been observing her for any signs of radiation induced mutant superpowers.

It actually appears that she's developed some low level psychic mind control abilities over the other cats. She's sitting under the Christmas tree perfectly still, eyes unblinking, making an eerie keening sound as Abbey totters back and forth in a zombie-like state constructing a tiny, grisly pyramid of mouse skulls to honor her."

At the same time, Attila is standing there with a confused, scared look on her face as she repeatedly slaps herself. Sad how easily their tiny, simple minds are controlled.    December 16, 2010 at 9:50pm · Like

Dennis Harris   Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cash out my 401K and buy squeaky toys...  December 16, 2010 at 9:51pm · Like · 1

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Skunks

Now and then, it's worth all the attendant annoyance of Facebook just to be part of a good string when you have the right friends participating.  I think that transcribing a few favorites over is a nice, lazy man's way to fill up some blog space.

Here's one.

Man vs. Skunk- Day 2 A man can only take so much! I mean, I've done my best. I've tried to reason with it but it's fought me at every turn. This is the second time the little bastard has gone off next to the house, infusing the basement with that special aroma which quickly circulated through the house. Last time, one fell into a window well. Oh, that was fun! Never again! 

Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Skunks!! I need a cunning plan...

  • Sandy- try candles-baking soda in the carpet and vaccuum-how about a ozone machine> lol< so sorry dennisSeptember 22, 2010 at 6:46pm · Like

  • Dennis Harris Since ammonia soaked rags, filling in the access holes and sending strongly worded letters (anonymously) hadn't worked, I had to move on to stronger methods. This being me, of course, you pretty much know where this is going. Embracing my inner Elmer Fudd, I went straight to the Home Center to arm myself with mothballs and poison smoke bombs.September 22, 2010 at 6:48pm · Like

  • Dennis Harris Now, instead of a house that smells like skunk, I have a house that smells like skunk, mothballs and poison smoke bombs. The basment is uninhabitable and the cats are huddled together, desperately trying to dial Staci's cell number....

    Sadly, I know how this cartoon usually ends. I see myself standing in a scorched blast zone where my home used to be; nothing but a roasted caricature in shredded underwear, holding a single spent match, totally smoke-blackened except for, in a triumph of 40's era bad taste, my enormous white lips and wide, surprised eyes.

    Somewhere off camera, a skunk laughs mockingly...

    Smurfette will be home Friday. Can I crash on someone's couch for a couple weeks? September 22, 2010 at 6:49pm · Like ·
  • Denise-  Play a radio where he is. My inlaws had one that kept coming around and the radio actually worked. Seriously try it!September 22, 2010 at 7:13pm · Like

  • Dennis Harris I tried the radio thing but he'd keep changing it to soft jazz in the middle of the night. 3 hours of Kenny G and I gave up on it as a bad job. Skunk's clever; too clever.September 22, 2010 at 8:29pm · Like

  • Dennis Harris I have, though, come up with a cunning plan for when Smurfette returns on Friday. I'm cooking up a welcome-home dinner of fried fish and cabbage with lots & lots of garlic. I may have to burn it a bit but it should keep her distracted till morning. That's when she'll probably get suspicious, though, upon being confronted with limburger pancakes... Suggestions?September 22, 2010 at 8:38pm · Like
  • Bill Harris Sr. I know a guys what knows a badger ....see .... $500.00 and this skunk (what skunk? I don't know nuthin' about no skunk) has a little "accident" on Rt. 45 . (I hear there was rabies involved! Too bad!) Nuf said lemme know.September 22, 2010 at 9:11pm · Unlike · 1
  • Glen McAfee Just mention an old girlfriend stayed over one night this week and spilled some unknown substance. Trust me, the subject of a possible skunk will never come up.September 23, 2010 at 12:16am · Like
  • Robert Secco Are you sure it's a skunk? A buddy of mine thought he had a skunk living under his deck, but in reality it was just a bunch of chipmunks smoking some really expensive weed. That little discovery also cleared up the mystery of his missing Cheetos and hearing the faint sound of reggae music all night.September 23, 2010 at 11:10am · Like

  • Dennis Harris Well, I can see from the footprints in the corn starch I scattered around the
    bird feeder that the skunk is alive and well.


    I'm wondering, then, what the hell I gassed yesterday.

  • I keep getting these horrific mental images of a dark and silent "Fraggle Rock"...

    September 23, 2010 at 3:42pm · Like
  • Robert Secco Have you considered using black spray paint to make one of your white cats look like a comely skunk vixen so as to entice the little bugger out of his lair? History has taught us that it worked numerous times on Pepe Le Pew, so it might be worth a shot.September 23, 2010 at 4:49pm · Like

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chalk Outline of the Body Politic (A Look Back)

Back in November of 2010, I posted the following rant after the mid-terms but then took it down after a few days. Chock full of good, snide metaphor as it may be, it smacks of the same smug, patronizing tone that I find so distasteful in anyone who's not me.

I thought I'd archive it, give it a year and see if I had any legs as a political prognosticator. With New Hampshire coming up in a couple days (the first reality based contest) and the battle focusing in on the Empty-shirt-wearing-the-mom-jeans, Mister Seepage and Ron Paul, the dust should start settling and we'll see who's left chewing on the Republican carcass. 

A reminder to my friends on both ends of the political fringe. Please don"t mistake this as a leftist diatribe. Being a radical centrist, I think you're both crazy as hell. It's just that I find the battle for the soul (or whatever serves in its place...) of the Republican Party more fascinating.

Besides, who am I kidding? I am smug and patronizing.

Let's see what happens.

Nov. 4, 2010

I know you’ve been watching the returns and the apparent rise of the Tea (Terrorize Elderly Americans) party with a frozen look on your faces as if someone were waving a turd under your nose. Take a deep breath, though, and stop surfing through those Canada websites. This is where it gets really fascinating. (Of course I’m slightly sociopathic and find fun in some strange things; like history…)

You don't want to miss the part where the tea party true believers, just like the Religious Right that Bush Junior date-raped and dumped during his elections, meet reality. Flushed with imagined power, the rank-and-file fringe element of the Baggers actually believes that the Republican Party is going to leave its Wife for them. This is the same coalition of delusional "Salt-of-the-earth" types (Blazing Saddles subreference, folks...) , paranoid old people and completely whacked out billionaires that Karl Rove cynically co-opted in 2000 by leading them on; using and abandoning them at the altar. The current tea bag herders (Hey, Karl, what’s new?) will have tired of them soon, even though the baggers will do things for them, dirty things, that no respectable political base would.

The most entertainingly insane of the bunch have already been voted off the Island. Angle lost to Harry Reid. Harry Reid! This has to be the psychic equivalent of giving your best pole dance, and still being laughed off the stage; "No-one wants to see that, honey!"

And of course Christine O'Donnell, number one on the Republican MILVF list (Moms I'd like to Vote for- Just $5.99 to access streaming video of the "news conferences"; an extra $50 gets you ten minutes for a private discussion of the Chinese conspiracy, Pinky and the Brain and, just possibly, a happy ending.) This dumbed-down (god help us…) Sarah Palin and her ilk (good word) have possible futures on “Dancing With The Stars”, FOX and the “Late Show Top Ten List”, but what about all the little, pale, pink-eyed people out in the towns and villages that have powered this movement with their energetic banality?

You can actually envision them standing outside the Capitol building in the cold, greasy light of dawn; soiled panties bunched up in their purse, no money for the bus, an ominous itch developing and hot tears of shame carving gullies through their make up. "I did it again! Oh why do I keep falling for the same sweet lies? He's probably putting those campaign videos up on Face Book for his pervert friends? Oh, God!!"

In the meantime the rest of the body politic will move on as the two vaguely more functional ends of our lunatic fringe continuum continue to do whatever we can to screw things up in more surprisingly unforeseen ways.

Here are the parts I’m looking forward to watching (Remember, though, that I do have antisocial tendencies and I’m sort of at loose ends for entertainment since “Lost” went off the air)

1. The Republican Party Civil War as Boehner and McConnell each have to play different hands for different stakes with the Baggers.

2. The bellows of dismay when the Baggers realize that they were a means to an end.

3. The continuing bellows of dismay when the mainstream Republicans realize they’ve played this hand one too many times and that they’ve lost control of the Baggers  This will start to get fun right about the time raising the debt ceiling comes up. It should be as epic as “Lord of the Rings”, with Jim Demint as Sauron.

4. The subtle maneuvering by the Republicans to torpedo Sarah Palin before she can do more damage. She cost them a possible shot at the Senate by backing candidates even less qualified than her. (You want to look thin, stand next to a fat person. You want to look sane, stand next to O’Donnell)

This coming few years can be a lot of fun if you don’t actually think about it or have any stake in the future. Turn on “E”; have a beer and wait for the end. (Of course, I don’t have any kids and the cats will probably die before me so what the hell…)

Meanwhile, somewhere out of the way in an old burnished and worn boxing ring,  Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes continue to trade blows before a silent audience of old white guys. After many hundreds of rounds, neither seems to have a notable advantage. However, Mr. Smith is the only one that appears to be smiling.

Let's sit back and watch the fun, kids. Better bring along that well-thumbed, dog-eared copy of The Wealth of Nations, just in case we need a ruling.

Get comfortable. This is going to take a while...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In Praise of Crazy Women

Listening to the news this afternoon, I learned that Michelle Bachmann has officially withdrawn from the race.

While she wasn’t necessarily a credit to the race, (or gender or species) I’ll miss the fun she brought to the party, as will most of late night TV. This set me to thinking and, before too long, I could see that shimmery, wavy air thing that usually presages a flashback. Settling back into the hotel room sofa, I relaxed and waited for it.


About a year ago, I was sitting on the deck with Glen, discussing the world scene, politics, fine cheese… the usual hot topics. We had gone through the custom rote declamations of amazement at the pinheads currently holding down both ends of the political bell curve and capped it off with nearly 20 minutes of our best material on the trio of wackettes that were mesmerizing the TEA (Terrify Elderly Americans) Party. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Christine O’Donnell, despite being crazier than a soup sandwich, were completely dominant over that edge of the spectrum. (Actually, “dominant” is a fitting term. You get a feeling that a lot of these folks would pay dearly to have one of these ladies give them the spankings they so richly deserve.)

Glen and I had settled into the smug, superior, self-satisfied silence that always caps reviewing and solving problems you know you won’t be personally called on to deal with.  After a moment or two, though, Glen sheepishly confessed to something that had been weighing heavily on his mind. He felt he had to talk this out even though he was worried that I would…

1. Think he was nuts or…

2. Share his secret shame with the world.

Right on both counts, it would seem…

“I realize they are completely mad,” he agonized, “but I find them oddly attractive. Is there something horribly wrong with me?"

“Yes,” I assured him. “Yes, there is.”

But he’s not alone. I think he put his finger on the cause of their almost inexplicable appeal.

“Hey, what’s that shimmering, wavy thing in the air there?” Glen whispered, warily.

“Just another flashback,” I explained.

“It’s coming closer!”, he nervously hissed.

“Hmm… Best keep your arms and legs away from it”, I opined lazily as the “Wonder Years” music washed over me. “I’m not sure what would happen if…”


The scream cut off abruptly but I was already back several decades and the 70's music soon drowned out the gurgling sounds.


At some point in our early years, most of us guys have been involved with crazy women. We will, for the most part, deny this if asked; especially as it will be our wives doing the asking and we do not want them ever thinking, even for a moment, that:

1. We ever went for crazy women

2. They might, in fact, be those crazy women

They aren’t. Fortunately, those of us who survived crazy women learned to sincerely appreciate non-crazy women. Just as bungee jumping over a dry, rocky river bed may be exciting once; you’re nuts if you continue that sort of behavior after the cord snaps a few times. (Yes, a few times. We’re guys. We learn but not particularly quickly)

This is because young guys are all crazy as well. Well, perhaps not crazy but definitely of diminished capacity because they’re completely in the thrall of their sad, hormone-driven nether brains and the nether brain knows, instinctively, that there’s nothing more exciting than crazy sex; trumping angry sex, makeup sex or outdoor sex and possibly incorporating all of those at the same time. You don’t know where you’re going or where you’ll end up with Crazy Woman but it’s like a ride on an extreme roller coaster that has not been maintained or inspected. You may excitedly raise your arms or something into the air during a curve only to lose it suddenly. It’s amazing what some women will do to disappoint their fathers and a bit disconcerting to realize that you’re probably it.

Eventually though, assuming you survive, the ride comes to an end. Crazy girls heads back to Bradley University, change hats and enter a convent or join the Young Republicans. Perhaps you, yourself, come to the realization that it’s time to move on. This could happen while you’re assembling what’s left of your record collection and clothing scattered about the lawn, trying to get the painted graffitti off your car or snagging pieces of your cat out of the blender. It could occur during the day’s 14th frantic, suicidal personal phone call at work. It may come at 3 AM when you wake up to find her standing over your bed in the darkness. Sure, she’s naked, but she’s also holding a knife and staring blankly at you. You leave the apartment and most of your possessions and go far, far away.

It’s reassuring to know, though, that ultimately even "Little Elvis" himself is able to draw a line in the sand. (Yep, I'm that endowed... Sorry...) This usually happens in your early 30's when the raging hormones start to die back a bit. I remember finding  myself in that situation, getting involved with a girl because she was the sister of an old friend and it theoretically seemed like a nice thing. However, when going to seal the deal, Elvis actually initiated a dialogue. As I recall, it went something like this...

Elvis: "What the hell are you doing?"

Me: "Uh, what do you mean? Boy? Girl? Elvis gets touched?"

Elvis: "Are you nuts? Look in those eyes. She scares the hell out of me!"

Me: "For god's sake, knock it off! You're embarrassing me! Do your stuff, dammit, she's getting that "sympathetic" look!

Elvis: "No way, man. You wanna tap that, you're on your own! I'm taking the boys and spending the night up in the abdomen. Good luck!"

Me: "No!! Don't leave me alone with... What do I... Oh Lord!!!!"

"Wanna cuddle?"

I understand that years of trauma and psychic damage elsewhere have confirmed Elvis's sage wisdom from all those years ago. Thanks, little buddy. (You can come down, now...)


Back in the hotel room, I draw out of the reverie and back to the news, silently wishing Bachmann well, in an odd way. O' Donnell has disappeared; Palin's stuck in a dead end relation with some guy who walks dogs for a living and the Republican whack-a-mole game has dwindled down to a few less colorful players. Thank god there's still one crazy girl left. While not at all attractive, it still provides someone for the Tea Party to lavish their twisted affections on until they finally sneak away in the middle of the night, tears of embarassment stinging their faces.

Keep cab fare and a change of underwear in your murse, Santorum.