Merry Christmas! (posted 12/14/19)

It’s the eve of Christmas eve, and I wanted to send one more, last-minute “Merry Christmas” to all COers everywhere, including to the founder of the feast, the mysterious CO himself.

In honor of the season, I want to focus on only good news. So the only political story I’ll mention is the surpassingly odd decision of Nancy Pelosi to not immediately send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.  The Dems spent months pounding the table and carrying on about the uber-urgent urgency of taking the historical step of impeaching a president for past-due library fines, or wearing white after Labor Day, or whatever it was.   And now that they have shaken the world and crossed the Rubicon and gone all in… they are just going to sit on the articles of impeachment?

This makes no sense.  But it is pretty entertaining, and I can’t imagine that it is going to end well for the Dems.

My favorite scenario would probably be to have the GOP force Pelosi to submit the articles of impeachment, though I can’t figure out how they could do that, or even if they legally can.

I just imagine them getting a warrant, and marching to the base of the pyramid beneath which she lives, and then pushing aside the giant stone that guards the entrance, and then descending the 113 steps down into her burial chamber.  Then pushing aside the stone slab that covers her, and snatching the articles out of her dessicated mummy hands.

The only way that scenario could be improved upon?  The GOP officials take Eric Swallwell with them, allow him to “express himself” in that eloquent way of his, and then hold their breath while they hurriedly replace the stone slab and retreat.

You’ve heard of a “Dutch oven”?  We could call this giving Nancy a “Dutch sarcophagus.”

But enough about politics, at least for a couple of days.  I don’t want to hear any more about “quid pro quos” – the only Latin I’m going to be thinking about is “adeste fidelis” and “Gloria in excelsis Deo.”

Instead, I’m going to praise another great Canine-American.  Because 2019 has been a good year for dogs.

Of course, it goes without saying that any year with a healthy and faithful Cassie the Wonder Dog in it is a good year for dogs.  But this year we also had Conan, the heroic dog who helped to corner and kill a smelly jihadi coward a couple of months ago.

And now we have Duke.  If you haven’t read the story, you can search something like “Police K-9 apprehends suspect,” and you’ll find the story, along with a great video of the event in question.

It seems that a creepy Californian named Julio Vasquez had been stalking his ex-wife, even after she got a restraining order against him.  After he showed up again at her work and threatened to hit her with his truck, the police found him parked near her house last Friday night.  Instead of cooperating with the cops, he led them on an hour-long chase that only ended when they did a PIT maneuver to stop his truck.  When the pig-headed Vasquez still wouldn’t get out of his truck, the cops shot his driver’s side window with a rubber bullet, leaving it broken.

And that’s where Duke comes in!  Watch the beautiful video, if you haven’t already seen it.  Moron Stalker is sitting in the driver’s seat behind his partially shattered window, when – from camera left – in comes a flying bundle of Canine Righteousness!  Duke makes a flying leap that takes him right through the window, startling the dimwit inside.  Apparently he had been used to bullying a smaller female, but he didn’t do so well against Man’s Best Friend!

Duke latched onto his left arm, and started whipping his head around vigorously, while his hindquarters were still framed in the window.  The best part?  Because Duke was doing what God made him for, he never stopped wagging his tail!

The video I saw didn’t have sound, but because I have a Master’s in lip reading, I’m pretty sure that Vasquez screamed, “Aye Caramba!  Dios mio, this loco lobo ees gonna sever mi arm-o!!  Thees diablo es no bueno!”

As I may have mentioned in earlier columns, I was not at the top of my class in high school Spanish.  Although I did often hear the Spanish equivalent of “Excellent job, Martin,” which I believe is pronounced – and you can check my translation here – “Silencio, por favor, Martino.”

Anyway, great job, Duke!


Finally, I mentioned that my dad passed away five Decembers ago, and naturally he’s been on my mind this past week.  So I thought I would share a favorite story about him, as my Christmas gift to the CO nation.

He was one of 9 kids, one of whom died in childhood, and they were the kind of poor family that used to good naturedly tease my aunt who was number 9, because she was so spoiled that she was actually born in a hospital, rather than at home like the rest of the kids.  So I got to hear a lot of the kind of dad jokes that involved how tough he’d always had it.  A favorite theme of his – deployed every time I complained about anything —  was how they’d had an outhouse in the backyard until he was 10 years old!

So about 10 years ago I got my pilot’s license.  I’d bought a 50-year old Cessna 172 to train in; it only cruised at about 110 miles an hour or so, but it was cheap enough that I could afford it.  I flew it from my home in north Florida to Illinois several times.  On my third trip up there, I was flying against a 30-knot headwind, which meant that I was only making about 75 miles an hour in ground speed.  As I neared the Florida-Georgia border, I was flying over I-75, and as I looked down at the traffic, I realized that one particular semi-truck was going faster than I was!  Over about 5 minutes time, he gained on me, passed beneath me, and slowly pulled away from me.

My flight ended up taking about 3 hours longer than usual, and as I crept along,  I became increasingly irritated by this.  I ended up having to make an extra fuel stop, and by the time I finally reached the airport in my parents’ Central Illinois town, I’d only gained about a couple of hours over what it would have taken me if I’d driven.   My folks met me at the airport, and we went out for a late supper.  My long day had left me in a pretty foul mood, and as our food got to the table, dad asked me what was wrong, and I unloaded about the flight: getting bounced around in the wind, watching trucks leave me in their dust, having to make an extra fuel stop, etc.

Dad was eating, and he never missed a beat.  Between bites, he said in a perfect deadpan, “I had to crap in a hole in the backyard until I was 10 years old.  But at least I was spared the pain of having a personal airplane that was too slow.”

Ouch!  He gutted me like a fish, and deservedly so!

But I learned a valuable lesson, and one that I now regularly deploy against my own spoiled children, when I mention that we never had computers or cell phones, and the minimum wage was $3.15, and if you wanted to know something, you had to look it up in a book.  And there were three tv channels, and tvs were 13 inches, and if you wanted to watch a show, you had to actually be at home when it was on, because there was no recording it.

I may not have had to go to the bathroom in a hole in the backyard, but I had to do it during a commercial.  So… yeah.  Tough times.


As you are enjoying your time with family this Christmas, remember my wise, dearly departed dad.

Because even if you have to endure flight delays and terrible weather and worse traffic, when you finally make it home, you won’t have to crap in a hole in the backyard.

Merry Christmas!

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