You Must Believe You Can Catch The Fly

My dog, Lemmy, is obsessed with flies.

It’s beautiful these days in Northern Virginia, where Lemmy resides. To that end, I find myself working from our balcony and leaving the door open. I enjoy the fresh air. And the constant roar of Reagan National Airport reminds me of a simpler time when great winged beasts filled the skies with hellfire and fury. Sometimes, I simultaneously play the fife and lute to augment the ambiance. It isn’t easy, but that’s the level of authenticity I bring to imaginary scenarios.

Having the door open allows all creatures great and small to wander in and out as they please. Well, “all creatures” with either wings or access to the elevator.

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Observe The Dog Biting Your Child

“Is it just me, or is that really stupid?”

The lady gestured broadly toward the six adults chatting across the dog park. I had been thinking the same thing and found myself catapulted onto my feet like I’d been swept up at a tent revival. The open invitation compelled me to commiserate with my newly-found kindred spirit.

Minutes before, a little girl in that oblivious group’s “care” had met me at the gate. Her grabby little mitt thrust through the chain-link holes as she yelled “DOGGIE!” at my little buddy. I’ll give her credit; Lemmy is indeed a doggie. But he’s a very particular kind of doggie: the kind that doesn’t like children. Or little people. Or people with crutches or walkers. Or people who run, or seated people who then elect to stand up. Or men.

He makes a begrudging exception for me, mostly because I have treats. And I always share them with him.

Lemmy is a rescue dog. We don’t know much about his earliest experiences, as we adopted him when he was around one year old. We weren’t able to conceive a dog naturally, so it was our best option. Maybe check your privilege, okay?

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Bring This Essay To Your Next Gun Fight

Police have a tough job.

It’s not a particularly high-paying career, especially starting out. You’re expected to deal with people who dislike and distrust you for no good reason, other than that you’re an authority figure. The work is physically demanding and mentally stressful, and there’s a chance you’ll get shot in the line of duty.

Sorry, did I say police? This was supposed to be my description for teacher. I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and I “accidentally” drew one rhetorical weapon when I meant to grab another. But I guess this works pretty well for cops, too.

It seems that cops are getting a bad rap lately, and while we can debate the reason, one possibility is their propensity to kill unarmed people.

While I can’t personally fix that, I can sell you some rhetorical ammunition without a thorough background check. Use the ideas here for your next family dinner, Reddit conversation, or wherever else you might encounter a bootlicker on whom you’d like to viciously dunk.

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Race Against The Machine

I’ve done it. I have invented a machine that gives you the power to change your race.

I know! I am as surprised as you are, given my complete lack of scientific and technical knowledge.

But now, with the mere push of a button, you will no longer remain confined to the skin color, hair texture, or facial features assigned by your DNA. Please mail my Nobel Prize and large cash award at your earliest convenience.

Want to try it out?

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There Ain’t No Doubt, I Love This Land

I’m an American, and that means a few things.

It means I’m self-made. Everything in my life was crafted from three simple ingredients: my two hands and a lot of hard work. I won’t take any guff from a communist like you who relies on “big government” for sustenance. If you don’t like the way I live, then fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

My horses? Self-fucking-made, chief. I personally tracked down and bred two wild horses to create my own horse. Once my pony was old enough to ride, we galloped into town—which, incidentally, I built while waiting for my horse to grow up—and we gathered raw materials. God’s green earth provided its splendor in the form of wood, iron ore, naturally-occurring copper wires, and shag carpet. Oh, and six day laborers from Guatemala.

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Blink And You’ll Miss Yaupon Season

If you drive through the coastal plains of Texas, you’ll see a few standard images. Cows behind barbed wire fences. Gas station and barbecue restaurant combos. And around this time of year, you’ll see young suburban families desperately pleading with little Ambreighlynne to LOOK AT THE GOD DAMNED CAMERA as they trespass to get the locally coveted “Toddler Among Bluebonnets” photo.

The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. It’s a bright blue wildflower that grows in friendly territory, such as busy highway medians and other people’s land.

Listen here, y’all: do not pick bluebonnets under any circumstances.

Ask any Texan. Or don’t, as “asking” isn’t a prerequisite for getting Texas-specific information from Texans. Posing your cherubic tykes with bluebonnets may be mandatory, but picking bluebonnets is illegal.

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Above Us Only Sky

“Imagine” is a catchy tune about the pitfalls of religion and materialism, written by a guy who got filthy rich selling jangly three-minute pop songs about love and walruses and shit.

That sentence is a good summation of my bitterness as of late. I’m having a hard time enjoying much of anything, even ubiquitous peace anthems by former Beatles.

I turn on the TV. How’d some lousy sitcom actor get to be famous while I am sitting here in obscurity? I drive to the store. Why does this asshole driving next to me get to roll a Jag instead of this banged-up Prius?

This whole setup is horseshit. I’d like to speak to the manager of…the world? Sure. The whole damned WORLD.

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Wonder What This Rando Thinks

Unpopular opinions are the spice of life. And who doesn’t like spice? Besides people living with irritable bowel syndrome, of course. And the English.

But let’s ignore those contingencies for now. If everyone feels the exact same way about something, it fades out of our active attention. No one spends much time talking about how awesome “blue” is or how much they just love oxygen, for example.

Now, if someone piped up with a hot take on the uselessness of O2, they’d stand out against the backdrop. When a talking plant has an opinion, after all, we instinctively listen. (Source: Little Shop of Horrors).

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Be Kind, Rewind

I have a weird confession to make.

It’s going to come as a shock, so I hope you’re sitting down. You probably are, as it’s hard to walk and read at the same time.

Okay, here goes: I haven’t seen that movie.

I know, right?! Crazy. You know the one, the one with that one guy? The one where they go places and do stuff? Yeah, never seen it.

And I’m constantly, irrationally embarrassed by this fact.

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We’re Trying To Have A Society Here

The act of “canceling” people is as old as civilization itself.

Sometimes we canceled people via exile. Sometimes it was through removing their heads from their bodies. But the reasoning was always the same:

You did something that badly compromises our community’s shared values, so you gotta go.

Before humans started divvying up the hunting versus the gathering, we already had the basics of a limited social contract. It went something like this:

“What’s up, fellow hominid? Here’s my offer: in honor of the fact that you look vaguely similar to me, I won’t kill you when you turn your back. In consideration thereof, kindly don’t kill me when I’m not looking, either. Sound good? Kthxbye.”

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