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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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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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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If You’ll Excuse Me, I Gotta See A Man About A Dog

There is a problem with the bathroom-to-human ratio in my area.

Well, the problems run much deeper than that, but the lack of accessible restrooms is the outcome that most directly impacts me.

This issue wouldn’t exist if it were socially acceptable for people to piss on the ground like 99.99% of the rest of the mammals. Who’s the 0.01% left over, you ask?

Sea mammals. Orcas only piss on the land in the rarest, most dire circumstances.

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Deliver Us From Upheaval

In a few hours, I’ll be in my car.

It’s a nine-year-old Toyota Prius that bears nine years worth of scars. Rear-ended three times. Sideswiped by a crafty pole that jumped out of nowhere. One headlight is perpetually brighter than the other like it’s a nine-season NFL veteran. Still going strong. And one headlight is brighter than the other, did I mention that?

I’ve slept in that car, sometimes while parked. Gotten tickets. Sung countless songs. Done “other things” in that car which, if I someday become a world-renowned writer, will dramatically increase its Kelley Blue Book value when accompanied by this essay. I’ll sign a copy for you, just ask.

But today, I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing in the Prius for the last several months, ever since I closed my business. I’ll be delivering GrubHub orders to people’s homes.

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I Did It My Way (And Failed)

This is the post I’ve avoided writing for seven months.

I lost my restaurant.

No, I didn’t misplace it. It’s stationary. If it were a food truck, that might make sense, like I parked it somewhere and now I can’t find it. I’m a known drunkard, so it’s not that far-fetched. Plus, I make stupid jokes to keep from crying.

But no, I lost my restaurant in that I had to make the decision to shut it down permanently. It’s not all that funny. I had seen other people lose their businesses before, and that was fucking hilarious. But this time, it happened to ME, which was significantly less funny.

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Beating Our Heads Against The Wall

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

A famous actor once asked that question in a debate with a former peanut farmer. Of course, I’m referring to the classic intellectual joust between Sir Anthony Hopkins and George Washington Carver. It was really tough to organize the event, given the fact that the two participants lived in different eras. A lot of people don’t know that.

The line was repeated with devastating effect in 1980 when former Governor Ronald Reagan (R-California) debated incumbent President Jimmy Carter (D) in a bid to deprive Carter of a second term.

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The Bell Tolls For Thee (When Your Head Smacks It)

Because we’re human, we’re capable of transmitting and receiving communicable diseases from one another. That means we’re only as safe as the most vulnerable among our population.

Because we’re humane, we understand that ideas like removing vulnerable people from the gene pool, putting afflicted* people in leper colonies, shunning immigrants out of fear they’ll bring disease, and purposely infecting everyone around you, are all incompatible with living in a “developed” society.

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The Millennials Are Alright

I was born in 1976, the child of two Baby Boomers. I guess that makes me a member of Generation X, a.k.a. The Generation Least Likely To Take BS From Anyone. We think everyone sucks—us included. We emerged from the womb jaded. Don’t take it personally.

We’re a unique bunch. We grew up with the Cold War, pay phones, three TV channels, having our questions met with “look it up in the encyclopedia.” Don’t have those?1 Don’t worry, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman will stop by sooner or later to convince your parents they’re morally obligated to buy a set.

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