Won’t go nowhere

I might prefer gliders to rocking chairs, but rocking chairs get all the good songs and stories.

via @bittycar on Instagram, who finds all the best cartoons

A-lottle-dottle-dottle, woof-woof-woof

Yesterday Benny found this enigma. Is this a Found Pet notice? Or is this something else? It’s very open-ended.

Posted sign reading "If anyone has lost a dog please call this no (626) 622-29-13"

It doesn’t really say anything about a dog being found, and it doesn’t really say anything about there being a statute of limitations about when this dog was lost, and it doesn’t have any conditions about how a person might define losing a dog either.

Found Pet notice? Pet grief counseling? Or… could this possibly be Cole Porter‘s abandoned fifth verse to “Friendship”? I would call to find out more, but I’ve never lost a dog.

Published in: on September 21, 2021 at 4:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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He sure tortoise

My second lost pet notice helper this week is my friend Xian, who spotted this mind-blower:

Sign on tree reading: LOST TORTOISE - Our beloved 70 year old pet Mr. Torty - Dusty Brown Color - 18 Lbs. - 7200 La Presa - Call 213-361-5626 - Missing Since Nov. 1

Mr. Torty! Go back home. I AM SERIOUS. And also please tell us your secrets for staying so trim at your age. 18 pounds at age 70 is amazing. Don’t tell us it’s all the walking you’re doing around the neighborhood, because seriously you need to GO BACK HOME.

It’s not a trick

If we’re classifying this magic-wise, this seems more like an escape artist feat than an illusion. Maybe I’m thinking about this wrong, though, and that’s not a lost cat at all. It’s really a shovel, or a baby, or a pizza pie. Or maybe it’s the notice that’s the illusion?

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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They’re all dead dogs, Brent

Benny and I went with a couple of friends to the local pet cemetery this weekend. I’m kind of surprised that I never went to this pet cemetery before. Actually, I’ve never been to any pet cemetery before other than a pretty makeshift one on Catalina Island and a micro-cemetery down at the Red Car property. (Re: the latter, I think we had more pet graves in our side yard during the fateful Guinea Pig Plague Year when my brother and I were kids.)

But this one in Calabasas is a proper cemetery, with drooping trees and quiet paths and gentle grassy hills. And it being Los Angeles, there are plenty of famous animals

as well as pets of famous people.

There are people who blame themselves too much for the passing of their non-human friends

and people who maybe need to take some time off from having pets.

There are wordy tributes

and not so wordy tributes.

Funny names

and awesome names

Big guys and small guys.

Pets who were a bit challenging

and pets who were extremely patient.

You might think that the pet cemetery is a depressing place, but there is so much love there that I found it exactly the opposite. If you’re having some trouble these days finding the humanity in people, go find yourself a pet cemetery. Bring along some ghost treats.

Okie dokie, Okefenokee

On Saturday I made a cryptic comment about Walt Kelly’s comic strip Pogo because I was not sure if we had come to the conclusion of certain wildlife hijinks happening in our driveway and garage or not. I believe the situation has now normalized and we won’t get any more major developments, so I think it’s time to share what happened.

Benny has been working late in the garage on various art projects the past few weeks. He leaves the garage door open, and lately he was getting visitors ’round about 3 a.m or so. Sometimes it was a rat, sometimes a raccoon, but lately it was a very nervous opossum who didn’t seem to notice Benny until very late in the game. Lots of jumping and being startled on the part of this little guy.

One night last week, however, there was a different guest. A skunk. Thankfully the skunk wasn’t as nervous as the opossum, and thankfully Benny wasn’t either. Otherwise there could have been a little bit of trouble. Benny kept to himself, the skunk kept to herself, and all was well.

The next night, the skunk came much earlier and noticed a bowl of old pretzels and bread crusts that Benny had left out for whomever. Benny came inside to videotape the skunk’s investigations from a better vantage point, and that’s when this happened (sorry for the shaky camerawork, but he was laughing pretty hard… the shakiness winds up creating an excellent reveal around 0:29):

Oh my. Against all odds, the opossum and the skunk wound up sharing the bread crusts and it was very charming. This, of course, inspired Benny to set out two slightly more elaborate plates the next night, with an elegant atmosphere to go along with it:

Key lime pie, mini cupcakes, bologna, apple cores, and grapes. The telephone, as I believe he described it, was an attempt to get these two characters to communicate better. We waited. A long time. Nothing. I went to bed and asked him to alert me if anything happened. He eventually went to bed as well.

I woke up in the morning and went out to the driveway.

No dice. At first I was excited because I thought someone had eaten some of the apple, but I remembered that apple cores had been served, not apples. What a disappointment. I had been looking forward to watching this romance bloom. This was like the Fern Dell Ghost all those many years ago, who got spooked and was never seen again once I left some pants for him that weren’t ripped in the butt.

The next night, nobody showed up either. The night after that, the skunk showed up, snuffled around the garage for a bit, and then about two minutes later, the heretofore unseen opossum came out of the garage. So clearly these two are still hanging out, but I guess they want to keep things casual. Oh, also a raccoon showed up at some point that same night. I’m good with all of this, but I’m not sure what we’re going to do if a hat-wearing alligator chomping on a seegar shows up. Set another plate, maybe?

Etiquette & superstition: bridge

I didn’t find any etiquette or superstitions attached to dental bridges, but I have to admit I didn’t try very hard. Let’s talk about some other types of bridges.

ETIQUETTE: In my last etiquette & superstition post, I mentioned that Emily Post had only two sentences about hair in the 1951 edition of her eponymous etiquette book. In this same edition, she devotes six and a half pages to the game of bridge. I’m not sure if this reveals a gambling problem or simply a healthy interest in a sociable, if complicated, pastime. Let’s not judge Emily right now.

If you are at a large bridge party and you aren’t playing for money, there may be prizes given for first, second and third place. There also may be a “guest prize.” It is not clear whether the guest prize is a raffle sort of thing that you might receive by chance, or if it is something that is intended for a specific person. It is, however, to be considered a gift and not a prize. If you happen to win both the guest prize and first place in the game and you find yourself feeling self-conscious or greedy about the situation, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the host to give the first place prize to the second place winner (who should then give his/her prize to the third place winner, etc.). You should not decline the guest prize, however, as it’s a gift. Geez, Emily, I hope the guest prize is good. Otherwise this seems like a lot to go through.

SUPERSTITION: There used to be this covered bridge in Pennsylvania called the Gudgeonville Bridge even though there wasn’t any town called Gudgeonville around. The bridge was named after a mule in the 1800s named Gudgeon who either freaked out and had a heart attack on the bridge after hearing circus music nearby or was beaten to death by his owner when he refused to move off the bridge. After that, the owner felt terrible and painted “Gudgeonville” on the side of the bridge, and Gudgeon haunted the bridge with his mule noises for 150 years or so. In 2008, some drunk idiot set fire to the bridge, so I guess that’s the end of that.

If you encounter a bridge that goes over train tracks, walk over the bridge when a train is going underneath and make a wish; it will probably come true. If you encounter a bridge that is intended for train traffic, however, don’t walk under it while a train is going over, and by all means don’t talk if you can’t help walking under it. If you still messed this up somehow, go and find a green-colored object to touch and you should be okay. But maybe you don’t need to talk so much. If you say goodbye to a friend while you’re near a bridge, you’re saying goodbye forever.

Heart bridge photo by Richard Bonnett on Flickr

The 36th Chamber of Chien


  • Prince Rakeem
  • The RZArector
  • Bobby Steels
  • Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah
  • Prince Delight
  • Abbott
  • Bobby Digital
  • Continental Toy Spaniel



(kind of looks more like ODB to me, but who knows)

Published in: on January 9, 2019 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Etiquette & superstition: fans of death

I had to double-check that I hadn’t covered fans before. Actually it’s two topics, at the very least, so today I’m going to narrow it down to fans near the dead.

ETIQUETTE: At one point in time, folding hand fans were a necessity for a lady, not just for making subtle/not-so-subtle non-verbal signals to another party, but for keeping one’s self from fainting in times of distress and exertion (see: corsets). During mourning, initially one was to keep the fan black, white or gray, and free from feathers and mirrors and such, but of course the “sexy widow” thing took over as it always seems to do and before you know it, mourning fans had lace and fancy designs just like any other fashionable fan. Fan it, lady. Find a new husband with that fancy fan. Per Purdue University, a mourning fan from 1751 featured this quote:

“Here lies Fred, who was alive and is dead; Had it been his father, I had much rather; Had it been his brother, still better than another; Had it been his sister, no one would have missed her; Had it been the whole generation, Still better for the nation; But since ‘tis only Fred, who was alive and is dead, There’s no more to be said.”

You can find some other charming fans collected by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association at the Purdue University website.

SUPERSTITION: Fan death. FAN DEATH. If you’re in Korea, you will kill everybody inside a room if you run an electric fan in there without cracking open a window. At the very least it will cause nausea or facial paralysis. But then you wouldn’t call it FAN DEATH.

Bee’s knees

It’s that time of time of year again, when ESPN presents live coverage of an event where warriors exclaim, “Aw, darn it!” at the moment of their defeat. Yes, it’s the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And it can’t be here too soon.

At a time when the leader of the free world makes up words and can’t even fess up to a typo, where his supporters insist that he didn’t make a mistake but was actually speaking in code or in Arabic, I am supremely grateful for these young champions who care about words and their spelling and their meaning and their history. I salute them all, but in particular I’d like to give special recognition to:

  • Erin Howard, who has updated the “spelling the word out in the air with your finger” technique with her invisible keyboard
  • Varad Mulay, the tricky little tricker who asked for a word’s country of origin, its meaning, and then, “Can I have the spelling, please?”
  • Tejas Muthusamy, who is carrying a lucky rock and also spelled the word “bumicky” without cracking up
  • Paul Hamrick, who in his official profile photo looks like a child actor in a British Angry Young Man film from the ’60s
  • Nike-sponsored Shourav Dasari, who is the oldest and coolest on stage. Gets up, spells the word right, spins around
  • 6-year-old Edith Fuller, who didn’t make it to the finals but she still qualified for the Nationals and that’s kind of a big deal so there. Also her favorite animal is a cheetah

Hats off to you all, young ladies and gentlemen. I hope and pray that this year’s winning word isn’t “covfefe.”

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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