Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dog the Bounty Hunted

OK, with reference to my previous post, you will be aware that I am dog sitting for a fugitive from the Florida Branch of the Federal Vole Agency.

Before I go any further, I would like to assure you that I am not intending to turn this into a dog blog, although I do reserve the right to keep you posted on the progress of Eliza Dolittle Blanche from time to time. I am trying, for example, to post on topics ranging from Hawaii to cremation, and I will get there in time, but you will have to be patient.

Because it turns out that the neighbours, who have extended their spa vacation to incorporate the glamorous resorts of Northern Europe, were perfectly aware that Nigel had an extensive record as a political activist, and in fact, has been a key player in the Occupy Nashville movement.

It’s not like I’m not a big supporter or anything. In fact, as many of you will know, I have a not inconsiderable record of political activism in my past. But it might have been useful information for me to have available when I took him to the Reservation yesterday and left him to smell the chipmunks in my parents’ back yard.

The thing is, he slipped his brand new chew-proof lead, and spent a couple of hours tearing around the neighbourhood. The police had to be informed. The mailman really got into it. And I realised, as I cruised the surrounding streets, that he had a dastardly albeit brilliant plan. You see, the dogs on the reservation get to stay out all day in yards that are bordered by invisible electric fences. And Nigel ran through every yard, working up said dogs into a lather, and systematically electrocuted them all. Every. Single. One. The only way I eventually found him, to be honest, was to follow the rather disturbing yelping noise emanating from WAP dogs hitting the boundary of their electric fences. I reckon he got the whole of the one per cent in a single afternoon.

So, while I admit that I am somewhat in awe of this outlaw canine, I have decided that for his own protection, he needs to stay in disguise for the time being.

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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King of the Forest

This is the endangered Florida Salt Marsh Vole:

 Pretty cute, eh? According to the North Florida Ecological Services Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, this darling creature was only discovered in 1979, and ‘is known only from one site at Waccasassa Bay in Levy County, Florida, where it appears to exist in low numbers and has a very restricted range.  Any natural or human-caused adverse impact to this species could result in its extinction.’

Admittedly, that report is a bit dated, and well-meaning eco-warriors in Florida have been introducing the F.S.M.V. to salt marshes in other parts of the state. So there might be, literally, dozens of them in the coastal panhandle area. Really good news. I mean, really really good news. Just wonderful, I mean it is simply GREAT news.

OK, you might be wondering why I am whittering on about this obscure creature, and I will tell you that it has to do with the fact that I have been dog-sitting for my neighbour’s labrador retriever, Nigel, while they are on an extended relaxing spa vacation.

I decided to take Nigel and Blanche on a road trip to Florida last week with my dear friend, the ingenious artist, Lanie Gannon. It was one of those awesome and rare girl vacations. She sewed, I knitted. We ate salad and chocolate. We walked the dogs on the beach. And we decided to try out the Grayton Beach State Park Nature Trail. Where there was a slight incident with Nigel, who was, I would like to point out, tightly leashed at the time.

Fortunately, we managed to get him safely over the state line and he is back home in Nashville. to be fair, from his point of view, it was the dog equivalent of a hole-in-one. And Nigel, who is a loving alpha dog, thinks that he is the King of the Forest:

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Place Card Treasure

OK, so I have been busy, busy, busy. Another day, another closet. Two weeks ago it was vases, last week it was soup bowls, then it was place mats and linen napkins.

So forgive me, but I am busy being a dutiful daughter, helping my mother clear out the big house on the Reservation in preparation for the move to her deluxe apartment in the sky.

And then we got to place cards.

‘Oh look,’ says mom.’We have to keep these! Your grandmother used them every Christmas for years. I love these! Just look at all the sequins!’ She spread them out on the dining room table.

‘But mom,’ I say. ‘These people are all dead.’

With the help of my doctor, I am trying to cultivate patience and serenity as character traits in 2012.

‘Not all of them, dear. They could still be useful. I think we should keep them.’

‘Uh Huh. How about we throw a luncheon out at Mount Olivet Cemetery?’ OK, so I’m not very good at patient and serene, yet. But I’m working on it.

‘Oh Harriet,’ she sighs. ‘You are so ruthless.’ And she hands them over for me to put in the trash. Then she pulls out the next box of place cards.

‘Huh. I forgot all about these. My parents bought them in Paris in the 1920s. I suppose we should throw them out as well.’

I open the box. ‘Hmmm… actually mom, I think I might like to have these for myself.’

And that’s how, in the time it took to open up the top drawer of a 19th century English sideboard, I became the envy of my considerable circle of gay friends here in Nashville:

 

 

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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