Tag Archives: dogs

Democrats don’t Fish

I had the opportunity to take a break from moving Mother and Big Daddy recently, when an old friend from England came to Nashville for a visit with her fourteen year old son in March. He had never been to the South before, and the last time she was here it was for my wedding in 1987, where she tried to make a big impression with my other English girlfriends by singing the Internationale and wearing vintage clothes from Portobello Road.

That sort of behaviour scores so low on the Southern spectrum of eccentricity, however,  that I am afraid that their presence was hardly even recognised. For a start, there really was not a single person in this part of the United States during the Cold War who had ever heard the Internationale. My aunt told everybody that it was the theme tune from our sorority back at the London School of Economics. Which, come to think of it, wasn’t actually very far from the truth…

Anywho, the point I am trying to make is that I spent alot of time thinking about how to fit in a big Southern cultural experience into a long weekend. And it occured to me that of course I needed to take them fishing with the Hillbilly Deluxe Striper Fishing Tours on Lake Cumberland, in Kentucky. On the first day, that is. And I thought that it wouldn’t be a problem to recruit friends to join us on such an awesome adventure. After all, we all know how scenic and cultural that drive from Nashville to Kentucky can be!

But I want you to know, it really wasn’t that straightforward at all. All my snotty liberal Democrat friends just made up dumb excuses: ‘Sorry Harriet, but I am committed to seeing that new Iranian film at the local independent film theatre and then we are going to eat sushi’; ‘Oh I would love to, but there is a fundraiser this weekend for Somalian child soldiers at that new art gallery with a silent auction and Emmylou Harris is supposed to be there.’ You know the kind of thing I mean.

It was a completely different story when I called up my Republican girlfriends though. Even though none of them could make it, largely because they can afford health care and are therefore always having unnecessary surgical procedures, the conversation was, like: ‘Striper fishin’? Well hell yeah! I am gettin’ a lump taken out the day before but if I am well enough I’ll have the doctor put it in a jar and we can use it as bait!’

It was revelatory, let me tell you. And for the first time in my whole life, I found myself on the Republican side. Because, as you can see from the picture, fishing is fun!

Even Blanche got into it (please take notice of the Bass Pro life jacket). She wasn’t sure at first, but by the end of the morning, she was reeling ’em in like a pro:

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Dogs, Friends, Sports

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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Filed under Dogs

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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Filed under Dogs

Beware of the Dog

‘I can’t seem to stop crying, and it feels as though I am having a heart attack,’ I confessed to the doctor last week. After some interrogation, he ascertained that I was not only moving mother and big daddy from the big house, but was also expecting dozens of relatives to arrive for Christmas, all of whom are on different diets. One is macrobiotic, one lactose intolerant, one only eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and then of course, Big Daddy only eats cholesterol. Do you have any idea how hard it is to plan a menu under such circumstances?

‘Don’t worry,’ he assured me. I am just going to give you a little prescription to get through the holidays. Then you can come back and we will get you some serious professional help’. I just LOVE my doctor.

So I happily trotted off to the pharmacist, took a little pill, stopped crying, and went down the street for dinner with my friends Twylene and Bubba. Have I told you about them? They are fabulous southern cooks, with close links to the more dubious characters in the Country Music Industry. From what I can remember, we had something with grits. But that was after a couple of glasses of wine. [note to self: read the instructions on the medicine label].

The next day, while shopping for groceries with Miss Pearl, I took a call on my cell phone. ‘Honey,’ chirped Twylene, ‘you’d better get your ass over here because your poodle is arriving in half an hour.’

Huh?

Sure enough, there she was, in a little pink jacket. The adoption lady explained that she is on a strict diet of turnip greens, sweet potatoes, and lean beef. No, I am not kidding:

God knows what she is going to think about English food.

Anyway, it turns out that her name is Blanche, and she has been living in a trailer park in Goodletsville, Tennessee, with some no account owner, and is the rejected love child of Tammy Wynette’s last dog. Trust me to get stuck with a C-class celebrity with a fussy appetite.

But, for what it’s worth, she’s pretty cute:

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

12 Comments

Filed under Friends, Uncategorized

Adieu…

Well wouldn’t you know it? The world is coming to an end and my internet connection decides to die first. Very inconvenient that, but I have managed to find a hotspot this morning so that I can sign on before I go to Jesus sometime later on today.

I have been looking for signs of the End Times, but evidence is pretty thin on the ground here in the UK. About the only weird thing that has happened to me recently is that I met a dog in a pub in Windsor last weekend who looks alot like the new Duchess of Cambridge.

Junior, I have redecorated your bedroom and I want you to know that it was really gross, but now it is pink. Think of it as a parting gift. I am really going to miss all of y’all who don’t get raptured with me, but am looking forward to making new friends in heaven, and in particular this woman.

And that’s about it. I have clean underpants on and I flossed after breakfast, so I am in pretty good shape.

Bye y’all!

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

9 Comments

Filed under Church