Friday, February 22, 2008

Don't Get: How Dog Show Winners are Determined

God bless cable TV! With a million channels to choose from, you can sure stumble onto some random, obscure stuff can't you? There are now a boatload of home makeover shows and two boatloads of cooking shows and reruns of every sitcom from Sanford and Son to Alice. And then mixed in there is the occasional dog show. I think the cable TV programming people figured if Redd Foxx (love the spelling of his name!) could still command an audience, so could a schnauzer being dragged around a ring by a lesbian dog handler in sensible shoes.

You've stopped for a minute or two on the riveting coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, right? They're big deals in the dog world. They take place in Madison Square Garden and stuff and if you're a dog dude/dudette, it's the pinnacle of showing Fido to the rest of the world. Of course, the dogs aren't named Fido, they're named Champion Lobuff Hollyridge Kisskadee (that's a real name from this year's show!). And these dogs ain't exactly out rolling in dead squirrels or even fetching a frisbee in your back yard with you. Instead, they're busy being groomed and coiffed and having more money spent on them than most people spend on their kids. You know darn well that everything in the lesbian dog handler's house is dog-related: wallpaper, doormat, throw pillows, coffee mug, toilet paper and generally all kinds of chachki.

So that's fine - you're psycho about dogs and you drag said dog to the dog show and parade him around. Whatever. But I don't know how anyone can tell if one dog is better than another. Who even knows the criteria? The announcers apparently know because they make comments like "Look at that Corgi's attitude - clearly this dog is made for __________ !" To me, it doesn't really matter what he dog is so clearly made for. I'd just kind of like to know if it's going to hump my leg and if it's going to be all yippy and stuff. Same goes for a Lab of any kind. Exactly what is the proper length for the ear to kind of flop over? Again, the announcers, judges and lesbian handlers must know because supposedly one Lab is better than another and is going to be awarded Best In Show. However, I'm going to make a bold statement here and suggest that perhaps the announcers SHARE WITH THE AUDIENCE exactly what makes one yippy little fuzzball different from the yippy little fuzzball next to it in the lineup!

Ever watch Texas Hold 'Em on TV? If you're not a gambler, it's about as much fun as watching grass grow but if you like playing poker, it's a good time. The thing about all the poker shows on TV is that even though there is some lingo and jargon that you have to learn, at least there are some nifty graphics and hidden cameras and stuff to let the viewer know who has the best hand. Because of all these cool features that the TV people have added to involve the audience, I can see that the Vietnamese guy with the pair of queens is probably going to beat the Vietnamese guy with the pair of nines. Now compare that to what the audience knows about the dog being pranced around the ring. The audience knows that it is a .... dog. If it's a male dog, the audience sees the dog's ENORMOUS nuts because I swear the camera guy makes sure to get one good nut shot of every male dog just to make me feel inadequate but beyond that, the announcer just lets us know that what we are looking at is a Shih Tzu and that last year he came in second place and is really trying to take Best In Show this year. Huh? Exactly what is the dog doing to make himself a better dog? Last year he was a dog and this year he is ...... still a dog. Maybe his nuts got bigger, I don't know.

And then the moment of truth! Of all the Sporting Dogs or Working Dogs or Toy Dogs, there is one Best Dog. And hell if I know how that dog is determined to be the best friggin' dog in the joint! The Best In Show (BIS) dog sure as hell better not let those stinky-ass dog farts that are so, so nasty! What the BIS dog should do is fetch my pipe and slippers and bark when a bad guy comes to steal my plasma TV. That's my definition of a BIS dog.

This year was a big upset because a lowly beagle won (BIS). You know all those lesbians in their sensible shoes were aghast at the idea of a dumb-ass beagle beating out their precious Lhasa Apso. Take that, lesbos! The only way a yippy little fuzzball like a Lhasa Apso is going to be BIS is if there is a "Works Well to Clean Hardwood Floors" category.

Come on over to my casa sometime and meet my dog. She's part chocolate lab and part something else. Her hair kind of stands up on the back of neck that makes people think she is mean but she's not. She loves to swim and chase a tennis ball and frisbee all day long and then shake all the water off herself onto you. She'll sit when I tell her to - most of the time. That's her in the post about my hatred for Tupperware. She's no BIS, but then again, I'm no lesbian.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hate: Not Having any Musical Ability

You know how some people can sing and play the piano or guitar or cello or flute or the sousaphone or even the cow bell? And it sounds like music? You know - those people that actually have a right side of their brain? Yeah, well, I'm not one of them and it kind of sucks. I couldn't sing my way out of a paper bag. I couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle. I can't play the spoons, let alone a sousaphone! So I'm kind of jealous of people who can actually make music that doesn't sound like a cat being strangled. Not that I dislike the sound of a cat being strangled but it just doesn't have the same appeal as a good Eddie Van Halen guitar solo.

Mind you, it's not for lack of trying. My mom used to give me piano lessons when I was a wee lad. She would knock on the door pretending to be the teacher coming to the house (she was a little out there sometimes) and I can still picture the red book of beginner lessons that she would "bring" with her to the lesson. She'd try to teach me middle C and sharps and flats and stuff and it just didn't sink in. I was more fascinated with the cool metronome thing - it made better music than I ever did! Anyway, I'm clearly scarred emotionally by this experience with my mother and someday when the police psychologist is trying to talk me down from the ledge it will all make sense.

But my mom refused to give up on me and forced me into band starting in the 4th grade. I knew there was no way I could tackle anything more melodic than a tambourine but, get this, I couldn't even master the drums! Now, in 4th grade band, the drummer isn't exactly wailing away on a drum kit a la Tommy Lee so for me to suck at just keeping time on a bass drum is pretty frickin' pathetic! And so, like any true champion, I quit. Somewhere, Pavarotti breathed a sigh of relief that some dumb kid in America wasn't fouling the world of music.

My last effort to create any music was to purchase a harmonica. How hard can it be to play a harmonica?! One of the reasons that rock and rollers give for joining a band in the first place is to get babes. I'm all for gettin' babes so imagine the chicks I could get by whipping out my trusty harmonica while sitting around the campfire! Turns out that the harmonica makes one note by blowing and a different note by sucking. Who knew? So, because the chicks prefer actual music than just miscellanous notes strung together and, considering that I hate camping I wasn't hanging around campfires any too often, the harmonica did little to increase the number of notches in my bedpost. The only blowing and sucking going on was by me and it was only adding to the noise pollution in the world. Bugger!

Thus, I am frustrated that I can't get on stage and play the opening guitar riff from Satisfaction. Look how sweet Keith is looking in the pic above! Who wouldn't want to look like that? I'm forced to limit my screaming/singing/air guitaring/drumming to the confines of my car where no one can get hurt. I used to sing a little bit of The Doors to my youngest to try to get him to sleep but now that his eardrum is fully developed he tells me to just read a Dora the Explorer book instead. Just because my daughter can play Three Blind Mice on the recorder, she thinks she can tell me to stop singing Radar Love! If she's not careful, I'll bust out my harmonica and "play" Amazing Grace and show her just how awful I can be! Damn ingrates!

I know that you are thinking that I could tackle the whole music thing as an adult instead of a snot-nosed kid. You're thinking that music lessons as an adult might be more productive than music lessons as a kid, right? I would be more patient. I would understand the theory and not just remember that my right index finger has to go on the key in the middle of the keyboard. I could be like Grandma Moses and take up music as an adult instead of trying to be like Mozart who wrote symphonies at age five. Sure I would. And monkeys would fly out of my butt.

So instead of actually creating real live music, I must fantasize about standing on stage with 50,000 adoring fans waiting for me to lay down some righteous tunes with my guitar/phallic symbol. I'll throw in a few windmills like Pete Townsend, maybe sidle up to the lead singer like Little Steven does with Bruce Springsteen and to top it off, I'll light my guitar on fire like Jimi Hendrix! The place will erupt with awe and admiration of my musical genius! How does he do it?! Good looks AND musical ability! I'd love to give him obscene amounts of money to play at my private party honoring the invention of the bikini where he will, no doubt, be surrounded by hordes of bikini-clad babes!

Or I'll just continue to be a middle-management corporate suck-ass with no musical ability. Either one. Sigh...