Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Fiasco At Ten Downing

Outgoing Prime Minister Continues To Make Fool Of Himself, Few Surprised

London (Reuters) The last few months have been eventful in British politics. Following a series of scandals, gaffes, resignations of ministers, and other acts of perennial stupidity from the Prime Minister, what was long overdue actually happened. Boris Johnson, the accident and gaffe prone moron who fumbled his way into 10 Downing Street after driving the country over the edge of the Brexit cliff, is resigning.

Not quite yet, anyway. Like a bad funky locker room gym bag sort of smell, he has a way of lingering too long. He's staying on until the British Tories can choose a new leader. As opposed to having the grace and tact to depart quietly with his dignity intact. That, of course, would imply he had the sense to do so- and of course he has no dignity left.

Johnson has been raked over the coals for multiple issues, including his mismanagement of the response to the pandemic, as well as his cheerleading of the Brexit movement and the fallout of that debacle. He's had a tendency going back all the way to his earliest days in political life of being accident prone, breaking bones in falls, and generally making himself look like a fool.

It's been rumoured that the Queen despises him. Her Majesty would never say, of course, but a call was made from the Palace to Johnson's Chief of Staff last year expressing that Johnson was persona non grata at any Royal property for any reason.

"She's too kind," Cambridge professor Cedric Appleton told this reporter. "The man is an oaf. How he got this far in life is a mystery. It would be within her power to have him imprisoned in the Tower of London for the rest of his life. Two hundred years back she could have had him sent to Australia with the rest of the convicts, far enough away that no one would have ever heard of him again. Too bad we don't live in that kind of world. Oh, to my Australian colleagues: sorry for the stereotyping."

Word has it from Ten Downing insiders that Johnson is not taking his decision to leave well. "There's crying, there's smashing of china, there's excessive drinking. Kind of like every day before the resignation, but ramped up by ten," a staff member speaking on anonymity told this reporter. "Oh, and there's tripping on the rugs. More so than usual. Maybe he's figuring that if he hurts himself and breaks his leg, he won't be carted out when the leadership count is made."

Boris die-hard fans aren't happy. "He led us to the promised land!" Mick Carter said outside a Sheffield pub. "No more European Union! We get to do what we want when we want. He said it was going to be paradise! Who'd have thought he'd end up being so wrong? I voted for Brexit three times and we got it and now I can't go to the south of France whenever I want and my job as a chimney sweep went up in smoke."

This reporter asked, "Are you aware you just admitted to voter fraud?"

"When?" Carter asked.

"When you said you voted for Brexit three times."

"I did?"

The previous prime minister, herself the very essence of ineptness, pushed out of the way after scandals and incompetence of her own, seemed amused by it all. "I told all of them what would happen if you let that dumbass waltz into Ten Downing," Theresa May remarked to reporters this week with a rather smug smile on her face. "This is the same chap who screwed up the country with Brexit, and you let him become Prime Minister?" She laughed. "I do say, there's a certain glee in being proved right."

Who might succeed Johnson- if only to be annihilated in the next election? The candidates have been whittled down to two: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Neither of whom are that inspiring, and both of whom seem to know that disaster looms in the future for their party, even if they won't admit to it.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party, with new leadership, seeks to take advantage in the next election- whenever that may be.

As for Johnson himself, he met with reporters this week outside Ten Downing, looking as rumpled and befuddled as ever. "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we have much left to do. I know I've said I'm leaving when the party chooses new leadership, and I will. I will. I promise. I just plan on dragging that process out as long as I can, so I can keep raiding the coffers for as long as I can."

"Do you realize what you just said?" one reporter asked.

"What?" Johnson replied.

"About you raiding the coffers for as long as you can," another reporter prompted.

"I said no such thing," Johnson countered. 

"We can play it back for you," this reporter suggested.

"You're all just trying to confuse me. Look, I was going to come out here and have a meaningful discussion with you, but it's clear that's not going to happen, so I'm going to go back in and play beer pong." He turned, looking back as he walked towards the front door. "And forget what I said about the beer po...." At this point he walked right into the door; a distinct crack was heard when his nose made contact with the door. He groaned, turned around, and blood was gushing out of his nose. "Um, a little help?"

Some members of the Tories wish they could go back in time. Back before Brexit, to warn their younger selves against it. To warn them against the curse of Boris. To advise them to not allow again what happened to a former foreign secretary. That political figure, taken for granted at the time and forced out through political skullduggery, has retained his respect and dignity. World leaders have always spoken highly of his candour, calmness, and grace under pressure. Many are now wishing he could be back, taking over as PM and leading the country back to a state of stability and dignity after so much foolishness. 

But that former foreign secretary has retired from political life and has now taken up a tenured post as a professor at Oxford, where he has become a popular instructor in world history. Oxford is where reporters caught up to him this week asking if he'd consider a return to politics. 

To which, Professor Beaker simply said, "Meep, meep meep meep meep!!!!"

Monday, August 8, 2022

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

Just as I begin with the perspective of the dog, so too do I end with the point of view of the cat, who, as one of the higher beings of the world, must always have the last word. 

6:59 AM. Waking up. Slept well. Dreamed of melting popsicles for some reason...

7:01 AM. An inspection outside. The thermometer reads 23 Celsius, and it's only going to go up from there. For the record, I don't like heat. Fortunately my house is air conditioned. Okay, some flying lunches pecking around at the grass outside. It's going to be too hot to chase you today.

7:03 AM. An examination of skies to the west suggest we may be in for rain. Good. Just as long as I don't get caught outside in it, because if that's the case there will be hell to pay...

7:09 AM. Wondering what's taking my staff. I can hear her moving around upstairs, so I know she's awake. But not coming downstairs yet. Oh, well, good things come to all cats that wait.

7:21 AM. The staff finally comes downstairs. It's about time, staff. Now then, it's time you see to my breakfast, don't you think?

7:23 AM. ....and while we're at it, staff, no more of those field rations. Are we clear on that? I have told you this many times, but you keep putting down field rations with the rest of my breakfast. And this is not what I want to be seeing from here out. Is that understood?

7:24 AM. The staff puts down a bowl of milk and a plate of tuna. Unfortunately she also puts down a bowl of field rations. I sigh with dismay and set to work on the breakfast I actually want. I shall ignore the field rations.

7:26AM. Finished with breakfast. Didn't touch the field rations. I shall leave my staff in peace to have her breakfast.

7:35 AM. On the back of the couch, looking outside. Somewhere in the distance I can hear the barking of that foul hound who lives down the road. 

Dumb dog.

7:40 AM. The staff is on her way out the door to go to that work place she insists on going to most of the week. Staff, by the way, we're running low on milk. You were planning on doing something about that, right?

7:42 AM. Observing as the staff drives out the driveway in her car. Well, technically my car. But I let her use it.

8:13 AM. What was a few drops of rain has turned into a downpour. Oh well, maybe it'll break the heat and humidity. At least I'm not out in it.

8:22 AM. The first burst of lightning followed by thunder in what looks like a considerable storm. Batten down the hatches, this is a big one....

8:38 AM. Maintaining watch out the windows as the storm rages. Note to self: if this winds up becoming a tornado, will it delay the staff in getting home?

8:55 AM. Okay, that's enough of that. The storm can take all the time it wants. As for me? I think a nap is in order right about now. Excuse me, storm? Would it kill you to keep it down for awhile?

11:09 AM. Waking up from my nap. Slept well. Storm appears to be over outside. Good.

11:13 AM. Reconnaissance of the kitchen has determined that the only food out in the open is that bowl of field rations.

11:14 AM. After much internal debate and soul searching, I decide to sate my hunger by eating some of the field rations.

1:28 PM. Woken out of a sound sleep by the sound of that idiot mutt from down the road barking. The mailman must be passing by.

3:43 PM. Working my claws out on the scratching post. Inadvertently unleashing some residual scent of catnip while doing so. Uh oh, I'm going to go into a catnip zoomie phase in five, four, three......

4:20 PM. Totally tuckered out after sprinting through every nook and cranny in the house while under the influence of catnip. I've earned another nap.

5:36 PM. The staff comes home, waking me up from my nap after opening the door. She's bringing in groceries. This I approve of.

6:47 PM. Dinner with the staff. She's having carrots with her steak. She's cut up steak into bite sized pieces for me and put it on a plate. Bravo, staff, well done.

8:02 PM. Staff? Why are you watching a Hallmark movie? I knew you had low taste, but this is ridiculous.

8:21 PM. Okay, that's it. I'm going upstairs. If you want to waste the next hour and a half watching a couple of washed up soap actors in a movie that's the script equivalent of a paint by numbers kit, go ahead. 

11:48 PM. The staff comes upstairs into her bedroom. Well, my bedroom, where I am presently occupying the bed. Time for bed, staff? 

You may do so. Despite your horrible taste in movies.

Monday, August 1, 2022

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

Once again it is time for the point of view of the dog and the cat. As always, the dog gets the first word in, since he gets so easily distracted by literally everything.

7:01 AM. Waking up at home. Slept well. Dreamed of running on a beach. And chasing something called a crab. Which is odd, because I've never been near an ocean.

7:05 AM. Looking outside. Some dark clouds in the sky. Maybe the humidity might break today. I'm really hoping so. We could use some cool weather. You try going around all day in the heat wearing a fur coat and see how you like it.

7:19 AM. The human comes downstairs. I thump my tail furiously on the floor in greetings. Good morning, human! Say, by any chance have you put any thought into my breakfast?

7:21 AM. The human is busy pouring me a big bowl of kibbles for breakfast. 

Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

7:22 AM. Licking my chops after finishing off breakfast.

That was good!

7:25 AM. Inquiring with the human as to if she can let me out for my run. After all, it's better to get that in before the real heat of the day sets in.

7:26 AM. The human lets me out the back door. See you later, human!

7:41 AM. Running through the back fields, barking my head off, having the time of my life.

7:50 AM. Stopping in to see Spike the Magnificent, Tormentor of Squirrels. Hey, Spike!

7:51 AM. After the customary doggie greetings, Spike and I discuss matters of great importance. The consistency of Milkbone. The movements of the squirrels. The certainty that somewhere, somehow, every single second of the day, a dog is mooching a treat.

7:54 AM. Spike suggests I get home quick. The weather appears to be turning. Good advice, Spike.

8:03 AM. En route through the woods. Have stopped when I hear the chatter of a squirrel. Following the sound halfway up a tree. There he is. That damned squirrel. And he's laughing at me.

8:05 AM. ... and don't be just sitting there chattering away and working your paws around an acorn. If I could climb trees I'd be after you so fast. Bloody squirrel, I have no idea why you even exist...

8:09 AM. Interrupted from barking at the squirrel by the first raindrops. Oh, right. 

One of these days... you're going to get yours!!!!

8:13 AM. The downpour really commences, and I'm still ten minutes or so from the house. Oh well, I'll just get soaked. As long as there's no lightning.

8:21 AM. Barking at the back door to alert the human to my presence. Human! It is I! Loki! Chewer of Slippers and Annoyer of Mailmen! Let me in!

8:22 AM. Two things happen all at once. There's a mighty burst of lightning and a roll of thunder. At the same time the human opens the door. I sprint past her. There's no time for the Towel of Torment, human! The lightning is here!!!!!

8:24 AM. The human finds me down in the basement pacing around. She begins applying the Towel of Torment. Oh, come on, do you not hear that thunder out there? Some things are more important than the smell of a wet dog.

8:27 AM. The human finishes toweling me off and says that it's just thunder and lightning and it's perfectly normal. It is not just thunder and lightning! It is something profound and malevolent and it's out to get me and the cats must have something to do with it...

10:46 AM. I come upstairs after the thunder finally seems to have gone away. Boy, I'm tired.

I find the human having coffee. She gives me a cookie as consolation for the whole thunder ordeal.

12:35 Lunch with the human. She gives me a ham and cheese sandwich.

1:28 PM. Barking at the mailman as he drops things off at the mailbox and drives away. Get lost, you fiend!

3:20 PM. The human is having tea. I am mooching a cookie from her.

6:41 PM. The human is having dinner, and has given me a plate of stewing beef. This is good!

For whatever reason she insists on having hers with brussel sprouts.

8:22 PM. Lying in the living room pondering the great mysteries of life. Where does lightning come from?

11:19 PM. The human is off to bed. Good night, human. Sleep well. But keep the door open. If there's more thunderstorms in the night I'm racing upstairs and hiding under your bed.