Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, September 30, 2019

Brexit Stage Left, Pursued By A Boris

Britain stumbles along towards Brexit, Prime Minister Loses Confidence And Balance

London (Reuters) The Brexit fiasco continues. It has already cost two prime ministers their jobs after a yes vote to leaving the European Union drove Great Britain into turmoil following the 2016 referendum. Entire regions of the country voted against the measure, which some have said should have never even been called for in the first place. Proponents for the Leave side of things, including present Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have blundered their way through things as much as those who were on the Remain side of things.

Johnson has only recently taken office as prime minister, after the ousting of former PM Theresa May. He promptly sacked the two time foreign secretary, a highly regarded figure in British society, declared that Brexit would proceed with or without a deal by October 31st, tried to prorogue Parliament, and got slapped down by the highest courts for doing so. Members of his own Conservative party have turned on him, removing his working majority, and the accident prone Johnson has threatened to call an election over the matter.

Finding himself with enemies at every quarter and a deepening state of unpopularity among the British public, the perennially clumsy and gaffe prone Johnson is a man under siege. Bets are already being taken as to how long his time in office will last. “Not near as long as May,” is the common word on the street and in the bookie shops. Long odds are being given to anyone betting he’ll still be in the job by the first year anniversary of his coming into it.

“It’s a disgrace,” Oxford professor of political science Gerald Featherstonehaugh admitted. “This never needed to happen in the first place. Whatever differences the country had with Europe as a whole could have been talked over, negotiated, smoothed out. This should have never gone to a referendum. And now what you’re seeing throughout the country is a lot of regret about the initiative going to a ballot in the first place. It’s almost as big a disgrace as having that foppish jackass in the PM’s office.”

Former PM David Cameron, who led the Remain side of things and saw the referendum go so horribly wrong, agrees. “We made a terrible mistake in even entertaining the idea. We let rogue politicians and isolationist parties get the better of us.  I take responsibility for that. And now we’re all paying the price for a bad decision. The amount of turmoil we’re seeing in the country is a reflection of that.”

Theresa May was less civil when reached by phone for comment. Apparently still stinging over a forced resignation that ended her time in office, she simply told this reporter, “go **** yourself, *******.”

Johnson seemed harried and stressed out when facing the press outside Ten Downing Street. Having had lost his working majority in Parliament to rebel Conservative members, and facing the venom and wrath of an electorate that seems to hate him more by the hour, Johnson is clearly not having a good time of it these days. “Look, the important thing is that all of this is going to work. We’re going to get out of Europe and have our cake and eat it too. With tea and scones. Believe me, when you’re in a situation like this, it’s always best to go into it with no plan whatsoever. And that’s what the whole Leave thing was about in the first place. Having absolutely no plan whatsoever.”

“You realize you said that out loud?” this reporter asked.

“Said what?” Johnson asked, looking confused. He looks confused a lot.

“That you had no plan at all for actually leaving Europe when you started this whole thing,” this reporter prompted.

“I did not!” Johnson objected.

“Yes you did,” every reporter said in unison.

Johnson seemed even more befuddled, looking around, sputtering a bit before backing away from the podium. “You’re all just out to get me! Like everyone else is. Well, I won’t have it, do you hear me? I won’t be treated this way!” He turned around, started back for the door, and got his leg caught in an electric cord, tripping and hitting the ground. A moment later he started screaming and holding his knee and his nose. “Help, help!” he called out. “I got an ow-ow!”

The prime minister was taken to hospital, where it turned out he had indeed broken his left knee and his nose. He was heard to be speculating that his injuries might get him sympathy votes. Not according to the latest polls, which find most citizens want to see him locked up at the Tower of London in the stocks.

“The man is an insufferable jackass and simpleton,” Featherstonehaugh lamented. “We need dignity restored to the office. We need a leader who can come back, who can go to Brussels with heart in hand and just say, ‘we were wrong, let’s get this all sorted out.’ If you ask me, the leader we need is our former foreign secretary. Best man for the job. Dignified, articulate, reasonable, a man of calm nerves and steady mind. But having had been ousted twice already, I don’t see how he’d want to come back.”

The former foreign secretary was approached by reporters for his own comment. Presently enjoying a life of quiet retirement writing his memoirs at his country estate in Devonshire, the diminutive redhead with the intense stare paused before speaking.

“Meep! Meep meep meep meep meep!!! Meep meep!!”

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And so it is time for the cat to have her say. Show her all the respect she deserves, for she is one of the supreme life forms on the planet.

7:00 AM. Waking up at home. Slept well. Dreamed of being in a vast field of catnip.

7:03 AM. Sitting on the back of the couch, brooding, lost in thought. It seems like it’s been a long while that I’ve had my thoughts to myself like this. I don’t really understand why, but such is life. Dawn is getting later and later these days. Fall’s here. Which means winter won’t be far behind. Flying lunches are getting ready to fly south. Except for the ones who stay here all winter long and mooch off my staff. Why my staff fills those feeders is something I don’t get. Which reminds me, where is my staff? Breakfast won’t see to itself, after all.

7:17 AM. Listening to sounds from upstairs. The staff is up and about getting herself ready for the day. So I don’t have to go up and meow loudly at her. I can be patient. Honest, I can.

7:22 AM. Come on, staff, what’s taking you so long? I’ve got breakfast that needs to be set up for me, and I don’t like waiting.

7:24 AM. I swear to Isis, if she’s not down in thirty seconds, I’ll raise all hell….

7:25 AM. The staff comes downstairs with three seconds to spare. It’s about time, staff. I was just about to meow yell at you. Now then, priorities. My breakfast. I expect a plate of chicken or tuna. It would be nice if you got up a half hour earlier and put the plate in the fridge to chill for awhile, since the optimum dining experience for a cat is a slightly chilled plate. I also want a bowl of milk on the side. And no field rations, are we clear on that? Will you stop calling me high maintenance? I am not high maintenance, I just like having things the way I like them.

7:27 AM. Supervising the staff while she sets to work on making my breakfast. She requires supervision. Or su-purr-vision, to be more precise.

7:28 AM. The staff has put down a plate of chicken and a bowl of milk, which meet with my approval. What does not meet with my approval is the bowl of field rations. Staff, how many times have I told you I don’t like field rations?

7:29 AM. I set to work on breakfast. I shall content myself with milk and chicken.

7:31 AM. Finished my breakfast. I shall leave my staff to get hers done in the approximately ten minutes she has before she has to get to work.

7:38 AM. Hearing the sounds of that idiot hound from down the road, barking his head off somewhere. 

7:39 AM. Spotting a squirrel off in the yard. The staff is on her way out the door. I sprint out with her and head straight for that squirrel… who flees up a tree. 

7:40 AM. Contemplating whether or not to head up the tree. On the one hand, I can get pretty high. On the other, the squirrel can get higher, and is a lot faster jumping to another tree than I can do. And then there’s the matter of getting down. Yes, I can do it. But I don’t look very graceful while doing so.

7:41 AM. Turning around and seeing the staff’s car pulling out of the driveway. Hey, wait a minute… I’m still out here!

7:53 AM. Sitting on the back deck, thoroughly irritated. The staff is gone for the day. I’m stuck outside. Oh well, at least it’s a reasonably mild day, with no rain in the forecast. I might as well make the most of it. And yell at my staff later.

8:31 AM. Woken out of a good nap by a sudden bark. I bolt up to my feet and catch sight of that annoying mutt breaking out into a sprint directly away from me. Hey! Get back here! How dare you wake me up out of a good sleep, you idiot!

8:32 AM. Chasing the idiot hound, screaming bad words in cat, vowing revenge. And he’s just laughing and laughing and laughing some more, like the irritating dog that he is. This is why I hate dogs!

8:34 AM. Stalking back and forth at the property line. Fuming. I can still hear that dumb hound out in the woods, it’s not as if he’s that stealthy. How dare you wake me up? I was having good dreams! And how dare you find any of this amusing?

8:46 AM. Sitting on the back deck, still fuming. It’s getting so a cat can’t take a decent nap without having a goofball mutt come along to disturb her. I’m just going to have to get some payback. When he least expects it.

12:09 PM. Still waiting on the staff to get home. It won’t be for hours more. Now usually under these circumstances I’d go pay Mrs. McIntyre a visit. She spoils me rotten. But she’s out visiting family this week. So I’m stuck here, waiting on my staff. I will not be happy, not one little bit…

5:23 PM. Watching the staff pull into the driveway in her car. Wearing my most aggrieved face. She gets out of the car and apologizes. I start giving her a piece of my mind, and then she scratches behind my ear in just the right way and… oh, for the love of Isis, now I’m purring. Damn you, purr! I’m supposed to be mad right now!

5:26 PM. Inside with the staff. Feeling more reasonable than I’ve been all day, but pointing out to her that she needs to be fully aware that I expect interior access to the house when she’s gone all day, and that I do not appreciate being cut off from my favourite sleeping spots inside. Besides which, how is one supposed to get a good nap in when one is on guard against a return by an idiot mutt?

5:26 PM. Inside with the staff. Feeling more reasonable than I’ve been all day, but pointing out to her that she needs to be fully aware that I expect interior access to the house when she’s gone all day, and that I do not appreciate being cut off from my favourite sleeping spots inside. Besides which, how is one supposed to get a good nap in when one is on guard against a return by an idiot mutt?

5:54 PM. Watching the staff making dinner. On the one hand, there’s meat involved. On the other hand, she appears to be cooking Brussel sprouts.

6:39 PM. Dinner with the human. She’s having stewing beef with her sprouts- I have no idea what humans see in sprouts. I’m just having stewing beef, which she’s been thoughtful enough to cut up into nice cat sized bite portions for me. Very good, staff, very good.

8:42 PM. Lying in the living room, contemplating the great mysteries of life. How do I prove my hypothesis that the universe is one giant ball of string?

11:40 PM. The staff is off to bed. Very well, staff, but keep the door open. I may feel like walking all over you at three in the morning, and a closed door makes that quite inconvenient.

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

It's been a long time since I've had the perspective of the dog and the cat. Today it's the dog's turn to have his say.

7:02 AM. Waking up at home. Taking a big stretch. Dreamed of chasing squirrels. That’s a common thread in my dreams. Of course, they always seem to end just before I’ve caught the squirrel. I wonder why that is. 

7:04 AM. Looking outside. Sun’s barely gotten up. Boy, the days are getting shorter and shorter. Birds are starting to fly south. Trees are showing some of the first signs of fall colours. Soon we’ll have frost at night. And it seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve had anything to say. Where did the summer go, anyway?

7:12 AM. Waiting on the human to come downstairs. Because breakfast must be seen to, and since I lack opposable thumbs, I can’t get into the pantry myself. Which is a good thing, because if I could get into the pantry, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop chowing through the bag of kibbles. 

7:19 AM. Wagging my tail furiously as the human comes downstairs. Good morning, human! Fine day, isn’t it? Say, have you given any thought to making me breakfast? Because between you and me, I’m famished right about now, and could really use a big bowl of kibbles.

7:21 AM. Watching the human as she pours me a big bowl of kibbles. Oh boy oh boy oh boy….

7:22 AM. Licking my chops after finishing off the kibbles. That was good!

7:26 AM. Asking the human if she could let me out for my morning run.

7:27 AM. Out the door and breaking out into a sprint. See you later, human!

7:38 AM. Running through the back fields, barking my head off, happy as I can be. 

7:51 AM. Stopping in to see Spike the Magnificent, Tormentor of Squirrels. Hello, Spike! It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve met up, even though it was just the other day. Well, you know how it is with dogs, we tend to lose track of time.

7:53 AM. Spike and I confer on matters of the greatest importance. The ideal temperature of water in a bowl. The maximum velocity of a fleeing mailman on foot. And just what the squirrels are up to right now with all that nut hoarding.

7:55 AM. Spike and I discuss how quickly the summer went. Apparently the mayor’s never going to forgive me for chasing him up a tree. Honestly, you do that one time and they never let you hear the end of it. And I’ve done that one twice now. So it’ll be double never letting me hear the end of it.

8:03 AM. Parting ways with Spike. He’ll let me know when the mailman turns up at his place, just so we can both bark at him.

8:28 AM. Stopping by the house where that cranky cat lives. I wonder if she’s somewhere in sight or not. I should go and have a look.

8:31 AM. I have meandered my way across the property and have found the cat. Sleeping peacefully on the deck, completely oblivious to my being here. You know, me being a good dog- and I am a good dog, a very good dog- I should just walk away right now and leave her in peace.

But I can’t pass up an opportunity this good. I take a deep breath, ready myself to run, and let out one loud woof.

8:32 AM. Sprinting for the woods, laughing my head off, being chased by that cranky cat, who’s hissing her head off, spewing all manner of obscenities at me. In fairness, I couldn’t resist, and after all, I am a dog.

8:34 AM. Have reached the woods, and the cat has given up the pursuit. I can still hear her yelling at me from her property, making all sorts of accusations towards me. I am feeling thoroughly pleased with myself right about now.

8:43 AM. Returning home to the human. Hello, human! Say, if that cranky cat from down the road calls and makes any accusations about my waking her up out of a nap, I just want to say that have absolutely no idea what she’s talking about.

9:03 AM. Settling down for a nap in the living room. Circling around precisely three times, because two is too few, and four times is too many, before lying on the floor.

12:10 PM. Lunch with the human. She’s kind enough to give me a ham and cheese sandwich. Yum yum yum!

1:31 PM. Barking my head off at the mailman as he drops off letters at the mailbox and drives away. And don’t you ever come back, do you hear me? Never come back!

1:34 PM. The human lets me back inside, and asks if I’m aware that the mailman is only doing his job. You’re na├»ve, human. The mailman is pure evil.

3:47 PM. The human is having afternoon tea. I get a scone out of the whole deal, since I’m using my patented sad eye trick to mooch.

6:32 PM. Dinner with the human. Bacon and apple pancakes go over pretty well if you ask me, and you are asking me.

6:59 PM. The human is doing dishes. I’m supervising. I’d help, really I would, but I lack opposable thumbs.

11:30 PM. The human is off to bed. Good night, human, sleep well. But keep the door open. In case there’s thunder in the night, I want to be able to run and hide under your bed. I’m just advising you in advance.