Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Most Boring Game Of All

Super Bowl weekend is upon us. I won't be watching the damned thing, of course. But I do ridicule it each year. And so it's time for this year's edition.

Super Bowl About To Unleash Hours Of Boredom And Pointless Glitz On The World

Miami (AP) And so it is that once again we come to that time of the year again. Super Bowl Sunday unleashes its overblown nonsense this Sunday, February 2nd, 2020, overshadowing Groundhog Day and presenting hours and hours and endless hours of commercials, commentary, a halftime show, and the most boring game of the year (editor: hey! Shut up! I like the Super Bowl!). This year’s edition is being held in the suburb city of Miami Gardens, Florida, at Hard Rock Stadium, which has hosted the game before.

This year Fox is broadcasting the game. The network has had its sportscasters in the area for the last week, building up hype for the big game. Fans have been streaming into the metropolitan area over the last few days, having tailgate parties, wearing team insignia from across the league, causing mayhem and chaos in the bars and beaches, and in all other ways acting like typical football fans: complete boors (editor: hey! Football fans are great people!).

This reporter, cursed to have an editor who hates him, and an editor subjected to a restraining order for multiple threats on his life over the years, has been remotely dispatched by that editor, who really is a cranky assed (editor: shut up! Shut up or you’re going to regret it!)… well, to put it mildly, this reporter was dispatched to cover the event. This reporter considers that a punishment, since this reporter hates football, hates this event in particular, and wishes that his cranky editor would just retire already (editor: I’ll retire after I’ve ended your snarky life!!!!). This reporter would also like to note that these footnotes are to be deemed further threats, and that the authorities might take steps to arrest the editor for violating the restraining order. (editor: I hate you! Oh, I hate you!)

Back to the subject at hand: the game pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s something of a shock for Patriots fans, who have been accustomed to their team appearing in the game for the last few years. Indeed, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, lurking around the pre-game festivities in recent days, was dismayed that his team missed the playoffs this year. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way, dammit!” he told reporters, visibly frustrated. “I had a deal with the Prince of Darkness! My soul for repeat Super Bowl wins!”

The Prince of Darkness, aka Satan, on vacation in Las Vegas (where else?) shrugged when asked about it at one of the casino city’s golf courses. “Hey, old Bill has leveraged what passes for his soul one too many times, and I’ll be calling in his IOU pretty soon. Besides, I hate football. Golf is my game. Especially because everyone who plays against me is too scared to try to beat me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m kicking the **** out of Rupert Murdoch on the fifteenth hole.”

The two teams have never faced each other in a Super Bowl game. In fact, they have rarely ever played against each other. San Francisco has a narrow lead in their all time games played series, 7-6, and had a slightly better record over the season. Fans across the nation are picking their own favourites for the game, even if the teams involved aren’t their home teams. Betting pools have been set up. And advertisers have been devising overblown commercials at premium prices to get attention for their products.

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, has been seen in recent days at pre-game events, shaking hands and looking like the cat who ate the canary. He has sparked some controversy, however. The other night, after drinking one too many Fireballs, Goodell let his guard down and started talking frankly. “Look, we all know this is a pointless sport. Guys slamming into each other for six or seven hours, opening themselves up to concussions and brain trauma and life long effects, not that the League can ever admit that, because if we do, we’re gonna be dealing with lawsuits for decades to come. I’m just saying, CTE is real, and every one of our players is ****ed.” The following morning, when Goodell was sober and dealing with a headache, he was confronted with his own words, caught on camera. Staring at himself saying the very same words, he shook his head. “I never said that. You guys must have gotten some lookalike to say that.”

Of course the halftime show is the subject of much speculation. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are signed up at the headliners. As usual, the concert setting for halftime threatens to overshadow the game- this is typical given how boring Super Bowl games usually are (editor: shut up! The Super Bowl is not boring!). Lopez and Shakira are keeping a tight lid on their act, not willing to let any detail leak on what they promise will be a halftime show to remember. This reporter would point out that every act at this event says that line of nonsense.

Some onlookers are hoping for wardrobe malfunctions during halftime. Others, such as this reporter, are merely hoping that in advance of the game, the coronavirus forces the cancellation of the game, or that both teams break their legs when stepping out onto the field and thus cancelling the game and simultaneously causing millions of sports fan brains to short out (editor: I’m visualizing your brain shorting out).

There are those who are bothered by the timing of the game. The game traditionally takes place on the first Sunday in February. This year that just happens to coincide with Groundhog Day. That fact is bothersome to Fred Vaughn, president of the Groundhog Day Society. “It’s not right! They’ve got football half the year!” he told reporters outside Hard Rock Stadium. “All we have is one day! One day to pay honour to the groundhog! And they overshadow it with this game! It is sacrilege! Sacrilege, I say! It is a desecration to the Groundhog God, for whom we serve! I tell you now, there will be a terrible reckoning! You have not known fury until you’ve seen the Groundhog God unleashed!”

Reached by phone from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, George Delaney, the Vice President of the Inner Circle, the group that manages the annual Groundhog Day event in the small town, had a different take. “We can share Mr. Vaughn’s agitation at having the occasion overshadowed, but not his level of agitation, or his other… eccentricities. I would like to point out that the Groundhog Day Society has a membership of one- Mr. Vaughn himself. And I’d like to add that there’s no such thing as a Groundhog God. And lastly, Mr. Vaughn has spent thirty seven years of his fifty two years on this planet in one mental hospital or another.”

There has been someone else in Miami Gardens, trying to make a spectacle of himself and find some place on the big game’s stage. O.J. Simpson, the one time football player, failed actor, and defendant in what some called the Trial of the Century, has been seen out and about, talking to fans, ignoring the disdainful glare of those who still think he beat a murder charge, and trying to be the centre of attention. The NFL, for its part, has been going out of its way to refuse to let him have any place in the game, given criminal convictions and the cloud of suspicion that remains above him to this day. This reporter saw him at a distance; there is a restraining order forbidding Simpson from being anywhere near this reporter, given previous threats of violence against him (editor: there shouldn’t be! The Juice should have as much right to throttle you as I should have!).

“It’s like this,” Simpson was saying to a group of people, some of them reporters. “The ****in’ NFL doesn’t want the Juice around! But they ****in’ owe me, man! They owe me! I’m the greatest ****in’ player in the history of this ****in’ game, and they treat me like I don’t even exist! It’s enough to make you want to ****in’ kill someone! Stab ‘em in the heart! But I’ll tell you, I’m ****in’ above that. Because I’m a better ****in’ person than that. **** yeah! So I’m here to tell all my fans that they need to tell the ****in’ League to make this right. They need to tell the ****in’ League to make me Commissioner! Like I’ve been sayin’ for years!:

He paused for a moment, looked through the crowd, and saw this reporter. “Hey! It’s you!” His eyes took on a dark, hostile look. “It’s that ****in’ mother****er who said I was threatenin’ to ****in’ kill him! I got some things to say to you, mother****in’ mother****er! Don’t you go around ****in’ tellin’ people I’m ****in’ threatening to ****in’ kill you! Because if you keep sayin’ that, mother****er, I’m gonna kill  your mother****in’ ass, mother****er!” He started charging through the crowd, only to be intercepted by three police officers who tackled him. “Let me go!! Let me go! I’ll kill that mother****er for tellin’ people I was gonna kill that mother****er!”

The belligerent former player was arrested, and taken away in a police car, screaming and cursing every step of the way. This reporter mused that he could benefit from another twenty years behind bars, not that it was likely to happen. This reporter also mused that his cranky editor should be locked away too, just for good measure (editor: I’m going to carve out your heart with a pick axe). Once again, this reporter reminds the world that his editor is a sociopathic lunatic clearly threatening the well being of this reporter (editor: I hate you! Oh, I hate you so much!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And now it is time for the cat to have her say, like the divinity she is....

7:01 AM. Waking up out of a deep slumber. Slept exceedingly well. Had dreams of catnip as far as the eye could see.

I love catnip.

7:03 AM. Looking outside. Snow falling heavily. Well, they did predict quite a snowfall in the news, and it appears to be happening. My staff already decided to stay in last night instead of going to work today, which suits me. The only issue is that this gives her a reason to sleep in, as opposed to seeing to my breakfast. 

7:06 AM. The flying lunches are out there dashing around the feeders. If there wasn’t a screened window between us and a whole lot of snow to have to negotiate through, I’d be so completely after every last one of you right now.

7:10 AM. Getting impatient. My staff is normally awake at this time of day, but with her working from home today, it seems she’s taking advantage of the chance to sleep in. Well of course this will not do.

7:12 AM. Up on the top landing. Heading into the staff’s bedroom. Well, technically my bedroom, since I own the staff, the house, and everything inside it. But that’s beside the point. Sure enough, she’s still sleeping. We’ll have to remedy that now, won’t we?

7:13 AM. Sitting on the bed, staring at the staff. I shall attempt the purposeful stare for a few minutes or so before moving on to more stringent measures. It often works into willing a lowly human into waking up, after all.

7:19 AM. Okay, then. The staring clearly isn’t working. She’s out to the world. I shall have to take this a step further.

7:20 AM. I have stepped on top of the staff and am now tapping her face with my paw. Come on, staff, get up, time to feed me.

7:21 AM. The staff wakes up, growling. I get off her. Mission accomplished. 

7:27 AM. The staff comes downstairs, grumbling a bit incoherently. I know, staff, that you are not a morning person, but I’ll let you go back to bed and get another hour or two worth of sleep right after you fix my breakfast.

7:29 AM. The staff sets down my breakfast. A bowl of milk and a plate of tuna meet with my approval. The bowl of field rations do not, but such is life. She heads right back off upstairs and I settle down to feast on the tuna and milk.

7:31 AM. Finished breakfast. I shall ignore the field rations. 

7:37 AM. Sitting on the back of the couch, looking outside. I can hear the distant barking of that foul hound from down the road. Stupid dog…

7:42 AM. Watching the weather channel. They’re calling for fifty to seventy centimetres by the time this snowstorm is done. That’ll probably keep my staff from going to work tomorrow too. Which is a good thing. She can spoil me rotten.

7:44 AM. The weather forecaster is stressing in a calm manner not to go out if you don’t have to in this area, as the province is already issuing a closed roads order on some of the highways. Much more reasonably said than when they had that crazy as a loon nutcase who would panic at the first snowflake. I wonder if that guy is enjoying his time in that mental hospital.

8:09 AM. Well, I’ve been up for a good hour now. I think it’s about time to take a nap.

10:14 AM. Waking up from my nap. The staff is sitting in the living room. I look at her, she looks at me. Were you considering waking me up just the same way I woke you up, and thought better of it?

10:21 AM. The staff is having a cup of tea. She’s put some milk on her saucer for me. Very good, staff.

12:08 PM. The staff is having lunch. She’s cut up some chicken for me and has put it on a plate. Now just think, staff, if it wasn’t for that pesky work place you have to go to five days a week, you could be doing this every day of the week.

2:29 PM. Waking up from another nap to find the staff looking out the window. I jump up on the back of the couch and have a look myself. The snow is falling more heavily now. Say, are you sure there’s enough milk in the fridge to last us a couple of days?

3:12 PM. The power briefly goes out, but comes back on again. This could be problematic, should the power go out and stay out for hours. That means the furnace goes out too, and in which case, the only heat we’ve got in the place will be the fireplace. I call dibs on the spot closest, staff. There’s nothinq quite like a fireplace to warm a cat’s belly, after all.

5:02 PM. The staff is engaged in making supper, just in case the power goes out later. I know there’s chicken involved, but she’s working with vegetables too. I suspect soup is going to be the end of all this, in which case she’s welcome to the soup. I just want the chicken.

5:43 PM. Dinner with the staff. She is indeed having soup, but I’ve got a plate of chicken for myself. I approve of this, staff, I really do. Now if you’d cut out pouring me a bowl of field rations every morning, I’d have you perfectly trained.

6:11 PM. The staff is doing the dishes. I’ll leave her to it. She doesn’t need a su-purr-visor for everything.

8:28 PM. Lying in the living room, staring at the fireplace. Pondering the great mysteries of existence. What is the meaning of dogs?

11:13 PM. The staff is off to bed. Very well, staff. But do keep the door open. I want to be able to come in and knead on top of you at any time after all, and it is so inconvenient to do so with a closed door.

Monday, January 27, 2020

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

7:02 AM. Waking up at home. Dreamed of chasing a squirrel through an endless meadow… and just when I caught up to him, I woke up.

I hate those dreams.

7:08 AM. Staring outside through the front window. Snow falling. Looks like we could get a lot of it today. Well, that’s good. Though it probably means I’ll have to curtail an extensive run for the day. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the mailman will be buried by an avalanche.

7:10 AM. Watching the Weather Network. They’re predicting fifty to seventy centimeters for the day of the white stuff. That’s a lot. Fortunately they don’t have that paranoid nutjob on the air anymore, because he’d be in full panic mode right about now, screaming about eating the dead and how the world’s coming to an end in a wall of white fluffy snow.

7:12 AM. The forecasters are talking about that Groundhog Day coming up in a few days. I don’t get it. Why do humans put any faith in the predictions of a rodent that’s probably pissed off at being woken up early?

7:15 AM. Waiting on the human to get downstairs. I’m feeling quite peckish, and unfortunately I lack the vital asset of opposable thumbs that are so handy in opening pantry doors.

7:19 AM. Thumping my tail against the floor when my human comes downstairs. Good morning, human! Say, have you seen all the snow falling outside? And have you given any thought at all to seeing about my breakfast? 

7:21 AM. Watching with anticipation as the human starts pouring me a big bowl of kibbles. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy…

7:22 AM. Licking my chops after devouring breakfast. A mere three seconds off my all time fastest consumption of breakfast. Not bad, if you ask me, and you are asking me.

7:26 AM. Inquiring with the human as to if she’ll let me out for my run. She opens the door and I sprint out for freedom. See you later, human!

7:31 AM. Barking my head off, plowing through fresh powder, as happy as I can be. Life is good!

7:37 AM. Rolling around in the snow. Getting it all packed into my fur. I must look like the abominable snow-dog.

7:45 AM. Okay, I think that’s enough running about for me for one day. Time to get back home, maybe think about a nap. Even if I’ve only been awake for less than an hour.

7:58 AM. Barking at the back door for the human to let me in. Human! It is I! Loki, Annoyer of Mailmen and Chewer of Slippers! Let me in!

7:59 AM. The human opens the door but blocks my way before I can run past her. She informs me that she’ll have to dry off my fur. Oh, come on, human! Not the Towel of Torment.

8:01 AM. Being subjected to the Towel of Torment by the human. I don’t know why she does this. As far as I’m concerned the best way to dry off after a ramble about in the snow is to lie by the fireplace and dry off naturally. There is no such thing as wet dog smell.

8:04 AM. The human finally lets me back into the house after she’s deemed me dry enough. I head to the living room, circle around three times in front of the fireplace, and promptly lie down on the floor.

9:29 AM. Waking up from a nap. The human has the television on. They’re talking about a state of emergency in this part of the province and encouraging people to stay indoors. Well, that’s what you get when a proper blizzard comes and pays you a visit. 

10:08 AM. The human is having a cup of tea. I’m having an oatmeal cookie she’s given me. Yum yum yum!

10:39 AM. Watching the human through the window restocking the bird feeders. Well, the birds will appreciate that. Of course it might bring out a squirrel or two, in which case I’ll feel obliged to bark my head off.

12:23 PM. The human is having lunch. I’ve used my mooching technique of sad eyes to get her to give me a sandwich. Ham and cheese suits me nicely.

12:51 PM. Watching a snow plow going by slowly out on the road. I wonder if this means that accursed mailman will be able to make his rounds today.

2:10 PM. Well, if the mailman is out there, he’s running seriously late. And I’m feeling like a nap, so I’m done with my vigil for the day.

5:46 PM. The human is heading over to the kitchen. And at this time of day, that usually means she’s getting ready for dinner. A meal I approve of. It’s my favourite meal of the day in a four way tie with breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

6:27 PM. Dinner with the human. She’s kept it simple with bacon and apple pancakes. Which of course I like.

8:31 PM. Lying in the living room, pondering the great mysteries of life. Is it true that the dog wags the tail, or does the tail wag the dog?

11:24 PM. The human is off to bed. Good night, human! Sleep well! Don’t worry, I’ll guard the house against any intrusion by squirrels. Can’t trust those bastards for so much as a minute if you ask me, and you are asking me. So I’ll keep a close eye out. In between naps.