Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying
Come and See
And I saw
And behold a white horse

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.

An' he decides who to free and who to blame.

Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down.

When the man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up.

At the terror in each sip and in each sup.

For you partake of that last offered cup,

Or disappear into the potter's ground.

When the man comes around.

Johnny Cash, ladies and gentlemen.

Johnny Cash.

A few days ago, I promised to tell you about my Sunday with Tony. Sorry. TRex.

We got in the car.

We drove and got some breakfast.

Thusly fortified, we headed into the mountains, with my faithful Puck in the back seat.

He is a 14 1/2 year old Labrador retriever.

I love him more than just about anything on this earth.

(Well, maybe her...

Pictures don't do her justice.

Everyone who has met her acknowledges that she is The Cutest Cat On Earth.)

Anyway, I can say, without reservation, that nobody has ever loved me as unconditionally as Puck has.

That, dear readers, is a beautiful thing.

But back to the story.

We drove up into the mountains outside of Bozeman, to a place called the Hyalite reservoir.

It is the most popular place in Bozeman for people to go recreate and commune with nature.

It is also a really popular ride for the Lance Armstrong wannabes. You know the type. Loud as a motorbike, but wouldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight.

Why, can some one please for the love of Charles Bukowski tell me why, these fucks INSIST on wearing skintight biker shorts and the douchebag jersey?


Bells tried.

He said maybe it is because of chafing and wicking, both legit concerns.

I run, OK?

Every damn day.

And I sweat more than just about anybody I know, except maybe UJ, which is another story. So I understand the power of wicking material.

I also, as a runner, have experienced chafing. Chafing nipples, chafing groin. painful stuff.


I wear wicking clothes that aren't skintight.

And it works fine.

Said clothes also eliminate chafing.

Why does a fat fucking 46 year old dude think he needs a ten pound bike helmet, a $ 150 Discovery Team jersey and the Lance Bass Biking Shorts.

There is really no excuse for the shorts (females excepted).

Can't you put on normal shorts over those fucking things, even if you think they serve some kind of purpose?

Can't you?

For my fucking sake?


You look like a mushroom on a toothpick.

Except the mushroom is gay and the toothpick is fat.


(You fat-gay-toothpick-mushroom-assault-on-my-senses. I am not letting this go. We'll come back to this later. I promise. You fat fucking doucheshorts toothpick.)

But back to the story.

I took Tony to the easy hike in the Hyalite---- palisades Falls.

Demi and Ashton (I love you, you crazy kids) got engaged there. It is a beautiful spot.

The three of us started to walk up.

Understand, this is the fat wheelchair "hike."

It's paved.

We started to walk, and Puck was very slow.

Very slow.

The "hike" is like .6 miles.

About a third of the way in, I realize that Puck can't do it.

I sent Tony ahead with the camera.

Here are Tony's pictures. (Sorry, T-rex. My anonymity-preserving nicknames kinda go out the window when you agree to pose for a picture on an abandoned toilet in the mountains with your pants around your ankles.

Shit Mitten, ladies and gentlemen.

Shit Mitten...)

In the meantime, I was walking Puck back down to the car.




Very slowly.

Every group of people we passed stopped and commented, with raised eyebrows, "Wow. Hey, Old Timer!"

And then they would look at me and ask how old he was.

I would tell them, choking back tears.

Thank Bukowski for sunglasses.

By the end of the walk back, tears were streaming down my face.

I took Puck to the stream near the car.

He gingerly stepped in, drank, and then looked up at me like there was nothing else in the world that mattered.

With those filmy, half-blind eyes, he was telling me, "Thanks, Dude. Thanks for taking me here today. This is the greatest thing EVER. Since you served me breakfast, anyway. That, by the way, was the BEST. Speaking of which, when is dinner? Are you gonna eat that?"

"Eat what? My sunglasses?"

"Yeah, whatever. Are you gonna eat that?"

When he couldn't limp around any more, I picked him up and set him in the car.

It just about killed me.

I know he is old.

I take him with me wherever I go now.

With the same impunity that senior citizens call upon when they back out of their driveways without looking, thinking, "Fuck it. I'm 76. These whippersnappers will stop. And I will go on my merry way to Perkins."

Again, I digress.

So, I recover from this emotional event, and Tony (T-Rex) comes running (!) down the trail, and hops in my car.

We drove down past the mushroom-toothpick-fatties to my house and grabbed the musical instruments.

Sentimentality aside, Shit Mitten had a gig, and we take that shit seriously.

An electric gig, no less.

So we drove over to Bells' house.

You wanna talk cute?

There isn't much cuter than this little hombre.


With me for his uncle?

Kid's gonna slay 'em.

(By the way, Aden is 20 months old. I shit you not, he can keep a beat on drums. Kid's got talent. I can't wait to take him snowboarding.)

I know this is a long story, but I am in the middle of a divorce, which I intend to use as an excuse for my behavior for the next 2-17 years. So, bear with me. I am in the middle of a divorce.

So, we are driving through Belgrade, on our way to Bells' house, when...



I laid on the brakes and squealed into the cop shop, handing Tony the camera, demanding he take pictures.

Despite his discomfort with breaking about 16 laws amidst a shitload of off-duty cops, he complied.

After all, I have an obligation to my readers.


There is nothing I can say to appropriately introduce this, so here you go...

These fucking tools were whaling on each other.

And there were a bunch of other douchebags flouncing around in puffy Henry The 8th pantaloons and feathered caps, snacking on fucking turkey legs, speaking in iambic pentameter.

It was beautiful.

I loved it.

After that, Shit Mitten played the gig.

I sang a lot.

Shittily. (Is that a word? As much as I loathe adverbs that one is a gem.)

But sorta good at the same time.

I think Bells actually really liked it, and he is my main audience.

We played some Neil Young (Rockin in the Free World, Old Man), Janes Addiction (Jane Says), Foo Fighters (Times Like These), Stones (Dead Flowers, Country Honk), Beatles (Hide Your Love Away, Two of Us), Nirvana (About A Girl), Pearl Jam (Not For You, Last Kiss) and a bunch of other stuff.

It was good. You'll have to trust me.

Also, on the way home, we almost got killed.

I'll tell that story tomorrow, since I have already taxed the limits of your internet loafing attention span.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


My guy is 13 1/2. He's going deaf, I come in from work through the back door and he's sitting there barking at the front door from the vibration of my truck. He's been with me since college, rode shotgun on a 36 hour trip from Atlanta to Sun Valley, Id. and even hearded 15-20 head of cattle into circle while my buddy and I were out picking mushrooms in a pasture outside of Tallahassee, Fla. We just looked at each other wondering if we were tripping or it was really happening.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Tanaya said...

Our beast is just 8, but he's put a whole lotta living (read food) in those 8 years. He resembles nothing so much as a coffee table with a tail. Your description of taking the dogs for a "waddle" fits him perfectly. But we love our boy even though he got sprayed by a skunk last night.

Oh, and the jousters moved to Belgrade, huh? They used to hang out on campus...

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it ok if I leave a comment that is actually several? Why not:

1) I'm primarily a runner, but I ride a bike now and then. I'm with you on the team jersey thing -- gay. However, I will rise to the defense of bike shorts (provided they are a solid color, preferrably black). But that's an argument that needs to happen over the beer we're having someday.

2) I've only seen a few episodes, but think the writing for "The Wire" is pretty thin compared to "The Sopranos." My reasoning: I find myself thinking about Tony and Carmela as if they were real people.

3) Cats that live with dogs have more personality.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hey Dan... comments are always welcome.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on bike shorts.

I am of the school of thought that men should not parade around in skintight, stretchy clothes without putting something on over them.

The trouser snake should not be displayed.

ej- your michael keaton comment made me laugh out loud.

I fixed your dog picture, but blogger won't allow it in comments.

I'll throw it in a post.

I love old dogs.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Eve Grey said...

i must be pre something cuz the dog story tore at my heart. and that cat is the CUTEST thing ever!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Paulette said...

I got all misty with the Puck story. I know the way he looks at you. And that's it, exactly.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Our old dog turned 13 this summer. He was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier in the year, but apparently his hearing has dwindled enough that he didn't hear the prognosis. He's still going and loving the backyard and sunshine every day.
He's been the constant through three moves, an ex-husband, new husband and two kiddos.
Gotta love those old dogs!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Have you thought about a dog stroller? Google "All Terrain 3-Wheel Pet Stroller" Brings new meaning to take the dog for a run.

As for the bike shorts? I guess I'll keep mine in the closet... Ha!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lost our 11yr old German Shepheard on May 4th. She had cancer and dropped over on my wife. I was at work in the middle of a shit storm, but my boss let me leave for a bit. Rushed home, bawled my face off over her, took her to the vet to have her cremated. Brought the wife back home, bawled a little more then headed back in til 8 that nite!. I still miss her every day!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Mike Angie Patrick Aaron said...

We lost our old guy Cojack in October of 2004. He was 17 years old. Can you believe that - 17! He was the longest relationship I have ever had up to that point. We went through college together, drank beer together, ate Doritos together - everything. Puck reminds me a lot of Cojack - I have experienced that unconditional love of the old dog. He loved to walk too and I remember when it became apparent he couldn't make it anymore - It was hard because we did that together a lot. I have a new dog now and he is good but he could never live up to my swan song.

10:08 PM  

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