Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Cat Makes a Much Better Agent Cooper Than Your Dog

The other day as I was reenacting scenes from Twin Peaks with my two cats, I thought to myself; “Dog people are so ridiculous”.  It happened as I was putting plastic wrap on my boy cat who was portraying Laura Palmer and sleeping at the time. I know, I know... it seems like odd casting for a boy cat, but unfortunately for him he looks a lot more like Laura Palmer than my girl cat, who is a dead ringer for Special Agent Cooper, and was also sleeping at the time.  

The plastic wrap was what made me think about how dog owners have to follow their dogs around cleaning up their shit. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. It’s just that they are so high maintenance. Cats on the other hand sleep about 18 hours a day and can be left alone days, if not months at a time, without ever knowing you were gone.  

Pat, despite the fact that he has two cats and no dogs, claims to be a dog person. Why?

Pat:   Alright, let’s clear the air on a couple of things first.

I’ve never seen Twin Peaks. The TV show or the movie. Sorry. I know-- how can anyone who claims to be a member of the tail end of Generation X consider himself relevant when he has not experienced the mastery of Lynchian TV? I don’t know, but I haven’t seen it, I was never much into Nirvana (and still aren’t, though by god I’ve tried), and I’ve never experimented with Veganism.

Assuming it’s okay to proceed, I also need to let you know that, though you are correct in describing me as a dog person who happens to own cats, I need to correct one important detail:  we did in fact own TWO cats until about two months ago. At that time we learned that one of our cats had been eaten by a coyote. Yes, tragic. Yes, hard for the kids to deal with. Yes, life is a bit easier with one less cat. Yes, I am an insensitive asshole.

Assuming it’s still okay to proceed, I’ll address the dog issue.  

Yes, they are high maintenance, but only if you are what I call a “new generation” dog owner, which is the kind I guess groups like PETA and the ASPCA endorse. These are the people who treat their dogs as equal or MORE revered members of their families, such as every pet owner in Boulder, Colorado (heres a link). I am not one of those people.

Yet I still love dogs. For the very selfish reason that dogs love me. Stupidly, without question, and with undying loyalty...dogs love me. Looking at me with excited adoration every time they see me, as though it’s the first time or as though I am rescuing them from certain doom, and longing to cover my face with slobbery licks...dogs love me. More than cats. Or at least more than my cats--excuse me, my CAT-- show me. I need direct, overt love, not the kind of cat-love that requires inference and trust.

Christian: That’s funny. Cats, in general, tend to really love me, which is maybe why I really like them. But actually dogs tend to really love me too, so maybe not. Actually almost all animals seem to really love me. Except fish. They seem rather indifferent.  

What I’m basically saying is that cats can love you just as much as dogs can. In fact I don’t think there is anything dogs can do that cats can’t.

Want to go for a walk? Grab that leash...

Slow down Mr. Whiskers!

Want to teach them to do tricks? Go right ahead...

Not quite sure what the trick is but just look at the effort!

Want to play frisbee? No problem...


So why go with a dog?

Pat:  Y’’re right. Dogs might be either overrated or too much of a commitment, what with this new era of responsible pet-ownership. But you know what? I don’t want a cat. Know what I want? A pet OTTER!


But the best part?


Christian:  OK, I’m convinced. Sea otter it is. I mean just look how adorable they are. Maybe put a glass of scotch in that last one’s hands instead of beer. It’s like having your own little aquatic butler.

Questions though. How much work are they? I’m cool with filling the kiddie pool out back with some water and pouring some salt in it (kosher salt is fine right?). But do I need to do anything else?

What about when I go on vacation? Of course I’ll leave them with a can of sardines or something but can I leave them at home or do we have to take them with us? Can you take them on board a plane?

Uh oh.

Pat:   Yeah, that’s the thing. I heard that they are the most expensive animal to keep at our local zoo...even more than elephants and walking sticks and red pandas. Apparently it’s because they are VERY finicky about the freshness of their seafood. Not sure that can of sardines is gonna do the trick.

Planes? Completely not sure.

Leave ‘em at home alone? Sure...why not? This one was left alone and he did just fine:


Christian:   OK, so they are incredibly expensive to maintain and may not travel well but they can be left home alone. Sign me up. The ability to be left home alone is actually the most important quality I look for in a pet. That and it must not have any desire to eat me.

Pat:  Hey, guess what, man? Since we started this conversation, we’ve acquired two new cats. Kittens, technically, but I know they’re going to turn into cats in due time. Wanna’ know something? Never, EVER, use the words “maybe”, “kittens”, and “for” “your” “birthday” in the same sentence. Especially without consulting the other parent of your children.

Want our old one? He’ll make a GREAT Laura Palmer!

Christian: No thanks. But if you have one that looks like Sheriff Harry S. Truman I’ll take it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

C is For Cholesterol

Here at PCPPP we’re not afraid to discuss controversial and polarizing issues that affect Sesame Street. For example, awhile back we did an expose on whether or not Snuffleupagus should be seen or not and to be honest with you, we really blew the lid off of that one.

This time around it has to do with Cookie Monster and the eating habits he promotes. A few years ago there were rumors going around that in hopes of promoting a healthier lifestyle, the Sesame Street team was going to change Cookie Monster to Veggie Monster or Broccoli Monster and maybe make him green too? I don’t know. But according to Muppet Wikia (a daily read for me) this was all just rumors and nonsense.

But should they have? Take it away Pat!

Pat:  Nah, I don’t think so. That would have been one of those cheap ploys that kids can see through so easily, like when Schoolhouse Rocks! tried to convince me that eating a bowl of cottage cheese with a pineapple ring and banana was just as good as eating a bowl of ice cream with sugar crap on top of it. And I knew, in all of my seven years of wisdom, that it doesn’t matter how many maraschino cherries you put on top of it, that “Saturday” was a bullshit version of my “Sundae”. I was old enough to roll my eyes at the cheap attempt at a pun, too!

No...I say, keep Cookie Monster, but introduce a NEW character to challenge him. Something like the “Soy Goy”, a vegetarian non-Jew who enjoys carob snacks and sesame sticks the way Cookie Monster enjoys his cookies. Maybe the Soy Goy could move in next to Cookie Monster, so that not only does he have to deal with his dietary habits being challenged, but he also has to confront the hard realities of urban gentrification and ethnic stratification.

Am I doing that thing again where I try to sneak in my social studies teacher habits? Sorry.

Christian: I see. Yes, I guess adding a new bizarro-Cookie Monster character would be a good alternative. Maybe they could fight each other with celery or something.  

But what if it was something a little worse for you than just cookies. Let’s say instead of Cookie Monster it was Fried Food Fiend. Do you still think they should keep him around?

Fried Food Fiend?
Man these muppets appear so life like
sometimes, they look kind of eerie.

Pat:  No, I think if there was a fight, the Soy Goy might use a celery stalk, but Cookie Monster would definitely wield a roll of that Pillsbury™ pre-made cookie dough. And he would win.

Fried Food Fiend, eh? Good idea! Do you mean INSTEAD of Cookie, or in ADDITION? I could picture a storyline where Cookie hangs out with the Fiend just long enough to get kinda’ skeeved out at how disgusting his dietary habits are, and then he is swayed by the power of his observational empiricism and becomes a raw foods junkie, downing nothing but freshly pressed juices. And then he would change colors as the natural pigments from all of the fruits and veggies change the very nature of his skin cells.

Is that kinda’ how you saw it play out?

Christian: No. I meant instead of Cookie Monster. Since cookies aren’t the worst thing in the world for you, I understand your opinion that there’s no need to get rid of him. But if originally he had been Fried Food Fiend instead of Cookie Monster, then would you think that maybe he should get the ax?

What if he was originally Nicotine Monster? A chain smoking yellowish brown muppet that had a very throaty voice? Should Nicotine Monster get the ax?

If not, then what about Meth Monster? Basically I’m trying to figure out at what point would you say that the show should get rid of the poor-role-model-themed muppet. Do I have to take it all the way to something like Vehicular Manslaughter Monster?

Pat:  STOP! You’re making me think about things that would make the people at the Children’s Television Workshop mean-spirited, manipulative, horrible people, and I simply WON’T HAVE IT! Those people are not capable of such baseness. Do not kill my heroes, Christian.  

I should have told you when we started this blog that I’m not a very critical thinker. None of that “outside the box” stuff for me, nosirree! Sorry. I understand if you want to break up now.

Christian: You do know that in the original season of Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch was an Opium dealer? The street was originally named Poppy Street because of all the underground Opium dens it housed. They later changed the name but wanted to keep with the bagel flavor theme.

You also know that the Children’s Television Workshop were Nazi sympathizers, right? I’m not talking about during the 30’s and 40’s. I’m talking during the 70’s and 80’s and up to the present.*

Anyways, so which is it? Nicotine Monster or Vehicular Manslaughter Monster? Where’s the line where the muppet should get the ax?

Pat: I don’t know. Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I would LOVE to see an alternative version of Sesame Street, one that would air on pay-cable channels late at night where only us old folks, and lots of Red Bull-ed up teenagers, could see it.

And the cast would include all of the muppet characters your sick mind dreamed up, and the humans would include at least one meth-head, a prostitute (male, female...doesn’t matter), a scary old grandma lady with a cigarette always in hand, and breath that smells of cheap whiskey THROUGH your TV screen, and one evangelical minister.

Whatcha’ think?

Christian: I don’t know. I really don’t think I want to see muppets having sex.

Pat:  That’s kinda’ taking it too far, Christian, ‘cause didn’t they use to use (still use?) Muppet-like puppets to help kids acknowledge and deal with sexual abuse? That’s just kinda’ icky, man.

Maybe this is a good time to turn our blog towards raising consciousness and publicity around a pressing social issue. I was thinking global warming, because, y’know, it’s timely and all. What do you say?

Christian: Sounds good. We can use a muppet as our mascot. Maybe this little guy:

We can call him Global Warming Goon or Dioxide Monster. Or maybe just Keith.

* The authenticity of these facts may or may not hold factuality.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Pat:  Hey Christian...what are your thoughts on these:


Christian: They seem fine. But I’m not really into boy bands. It’s cool that you are but it’s just not my thing.

Pat:  No, that’s not a boy band, or at least not one that I like. LOOK, Christian! What else do they have in common?

Christian: They’re all kind of look like potential douchebags? Oh I know! The last two on the right are twins? Twin douchebags. Right? What do I win?

Pat:  No...I think that’s actually the same guy. I’ll give you one more try.

Christian: Is this the new cast of that reality show “Meet the Jersey Shoredashians” that I keep hearing everyone talking about but have never seen? That’s cool that they are casting a pair of twins.

Pat:  No...just stop it! (I STILL can’t figure out how Bruce Jenner got into that mess...remember when he KILLED it hosting Battle of the Network Stars in ‘78?)

The tank tops. What do you think about the tank tops. I ask because I can’t wear them and every now and then I get a little desirous to do so. Ooh...that was a fun word to type, “desirous”.

Christian: Oh the tank tops. I see them now. And I kind of agree with you. I too don’t feel like I can pull off a tank top and I am envious of those who can. They seem so freeing.  

But maybe it’s a good thing because if I did, the picture below would most likely be an all too common occurrence for me:

Is he wearing a tank top or not? This guy is the
David Copperfield of upper body apparel.

But when you say you can’t wear them is it because you feel like you don’t look good in them or is there something else preventing you from letting those glorious shoulders of your’s breathe?

Pat:  No, there’s something else preventing me (although your picture has done nicely at dissuading me from the allure of the tank top!). It’s called the “I love you less” clause.

My spouse-wife-woman-partner and I have a mutual agreement that we each get one thing that makes us love the other less, just a little bit. For her, it’s me wearing tank tops. Or it’s the tank tops themselves. Or what they represent. I’m not sure. All I know is that I can’t wear them in her presence.  

One time, when she was out, I donned a tank top and went for a run (it was AWESOME, by the way! It just felt so goooooooooooood!). But I went too far, and when I got home she was already here. Didn’t go well, and I had to kowtow a bit.

I miss them. I know they look cheesy and might contribute to an underestimation of my educational background or financial status, but I think that, given the chance of being stuck on a desert island with only one upper-torso apparel item to choose from, you’d surely find me in a tank top enjoying desperation and solitude. Eating burritos. Listening to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” or Wilco’s “Being There”. Oh, wait. I got stuck in other desert island games there!

Christian:  Although very difficult - I’m going to go ahead and bite my tongue and ignore your desert island album choices.

It’s sounding like you’re in a little bit of a tougher spot with regards to this tank top issue than I am. In my case, I would greatly love myself less if I wore them, even though I wish I could. But unfortunately for you, you have the additional outside pressure that.... Oh Jesus I can’t take it. Paul Simon’s “Graceland”?!?!? Really?

Is this desert island in 1986? I could maybe understand picking that album back then when it was such a huge hit, but haven’t you matured since then? Who wants visions of Paul Simon dancing around with some exploited African tribesman when you are stuck on a desert island? Actually forget the tribesman, who wants visions of Paul Simon?

What the? He thinks he’s Indiana Jones now?

Paul Simon. Please. Are you sure this isn’t the reason why your wife loves you a little less? Were you listening to Graceland when she found you in that tank top?

As for Wilco, I have not heard much from them but have liked one or two things that I have heard. They don’t strike me as desert island worthy though.  

Pat: Dude! How uncool was that to stray from the topic?!? I NEVER do that! Back off on Paul Simon. Good man. Good album. Leave it at that. Plus, I was 14 and going through some tough times. Vulnerable. Unless you’ve been there, step off, stonethrower! Paul was my rock. My island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries. ‘Nuff said.

And don’t even THINK about fucking with Wilco.

Answer the question (which now has been changed): if given free tickets to a Paul Simon concert, would you stay through the encore if he, and all of his exploited South African backup singers in Ladysmith Black Mambazo, were wearing tank tops?

Christian: I think the exploited South African backup singers would look fine in tank tops. As for Paul Simon, probably not. I’m assuming that since I had made it all the way to the encore he must have changed into this tank top between songs, just before the encore. At this point, if he started into a Simon & Garfunkel song (In my opinion their name should have been The Garfunkel Explosion Experience)  then I would stick around. If he started singing about diamond shoes and changing his name to Al then I’m out of there.

I just went back and reread your last paragraph and realized you probably meant would I stay through the whole concert vs. me having sat through the concert up until the encore and then wondering whether I would stay based on who was wearing tank tops, which was how I interpreted it. I could have gone back and changed my answer but I thought it would be easier just to type out this long winded explanation instead. Here’s Richard Simmons:

The Elvis of tank tops.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Golf and Other Ways I Can Physically Harm You

I’m not a golfer although I have played golf. Similar to how I’ve played monopoly but I’m not a real estate investor. Or maybe more similar to how actors play doctors on TV but they aren’t really doctors, nor do they have any skills that remotely resemble the skill set required to be a doctor.

Golf involves hitting a small ball across some grass, with a varying assortment of sticks towards a hole in the ground, and as one would expect, is very very expensive to play. But golf can be a dangerous game too. Actually, I should be more specific. Golf can be a very dangerous game when you are golfing with me. Wait... I should be even more specific. Golf can be very dangerous game, for you, when you are golfing with me.

In the minimal amount of times that I have golfed in my life, I’ve hit several people with my ball. Too many to remember in fact. I’ve never intentionally tried to hit anyone (that anyone can prove), but odds are if you have been golfing with me, I’ve hit you with one of my shots. I even hit a blind man once. Although to be fair, it did ricochet off of his golf cart before directly hitting him in the chest. His driver really should have made sure his cart was completely behind me instead of just partially behind me.

In addition to humans, I have also hit several houses, cars, both parked and moving, a large bird and a snack shack. But I have never hit a child. That’s where I draw the line. I think the reasons for my erratic inability to hit the ball straight can mostly be attributed to my complete and total resistance to following anyone's suggestions, advice, or instructions. Even if they are a golf instructor and I am currently taking a lesson from them. I mean, come on, I’m not here to learn. I’m here to spend some quality time outside, hitting this small ball around some nicely cut grass, and maybe if it was a good day, nail someone with my ball.

My instructor.

The thing about people that do play golf regularly is that they are always more than happy to give instructions and advice all the time; keep your left elbow in, slow down your back swing, keep your right heel up, stop aiming the ball at those people, you’re going to kill someone. It’s a headache trying to remember to do all this in the one second it takes to swing and hit the ball. It’s much more relaxing to just line up, swing away, and let the ball go where it goes.

Sometimes you just need to not care about the results of your actions and just go with the flow. That’s what my grandpa used to always say until he set fire to the canoe he was in and simultaneously drowned and burned to death.

And with all that being said, I find myself conflicted about golf. On the one hand I see how it’s a fun game to play and it gets you outdoors, but on the other hand it has such a country club white-rich-man’s stiigma too it.  Like if you play golf you must live off an inheritance and have a girlfriend named Muffy.

How do you feel about golf, Pat?

Pat: I feel golf is a great sport for those who enjoy it. And I feel that it falls into the category, “Things that make my life better by being absent from my life”.

I prefer to take my roughly six-mile walks through green spaces that are free from flying dense balls.

I prefer not to wear clothes that make me look like a Callaway model.

I prefer to stay away from places that charge you money to be there AND that have a name that ends in “Club”.

I prefer athletic activities that don’t require so much gear, expense, space, or histories of economic or racial supremacy.

So...yeah, I think golf is great. Why do you ask?

Christian: Have you ever played golf?

Pat:  Oh. No. Well...does the kind of golf you play with your host mother in Japan on a course that has holes that are all par-3 count? I’ve done that.

Christian: Whoa, slow down there Tiger Woods. You don’t need to get all technical with your “par-3’s” and “host mother” terminology. A simple “yes” would have been fine. No need to try and show off your expansive golf knowledge. We get it. You’re a well traveled and experienced golfer.


So did you enjoy it?

Pat:  I don’t know. It was all in Japanese, and I wasn’t very fluent yet. I’ve played it in English, though, and wasn’t crazy about it, so I bet if I had understood the Japanese version I wouldn’t have liked it very much either.

My host mother was great though...I enjoyed being with her very much. She taught me that there are two words in Japanese for poop. One for the hard kind, and one for the soft kind. She drew pictures to make sure I would understand. The soft kind looked like an ice cream from Dairy Queen.

Can we talk about Japan or poop instead of golf?

Christian: No.

And I’m starting to think that you’re confusing Japanese Golf with a visit to the doctor. Did your “host mother” have a stethoscope around her neck? Did she go by the name of Doctor? And didn’t you think it was odd that every time it appeared as if your host mother was coming on to you, she would ask you to cough?

But enough about your confusing Japanese sexual encounters. Basically I still feel torn about golf. I am a fan of games in general and the basic idea of golf appeals to me. But nonetheless I think the stigma it carries is what is turning me off. That and the ridiculous amount of money it costs to play.

I wish Croquet would become more popular. That’s a sport I could get behind. Maybe you and I should buy a nice lot of land and start a Croquet Club. We could charge enormous fees and make it very exclusive. Only let in those that hold a certain standard if you know what I mean. It would be amazing.

Here’s my family playing Croquet just last weekend.