Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Birthday M.Bouffant! I Got You An Extra Head!

Today is the natal anniversary of endlessly entertaining curmudgeon and indefatigable photojournalist, M. Bouffant, proprietor of one of our favorite joints, Web of Evil (formerly Just Another Blog From L.A.).

Last year I got him a plaint from kvetchy old coot Burt Prelutsky, but since M. is himself a proud member of the Coot-American Community, it seemed redundant. So at a loss for a gift, I turned, as I so often do, to the wisdom of Hollywood. For what are films but the collective dream of an audience? In the light and shadows of the cinema, we find a reflection of our common hopes and dreams, the threads which bind humanity together. Look at movies across the ages, and you will see that deep down, we all desire the same things: to love and be loved; to know that we have lived lives possessed of meaning and purpose; and most important of all, to have a parasitic twin.

The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971)
Directed by Anthony M. Lanza
Written by James Gordon White and John Lawrence

Director Anthony Lanza learned his craft at the feet of such independent visionaries as Arch Hall, Sr. (Eegah) and Coleman Francis (The Skydivers), and his command of metaphorical imagery is apparent from the very first frame: a close up of an oddly flaccid pear tree, symbolizing to anyone looking for a crappy movie to snark on that there's lots of low-hanging fruit ahead.

Principle screenwriter James Gordon White, on the other hand, leaned more toward the auteur school. Like filmmakers such as John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Akira Kurosawa, White often returned to the same grand, overarching themes in his work; in this case he followed 1971's The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant with 1972's The Thing With Two Heads.

Our story gets off to a grindhousey start as a maniac terrorizes a tied-up woman by brandishing a butcher knife and a porn mustache (judging by where her gaze is fixed, she seems to fear the mustache more), while her (parents?) lie dead on the floor, covered with blood so red and rich and thick you just want to dunk your home fries in their jugulars.

Suddenly four Highway Patrol cars pull up for no reason, and then we’re in court, where a judge sentences Porn Stache to a mental institution, and by “court” I mean “Sears Portrait Studio”,  since the judge is sitting at a cheaply-made bench, while the defendant is posed in front of a black velvet curtain. (I guess it’s possible that in this small town, they conduct their murder trials in the same place the Junior High snaps its class pictures.)

Cut to the theme song, a lush cocktail jazz number sung by a sultry chanteuse who just seems to be winging it (“It’s incredible/That we can simply/Ooooopen wiiiiide…”) over scenes of a huge man in bib overalls running through meadows in slow motion like there was a serious casting snafu with a Tampax commercial.

Casey Kasem, World Famous Doctor, visits Marilyn from The Munsters, who’s worried, and has reason to be, because she’s just discovered that she's married to Bruce Dern. “He hasn’t come out of that laboratory in two days," Marilyn frets, although you’d think she would have gotten used to that kind of thing with Grandpa. Anyway, Casey comforts her with some crap about how her husband loves her, despite his recent nervous breakdown, and she should just keep loving him back and keep reaching for the stars, then he goes in to talk some sense into Bruce, which in 99 movies out of a 100 means he’s about to die.

It turns out Bruce can’t leave his lab because he’s achieved a major scientific breakthrough by taping two monkeys together! Casey is impressed, and immediately dedicates “Reunited (and It Feels So Good)” by Peaches and Herb to the conjoined capuchins.

Bruce decides to leave the lab after all, because he’s being glared at by his assistant, Max, who like most movie lab assistants has poor posture and a withered hand. However, unlike the usual crop of willowy, neurasthenic Igors, Max is wizened, bloated, and pasty-white, and looks less like a mad doctor's  henchman and more like Poppin Fresh playing the Jack Nicholson part in Ironweed.

Bruce and Marilyn walk Casey to the door, where their guest is nearly decapitated by the Bib Overalls guy, who is standing on the porch, taking vicious cuts at the air with an axe because he doesn’t feel fresh. But the Derns forgive this behavior because Bib got brain damage from a mine cave-in, and now they love him like their own huge, dangerous, axe-abusing son.  (Bib has a father of his own -- Bruce's groundskeeper -- but since Dad looks like the week-old corpse of Percy Kilbride after it’s been picked clean by turkey vultures, he’s probably not going to make it to the end credits.)

But despite all the love, there’s a spiritual sickness afflicting the Dern Estate, and its inhabitants are breaking the Tenth Commandment right and left: Bib covets Marilyn’s booty, while Max covets Bib’s body. Only Bruce is pure in purpose, dedicating himself to the quest for knowledge. When his taped-together mass monkey dies, he performs an autopsy, and thoughtfully concludes, “If this little fellow were healthy, he’d still be alive.”

The Dern’s marriage is hanging by a thread. Marilyn takes a bath with so much thick, concealing foam she looks like Mr. Bubble, then wraps herself in a towel the size of the tarp they stretch over baseball infields during rain delays, and puts on a drab housedress, and yet nothing seems to entice him! Finally she demands satisfaction, and Bruce promises that if she'll just let him go on duct-taping primates together, he’ll take her away from all this.

Marilyn is unconvinced. "You said that before," she pouts.

“But you know what happened before,” Bruce smoothly explains. “I didn’t mean it…And now I mean it.”

Oh, well that changes everything.

Cut to Porn Stache in the mental institution, choking an orderly to death for wearing the same facial hair. He escapes, while Casey -- a World Famous Surgeon, remember -- picks up some extra scratch reading the news and weather on the local radio station, and reports the escape as it's happening, even though nobody saw it but us, and we weren't paying attention.

Porn Stache shows up at the Dern estate while Bib is out frolicking in the meadow again, and kills Bib’s cadaverous Dad with the old hoe-to-the-head gambit. Then he knocks out Bruce with one punch and elaborately hogties him while Marilyn just sort of stands there like she’s waiting for a bus. Or her check. Eventually her bored, lifeless stare gives the psycho killer the willies, and he abducts her just to have something to do with his hands. They drive off to the accompaniment of a weirdly staccato flute solo that sounds like Ian Anderson suffering a coughing spasm in the middle of “Bungle in the Jungle.”

Bruce and Max give chase, helped along by Casey’s barely disguised voice on the radio, which basically says, “Boy if I were looking for a serial killer who just kidnapped my wife, I’d go to that cabin where he covered people in ketchup two years ago.”  Meanwhile, at Catsup Cabin, Porn Stache wants to menace Marilyn but he doesn’t have a knife, so he breaks a gallon milk bottle and threatens her with that, which I’ve never seen before, but I suppose he probably read about it on some serial killer lifehack site.

Fortunately, Marilyn is able to get to her can of spinach. "The Sailor's Hornpipe" starts playing and she catapults Porn Stache off her, then sprints out to the road, where she flags down her husband who just happens to be driving by. Bruce and Max hop out; Bruce hugs Marilyn and utters some unintelligible, Olive Oyl-like endearments while Max shoots Porn Stache in the kidney. Then everyone piles back into the family car (including the hemorrhaging, morally wounded serial killer) and drives home, where they find Bib weeping over his dead Dad. Bruce puts Marilyn to bed and tenderly shoots her up with her a sedative, and as she slips into unconsciousness she implores Bruce to “help” Bib, which he interprets to mean, “chloroform,” then “sew a maniac’s head to his shoulder.”

Six days go by. Bib and Porn Stache, now fused into the hybrid being Bib-Stache, wake up in the middle of the night, none the worse for sharing a neck, although curiously, neither one needs a shave. (Which is a shame, because I hoped they’d balance out their look with matching Tom Selleck-style lip topiaries.) 

Cut to Marilyn, who sneaks into the lab to see what all the transplanting is about, and is immediately menaced by Bib-Stache. Max comes to her aid and is instantly coldcocked, then Bruce arrives to throw what we assume is acid in his creation’s faces, but which turns out to be barely astringent.  Bib-Stache staggers out into the night and Bruce awakens Marilyn from her swoon (the filmmakers couldn’t figure out how to fake ammonia capsules, but that’s okay, because apparently you can revive fainting victims by making them smell a wadded up Kleenex).

Bib-Stache splashes a little water in his faces, and feels good enough to visit the local Lover’s Lane, where he yanks a young couple through their convertible top and strangles them as Stache laughs hysterically and Bib weeps pitifully, so it’s kind of like watching Jimmy Swaggart masturbate.  (I feel a little bad about the girl dying, but her boyfriend had it coming, if only for his odd decision to mix Hitler’s haircut with Elvis’s sideburns from the 1968 Comeback Special.)

Max ties up and gags Marilyn while Bruce lies to the Sheriff about all the people who’ve suddenly gone missing. Unfortunately, the instant the cops leave, Casey arrives; he's on vacation from the hospital, and apparently got someone to cover his shift at the radio station. So Bruce shoots up Marilyn again, then goes and lies to Casey about how he’s got no time to visit because he’s in the middle of a very important duct-taped ape experiment, and he certainly isn’t keeping his wife bound, gagged, and in a medically induced coma.

The next day, a ravenous Bib-Stache goes out in search of food (since he’s eating for 1 and 1/16th now), but he gets distracted and kills three skeezy bikers. Casey is on his way out of town when he hears about the two-headed monstrosity that killed a couple in Lovers Lane, and immediately goes to the Sheriff to rat out his best friend for building two-headed monstrosities. But the Sheriff doesn’t have time for all that now, because a two-headed monstrosity just killed some skeezy bikers, and he selects Casey to act as today’s medical examiner, in much the same way contestants are chosen on The Price Is Right. After Casey sees the  brutal way Bruce’s creation slaughtered three people, he decides against exposing him, because despite it all Bruce is his friend, and Casey might need help moving some day.

Casey races back to the Dern Estate, just as Marilyn wakes from her nod (considering how often she’s been shot up lately, she’s probably going through heroin withdrawal by now). Casey unties her, just in time for a gun-toting Bruce to return and lock her in a rabbit hutch. But when Bruce finds out his creation has been on a killing spree, he agrees to go with Casey to the Sheriff. Curiously, neither of them thinks to let Marilyn out of the hutch.

As soon as they leave the lab, Bib-Stache staggers into it (just in case you ever wondered what a door-slamming Feydeau farce would look like if it starred Junior Samples as a two-headed tampon spokesmodel). Marilyn immediately faints and Bib-Stache kidnaps her, because go with your strength, but with only her wits to rely on, the plucky, if unconscious Marilyn strikes back by dropping a trail of shoes behind her like breadcrumbs.

Marilyn wakes up in the mine where Bib got his brain damage. This is the fifth or sixth time she’s regained consciousness in this movie, and by this point she can snap it on or off like a Clapper. Bruce, Casey, and Max surprise Bib-Stache, then politely queue up to shoot him with a rifle, throw a net over him, and stab him in the neck with a hypodermic. But it’s the end of the movie, so our monster and monster-makers have to die; Casey drags Marilyn out of the mine while Max dies ignominiously and Bruce dies semi-heroically, blasting away at his creation with a shotgun as an off-camera stagehand drizzles sawdust on his head to simulate a cave-in.

Casey and Marilyn decide they can best honor Bruce's memory by lying to the cops and blaming all the deaths on the grieving, mentally challenged man Bruce mutilated in his lab. And as for that two-headed monstrosity? “You know,” Casey tells a deputy, “Sometimes too much imagination can…can destroy a man.” An admonition the screenwriters obviously took to heart (at press time they’re both still alive).

We now close with the tender love theme from The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (“Too many times the thunder caused the raiiiiiiin…!”)  Go home, honey, you're drunk. Karaoke's over.

Oh, and there’s a lingering, superimposed shot of a toy robot, but if that’s supposed to mean something, I missed it.

The End.

Please join me in wishing M. Bouffant a very -- as the song says -- Happy Birthday! And as the other song says, It's incredible that we can simply open wide. And while you're thinking about that:

Sexy Birthday Lizards doin' their sexy, sexy thang.
(Today's SBL is an original, courtesy of Theresa DiMenno Photography, h/t to Preznit.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

For I Was Thirsty, And Ye Sold Me a Mug

Well, I'm still not quite up to slumming around the Information Superhighway, but I'm also not about to look a gift horse in the ass, so let's check out some of the masterfully counterintuitive sales spiels from the Bring Back Bush! nostalgia industry:
You remember Sara Armstrong, the RNC Chief Operating Officer who was Laura Bush's Special Assistant Undersecretary for Thank You Cards, and Senior Wine Cooler Uncapper? Well, she's been in a funk ever since the morning of January 20th, 2009, when, for the final time, she broke open a 24-bottle Variety Pack of Seagram's Escapes and handed the First Lady her last official Jamaican Me Happy. Ever since, Sara has been coping with a life bereft of creamy cardstock and fortified Sangria by trying to sell me theme mugs and Beefy-Ts.
After 5 years of President Obama, America needs real leaders like President George W. Bush.
Interesting use of the plural. I guess in Sara's view, President Obama barely qualifies as a leader, while George W. Bush was so much of a leader he was legion, he was a leaders -- a composite president formed by having Dick Cheney shove his hand up Bush's ass and work the jaw (Administration insiders recall the process being very similar to the way Lion Force combined to form Voltron, except it involved more Astro-Glide and squealing.)
While working in the Bush administration, I saw how much President Bush valued honesty and transparency. 
I thought I could live without the "I Miss W." mug until I got to the end of that sentence and realized how badly I needed to do a spit-take.

But it's not only the little people who pine for a man some consider arguably the nation's worst president, certain that if given another chance he would come back and remove all doubt. It's also the major players (and major playahs) like sex machine Ari Fleischer:
It seems like yesterday I was standing next to President George W. Bush while he made critical decisions for the future of our country. 
It is times like this when the character, courage and commitment of an individual are tested. 
"And I'm proud to say that never once, as I watched President Bush struggle with critical thinking skills, did I give in to the urge to bust out laughing. I passed the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Aridriel."
And it is times like this when President Bush especially shined as a leader — and a person.
But he particularly shined as a leaders (the combination of Bush's flop-sweat and Cheney's greasy T-Zone produced an unusually high albedo).
I really do miss W. 
Well then why don't you call him instead of trying to sell me crockery?  It's like having that chick from Fifty Shades of Grey suddenly start mooning about zip-ties and spanking in the middle of her Amway pitch.
Now you have an opportunity to get a cool, convenient American-made mug and make a statement:
Get your official "I Miss W Mug"
I suppose you could debate whether the mug is "cool," but to stretch the concept of irony that far, I think you'd really have to combine "air quotes" with the old "a fish this big" gesture. However, I don't consider a mug "convenient" unless it's right beside my coffee maker, which this one is clearly not, and never will be, so I have to consider that a fatal design flaw. Also, I was confused by the slogan, "SALUTE to a GREAT ONE," until I ran it through Google Translate and discovered that in English it means, "I Guess I Like Bush Okay, But I Really Miss Jackie Gleason." 
I just got mine in the mail, and I must say, it’s a great way to start your day. 
Assuming you've filled it with a Bloody Mary.
Ari Fleischer
Former White House Press Secretary, President George W. Bush
Co-Chair, the Growth and Opportunity Project
Maybe it's just me, but as a connoisseur of corporate euphemisms, the Growth and Opportunity Project sounds kind of like an industry trade group for a particularly aggressive form of cancer.
P.S. Reince says these mugs are flying off the shelves (and I’m not surprised). Don’t wait to get yours.
Seems redundant, Ari, since if I owned one it'd be flying off the shelf too.

Finally, we're joined by RNC Finance Director Kate Walsh, who's got the T-Shirt concession today.
President George W. Bush was committed to protecting our freedom, promoting peace throughout the world, and advancing the ideals and principles that make America so great.
I was also committed to some pretty big goals, before I retired to paint nude self-portraits, and like Bush my efforts not only failed to bring me closer to achieving them, they actually set me back farther then I would have been if I'd done absolutely nothing. So I'm relieved to learn that commitment counts more than accomplishment for our final grade.
He said it best when he proclaimed: “We will not waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail.”
Burma Shave.
It’s a good reminder of who we are and what we stand for as Americans.
Stand with us and get a limited-edition, American-made “I Miss W.” t-shirt today.
So we stand for overpriced screen printing? Say what you want about the RNC, at least it's an ethos. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sheri!

Thank you, everyone, for the kind words of comfort and sympathy about Riley. I loved that darn cat, and for the past few weeks, as she faded from us, there's been a heavy weight on my chest, like the pile of stones that flattened Giles Corey at the Salem witch trials. But reading how many other people loved her too has eased that burden a little -- at least to the point that I no longer fear being flattened by Pilgrims.

It also reminded me of something important, something I forget far too often. Ever since Riley got sick, I found it increasingly difficult to troll the Internet, looking for things to write about for the blog, because -- as you know -- it's a task that involves reading a lot of smug cruelty by a lot of willfully stupid people who think heartlessness is a school of thought, rather than a symptom of sociopathy. It was especially hard to do when my lap was occupied by Riley, who despite her unrivaled ability to throw shade at the camera, never did a deliberately mean thing in her life; never bit, never scratched, even when she was in pain, and who only ever demanded that we administer her medicine and her treats in the proper order and at exactly the same time every day; that we give her the lap-time she was legally entitled to, the underpants she craved, and that we spank her while saying "Pank! Pank! Pank!" (and you had to say it, believe me, or she'd glare until you did), because she took her fetishes seriously.

Anyway, WorldNetDaily and Townhall and American Thinker and all those sites comprise a rich vein of derp, and making fun of it is cathartic; however, it can also make you feel like the world is full of horrible people. And not even conflicted, interesting villains, but people who seem to delight in their own horribleness.

But I know there are many more good and kind people in the world, because they've touched my life. When I asked for help with Riley's medical bills, you guys responded immediately. Old friends, familiar names from the comments rallied 'round, but also a surprising number of people who told me they've lurked for years, but never commented.  And I realized that letting Dr. Professor Mike Adams splash a little evil on my shoes is a tiny price to pay for being part of a community like this.

Which brings me to Sheri.
Supermodel/Astronaut/Spy. Artists' conception.

Sheri is that best of all possible things: a saint with a sense of humor, a hybrid life-form composed of equal parts Mother Teresa and Eve Arden, who's been making me laugh for going on twenty years, while spending most of her time caring for the least of us -- both the two- and the four-legged kind.

Her town didn't have a shelter -- stray animals were summarily killed -- so she began to take in those who weren't immediately adoptable -- the sick, the injured, the...behaviorally idiosyncratic, shall we say? -- and nurse and care for them until homes could be found. But now the city has passed an ordnance limiting the number of cats per home to three. So rather than let the others starve in a ditch, get hit by a car, or die of exposure, Sheri spent nearly everything she had to buy a trailer outside the city limits where the Unadopted can live temporarily while she searches for a permanent shelter before the weather turns cold.

(And despite all but emptying her bank account to make sure her rescue animals weren't abandoned to the elements, she was still the first person to donate money for Riley. See what I mean about the saint thing? If I had influence with the Pope and a contact in the Chinese-based hot injection molding industry, I'd be casting dashboard-ready figurines of her as we speak.)

Several readers who missed our original plea wrote to ask me if we still needed help. Fortunately, the vet is all paid off, so we're okay. But if you have a few bucks to spare, please consider making a donation in Riley's memory to Sheri's animal aid society, Four Paws Rescue.  It's a regular tax deductible, non-profit, and there's a Pay de Pal button on the top right of their web page. Or you can send a check to this address:

Four Paws Rescue
P.O. Box 422
Millville, UT 84326

Thank you. And please join me in wishing Sheri a happy birthday (so far it's been kind of a crappy one, at least it was when I spoke to her earlier today, but if we all just wish hard enough, maybe we can change that. Or at least resurrect a dead fairy.)

And of course...
Sexy Birthday Lizard!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Will Not See Her Like Again

This is the hardest post I've ever written. Not because I don't know what to say, but because it hurts so much to say it. But you guys deserve to know. We lost Riley.

The vet and his people did everything they could, and for awhile it looked like the feeding tube would help her regain her strength, and the I.V. antibiotics would conquer the pneumonia. But she remained weak, and her white blood cell count stayed stubbornly high, and then imaging revealed a large mass that was pressing on several organs, and finally we were out of options...

The vet went on to say some other things, explaining her condition in detail, making sure we understood, but I was trying so hard to keep from sobbing that I only heard every other word. But I wept anyway, and I noticed the silent tears splashing on her uncomplaining little back, and remembered all the times she would lounge on the edge of the tub as I soaked my spine in the bath, eventually leaning down to lick up the hot, soapy homo sapiens soup, and I'd flick a little water at her to interrupt this weird ritual before she developed a taste for human flesh, and Riley would just lift her head and stare at me with a blandly pitying gaze that seemed to say, "That all you got?"

We were there with her at the end. Riley, as you know, liked to cross-dress a bit; she'd wear Mary's sleepmask as a hat, her bra as a saddle, and would use my underpants as both a chamois and a Thigh-Master. So when the moment came to say good-bye, Mary took off the denim blouse she wore over her t-shirt and used it to swaddle our girl, and Riley left this world wrapped up in something warm that smelled of home.
I want to write a proper eulogy for her. Riley was our constant companion for 15 years, and a fixture at Wo'C for the last 7, but I'm falling apart. Maybe in a few days. For now, I'll just curl up with Moondoggie, whose normally placid demeanor is shot through with anxiety as he searches the apartment for his friend, while curiously avoiding the comfy spots they used to compete for.
And I'll imagine Riley, confident and in command, as she begins her final ascent to the summit of Mount Laundryhamper, chewing meditatively on a piece of jerked sherpa, and pausing to order the hapless Jennings to give that piton one more whack with a hammer.

Rest in peace, girly-girl. You were loved.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The World O' Crap Audiences Are the Greatest Audiences in the World

Mary and I want to thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts. Granted, that's the really gross part of the heart, where atherosclerotic plaque gathers in pools of lipids, foamy macrophages, and cholesterol crystals, making the foundation of your romance organ all slimy and weird-smelling like the floor of a pork rendering plant. (This is why I never give out those heart-shaped valentines, because it seems like kind of a mixed message.)

But today the quagmire of semi-liquid fat has been forced out of our lower hearts by high pressure gratitude. Thanks to your generosity, we've hit our fundraising goal and can pay the vet (who started treatment yesterday morning solely on the basis of our paltry deposit and my shaky-voiced assurance that "I know some people who I think might help us."

And you did, and we couldn't be more grateful, at least not without developing dangerously enlarged hearts. So thank you very, very much.

Monday, September 8, 2014

S.O.S. For C.A.T.!

You know me, I like to open with a joke, especially when there's bad news involved. But right now I've got such bad news to deliver, and my hands are trembling so violently, that it's a struggle just to work the keyboard, so please forgive me for stumbling straight to the point:

Riley's in the hospital, and she's not coming out unless we can raise $980.

I realize this is exactly the same thing I'd be saying if she'd been kidnapped and was being held for ransom by Mexican drug traffickers or Quebecois Separatists, but our vet is actually a nice guy, so I'm not going to alert the FBI. Instead, I'm coming to you and begging for help.
As some of you probably remember, Riley's health started to falter last September, and after a battery of tests, we found out her thyroid was on the fritz. But she responded to the medication, enduring a pill tossed down her throat twice a day with weary fatalism -- especially when Mary followed it up with a few of the treats she loves so much. But Riley's brain is a sophisticated pattern recognition system, and if we ever screwed up the sequence, she would demand we make it good, e.g., Mary administered the pill one morning, then came back a little later to find the treats untouched and Riley piercing her with a disapproving stare. Mary looked around and realized the pill had fallen out of her mouth, and Riley refused to touch her reward until Mary did it right.
"I like treats, but I deplore sloppiness."

But about a month ago she started losing weight again. We spent all our funds, Disposable, Discretionary, and None of the Above, on a new round of tests, treatments, and special foods. Mary even learned to give Riley thrice-weekly subcutaneous fluid injections, and again, she seemed to rally.  But about a week ago she gradually stopped eating, and her weight has dropped, from a high of 13 pounds a couple of years ago, to just under six.  She became very wobbly, unable even to jump onto my lap as I worked at the computer, and in the past couple days she's stopped purring entirely, which is the most telling and heartbreaking change, because she would normally start to idle like a Harley the instant you touched her.

So after a sleepless night, we wrapped her in a towel (no pet taxi this time, because she hates it) and took her to the vet this morning, expecting to be told the worst. In fact, as we waited for an agonizingly long time in the chilly examining room, I began to wonder how I would break the news to you guys, since many of you have known her for years, going back to the days of our old domain at  But the doctor surprised us by saying there was a reasonably good chance to save her.
We saw the estimate, and Mary, who'd been bravely, but barely holding it together, broke down in tears, because even if we gave up on food, gas, and internet and spent every cent, it still came to more than we have in the bank.  There didn't seem to be any option; our only choices were to let her continue to starve to death, or have her put to sleep.

I said, without thinking, "Maybe the World O' Crap community will help us," and she looked at first startled, then faintly hopeful -- enough that she agreed with my desperate and potentially very stupid decision to admit Riley to the pet hospital.

So that's what's been happening. We just got home a little while ago; Mary is cuddled up with Moondoggie, and I'm sitting here, throat dry, palms damp, heart pounding, hoping that you guys, who have been so kind to us in the past, will come to our aid once again.

If you can -- and I know times are tough, and completely understand if you can't -- please click on the button at the top left.  Or, if you're not a Pal of Mr. Pay, email me at scott.clevenger - at - and I'll send you our snail mail address. Any little bit will help.

And thanks for listening.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The "Picking Up the Spare" Edition

RILEY:  (Sigh)  Not again...! You want to know exactly how I feel about you and that camera?

RILEY:  Bleah!

RILEY:  Hmmm. That was rather...lame. Okay, you still got it, you're still the champ...just dig down deep...

RILEY:  Wind up, and really let...him...HAVE IT!

RILEY:  Thbbbbbbbbtht!

RILEY:  Nailed it.