The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

The view from the Family Bed is rarely a peaceful one.  As is so often the case, Bachmann has made himself a nuisance in The Family Bed once again.

Over the past weeks, since before Thanksgiving, he’s been causing all sorts of trouble for the other Companions and for me.  His porky mouth and reckless beaver antics have crossed numerous lines of Family Bed etiquette and socially acceptable behavior.  At times, he’s been almost unseemly.

Now, I consider myself to be a very patient, loving, and understanding dachshund.  But that beaver is certainly creating a tense, and uncomfortable situation with his conduct.

At first, he was just shooting off his porky mouth.  He would taunt some the other Companions and make fun of their various and sundry deficiencies. For example, one afternoon, I heard him jeering at poor, sweet, harmless Ernst.

“Hey, Eggplant!” he was gibing.  “How’s about you and I mix it up with a game of Boggle?! You know what’s a four-letter word for stupid??  E-R-N-S-T!”

He was deliberately mocking poor Ernst’s lack of vocabularical prowess.  It was sickening.  I reprimanded him immediately, but he exhibited not a single shred of remorse.

Another time, I caught him following Candace down her narrow hallway, poking a piece of string cheese between her two feet, trying to trip her.  He was making mooing noises and ridiculing her awkward mobility.  Disgusting.  And even though I took away his electronics privileges and his dessert privileges for a week, the horrible comportment continued.

It all came to a head the other day, when Bachmann decided to make what I can only assume was his Bull Run stand by challenging me to a staring contest.  He’s always been so very dramatic.

Georgie vs. Bachmann

Now, at first, I didn’t realize what he was doing.  I was in the middle of a well-deserved and much-needed nap when the sound of him wheezing through his front teeth roused me.

“Bachmann,” I pleaded, “I’m exhausted.  Can’t you go pester someone else for a while?  Or better yet, go find something constructive to do – don’t you need to clean your room?”

But he continued to stare at me with those beady little beaver eyes, not saying a word.  Which was very unusual, because generally he can’t keep that porky mouth shut.

I became instantly alert.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I sighed.  “What are you playing at?  Can’t you see I’m busy and don’t have time for your shenanigans?”

Still, he continued to challenge me with his bore-like gaze.  I began to wonder if he was experiencing a medical situation that was preventing him from speaking or moving … or blinking.  Even so, his insubordination could not be tolerated.Georgie vs. Bachmann

“Bachmann,” I warned.  “Cut it out.  If you continue with this defiant and threatening provocation, you will be sorry.  And by sorry, I mean you’re going to end up crying like a little she-beaver.  You better knock it off and leave me to my nap.”

Honestly, I gave him every opportunity to retract his confrontation.  I offered him multiple activities and constructive ideas as alternatives to this hostility.  I entreated him to rethink his folly and each time he refused to back down.  He didn’t simply refuse to back down, he grew more and more belligerent.

And then this happened …The View From the Family Bed

This is me, setting out to open a can of Whoop-De-Do on Bachmann’s Beaver butt.  Note the terror his his expression as he tries to scramble out of the path of my wrath.  But his short little beaver feet couldn’t move fast enough to avoid me dealing him a heaping helping of comeuppance.

I worked him over pretty good.  I’ll grant him this much … he took the waling I gave him with dignity – for a short minute.  Then he started blubbering and crying and apologizing and begging for mercy.  It was most satisfying.  I even took him back inside the compound so the other Companions could watch.  And since Bachmann had been making their lives uncomfortable and difficult for weeks, they were very enthusiastic about the entire affair.

Afterwards, Bachmann slunk off to his room to lick his wounds, while the rest of the Family Bed enjoyed cake and punch courtesy of the Festivity Committee.  Overall, it was a lovely end to the day.

It’s been just a few days since what is being referred to around the Bed as ‘The incident’.  Bachmann resurfaced just this morning, took his toast and coffee alone in the Commissary and then retreated again to his room.  He hasn’t spoken to anyone since his beatdown, but many Companions have reported receiving letters and notes of apology via Inter-Family-Bed mail.  So it would seem Bachmann has possibly learned a lesson.  Or not.  Only time will  tell this beaver tale …

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

While working on his play, Henry V, Shakespeare took a few days to visit his older sister, Judith and her family.  He brought his work with him on this holiday and often worked late into the night, sometimes requesting refreshments from his sister’s maid, Irish-born Ailbe O’Roarke.  Miss O’Roarke, something of a story-teller herself, found herself acting as a sounding board for Mr. Shakespeare’s work.

Late one evening, Ailbe took tea and biscuits to the playwright, and found him wringing his hands in frustration – the pivotal moment in his play had arrived and the Bard had no words to adequately convey the scene.  Miss O’Roarke offered a memory from her childhood in Ireland – an afternoon of play with her siblings, re-enacting the famous Celtic Battle of Axona against Julius Caesar.  She recalled how her brother Brogan rallied his brothers and sisters against the children from the neighboring farm (who were portraying the Roman army)  with words of encouragement and pride.  “Those who are not here with us on this day will forever be ashamed!“ he had cried.  “My band of brothers and sisters that shed blood with me and will show our scars with pride, remembering our valiant deeds!”  “Oh, that Brogan,“ she said fondly, “he’s a silver tongue in his head.  Always quick with a story or a speech to fit the occasion.”    She laughingly recounted the lot of them running into imagined battle, shaking stick-swords and holding shields of tree bark in front of them, shrieking like banshees as they charged the ‘enemy’.  She then left Shakespeare to his work, telling him she had confidence he would find the right words to complete his story.

Some months later, she attended a performance of Henry V and was surprised and pleased to hear her brother’s words that she had shared with the author, uttered from the stage.  After the play ended she sought out Mr. Shakespeare and congratulated him on the piece, mentioning that she was glad to have provided him with the material for the pivotal scene.  Shakespeare pretended he had no idea to what she referred and quickly slunk away without so much as a by-your-leave.

Not one to be silent when slighted, Miss O’Roarke took every opportunity to share Shakespeare’s thievery and slight. However, because of her Irish heritage, she was most often disregarded and assumed to be an embittered ex-consort of the writer.  She never stopped telling the true story of the famous St. Crispin’s Day speech, though, sadly, history remains shamefully occluded about the true origin and once again, denies the Irish due credit for a great literary achievement.

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

During the Second World War, a lesser known but equally important war was being fought:  The Great Fabric War.  Irish textile manufacturer, Finnegan O’Fergus set out to create a synthetic fabric that would be more durable, flexible and cost-effective than cotton.  He determined that the common Irish potato was a perfect medium through which to develop this wonder fabric.  Through extensive experimentation with potato starches and their natural polyesters, he finally came up with a material which he called “Potaterylene.”  This miracle fiber was lightweight, durable, stain and water resistant and flexible. Knowing the value of his invention, O’Fergus set out for England and the patent office in London.  He was certain that his fortune was about to be made.  Until …

O’Fergus arrived at the Patent Office only a few minutes before closing.  He hurriedly handed over his application and corresponding notes, research and formulas for Potaterylene to Patent Clerk (and frustrated chemist) John Rex Whinfield.  Whinfield assured him the paperwork would be filed before the office closed on this Friday afternoon and O’Fergus left to find a quiet pub in which to celebrate his imminent success.

Whinfield, meanwhile, read over O’Fergus’s research and plotted to claim the discovery for himself.  He took the notes and formulas home for the weekend and, using them as a model, created his own fiber.  He substituted other plant cuticles for the potato polyesters and renamed the fabric “Terylene.”  Whinfield filed his own patent application the following Monday morning and *accidentally* mis-laid the application proffered by O’Fergus.

Terylene was hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and Whinfleld became famous.  The DuPont Corporation purchased the formula for Terylene and the revolutionary fabric, renamed Dacron became a worldwide sensation.

O’Fergus petitioned the patent commission for many years afterward trying to prove that he had come up with the fiber first, but it was no use.  Thus, another opportunity for Irish notoriety was lost.

Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

 

In all my years of study and scholarly pursuits, I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation for the existence of cats. Or fat-free cheese.

Truth be told, I’ve really never understood the human fascination with fat-free anything.  As any dachshund can tell you, the flavor is in the fat.  And if there’s no flavor … well, I’d probably eat it anyway, but I’d enjoy it much more if it was full of fatty goodness.

You know, cats don’t have a lot of fat.  It’s a little known fact that cat meat is very lean.  Not that I’ve ever eaten a cat.  But I hear things.  And my Buffalo Spirit Guide used to have a cat named Chauncey and she told me that he was the stringy-est, most non-fat animal in her menagerie.  And I believe her because, well, she’s a Spirit Guide and they don’t lie.  So maybe there’s some kind of correlation between the purpose-less-ness of cats and fat-free cheese.  It only makes sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s examine the facts, shall we?  1. Fat-free cheese is not real cheese.  Fact.  2. Cats are lean.   Fact.  (My exhaustive research has sussed out that 83.6% of the cats I’ve seen on Facebook or other social media are approximately 12.6 pounds or less.  I’d consider that to be quite lean, and seeing as how I am a mere 15 pounds myself, I know something about being lean.  But since we’re talking about lean cats and their fake-osity rather than svelte, haunchy dachshunds who are obviously real, we’ll put that aside for the moment)   Therefore, I would postulate that lean cats are not, in fact, real.   Furthermore, since it’s been well-established through a series of rigorous tests that all cats are lean … well, the obvious conclusion we come to is that all cats are not real.

Now, the real question becomes are lean cats not real cats?  Or (and this is where my superior deductive skills come into play) are lean cats not real cheese?  Ha!  I believe now we have the basis for a solid debate, my friends.

I’m already writing my speech for the Nobel committee.  Or perhaps the Book Prize awards ceremony.  Or the USDA.  Maybe even the Grammys.  It’s such an intriguing discussion for every aspect of society.  Just remember, you read it here first.  Or perhaps I should just be quietly content knowing I’ve sparked what could be the most important conversation in decades?  After all, I’m a modest dachshund – not a glory hound.

Ah.  Well.  After such deep thinking, I believe it’s time for me to take a nap.  But before I go, I’d like to reiterate that I have never, will never, and do not currently support eating cat meat.  Or any other fat-free food.  Like fat-free cheese.  Although they could be one in the same.  Good day, and thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

Life in the Family Bed can be hectic. Sometimes, I like to kick back with a puzzle and relax. But with all those Companions – well, it’s a challenge. I like to think that I’m equitable with the love and nurturing care I offer my Companions and that I don’t play favorites, but the truth is that there are some who require much more attention than others.  Such is the case with the Companion you’ll be meeting in this edition of The View From the Family Bed.

Today, I’m introducing you to Candace. She’s possibly the neediest member of the Family Bed, which I have attributed to her lack of balance. With only two legs, she’s quite a stumbler to say the least, and is constantly mooing for someone to help her stay upright. Tsk, tsk, tsk … she’s so clingy.

While Candace does try to manage on her own, she needs a lot of help.  A lot, a lot, a lot.  And I, along with my team of specialists, work with her about three times a week.  She runs line drills, the balance beam (which is really quite amusing, I must say) and other standard coordination exercises – all designed to help her stand on her own two hooves, so to speak.  Candace has been with me for about two years and in that time she has made no significant progress.  But I’m always hopeful that one day, she’ll be a self-supporting member of the Family Bed.  It would be such a help if she were less of a burden on me, personally and professionally.

Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

You may not be aware, gentle readers, that I am known in certain circles as Ar the Sun Dog. It’s an honorary title for the most part – bestowed upon me by an ancient Beaver Culture, the remnants of which make their home just outside Sheboygen.  They don’t worship me or anything like that, but they do send me small tokens and gifts throughout the year.  Nothing extravagant, mind you – shell necklaces, books of poetry, smoked meats.  It’s nice to be recognized, I must say.

My own love affair with the sun came at an early age.  I always knew the sun and I shared a special connection.  We both are warm, energy-giving points of light.  We both shine brightest around 2:30 p.m.  And we both find joy in just settling peacefully at the end of the day with a puzzle and a light savory snack.  Well, I don’t actually know for certain that the sun likes savory snacks – he may indeed have quite the sweet tooth.  But I am sure that he loves a good puzzle, just as much as I do.

The truth is, dear subscribers, that everything just feels better when one is in the sun.  Allow me to illustrate …

Here I am, basking in this particularly plush sunbeam.  Do you see how content and peaceful I look?  I remember it was a lovely afternoon and Mama Dog had left the curtains open so I could bask.  Delightful.

And this is me soaking up an early morning sunbeam and surveying my domain.  I look noble and majestic, don’t I?  (Mama & Daddy Dog have since replaced this sofa with a new one.  The new one doesn’t have cushions like this so I can no longer sun myself on a lofty perch.  Hateful humans.)

The health benefits of sun exposure are well documented.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve read article after article stating that regular and prolonged sun-basking can eliminate cavities, strengthen tail-wagging muscles, cure warts, and even make one’s beard grow faster.

Ever in pursuit of health and wellness, I will continue to seek the healing and regenerative sunbeams, regardless of how inconveniently placed I might be.  My humans can walk around me or step over me.  It’s not like their legs are only 3″ long … Good day and Thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

On this visit to the Family Bed I’m introducing you to El Monterey, a rare Mexican moose. He prefers to be called Montey, though, so I humor him.  Here we are, Montey and I, after one of our ‘sessions’.  It’s important to rest and restore ourselves after such exertion.

Montey became my Companion a little over two years ago. Originally, I  planned for hime to provide a certain amount of multicultural depth to the Family Bed, but he American-ized really quickly. Now, instead of bringing a Mexican flavor to the table (pardon the pun), he watches Glenn Beck and demands pizza and imported beer at every meal. I recently had to block his internet access because he had subscribed to too many Libertarian websites, which resulted in the entire Family Bed being put on numerous Federal watchlists.  He’s also become increasingly involved as a volunteer for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Even though Cruz is not Mexican, Montey says he feels a deep connection.  As long as it doesn’t affect his work here in The Family Bed, I’m fine with that.  I encourage all my Companions to explore their passions outside the borders of the Bed.

Interestingly, Montey’s most positive contribution to the Family Bed has been as a yoga instructor.

His utter spinelessness renders him unbelievably bend-y and his “small government” political philosophy allows him to really connect with the other Companions. I’ve noticed an improved sense of cohesiveness in the Bed since Montey began offering daily Hot Yoga sessions in the sunbeam near the sofa. And most all of the Companions have told me that at the end of our workouts they feel less stiff and sore than before, which I generously attribute to Montey’s flexibility training. Except for Bachmann, of course. That darn beaver takes every opportunity to cause trouble in the Bed… I don’t know why I keep him around. Gaaahhhh.

My own yoga training is much more rigorous than what Montey teaches the Companions … I have achieved true limber-ality.

Anyway … Montey may not be serving the Family Bed in the way I originally envisioned, but I think he’s proving himself to be an important part of our mission.

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

Irishman Duncan O’Flanagan longed for a peaceful, quiet life. During his career as a soldier of fortune, he had seen enough violence and bloodshed and now he was ready to retire and fulfill his lifelong dream of running his own bakery. He excitedly opened Duncan’s Dough Hut in the small Irish village of Booterstown, where he baked breads, cakes, pastries and pies for pleasure and profit.

Particularly popular with his customers, were his special loaves of pre-sliced sourdough bread. The texture was refined and light and the villagers declared that Duncan’s bread was a wonder. O’Flanagan’s secret was the special slicing machine he had invented, which allowed him to uniformly slice the bread before packaging it for sale. Customers loved the neat, even slices, which were the perfect thickness for sandwiches and saved time when preparing the day’s lunches for many busy homemakers.

Word of this ‘wonder’ bread began to spread throughout Ireland, England, Europe and eventually, even across the ocean. Finally, it came to the attention of frustrated American inventor, Otto Rohwedder, who had long been puzzling over his own bread predicament:  How could he cram thick handcut slices of homemade bread into a newly marketed device called a toaster and achieve even toasting on both sides?  In each of his attempts, the unevenly sliced bread inevitably came out of the toaster un-browned on one half and charred on the other. Upon hearing of the Irish ‘wonder’ bread, Rohwedder was struck with the notion that, if he were to market the idea of pre-slicing and packaging bread before sale in the United States, he could achieve wealth and fame. He knew few would question his claim to the idea, as Ireland was much removed from the industrial revolution currently spreading through America.

After several failed attempts to recreate the success of O’Flanagan’s slicing device, including one disastrous idea where he used hat pins to hold the bread slices in place for packaging, Rohwedder finally marketed his bread slicer in 1928. The pre-sliced bread was well-received in the United States and Rohwedder did indeed receive credit for the revolutionary idea.

Although there were many in Ireland and even England who decried the American’s claim of ownership to this fantastic invention, they were largely ignored and dismissed as radicals and Irish nationalists. Thus another Irish achievement has passed into the annals of history, falsely attributed to a lesser nation …

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

The Family Bed Community is home to many Companions. By far, the most demanding and loudest member is this porky-mouthed beaver Bachmann. He is my most-trusted confidante, although I honestly don’t know why — he’s completely self-possessed.  I’ve found that I need to have more (and more intense) training sessions with Bachmann than any of my other Companions.  He’s quite stubborn, as I suppose beavers are wont to be.

Georgie and Family Bed Companion Bachmann
Georgie & Bachmann

He fancies himself to be a real cosmopolitan beaver, even though he hails from the wilds of the Great North. His family runs a ‘mom & pop’ beaver vanilla bottling plant.  His more irritating qualities include his constant tail-slapping and shrill announcements of ALERT! ALERT! … all day long. This interrupts my nap time and it’s very rude. Lately, he’s taken to using his tail as a lever to move rocks and begun referring to himself as ‘Bachemedes’.  Now he expects the Family Bed Companion Group Health Plan to pay for his unnecessary and grossly expensive tail-waxing procedure to fix the damage.   I’ve told him repeatedly that he can lever rocks until the cows come home but he’s still not going to be a mathematical pioneer with a shiny tail.  Whatever will I do with this rodent raconteur?

Beard to Beard:  A Little Known Fact

Beard to Beard: A Little Known Fact

 

Because today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it appropriate to provide for you, gentle readers, the real story of this great Irish hero.

In the early fourth century, the island of Ireland was overrun with venomous, slithering, rude snakes. They terrorized the countryside – villagers and travelers lived in fear of the horrid asps. Until the day St. Patrick walked across the land, using his Holy stick to drive the serpents toward the Channel and forever eradicating them from the Emerald Isle. The news of this miracle spread quickly – to England and then throughout the European continent. Plagued by snakes themselves, leaders from other countries pleaded with St. Patrick to perform the same miracle in their lands. But Patrick refused. They begged and then accused him of being selfish. But still Patrick would not use his powerful staff to help them. It was his most effective revenge against all those who had contributed to robbing Ireland of its rightful position as a glorious world-power. To this day, Ireland remains snake-free while all other bo-hunky lands are subject to their serpentine whims.