“You’re in rare form.”

Those are words spoken often in our home and they only pertain to two potential outliers: Me or our psychotic dog, Winston. 

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have described Winston that way. In his earlier days, he was only somewhat quirky. All that has changed with age. It’s a little hypocritical for me to label him so when the aging process has affected me also. I have added patch upon patch to my quilt of eccentricity in the past decade and my daughters truly fear the weaving process will accelerate until I’m living on one of their sofas in my t-shirt and underpants with applesauce perpetually dribbling down my chin. But I digress, this is about Winston.

Even in his state of mental disrepair, Winston is still capable of teaching us valuable lessons. 

He teaches us persistence daily. The dog is incapable of making a decision but he is perfectly persistent in his indecisiveness. When you let him out, you will see him perched at the door literally seconds later begging to come back in. Once inside, he circles the den before standing beside the door with a look of desperation to go out. All of this in a span of 23 seconds. And it continues until he gets tired and falls asleep in a heap.

The poor old guy is getting fatty tumors all over his body. We had them checked at the vet and she said there wasn’t much to do, as long as he doesn’t disturb them. As if on cue, Winston found one too alluring to leave unmolested. It was… on his weenie, of course. 

The whole situation was tense and uncomfortable to talk about. His weenie grew. At first, we tried to ignore it like we did when he was a young buck who might have had use for it. Oh, he was fixed, but that didn’t seem to always prevent his amorous attentions. 

But this was different. It grew a big lump. This is also where the biggest life lesson Winston can teach comes in. Gather round children because we all need to get this one: We don’t bite our privates. Fortunately for most humans, inflexibility has taken care of this for us. But Winston caused himself a big problem, a surgery, and a vet bill inversely proportionate to his weenie’s new size.

I’ll spare you the visual evidence of his size reduction. In the immortal words of George Kastanza, “There was shrinkage!”

There were so many stitches, thus the name Frankenweenie, and Winston had to wear his donut for a long time to prevent further damage (remember his persistence). He didn’t like his donut and had no capacity to adapt his spatial awareness to compensate for his extra girth. He ran into everything. It was kinda funny, but also a little sad. Poor old guy.

And I’m finishing this post at 2:50 a.m. because his bladder seems to have shrunk along with his frankenweenie. I’m not one to disparage and old man needing nighttime relief – I’m over 50. But Winston… he gets distracted. Just now I found him under the deck eating the scraps from our grill. I’m not even sure he relieved himself – but wait, maybe he’s trying to teach me another lesson of some kind. 

I have no clue what it might be, but… a burger sounds pretty good right about now. 

An Unholy love of Guacamole

“It looks like baby poo.”

That was the consensus from my kids many years ago when I tried to introduce them to the wonders of guacamole. They were having none of it. I am an adventurous eater, but my children have ridiculous standards when it comes to trying new things.

The oldest was incredibly picky as a child, but has come around to find that there is more to life than chicken nuggets. I’m waiting for her to say, “you were right” because I tried to tell her when she was little that there was a whole, big, flavorful world she was missing.

The twenty-year-old won’t try anything green and subsists on microwave pizzas. And then there is the dancer who eats incredibly healthy. She has always loved to try new fruits with me, so I would scour the global sections of the markets to find star fruits, dragon fruits, and blood oranges to bring home. Yet she turns her nose up at my avocado delight.

I love it. I love it so much it is a problem. I think it is the cilantro that piques my taste buds. I could eat my weight in chips and guacamole.

And every time my kids are around, I stuff chip after chip in my pie-hole and say, “look, I’m eating baby poo!”

Like my other dad-jokes… it never gets old.

My unholy love of guacamole caused me a little embarrassment recently. I get to do some pretty cool stuff in my job sometimes. This year, I got to go out on the field at Suntrust Park to receive a check from the Atlanta Braves Foundation. It started with a reception for all the beneficiaries. Since we got free tickets, I invited my oldest and her boyfriend who loves the Braves.

But on the trip to meet me, he somehow missed the exit and they got stuck in traffic, making us a little late to the reception. We got there just in time, but had to forego the buffet because the presentation started immediately. I sat there ruefully eyeing a mongo bowl of guacamole the entire time the Brave’s representative spoke and handed out awards. I couldn’t sneak any of it because it was right next to the stage.

When the speaker ended, we immediately had to line up to walk down to the field for the on-field presentation!

Driven by green-eyed guacamole lust and not good manners, I allowed everyone in the room to cut in front of me thereby putting myself right in front of the bowl. Chips in both hands, I wind-milled scoop after scoop full of baby poo. With everyone in front of me and no one watching, I ate like a complete animal.

42168918_10156745445099675_205390472875606016_nFlash forward to when we stepped out onto the field, I looked down to find several hunks of that chunky, green goodness on my shoe and pant leg. I visualized the crowd’s reaction and thought of the viral video of the Braves guy with baby poo all over him. But let’s face it, no one pays attention to pregame ceremonies. So while we crossed the foul line and headed toward home plate, I desperately flicked baby poo off of me and onto the playing surface.

I wonder if it came into play during the game – if a ball rolled through it and caused the left fielder to make a throwing error. That would be funny.



Later that night, in a contented guacamole slumber, I dreamed of a brilliant product idea: ceramic guacamole bowls formed into the shape of a diaper. Because if you look like baby poo but taste like heaven, I say be proud and own it.