NOVEMBER 25, 2018

The 20th Annual Poodleshoot & BBQ


So anyway. What with all the rain and power outages at the ramshackle place that now houses the Island-Life offices, the Annual Poodleshoot report has been delayed. But this being the 20th Poodleshoot on the Island, there is no rushing to press on this.

It is hard to imagine that 20 years ago a daft group of lads decided to hold a humble Poodleshoot in defiance of misdirected sentiment, obnoxious aesthetics, and hideous twisting of values where an asinine species we will never truly understand gets more attention, devotion, and preference than members of our own species. It can be argued that in this present day in the 21st century we still have problems understanding each other, let alone another species.

All that aside, the 20th Annual Poodleshoot proceeded as follows.

The annual Island Tradition took place again, beginning with the usual, traditional ceremonies.

rosy-fingered Dawn arose

As per Tradition, on the day of the 20th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose from the horizon's dark bed and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, traveling across the yard from the battered old half-moon privy hard by the weeds to the house back porch, leaving behind a sort of dew after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she tugged upon the coverlet, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, woolly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the somnolent God.

Her fingers becoming rays of sunlight, turned the dial so as to allow the sweet strains of muse Calliope to thrum the air as guided by the goddess Rosalie Howarth of KFOG, but Padriac snored and stirred not.

Then Dawn reared back with her rosy fists upraised and brought them down heavily to smite Padraic a mighty thwack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under bright, chill skies, which had cleared briefly from the storm clouds for the day, once again down by the disputed Crab Cove.

The ceremonies began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra accompanied by the Brickbat Targets chorale ensemble.

This was followed by the devilish meisterwerk composed by Marie Kane entitled, "Die Sieg der Satanische Landentwickler", an adaptable work which allows insertion of alta-contemporary chorales at the whim of the Conductor.

Mayor-Elect Izzy as soprano alla triste

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of outgoing Mayor Marie as Conductor and Mayor-Elect Izzy as soprano alla triste in the Misericordia segment and newly re-elected Councilperson Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful did a fair version of Iago's treacherous soliloquy, with outgoing Councilperson Frank in his basso triste "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" performance in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie by Brooks and Dunne.

Vice Mayor Malia Vella adoped the key of obsequious for her duet with Roger Dent of Jamestown Properties in "It's a Shopping Mall by Any Other Name."

Outgoing Mayor Trish Spencer appeared en masque, performing "Go your own way" by Fleetwood Mac and then "Good Riddance", by Green Day. Incoming Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft performed "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Jefferson Starship followed by “We Are The Champions” by Queen.

Frank Matarrese, who did not win re-election, thoroughly nailed his role on Black Sabbath's "Land Pigs", but disappointed in the Eroica segment which features the "Young Man Taking a Stand" soliloquy.

John Knox White and Tony Daysog performed a lovely duet as well as a lovely pas de deux in pinstriped pinafores with nunchucks. The two sang "Our Town" and "I got you Babe with astonishing verve.

Many reviewers have called this piece amazingly impossible to accomplish, and quite a pastiche. The East Bay Express found "this game of smoky backrooms is too much to believe." Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated" and "hard to believe it goes on. And on. And on still more," while Jim Harrington has called this performance, "the most dreadful rubbish since the last time I wrote a mixed review. I never fully approve of anything, but this gave badness a new name."

The Chronicle, always more reserved due to the heavy influence of conservative ACT in the City, has commented, "It should be interesting to see how well this thing floats in the future amid this stormy time for companies. We almost were convinced Trish Spencer was really a City Mayor, a role she continues to adopt despite the necessary qualifications required -- none of which she seems to have ever possessed. Was her portion supposed to be farce or tragedy? We were confused the entire time and are quite glad about the results of the recent Midterms as she has made the entire City Production look ludicrous."

Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the mid-term elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.

The East Bay Express got the dates wrong on its Calendar section, so they had no review.

The Examiner, as usual, ignored Reality and talked about the batboy who had been abducted by space aliens.

In any case, after spirits had been revived with a sloshing round from the kegs, the Hoophole Orchestra launched the proceedings with spirited instrumentals. The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Pushy Manager Organ were Carol Taylor and Rachel Linzer of St. Charles.

Brian King and Toshie of Park Avenue performed upon the Mendacious Dieben and Sneaky Pete while Little Nichtnutz executed the Shoplifter with Stolen Keys until the Tac Squad entered with fanfare and removed them for questioning.

Neal of St. Charles noodled on the Meyer Lansky Kazoo and stamped his tiny feet for percussion while The Henchmen crooned Barbershop Quartet style behind bars. Neal followed up with a slam-bang sale on dime bags of Crystal and Horse. When caught, Old Neal commenced to sing in several keys at once, as he is wont to do when pressed. Quite a challenge and great drama.

Former legislator Anthony Wiener (R) of Washington DC did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Stroker, while Barbara Boxer (D) wowed everyone with the Swan Song Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion with broken boards. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie McCoomber (ENG) and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck (USA), both with Incendiary Bustier Spritzers. Nice pair, those gals.

Jessica was joined this year by her husband, Sean, who pounded vigorously upon the Bald Curate's Pate and baby Dylan who applied himself assiduously to the Bland Howler.

Antimacassars and doilies were supplied, as usual, by James Hargis, who also performed the Effexor Waltz.

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done to everyone's great relief, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation, led by Doyle McGowan of San Francisco, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus.

intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" before all jumping into the air

The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" before all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Pat Kitson of Mountain View and Tally of Marin, upon which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned home-made bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot with overcast weather that soon turned quite rainy.

Every year the hoi polloi and the Participants eagerly anticipate the Mystery Guest Delegation. This year's emissary from Washington D.C. was sent as a representative for the Executive Branch of the United States Government, which unfortunately found many of its members either fired, indicted by Federal grand juries, or under investigation, so the American Executive Branch of Government was pleased to send a key staff member in the form of Vladimir LaPuta, who has played a key part in determining policy -- as well as election outcomes -- on behalf of the current Administration.

Mr. LaPuta was interviewed by Denby of the Island-Life News as the foreign dignatary emoved his shirt for the hunt.

"Mr. LaPuta, how is your relationship with the President of the US these days?"

"Most excellent, sir. He is our greatest admirer and we love admirers. And he makes of the twitter like a little bird all time. Most charming."

"You do not use the Twitter?"

"I am not birdlike. I am bearlike. You like my pecs, eh? Strong! Like bear!"

"Impresssive. So you have any advice for our President and his troubles with so many investigations? Do you have such problems in your country?"

"We have simple Russian remedy for such things."

"That is?"



"Da! Ricin. Then, no more problem. As if to say, 'Problem stoh!". Heh, heh. Zatknis. Make spassibo, da?"

"Well, President LaPuta it has been an honor."

"“??????????” Of course it is. I am LaPuta the Great Bear! All Russia love me. Ha ha!"

With that, the President took off riding a stallion, bare-chested as is his wont during athletic contests, followed by a number of underlings carrying Kalishnakovs, extra arrows for his crossbow and steaming samovars filled with refreshments.

the notorious Dilletantte Poesy group

The break in weather after the recent torrential rains ended even as the Poodleshoot was in full swing and everyone broke out their raingear. It was during this atmospheric contretemps a brace of poodles broke through the cordon around the Island. The poodles, or piddles as the sometimes are called down in SoCal, were attended by a number of gang members belonging to the notorious Dilletantte Poesy group reinforced by the M31 Oestenos who are known to be characterized by offensive artworks that include, but are not restricted to sad eyed clowns, kitty cats, and poor imitations of Fragonard.

This group seized several boats at the Marina

This group seized several boats at the Marina and made off, heading north, but were quickly pursued by a posse that featured the Editor standing in the prow of a whaler with one foot up on the gunwale, wearing a three corner hat and a cloak whipped by the winds to reveal a scarlet lining and the brass fixtures of his Marine Corps saber as the staff valiantly oared between the scattered bergs of ice while Jose kept the proud flag of Old Glory erect amidships. In the misty distance the other boats kept the pace.

While Emanuel Leutze of the Gold Coast played the Battle Hymn of the Republic upon the fife, the hearts of the red-blooded American poodlehunters were stirred despise the cold, lashing rain and winds, rounding about Angel Island, once, twice, three times in pursuit of the dastardly enemy, when lo! The piddles made a break for Sausalito and the Lands of the Shark where they careened upon the beaches there and were pursued to the interior.

When our crew landed in Marin they found all was deathly still. Birds had fled the trees. No animals stirred abroad. They noticed encouraging signs everywhere, which suggested that this region was inimical to poodles.

And so they made an encampment in the Valley of the Smiths, so called because there a forge had once stood, fueled by the timbers from the lumber mill of once humble Mill Valley back in the day when normal, blue-collar, just folks lived in Marin. The camp was cold and hungry by way of the rain and the humble provisions: marmite sandwiches and remaindered MRE's from the Vietnam era someone had stockpiled in their garage in a harebrained scheme to corner the market back when it was thought an invasion by either China or the USSR was immanent.

he long Night of the Poodle

During the night the sounds of provocative yapping drifted through the barbed wire and obnoxious calls, as in "Die you Yankee kitty cats!" and "Eff you Yankee doggies!" Tracer fire went out to unknown targets in the distance. Rain poured down, turning trenches into stinking cesspools. AR-15s jammed in the filthy environment, leaving the frantic man helpless until he could disassemble,clean and reassemble his weapon in the dark. Furthermore . . . there was not an espresso or a latte to be obtained. Death was sudden, instantaneous through the long Night of the Poodle.

misdirected sentiment in place of genuine human warmth,

In the morning they discovered why the enemy had fled to Marin. Up on the ridges burned the watchfires of countless battalions of poodle owners. The hunter brigade had been surrounded by a legion of the enemy which had lured them into a country infested with poodle mania in all its worst manifestations: bad art, worse music, corrupted language, misdirected sentiment in place of genuine human warmth, devotion to love objects that returned only illusiory reactions born of instinct embedded in a foreign species. Abandonment of one's native species for the sake of self deception. All those things against which the Poodleshoot had fought for years. Marin was morphed from a place where decent people used to live, a place of hard working men and women who did things with their hands to a corrupted abode of lotus eaters and effete aromatherapy.

And now our people were surrounded. The situation appeared desperate. How to withdraw with honor. The situation felt all too familiar. At that moment they were all waist deep in the big muddy and waiting for some damn fool to say, "Press on!"

A delegation arrived from the opposing camp to deliver a message, their insolent flag of lace and cutsy puffins. Their envoy made it clear that the hunter party was to depart or be furiously pooped upon to total desolation.

Cmdr. Stifstik, who it should surprise no one who has followed these pages had long enjoyed the Poodleshoot for the sheer pleasure of murderous energy, spoke first among the assembly.

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall their wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify their power,
Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
Doubted their Empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanced
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal War
Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Marin.

Thus spoke Cmdr. Stifstik, USN ret.

"That is a fine sentiment for yourself," said the Editor. "But I say, We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

There was a chorus of agreement on this point.

"Gentlemen and Ladies," said the Editor. "We are now more divided than we have ever been since the birth of this Nation. Right now a President of a foreign power ramps upon our shores enjoying the fruits of our liberties and our union workers while we stir here in our own country in danger of extermination, trapped far from home. Our own President has proven himself to be an odious man, an incompetant purveyor of ineffective business agenda, and an insulting nitwit who has alienated friends around the world.

This is not right.

We shall break out of this encirclement by device or force of arms and shall return to wage war upon the infidel poodle lovers of this area with unremitting energy that places the value of human beings over any other species. Now hearken unto me for our plans . . .".

And so it was that a great work that was a hollow figure of a terrier was placed at dawn on the edge of the encampment which astonished all that saw it for its great height and dimensions.

And the poodlepeople were not dismayed and not convinced when a captured spy stated that this was to be an offering to the gods and made so large that no hall in Mill Valley or Larkspur could contain it. Indeed, it may be noted that all of the halls of these miniscule towns are quite diminuitive in stature.

"We have seen this sort of deception before, as practiced during the Trojan Wars where the device contained a secret army ready to leap out and destroy our metropolis," Stated the Poodle commander, Herumphus. And so his command was to destroy the effigy by fire with all available resources.

And so it was that as the Piddlers made great efforts to destroy the effigy of a dog, thinking the entire force was trapped inside, the hunters slipped away under cover of darkness back to the Island, where the survivors were welcomed, even though their caches were empty and Padraic bade that another ahi be thrown upon the Barbee, vowing to return to Marin and there execute terrific vengeance.

Thus ended the 20th Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over White's Hill and Fairfax, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridgetops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.