NOVEMBER 27, 2011

And so, as we all are gathered this Holiday, gently nodding after the L-tryptophan before the fireplace, come gather 'round all ye dear ones here where it is warm. Listen now. . .

O noble muse Calliope

O noble muse Calliope, grant us epic vision! O Euterpe, muse of song, grant us the liquid voice to say all with elegance. O sly, grinning Thalia grant us aid, and whimsical Eris, that Goddess who has caused so much to happen in times past and modern, and who at times appears to be the one Goddess to rule us all in these times, let inspiration flow in token rhyme, suggesting rhythm that will not forsake the listener, till this tale is told and done. Let us call forth from the fireglow sense and color to flesh these strange shadows that from the flames will grow, 'til things unseen will seem familiar.

While the storyteller speaks, a door within the fire creaks;
Suddenly flies open, and a girl is standing there.
Eyes alight, with glowing hair, all that fancy paints as fair . . .

At first there were three collars for the elven dogs under the sky. Seven then for the pomeranians in their halls alone, nine for dogs doomed to die. One for the Dark Poo on his dark throne on the Island where the Shadows lie. One leash to rule them all, one leash to find them, one leash to bring them all and in the darkness bind them on the Island where the Shadows lie."

As per Tradition, on the day of the 13th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose 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 of cloud and mist, leaving behind a sort of dew upon place after her passage. Gently, she flushed, 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, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with

Then she gave him a mighty whack, 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 cloudy, chill skies.

"No boat, no training."

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra, which this year included an extended Choral Section which perversely employed instruments as well as voice, and which consisted of Adam Gillit on Bass Thumper, Mayor Marie and Councilperson Tam on Augmented Shriekers, and the Public Works Department with Briggs & Stratton-powered Woodchippers. Firechief Mike D'Orazi stood upon a Park Street Stump and rhythmically poured a cup of water over his head while uttering apologies and the phrase "No boat, no training."

Mr. Ratto, the Park Street Mayor, supplied the water.

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 Retroviral Trumpet were Carol Taylor and Pat Aston of St. Charles. Also from St. Charles, the new Cacophony Quartet of Stacy and Greg Dehoedt together with Fruitbat and Godzilla injected liveliness on the Lars Ulrich Inkspritzer. Fruitbat, a form of feline, leapt upon the keys of the organ console while Godzilla, a form of canine from the breed known only generically and dimly as "halfling", tugged upon the bellows with his teeth.

Ken Number Two did a scratch 'n rap with a Gilt Verpflixtenbassguitar Monstrance and Pope Dongle.

Rachel and Henry did a duet on the Three A.M. Howling Anomaly Thumper that sounded positively Middle Eastern in style.

Sgt. Michael Ramsey employed the Amplified Vacuum-weedwhacker and Mace to great effect, especially during the Crowd Dispersal Movement.

Karen Rega and Owen Brown joined the Kring family on Kettledrum Automats outfitted with Impermeables at which Oscar Kring proved to be vigorously adept.

For the 1812 Overture, Jeff Silva operated a brace of 12 pounders and pennywhistle, all well coordinated by means of a Cabela's Saltwater Spincaster.

Denby attempted to direct with little effect or control until thrown bodily from the stage by Helen Gilliland, who had everyone change the setlist to include The Internationale, The Pipefitter's Union song, and Joe Hill.

"Simply appalling. Dreadful. . . ."

Many of the media in attendence commented "the performance was highly unusual, while the critic for KCBS succinctly reported -- pretty much as he always does for anything other than Ibsen and Shaw, Mahler and Elgar -- "Simply appalling. Dreadful. I was born for theatre; this made me long for death."

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation,led by David Phipps of San Rafael, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. 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!" and 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.

it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Susan Laing of Central Avenue and Tally of Marin, after 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 bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

As the 'Shoot progressed through the day, a little contratemps down by Washington Park developed into something considerably more serious.

Hunters chanced upon the Occupy Island encampment

There hunters chanced upon the Occupy Island encampment, which, like true Islanders, maintains such a polite regard for good behavior as well as a desire to avoid fuss, moved its encampment from City Hall to Lincoln Park for about a week, when concern about damage to the lawn caused them to uproot and move to Krusi park, and then, out of regard for the students at Otis Middle School, from there to Jackson Park.

After several weeks of successive moves, all done so as to least offend anyone, they wound up at Washington, where someone commented that while the group understood the tenets of non-violence pretty well, they seemed to not get the idea of civil disobedience at all.

We are Islanders -- perish the thought of disobedience!

Nevertheless there were a few of them getting tired of all the moving about and the lost media coverage opportunities, so things were getting fractious over there. A schism developed -- as it always does in all great Movements -- between the Movers and the Stayers.

In any case hunters from the poodleshoot stumbled upon the camp while in hot pursuit of a set of leashed silverhairs heading with their dogwalker for the relative safety of the high bunchgrass. A man wearing a brightly colored woven beanie unfolded his tall gangly body from one of the tents there to confront Eugene Gallipagus who was firing his AK-47 as he ran. His name was Lincoln.

"Dude! Wussup with the bullets man?" said Lincoln.

"Dude! Wussup with the bullets man?" said Lincoln.

The poodles had escaped into the thatch, so Eugene stopped.

"Poodle huntin'," Eugene said before lighting up his cigar.

"Yo man, don't go firing that thing off around the tents. We have kids here. And kitty cats."

"Kitty cats." Eugene said blankly.

"Right. They are our mascots and friends. Right Mr. Wuggles?"

A small head poked out from under the tent. "Mao."

"Kitty cats." Eugene said again.

"Mao!" Mr. Wuggles said.

"What a cute kitty!" said the Man from Minot who shouldered his RPG to scratch the ears of Mr. Wuggles.

"O for Pete's sake," Eugene said, and fired a few rounds into the air.

"Dude," Lincoln said. "I wonder if you are getting enough catsup in your diet." The Man from Minot laughed. "You want some lentil soup? Its cold out here. Come on into the tent where its warm."

Such was the humble yet honest generosity of the Occupiers in that field of dispute.

"Let's get out of here," Eugene said.

As the hunters fanned out in the area below the park which abutted the Robert Crown Memorial Beach and the dog park there, which looked suspiciously empty on this holiday a squall moved in from offshore drenching everything and getting all their powder damp. They decided to head back as a group to re-supply their weapons at the Pit. Lionel already had a pair of Russian Blues in his bag and Arthur had a full-sized Cock-a-Poo weighing 12 pounds in his so they were all of generally good mood. As they skirted the Occupy encampment they became embroiled with that camp's issues.

Things are generally in a wreck

Now, the Occupy Movement is not the only Movement going on in the Country today, and the Bay Area is not exempt from all of these sects and movements and general upset jumping up and down. Things are generally in a wreck and have been for quite a long time, and quite a lot of people are upset all over the place about Progress, lack of progress, the National Debt, the unemployment, the Recession (which has not ended, mind you), cutting down trees, failures to save, bailouts for the unworthy, offshoring, the Chinese in general, the Japanese earthquake, drill baby drill, high oil prices, and the constitution of the US Constitution, to list just a few issues.

Now the Tea Party has long wanted to establish a foothold here in California, but has been frustrated in their aims, largely because our own version of the Republican Party has been already pretty ridiculous and unable to speak for itself. This is not true in many other states; this is largely a Golden State problem.

The Tea Party is really just a more extreme version of the GOP, but even within that Movement you have schisms. Our own version here features a splinter group that feels natural urges must be curbed by means of rigorous self-discipline in a kind of bladder-oriented pull-up-by-the-bootstraps philosophy.

they call themselves the Pee Tardy Party

These folks believe that if one adheres to a strict regimen of going to the toilet 2x per day, at the most, then moral discipline will ensue. It really is just a logical extension of Just Say No and they call themselves the Pee Tardy Party and they make just about as much sense as the larger group, but long for the same ideals of Strong Military, Seperation of the Races, Corporate Personhood, and infallibility of the Pope.

Furthermore, this group sees the Occupiers as a riff-raff collection of Hippies trying to restore the hated ideals of the sixties of peace, love, non-violence, and tolerance. Besides, they were stealing the thunder from the Project for the New American Century.

And lo! An host of the Pee Tardy gathered there upon the sward below and in the gathering gloom of setting sun, their helms glittered with malice as they lowered their spears aimed at the Occupy Encampment. Seeing this, Lincoln gathered his people to form a shield-wall against the onslaught.

Also seeing this, Eugene and the hunters took pity and moved to assist their former hosts who had offered them lentil soup and shelter.

They swarmed across the sward like beetles

And from the thatch there emitted a number of poodle-walkers with their terrible yapping charges bounding like the Wargs of Old, all armed with terrible impermeables and intentions to cause grievous harm. Secretly they had gathered their forces, plotting war and violence during this Holiday. They swarmed across the sward like beetles and looked to destroy the hunters who took refuge behind the shieldwall which held against that dual, devilish, demonic deluge of alliteration, although Mr. Wuggles got squashed into furry kitty jelly amid the melee, and sore distressed was Lincoln at this loss.

When the onslaught failed, for the charge led up against the slope where the basketball courts and the camp stood on higher ground, the enemy fell back for a moment while they sent an emissary, Mr. Xerxes Ungoliant.

Mr. Ungoliant strode into the camp with his high helm of black feathers and dog paws taken from hapless losers to his own pet, Fifi-Rog, and O! He was hideous in his proud breast-plate that was made of Registry Silver Plate spoons and forks. Gaudy he was as well and he stood there haughty before Lincoln and Eugene, who had become of necessity allies in this war.

Mr. Ungoliant demanded unconditional surrender, a donation to the dog park as well as the Association, signature to membership in the GOP, allowance to vote by proxy for all of them by the Pee Tardy, and the proffering in mason jars of one-half of their manhood. All of which Mr. Ungoliant considered to be eminently reasonable.

We are . . . Islanders!"

Herewith Lincoln, he the erstwhile man of peace and gentleness, drew himself up and said loudly, "Here is my answer to you. We are . . . Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiislaaaaaaaaaaaanders!"

With that the man gave a great shout and kicked the emissary so hard that the man flew backwards into a hole dug for a privy where he lay groaning and in anguish. So ended the emissary.

The united Pee Tardy and dogwalkers launched another attack, this time by means of missle weapons in the form of sling-shots and boulders and WMDD's (Weapons of Mass Doo-Doo). Again the attack was beaten off as the last bit of light crept from the world

It was sore and desperate in the camp that night as the countless watchfires of the enemy ringed the forces of the Allies while a dreaful howling continued throughout the night, along with periodic sneaky forays.

Who was there among that besieged group? To the Occupiers had come the Sweeneys of the East End. Eugene and the Man from Minot. Gilberto, Filiberto, Alicia, Ana, Santiago, Yolanda, Yvonne, and little Santiago of the Almeida family were there. Jose, Javier and Xavier were thhre because of all the free food. Mr. Terse, formerly of the USMC, was there because of his love of violence and warcraft. The irritating fellow who always begs for spare change at Mariner Square Village was there among the tents with his wife. Lionel of the Pampered Pup was there with his friend Arthur.

Among the regulars, Latreena Brown bickered with Malice Green, Sympatho Mimetslovic, Serbian "mindreader" and fortuneteller" was there trying to make a buck forecasting hunting success by tossing the tarot and now caught behind the lines. Angus McMayhem was there with his angry beard and his kilts askew. Pimenta Strife was there looking to get laid again - she was trying to hit 1,000 by the end of the year and still had over a hundred to go. The Amazing Anatolia Enigma, also trying to make a buck with sleight of hand magic tricks sat huddled in his sodden magic cape by the fire.

All waited word on how the calls for help would be heeded. Eugene had climbed one of the tall palms there to use his cell phone as a beacon. From that height he was gratified to see the signal fires erupt in a line all along the Grizzley Peak and out to distant Mount Tam and over the water to Mount Davidson. They would come, but when?

"Look to the West by the Third Hour," Scott Lyons said, who also went by the name "Jade Myst".

"What the eff does that mean?" Eugene said, swinging in a tree three stories above the ground.

"A girl needs something to wear," Scott said. "And foundation takes time, dear."

"O for Pete's sake." Eugene said. "We are going to get killed."

"O for Pete's sake." Eugene said. "We are going to get killed."

"I emceed Funoccios for years," Scott said. "I saw them die all the time up there on stage. Just relax."


"You need more catsup in your diet," Scott said. "Ta ta!"

In truth it was a rough night. And it took hella longer than three hours for people to show up.

As the sun arose through the murk that seemed to be some foul pestilence conjured by the Dark Lord in his tower behind Mordor's keep. But down the Eighth Street the reinforcements began to arrive.

From far off Marin, from the Land of San Anselmo and distant Fairfax, the Bailiffs and the Whittemores had come, along with Bright-Eyes Beatrice with her sturdy spear-arm and Leonard, the scholar of fisticuffs. From the White Tower across the water, Steve Vender had brought his cohort, Martha. From the flatlands of Pleasanton and the hillside fastness of Castro Valley, the riders of Lindberg came marching. From the South, the Kitsons, they called disparagingly "strawheads" by the dark enemy came marching two by two.

Marty from distant Alaska arrived in a great boat of a Winnebago with his loyal wife yclept Ruth, and they had white malamutes among them.

From Babylon Scott Jade Myst brought a contingent of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, all armed with jeweled crucifixes and official Sin Pardons and rosary "morning stars". Formidible indeed was their foundation.

All these and more had come upon the summons and there was joy that was tempered, for although friends had come, they remained apart for the matter of the seige enemy had ringed them all around and made the situation dire for lack of water and potty.

As the sun struggled to make its way through to the camp, Lincoln rose up and lifted his soup ladle high and cried out, for he was fey, and yet young, and committed to his cause, and for such as these death is a matter of after the fact.

Whatever that means.

In any case, this is the speech young Lincoln, stalwart Lincoln, noble Lincoln made.

"Fellow Occupiers and friends! The hour is come for us to choose whether to live as slaves and be slaughtered or starve miserably and miss out on Thanksgiving leftovers or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them! Onward and glory for the Island for we shall never submit to the Overlord resting comfortably on his Persian carpets, lolling with his lollygag puppies! And furthermore . . . go Raiders!"

With that the shieldwall advanced upon the enemy who were all amazed

With that the shieldwall advanced upon the enemy who were all amazed at this effrontery. Seeing the camp go on the offensive, the reinforcements gather themselves hastily and the two forces came onto the flanks of the forward line and Lincoln smote the first orc-like fellow upon the pate with his ladle so furiously the man's eyes went a-goggle and he fell backwards quite stunned.

And lo! The Allies swept forward and the enemy fell back like leaves of grass before a mighty wind and the hearts of the allied host rejoiced as their foes turned and fled and the now combined forces rolled up the line, munching up the line of the erstwhile besiegers not unlike Officer O'Madhauen reducing a donut to crumbs.

As they returned back up the slope one dogwalker held his ground there and rallied his forces so that then it decayed into hand-to-hand combat, vicious eye-poking, curses, low insults, and spitting in the face, yea, the fight descended into tooth and nail, atavistic savagery, a miserable foretelling of next year's election cycle.



"You rotten Social Democrat!"

"Fascist pig!"

"Oooooh! Weak kneed liberal Acornite!"

"Fox idiot heeder!"

From their secret underwater location, the captain and crew of the Iranian spy submarine, the Chadoor, all watched in amazement through the periscope.

"Captain, what is this we see?"

"Military maneuvers, Ensign. And the ungodly acrimony of the infidel."

Things looked sore, but an winged host descended from above as Tally brought his parrot friends from Twin Peaks to swoop down from above, fluttering and pecking and pooping upon the heads of the enemy while Fruitbat and Godzilla sowed confusion from below by scampering between the legs of the Dark Forces so they were utterly confused and dismayed.

Resistance vanished like cigarette paper peed upon by a bumblebee. And Lo! The Host of fiends was driven back at great loss to themselves and their hairstyles and there was weeping and wailing among the Pernicious as they surrendered the field.

At the end of the day, a great victory was celebrated back at the pit and all who where there stood amazed at the tales of valor and a great feast was had by all the allies, for the Occupiers were invited with their lentil soup, and with the turkey stuffing and soup and veggies there was plenty for all as well as the good mead and Uiscquebah, the Water of Life, supplied by Padraic and Dawn.

Only Eugene was sore distressed for -- once again - he had failed to bag his limit.

"Feck all," said Padraic. "Have some catsup on your turkey burger, man."

Thus ended the thirteenth Annual Island Life Poodleshoot and BBQ.