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Being Thankful For a New Year
by Mad Dog


Iím thankful that I made it through another year reasonably intact. Iím thankful my friends and family are healthy and safe. Iím thankful that Ocean's 12ís only predecessor was Oceanís 11 and that the series didnít start with Ocean. 
The holiday season is upon us. Houses are aglow with festive lights, the sidewalks are overflowing with people driving home from yet another holiday party, and Iím this close to buckling down and getting started on my gift buying list. Okay, Iím ready to write down the names of the people I need to buy gifts for. Hey, if you want miracles go to eBay and look for another grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary on it, Iím doing the best I can.

   As the old year winds down and the new one gets geared up, itís time for reflection, and I donít mean the reflection you see in the mirror that makes you realize youíve eaten more than one too many bowls of raw Christmas cookie dough. Nor am I talking about the reflection that comes in the form of those never-ending regurgitative year-end lists which are everywhere you turn. You know, like the Yearís Top 10 News Stories You Never Heard Because You Were Too Busy Lip Synching an Ashlee Simpson Song in Your Living Room, Hits and Misses You Wish Youíd Missed, and the Best and Worst Dog Hair Sculptures of the Year. No, the reflecting you should be doing is the personal kind, the type where you sit down and think about the things over the past year for which you should be thankful. And then be happy you can sit down because there are people with hemorrhoids who would give their inflatable doughnut to be able to do that without screaming. So donít tell me you donít have anything to be grateful for.

   Personally, Iím thankful for a lot of things. Iím thankful that I made it through another year reasonably intact. Iím thankful my friends and family are healthy and safe. Iím thankful that Ocean's 12ís only predecessor was Oceanís 11 and that the series didnít start with Ocean. Iím thankful that the presidential election is over. And even more thankful that the next campaign wonít begin until, oh, at least until after the inauguration.


A man in South Korea went to a hospital complaining of severe headaches. The doctors discovered he had a 2-inch nail stuck in his head. One thatís been there for four years. That he didnít know was in there. I canít be positive because all I saw was the X-ray, but I strongly suspect he was blonde.
   Iím thankful Beyoncť has put out her own perfume, but disappointed that it doesnít smell like money. Well, except to her, of course. Iím thankful Iím not a car salesman, for more reasons than one, the main being that a recent Gallup poll found them to have the lowest rating for honesty and ethics. Humor writer isnít on the list, but as anyone whoís ever seen a Readerís Digest and wondered who actually subscribes to it knows, laughter is the best medicine, so I think I can safely call myself a medical practitioner. Since Iím obviously not a doctor, even though I play one in the bedroom at times, I think I can safely consider myself a nurse of sorts, and nurses are the chart toppers when it comes to honesty and ethics. Thus Iím thankful for the vote of confidence. Iíll try not to let you down.

   Iím thankful I have a bad memory. Itís not only a great excuse for sending birthday cards late or not showing up at parties I had no intention of attending, it also helped me forget to pick up Jones Sodaís limited edition holiday 5-pack before it sold out. Maybe itís me, but I think itís just as well that I didnít suck down flavors like Turkey & Gravy, Cranberry, Mashed Potato & Butter, Green Bean Casserole, and Fruitcake. Theyíre serious. Seriously disgusting, that is.

   Iím thankful I missed Survivor, The Littlest Groom, The Apprentice, and every other so-called reality show on TV. And Iím truly thankful for the Prevue Guide on channel 30 or Iíd have nothing to watch. Iím thankful Iím not blonde. Not because I donít want more fun, but because I wouldnít want to feel discriminated against by bad jokes. If I were blonde and Hungarian, Iíd be thankful I live in that country. Thatís because after a recent wave of protests and petition signings the countryís parliament agreed to look into whether blondes should be protected against discrimination just like any other ditzy, vapid, and stupid minority. Come to think of it, Iím thankful Iím not a member of the Hungarian parliament. They need this aggravation as much as they need a hole in the head.


I never thought of writing as a means of birth control before but maybe I should check with my medical insurance to see if theyíll reimburse me for my computer.
   Which reminds me, Iím thankful I donít have a hole in my head. Especially one made by a nail. Last week a man in South Korea went to a hospital complaining of severe headaches. The doctors discovered he had a 2-inch nail stuck in his head. One thatís been there for four years. That he didnít know was in there. I canít be positive because all I saw was the X-ray, but I strongly suspect he was blonde.

   Another thing Iím thankful for is that I donít plan to father any children, since a new report in the journal Human Reproduction (motto: ďDo it. Do it Ďtil youíre satisfied.Ē) revealed that working with a laptop on your lap ó you know, exactly the way Iím working as I write this ó can make a man infertile. I never thought of writing as a means of birth control before but maybe I should check with my medical insurance to see if theyíll reimburse me for my computer.

   Iím also thankful Iím not an antelope in Texas because, thanks to a new web site (www.live-shot.com), people would soon be able to shoot at me from the comfort of their computer keyboard. Seriously. No more waking up early, no need to sit still for hours while drinking Jack Daniels waiting for an animal to appear. Any day now youíll be able to hunt right from your La-Z-Boy. But remember, if you do it while using your laptop and itís sitting on your lap you might end up shooting blanks.

   All of these are good reasons to be thankful, but I have to say that most of all Iím thankful a new year is starting. I canít wait to find out what Iíll have to be thankful for this time next year.

©2004 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Be thankful you can read them .

 

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