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Tuesday, 08 July
Dog Soldiers

I assume I'm not the only one who attended a Fourth of July party where "America: Fuck Yeah!" was played this last Friday. Sigh. More on musical crimes later.

The wife and I attended a perfectly lovely party on the Fourth, which featured some things like fifteen pounds of barbecued spareribs (rapidly consumed) and dogs! dogs! dogs! I may have mentioned before my love of these beasts/evolutionary opportunists.

Kuma was the name of our favorite dog; he was a German Shepherd/Shar-Pei mix, and he sported a really fetching blue bandana around his neck. Kuma was the sort of dog who shamelessly gets you to interact with him; he had this dumb little purple dog toy that he'd plop at your feet and then make hilariously weird faces at, crinkling up his lips at it in anticipation of . . . what? Its utter demise at his finding skills, I guess. The dog would sit there making faces at it until you couldn't stand it any more, and then you'd fling the thing into the blackberry bushes, hoping never to see it again, and Kuma would tirelessly go out an find the damn thing and return to drop it at your feet again and scowl at it some more. If it weren't so charming, it would have been annoying. Then again, I'm the kind of guy who doesn't mind eating his ribs even when his hands have been thoroughly coated in dog saliva, so.

Kuma was unstoppable, really, and is evidently smarter than most of my friends. On one occasion, when the purple weird toy had been flung into some seriously dense undergrowth, Kuma hunted around for a good while; the brambles in which it had been lost encircled a large tree. Thwarted (briefly), Kuma then proceeded to spend a good fifteen seconds looking up into the tree branches to make sure it hadn't landed above his head. This caused me to stand up and applaud and yell, "You are an awesome dog!" which made Kuma stare at me and shake his head.

When the fireworks started later, Kuma disappeared, causing a bit of a concerned fuss. He turned up later at his owner's home, patiently waiting. When the dipshits started throwing firecrackers and so forth, Kuma obviously thought, "You know, this hurts my ears, and these guys are noisy dipshits. I'm going home." I love this dog.

During respites between meat assaults, one of the chefs (there were four different professional chefs there barbecuing, so . . . I love everything) kept passing around Jell-O shots. "These are Incredible Hulks," he said enigmatically as he held out the tray of green gelatins. "These are Yellow Fever," he said of the yellow offerings. I don't remember what the red things were called. Blood clots? Hellboys? Republicans? I don't know. The fireworks were starting anyway, and I was having a bleary revelation.

That revelation was: I don't give a goddamn fucking shit about fireworks. They are dull and predictable; fireworks are only marginally more interesting than "Two and a Half Men," a show I've never watched and never need to, much like, well, fireworks.

"CUBES!" people screamed. "SMILEY FACE!" Neat. Firework technology has finally caught up to what I used to doodle on my Pee-Chees. But can fireworks depict 70s basketball players with their penises hanging out of their shorts? Not that I saw. I smoked gloomily, staring occasionally with wonder at the cascading fireworks that looked sort of like Tina Turner's hair in 1987. "IT'S TINA TURNER'S HAIR FROM 1987!" I screamed. The only people that heard me either gave me glares or kind of sagged a little bit.

One guy was way too into it; he was drunk out of his mind, drunk to the horrible point where you are convinced that if you're loud enough and repeat yourself enough, you're funny. It was awful. "MANIFEST DESTINY!" he hollered, over and over, for no reason. People began to clear away from his weird, unsteady ambit.

At one point during the hopeless fireworks, the labored stereo system started oozing the doleful strains of Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again." The loud pud went nuts again. "THIS IS AMERICA, YOU FUCKERS!" he howled, thrusting his goatee towards the clouds. "THIS IS AMERICA!"

I was standing next to my friend W. "Whitesnake is a British band," I sighed, taking another pull on a nearly depleted Incredible Hulk. I was watching the one other dog at the party--now that Kuma had taken his leave--trying to burrow his way into his owner's abdomen in wretched despair over the incredible tumult. I remember thinking that the poor creature looked sort of like Bonnie Franklin trying to get away from Schneider.

W. wheeled on me. "Whitesnake is British? I didn't know that!" W., who has a keen sense of propriety and an allergy to bullshit, chewed on this for a few seconds before turning to the loud guy and yelling, "Whitesnake is British, man!" Loud guy flapped his meaty arms dismissively and then settled further into his seat, refusing to acknowledge our stinging criticisms. He glassily gnawed on a cold chicken leg, giving him the appearance of the world's laziest ogre.

A few moments later, when the strains of Europe's "The Final Countdown" started to play, he cried "AMERICA!" again. I closed my eyes.

We can all learn from Kuma.


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Comments

There's nothing quite like being in the company of a true patriot that makes me want to move to a different country as soon as possible.

And I, too, prefer dogs to most people.

Comment number: 017441   Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' on July 8, 2008 08:36 AM from IP: 152.17.58.67

Fuck Yeah! Oh, what a... there's no adjective for it. What a song. I hafta say I like fireworks, though. It's the retarded child in me - "oooh, pretty lights!!". I also like dogs much more than 99% of people. Dogs are awesome.

Comment number: 017445   Posted by: superblondgirl on July 9, 2008 06:21 PM from IP: 76.195.77.246

Once again, nail has been hammered home.

My sister, she was born on the fourth...growing up, we used to tell her the fireworks were for her being born. Now she has defined sense of entitlement equal to few I've known.
Still love her tho.

Comment number: 017446   Posted by: Alyxmyself on July 9, 2008 08:26 PM from IP: 68.201.0.251

I actually avoided the fireworks altogether and watched "Dog Soldiers" at the theatre on a (somewhat) big screen instead. No lie.

But I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time

Comment number: 017447   Posted by: flamingbanjo on July 9, 2008 09:26 PM from IP: 216.231.38.72

dammit skot. former friend that you are, I have to call this one out. the dog-ification of america is the greatest threat to common sense in the modern era. these useless blundering animals are a waste of carbon and water. I am shocked that a proper curmudgeon like yourself would indulge such nonsense.

Comment number: 017448   Posted by: spinal on July 11, 2008 10:07 AM from IP: 68.28.51.125

I'd expect this sort of raving nonsense from a fellow who used to have a job exsanguinating cats.

Comment number: 017449   Posted by: Skot on July 11, 2008 11:09 AM from IP: 66.150.9.2

oo, snappy comeback. dogs lick their asses and your face. enjoy your assface and dogballs, fifi.

Comment number: 017450   Posted by: spinal on July 11, 2008 09:15 PM from IP: 198.160.190.11

Hey, I'm not the sort that's easily distrac-- hey! shiny thing!

Comment number: 017452   Posted by: norm on July 14, 2008 08:13 AM from IP: 206.41.150.62

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