Doggone It. Things Are Getting Ruff

By Jim Hagarty
2017

Political news is so discouraging these days but if you look closely at what’s really going on, there is reason for optimism.

For example, Brynneth Pawltro has just been elected the latest mayor of the small Kentucky town of Rabbit Hash. Residents of the town are praising her as outgoing and having a great smile. She also happens to be a dog.

Town council meetings are upbeat affairs but not without some wrinkles.

“There’s always inappropriate licking going on,” Bobbi Kayser, secretary of the town’s historical society, told WDRB.com of how meetings with the new mayor tend to go.

Brynneth, or Brynn for short, is a 3-year-old rescue pit bull. She defeated several contenders, including Stella the cat and a donkey named Higgins, to win the mayoral election. According to People magazine, Brynn amassed more than 3,300 votes, winning the election by a “landslide.”

This is Brynn’s first foray into politics, but it’s not the first time Rabbit Hash has had a canine mayor. WDRB.com reported that Brynn is the town’s fourth consecutive dog mayor. She took up the mantle after Lucy Lou, a border collie, stepped aside. The Huffington Post reported in 2015 that Lucy was considering running for president.

Brynn won her office last November and was “indawgerated” on Jan. 20. But her story has gone viral again this week. Brynn’s owner, 23-year-old Jordie Bamforth, told the Cincinnati Enquirer in an earlier interview that Brynn had run for mayor on a platform of “peace, love and understanding.”

“Brynn has declared to be peaceful with any human or animal that comes through Rabbit Hash, especially the cats. Brynn does like to chase the cats around here, but has pledged to refrain from it as much as possible,” Bamforth, who adopted Brynn from a local shelter, told the outlet.

According to the Associated Press, Rabbit Hash is such a small town that it doesn’t really have need for a mayor. Since the 1990s, however, the town has been holding elections as a fundraising effort. Each vote costs $1 and residents can cast as many ballots as they want. The most recent election raised almost $9,000, according to People. That money went toward restoration of the town’s general store, which burned down in a fire last year.

In March, Mayor Brynn announced the store’s impending grand reopening on her Facebook page.

In the age of Donald Trump and his Rethuglicans, there is still hope.

Pontiac’s Sporty Two-Seater

From 1984 to 1988, General Motors took a chance on a sporty car called the Pontiac Fiero. It was introduced with fanfare and featured an engine located directly behind the cabin. It had hideaway headlights and for the first two years, the small cabin offered six speakers, two in each headrest. It also had a fiberglass outer body. However, there were a number of mechanical issues with the car, especially in the early years and it was discontinued after five model years. It have always had an interest in this car as I owned the 1984 SE version of it. I loved the car and gave it up only because it was impractical when my wife and I started a family. Today, I saw this 1988 beauty in a park in my hometown of Stratford, Ontario, Canada. I know it was an 1988 model as that was the only year the car was offered in yellow. – JH

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What, Me Worry?

By Jim Hagarty
2017

I might have mentioned this before, but I am a worrier. A confirmed one, at that. I am a registered, card-carrying member of the National Society of Worriers. I always worry I won’t get my dues in on time and my membership might lapse but so far, so good.

The Society holds annual meetings and the directors always worry something will come up to cause the cancellation of the convention but, touch wood, the event seems to always come off without a hitch, in spite of all the drama concerning whether or not there will be enough food, drink and accommodation for all the attendees. And medical services, if, by some unfortunate chance, someone takes sick during the proceedings. There is always lots of concern, as well, about whether or not all the speakers will show up and if they do, how well the sound system will perform and how closely the guest speakers will conform to the established themes. There is also lots of concern about whether or not the convention goers will appreciate the talks, power point demonstrations and videos. Potential food poisonings and reactions by allergy sufferers are also considered.

Being a professional worrier, I am, by definition, not part of that segment of society populated by those who do not worry. These are strange, alien people to me, given their seeming lack of concern about anything and everything but also the way they react to the news that I am a confirmed, lifelong worrier. It somehow offends them that I do worry, or at least, I worry that it offends them. Therefore, some of them have wasted a few breaths trying to talk me out of my lifelong orientation to the world. They offer compelling reasons for me to change my ways and they submit some helpful suggestions.

One piece of advice I was given once, was this:

“Stop worrying!” Well, that seemed clear enough so I tried that. It didn’t work.

Another person, with more in-depth knowledge of the worrier’s condition, offered this:

“Don’t worry!” I tossed that one around for a while and gave it a shot too, but the results were also pathetic.

So I carry on. I have looked up the number for Fretters Anonymous but I worry about getting involved with a bunch of strangers I don’t know, especially people who apparently go about their business nowadays without a care in the world.

So, I stick with the devil I know, and I consider the advice a colourful uncle of mine used to offer:

“If you want to get to Heaven, I’ll tell you how to do it. Just grease your feet with mud and suet and slip right through the Devil’s hands and into the Promised Land.” I don’t know what any of that means, but it sounds good and I am prepared to try it, depending on whether or not I can afford the suet. If interest rates go up, and the Middle East starts restricting the flow of oil …

I hope you liked this story but secretly, I am a little terrified that you won’t.

Should I Be Worried?

By Jim Hagarty
2017

I have a friend whose wife is taking mandolin lessons. Another friend’s wife is taking private lessons in sketching. The wife of another friend is taking flying lessons. And my cousin’s wife is studying conversational Spanish. My wife is taking kickboxing lessons. Should I be worried?

Alone Again, Naturally

Alone Again, Naturally

A man who likes to be alone
And shuns the noisy crowd
Confuses those who like to be
In settings large and loud.

A man who likes to be alone
Is judged and sometimes feared
By those who think a man
Who likes to be alone is weird.

A man who likes to be alone
And silent in his yard
Is someone others think
Must have a heart that has gone hard.

But the man who likes to be alone
Was not always that way.
He used to whoop and holler too
And act wild in his day.

A man who likes to be alone
Lets others have their fun
While he sits under trees
And loves the wind, the rain, the sun.

A man who likes to be alone,
His doggie by his side,
Has happy memories of good times
And isn’t trying to hide.

He’s simply let go of the need
For chit chat and fake grins,
And looking outward for the peace
He finds now looking in.

  • Jim Hagarty