“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On Weighty Issues and Political Poop-Heads

Back where he belongs.

TP: Come on in, Little. How’s your summer going?

LM: Pretty fair, doc. Kinda slipped off the diet wagon, though.

TP: Hmm. How bad?

LM: About a buck-fifty’s worth.

TP: Pound and a half? Ouch!

LM: Easy, doc. I’m working on it. Or I should say, dad’s working on it. Trying some new techniques to get me moving more.

TP: Like?

LM: Like taking me down to the basement before meals so I have to walk up the steps to get back to my food bowl.

TP: That’s a good idea.

LM: Yeah. Stairmaster 101. Unfortunately, the scale’s still refusing to budge for me. Dad dropped half a pound, though. Let’s see…what else? Oh yeah, he puts me outside more often.

TP: What do you do out there?

LM: Pretty much what I’d be doing inside—kick back, albeit with my eyes open a bit more so I can spot any chippies or field mice on the move. Kinda hot to be chasing ‘em though, despite Dad’s prodding. They’re not gonna walk up to you, Little Man, waving a white flag, saying ‘we surrender’. You know, “clever” stuff like that.

TP: Hmm. You still spending outside time in the clubhouse?

LM: Under the front porch? You bet. One of my fave relaxation spots…it’s cool under there. Good place to beat the heat. But Dad’s onto that, too. Threatening to deploy the “Noriega” tactic.

TP: Noriega? As in Manuel Noriega, the guy from Panama? Isn’t he in jail?

LM: Right. Panamanian strongman slash drug runner…that’s the guy. Apparently, in order to flush old Manuel from his hideout—a church, I think—the polizia surrounded the place and blasted rock music at ear-popping volume day-and-night for like a week.  Noriega finally surrendered, exhausted from no sleep and a bad case of Ozzy Osbourne overload.

TP: You don’t really think your dad’s going to do something like that to you, do you?

LM: Hey, he took some big boxes out of the trunk the other day. I’m thinking Woofers. Be just like him to do a whole dog-themed thing: Woofer speakers; Three Dog Night albums; and maybe that “Bow Wow Wow On The Prowl” jukebox tune.

TP: You help him when he works in the yard, don’t you?

LM: I have his back, sure. But I ain’t exactly haulin’ rocks or pushing wheelbarrows. Dad’s nuts, anyway! Think I’ll tidy up the garden and, while I’m at it, the whole freakin’ forest! He must have the mother of all OCDs. I guess it’s some sort of therapy for him, but…you’d know more about that than me, doc.

TP: It’s true. Your dad does appear to occupy the extreme edge of obsessive. But my point, Little Man, is: isn’t that a chance for you to get a bit of exercise as well?

LM: Absolutely, doc. Like I’ve told you before, every so often, I give dad a thrill with some leopard-like tree climbing or a quick time march around the property. He eats that stuff up. But that’s mainly spring and fall action. It’s too hot for that nonsense now.

TP: How about nighttime? Isn’t that when the “big cats” prowl?

LM: Excellent point, doc. That’s when I wanna prowl. Dad’s all for it, as well.

TP: So what’s the problem?

LM: Not what, doc. Who? Debbie Downer is who.

TP: Debbie Downer? Let me guess…your mom?

LM: Bingo. She gets all Scary Mary about me being out at night. Too many bad things in the forest, she says. What? The fox? Look at me, doc. Does she really think a fox is gonna see me at night and think dinner? More likely to see me and say what everybody else says…Holy crap, is that a cat? I’ve never seen one that big. Looks like a damn mountain lion. That fox’d high tail it back to the den, screaming “Katy bar the door.”

TP: I see your problem, Little. Your dad wants you to be more active, but it’s too hot during the day, and your mom doesn’t want you roaming around at night, which is exactly when you want to be active. I can see where you’d be conflicted.

LM: Right you are, doc. As always, I might add!

TP: So what else is happening? No more beach weekends, I assume.

LM: Nooo! Glad they got that out of their system. Mom and dad still go, but I hang back with the slop-servers and Snow White.

TP: We’ve talked about Snow White before, but who are the slop-servers?

LM: A husband-wife team of pet watchers. You’ve heard me talk about the husband before—the Drill Sergeant wannabe?

TP: Oh, right. His wife’s involved too?

LM: Yeah, she dishes up about half of my meals when mom and dad are away. I’m tellin’ you, doc, this woman’s last gig must have been at the penitentiary, the way she just slaps a fistful of wet food into my bowl. No finesse whatsoever. Here’s your big glob of slop, inmate! Keep the line moving! That’s not how I dine, doc.

TP: Yes, I understand you’re more of a grazer.

LM: Exactly. Did you know that cats who live in the wild, as you know I did for some time in my formative years, eat as many as 15 mouse-sized meals a day? That’s where I’m coming from! Mom and dad get it. They give me a “small mouse” here, a “baby mouse” there throughout the day. But when they split for the weekend, I’m left with Mr Drill Sergeant and Mrs Institutional Food Server puttin’ half-a-days rations in my bowl. I eat a little (small mouse) and then take a brief digestive break. A while later, when I come back for my second course, what’s left in my bowl looks like…well, it doesn’t look very appealing.

TP: Where does Snow White fit into this?

LM: First off, let me say, thank goodness she fits into it at all. Snow White gets it. She comes by of an evening, we play footsie for a few minutes, then she prepares a small hors d’oeuvres for my repast, and sits there admiring me as I enjoy it, and until I’m ready for another smidgen.

TP: Admiring you?

LM: Yeah. She calls me Cary…as in Grant—some drop dead handsome actor from the old days.

TP: You’re something, Little Man. Listen, before you leave today, give me an update on your mom’s “Show Your Soft Side” campaign. Is the legal wrangling still going on with the Mayor’s office?

LM: Yep. It’s all proceeding in prototypical glacially-paced legalese of here’s my motion, well I’ll see your motion and raise you a motion, but wait I’ll need more time to prepare my motion, so I’ll need a motion to postpone, blah-blah-blah. As my Facebook friend, Einstein Smyth, would say, POOP-HEADS!!

Get this, doc. My mom creates this ad campaign out of her passion to stop animal abuse. Her and her partners get athletes and other concerned celebrity-types involved. They ALL do it for no charge. She lets the city ride the campaign’s coattails by slapping their logo on some posters. She then sees the opportunity to put the campaign to work in other cities so she decides to trademark the campaign, but the city says “no you can’t, it’s ours.” Mom says she’ll license it to the city at NO CHARGE. The city says “no, we want control and power” (because we’re political POOP-HEADS) so we’re going to use taxpayer money to hire an outside law firm to attempt to gain control of a campaign we wouldn’t know what to do with if, indeed, we did own it.  Doc, I think the only appropriate punctuation to all that is: WTF!

Meanwhile, mom (bless her heart) keeps on truckin’. She recently added a New York Giants’ player to the campaign, as well as a Tennessee Titan, and a good old boy from Alabama who used to be a bad old boy but turned his life around and is now an animal advocate second-to-none. Plus, she’s busy getting ready for the big PAWJECT RUNWAY event next month, and a ton more.

TP: Tell her we’re all behind her, Little.

LM: Will do, doc. Will do.

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