chicanery [shi-key-nuh-ree, chi-] n. 1. trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry: He resorted to the worst flattery and chicanery to win the job 2. a quibble or subterfuge used to trick, deceive, or evade
William Randolph Hearst (1863), Duke Ellington (1899), Hirohito (1901), Lonnie Donegan (1931), Bernard Madoff (1938), Richard Kline (1944), Dale Earnhardt (1951), Nora Dunn (1952), Jerry Seinfeld (1954), Kate Mulgrew (1955), Daniel Day-Lewis (1957), Michelle Pfeiffer (1958), Eve Plumb (1958), Master P (1967), Carnie Wilson (1968), Andre Agassi (1970), Uma Thurman (1970), Barbaro (2003)
It’s true that humans are my least favorite animals. I’m a big fan of the rest of them, though. Sometimes, I think other animals are quite lucky. No sense of individuality. No hang ups about death. No concept of time. No supposition on what’s right or wrong. Except for the constraints folks like us place on them, the balance of the animal kingdom enjoy freedoms in a way we humans once did but never will again. Whether we know it or not, that’s why we have pets.
We hold our pets in higher regard. And we should. Some get a little too carried away with it. You always hear about crazy cat people who thought it was a perfectly sound idea to take in 320 felines into a two-bedroom house. I was once at a good friend’s wedding where I had the misfortune of sitting at a table with a gentleman who conducted a 45-minute monologue on such topics as how his dog liked to run on one specific side of the dog park, preferred to chew on his work shoes but left the guy’s sneakers alone, fancied one type of dog food over another. It was pretty hard to sit through.
But those are the extremists. Most of us have pets and we love them more conventionally.
I have cats. And I dig them. Pudds and Buckley. They fascinate me. They’re crazy and affectionate and amazing. I can’t explain why they do the insane things they do but I don’t care. Sure, they’re my pets but, in my opinion, that’s a prosaic designation. More so, my cats are my friends. And, whether you have cats or dogs or fish or birds or monkeys, that’s what pets are. Friends. (Due to some shuffling around that was going on about a year ago, I had to take Pudds and Buckley to stay with my parents. I miss them everyday but my mother and father fell in love with the two weirdos and even though I’m in a situation where I could conceivably take them back, I wouldn’t dream of doing so. The four of them – my parents and my cats – are so happy together, it makes little sense to break them up.)
Your pets spend all day waiting for you to come home and when you do, they don’t care about anything else except you’re back. They don’t care if you lost your job, if wrecked your car, etc. They just want to hang with you. It’s a supremely pure relationship in that it’s unconditional.
So, today, I’m asking all of you to give a little shout-out to your pets. Take them on an extra long walk. But them a toy or treat. Give them a special meal. If roles were reversed, they’d do it for you.
It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or a dog than to any human being. ↔ Henry David Thoreau
2010 is turning out to be the year all of my favorite music artists are releasing new material. The latest to do so is Teenage Fanclub. The Scottish mainstays will release Shadows here in the States on June 8th. Here’s a preview – “Baby Lee.”
→ The NHL playoffs this season have been amazing, especially in the Eastern Conference where the bottom three seeds successfully knocked off the top three. I haven’t looked into it but I’d wager that’s a first. The East, considered the stronger conference this year, may have shot itself in the foot if the San Jose Sharks start playing as amazing as they’re capable.
→ Life on Mars? Who gives a shit? Let’s turn the telescopes and probes back onto ourselves.
→ Just yesterday afternoon, I was thinking how great it would be if Hollywood could find a way to put out more crap. Luckily, I read this last night and it answered my prayers.