🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Podcast Appearance 🎙️
The Birth Control Pill Story 🐶
Good Tired 🥱
If you would have asked me a few years ago whether I could ever envision myself on a stage in the back room of a dive bar sharing a story about how my dog ate six months of birth control pills while allowing three improv-ers to riff on the tale, I would have said, “Wow. That’s an oddly specific question.”
But there I was last night, with Wifey Poo and a smattering of people in search of a laugh in a strange place for a Wednesday night (or any night, for that matter), on stage telling my dog story for a recording of the podcast Sorry, Please Continue. To the best of my knowledge, this podcast isn’t on any of the podcast-providing services (yet!), but you can find a library of past episodes here. Maybe my episode will be up there someday.
The podcast is a cross between the Moth Radio podcast and MST3K, for the cool kids who know both. If you don’t, shame on you. Go do some research and come back to this post.
The theme for the night was animals, and I went on second of three. The first person told a story of her cat getting out in an airport and then again on an airplane. The last guy was a former animal control officer and Golden Gloves boxer who I’m pretty sure is certifiably insane. His meandering tales ended on the particularly cringeworthy note of him finding a woman’s miscarried baby in her freezer.
What the actual fuck, dude?
I think I did a passable job. Wifey Poo says I did great. She’s kinda biased. I did hear some laughs, which was encouraging. And I certainly wasn’t as bad as the animal control guy, though that seems to be a very low bar to have cleared.
So what was my story about my dog eating six months of birth control pills all about?
You’ve got to get in the way-back machine for this one, back before that virus came from China, back to when the biggest concern was that the millennium was going to change and the whole world was going to implode because computers couldn’t handle it.
The year was 1999. Wifey Poo and I were living in an apartment in Battle Creek, Michigan. Ever been to Battle Creek? Know what Battle Creek is known for? Kellogg’s. Their headquarters were (are?) there, and they had a huge cereal-making plant.
At first, it was delightful to open the door to the apartment complex in the morning to walk our dog, Memphis, (a husky/shepherd mix) and smell Fruit Loops. But do you know how fast it gets old smelling Fruit Loops every single morning, afternoon and night?
At this point, Wifey Poo and I had been married two years. We’re coming up on our 26th later this month, so that’s kinda hard for me to remember, but I do remember one thing about that time and that was that Michigan is cold. I was as early in my career as a newspaper guy as we were in our marriage. I was a copy editor for the Battle Creek Enquirer back when newspapers were relevant. It was a second-shift job, meaning I’d go into work around 3 p.m. and come home just after midnight. It was a really cool job, despite the sucky hours. I mean, I was, like, 27 years old and I was often the final word on what went out in the paper the next day … again, back when it mattered. I even had that journalist dream of yelling “STOP THE PRESSES!” as the presses were printing the next day’s paper because a story broke on deadline that we had to get in. That’s, like, peak living for a journalist right there.
Anyway, because we were young and didn’t have kids, this life of working nights was pretty easy. Wifey Poo got a job with a similar schedule, and we just lived life differently than day dwellers. We’d go to bed around 2 or 3 a.m., get up whenever, eat a big lunch like it was our dinner and then go off to work.
Like I said, we also had a dog. Memphis. We got Memphis because we were young and married and believed that having a dog would help prepare us for kids. That is, by far, the stupidest thing I have ever believed in my life.
To think that something you can open the door for and let run around and crap outside is going to prepare you for a child is something only young, dumb people believe. But it was a way to get our parents off of our backs, who were already clamoring for grandkids.
So we got this dog and this dog became the focus of our lives. We took it to obedience training. We took it to agility training. We made friends with other dog owners in the apartment complex, including some really crazy people we would never have anything to talk with about if we didn’t have dogs.
Memphis was a good dog. But Memphis was also a spaz. He was named after the city where I’d interned as a college junior in the newspaper world. We got him from the pound. Of course, we were “just going to look.” No, no, no, of course we won’t bring a dog home with us. We’re just going to look.
That lasted about five seconds, when we saw what would become Memphis and his little litter mates and Memphis came over and crawled into my lap. He came home with us that day.
We knew Memphis was prone to eat things. He’d already eaten a $20 bill. He’d carefully selected the $20 bill from a random assortment of bills left on a table. It was almost as if he was saying “Oh, you’re saving up to have a baby? Not in my lifetime, motherfucker.”
Just before the birth control pills incident, he’d eaten the baby Jesus. Well, not the actual baby Jesus. But a little wood carving of the baby Jesus that was part of a manger scene. Again, he selectively ate Jesus. Mary and Joseph were fine. The camel was fine. The wise men? Fine, fine and fine. It was just Jesus that he crapped out a few days later.
On this one particular day, I came home from work around 12:30 a.m. Wifey Poo was still at work. Ya’ ever open the door to your home and just sense something is amiss. It was exactly like that. I opened the door to our apartment, and there was Memphis, sitting there staring at me.
“What did you do?” I said.
That’s when I noticed there were shards of this disc-like plastic on the floor and a torn-open plastic bag in little bits all over the place.
“Oh for fuck’s sake. What did you eat now?”
That’s when I remembered. The mail had come just before Wifey Poo and I left for work. In that mail was a six-month delivery of a particular prescription. Wifey Poo’s birth control pills.
To a young couple thinking that a dog is a good trial run for a baby, those little pills are like gold. Plus, have you ever worn condoms? Don’t answer that. Birth control pills are a much more man-friendly option, and yes, I know how horribly sexist that is.
When I realized that my dog had eaten not A birth control pill, not a month’s worth of birth control pills but six months of birth control pills, I wish I could say that my first thought was “HOLY CRAP! Is my dog going to be OK?!?!?!?”
My first thought was “What is this going to do to my sex life?!?!?!”
Now, I’m proud to say my thoughts didn’t stay there for too long. I did go to my dog to see if he was OK. But it’s kinda like COVID now… if you’ve been around someone with COVID, you’re instantly like “Well I feel hot” or “My nose may be stuffy.” Every single thing this dog did in the next five minutes seemed different from how he did it before. And maybe it should have. He had six months worth of hormones meant for female humans inside him.
What do you do in a situation like that? And remember, this is 1999. Sure, you could bring up Ask Jeeves or Alta Vista or something, but you ain’t doing it on your phone. Your phone, if you have one, is the size of a freaking suitcase in your car. So … what? Are you going to log onto your dialup internet and wait for the beeps and squeals to get to … what? There’s no Wikipedia. There’s the “You’ve got mail” thing.
So I got the Yellow Pages.
Remember those? I flipped through page after page after page. You know how hard it is to find a vet at 1 a.m.? Maybe I could have called the poison control hotline, but I don’t think they’re talking about canine poisonings on there. Finally, I found a number for an emergency vet, who answered out of a dead sleep and then had to listen to this crazy guy talking about how his dog ate six months worth of birth control pills.
“Six months of birth control pills.”
There was an audible, loud sigh. Never before had I felt so judged.
I was instructed to make Memphis throw up. “Well,” I thought. “This’ll be easy.” Memphis excelled at throwing up. But throwing up on command? Not so much.
The vet told us to give him a sip of hydrogen peroxide. Do you know how many 27 year olds have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide laying around? Not this guy. So I had to run out to a 24-hour drug store in the middle of Battle Creek winter, buy hydrogen peroxide, come back, and entice Memphis to drink it.
And then we just sat there.
“Well shit, ” I thought. “I’m not going to wait for the party to start in here.”
So I bundled up again and put Memphis on a leash and took him outside … just in time for the first of what was about 25 throw-up sessions in the next hour.
That dog hated me. That’s what it felt like, anyway. Up until that point, I’d never done anything to harm that dog. And now I was making it a serial vomiter.
Wifey Poo came home at this point to see me walking around in the snowbanks with our dog at 1:30 a.m. as he heaved and coughed up bits of plastic and birth control pills.
Thankfully, the vomiting eventually stopped — just a little before deep frostbite set in, and Memphis was OK. So was my sex life, and shockingly, we didn’t have a kid nine months later. It was actually about 20 months later, so I couldn’t blame Memphis for that one.
And that’s my story.
(Editor’s note: Welcome to Living Eulogies. All recollections are accurate in the author’s mind only. Apologies in advance to everyone who has different recollection of the same events. Send all complaints to your local Girl Scouts chapter. Do not use in shower.) For today’s Living Eulogy, I wanted to try something a little bit different.…Keep reading
And so today I’m tired. The event was down in St. Louis at a place called Heavy Anchor, which was actually kind of cool. It was about an hour from my humble country abode. By the time I got home, it was around 11. I tried to go to sleep quickly thereafter, knowing my body — or more precisely, my mind — tends to wake me up at 5:30 or so regardless of when I go to sleep.
It just wasn’t happening. I was wired and exhausted at the same time. I tried to listen to a podcast to chill. It didn’t help. Eventually, I drifted off and woke up at exactly the time I thought I would.
It’s a good kind of tired, though.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- More on-stage opportunities await!
- I signed up for the next level of improv classes!
- I’m considering entering a go-kart racing league!
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stop Being So (Fake) Happy 😊The Better Choice ✔️Checkmate, Motherfucker ♛ I’m not exactly what anyone would call an optimist. Perhaps it’s because I see the world too clearly these days to think that we’re headed anywhere close to the right direction. Some would call me a pessimist, and I’m OK…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Brown Stockings ⚾I’m A Dentist 🦷Quick Hitters 🐅🦎 If all had gone according to plan, I’d be well into retirement and diving into my money Scrooge McDuck-style after a success career pitching for the New York Yankees. Alas, I’m sitting at my desk in Maryland Heights, Missourah, munching on carrot sticks…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Crowned 👑MFA Moment 😥AI Danger 💻 I remember as a kid getting a filling and hearing that it was real silver being put in my mouth. I figured if times ever really got tough, I could just yank out my tooth, melt the filling and buy food. Yes, these were thoughts…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Nose Woes 👃African in School 🚌Trumpster Fire 👮 The human body has a way of keeping us humble, especially as we get older. We lose hair where we want it and grow it in abundance where we don’t, we produce ear wax and eye boogers, and 99% of us should never…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tiger-Iguana 🐅🦎Cornhole Crushing 🌽Poison M&Ms ☠️ The first time I saw a commercial for the Volkswagen Tiguan, I thought it was a parody. As a marketing guy, I couldn’t fathom how an entire department of highly paid professionals could sit down at a table and decide the best name for a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Closing the Door 🚪Car Shopping🚙Fake Kid-Hater 🧒 Over the course of my life, I’ve gotten used to doing the difficult thing. This often hasn’t been by choice, and it’s never been easy. It’s simply what I’ve had to do. Whether it was facing a pregnancy in which we knew our child…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Changes and Similarities ✈️Family Drama Update 🎭Close Encounters 🤼♂️ My Favorite African (MFA) has arrived. His plane landed at Lambert International at around 1:15 yesterday, and about 15 minutes later, a kind TSA person allowed us and the woman who accompanied MFA on the flight to violate all sorts of Homeland…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D Nears ✈️Familiar Familial Drama 🎭Van O’ Canadians 🍁 My favorite African returns to us tomorrow afternoon. Dieudonne will board a plane from Philly with an escort (not THAT kind … I think, anyway), and land in the STL around 1:15. For the next three or four months, we’ll take…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩TikTok Stupidity 😠Back Woes 😧Improv Friends 🎭 There are increasing number of hours each week in which I have a strong desire to throw every piece of connected technology into the nearest lake and move to wherever I have to go to be as far away from any modern gadget as…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Anniversary Changes 💍Near Death Experience 💀Dreamcatcher Drama 😳 All relationships change over time. Friendships, parent-child, boss-employee, husband-wife … no matter the relationship, the only constant thing is change. My marriage has changed mightily since it began. When Wifey Poo and I said our vows on March 22, 1997, we were –…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Why The Blahs? 😷Anniversary Plans 💍Unpleasant Warnings 🐍 Feeling blah is complicated when you have my medical history. For many people, feeling blah as I’m feeling right now is a clear indication that some sort of illness or infection has invaded the body. But for me — and for many others…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dentist Visit 🦷Basketball Sucks 🏀Found Husband 👨 No one truly likes going to the dentist. I’ve had people push back on me when I’ve said this before, but when I lay out the following scenario, well, it’s pretty much checkmate: “You just had the most well-respected doctor in the world tell…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dumb Gubment 🦅Dawg Party 🐶Flying African ✈️ We as modern Muricans tend to just accept that it’s the gubment’s job to educate our children. Of course, when other countries that aren’t our friends do that, we call it “indoctrination,” but that’s a topic for another day. The topic for today is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Costly Mortality ☠️Crazies, Unite 🤪Defining ‘Appointment’ 🦷 I’m getting ready to die. Sounds ominous, right? Dramatic? Scary? It’s not. Oh yes, in a certain light, it’s depressing as hell. But what it really involved was a meeting with an attorney that Wifey Poo and I had yesterday to figure out exactly…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books and Stories 📚SVB Lessons 🏦Basketball Party 🏀 Holy crap, you guys! I actually finished something I wrote! In fact, I finished two somethings I wrote! As my regular readers (hey you three!) know, I’ve been stunk in a funk of starting to write books and short stories with gusto and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pee Mate 🚽Game Maker 🎲Dumb Muricans 🦅 I have been thinking about death a lot lately, not because I’m particularly eager for it to happen or because I’m particularly not eager for it to happen. I guess it’s because I’m a few months shy of my 49th birthday and please-for-the-love-of-God let…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dieudonne 🌍Hoops Win🏀Cornhole Roll ✔️ In 2021, during some of the darkest and most difficult times in our lives as individuals and couple, Wifey Poo and I did a thing. It was a big thing. It was a challenging thing. It was an amazing thing. But to say it was just…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Full Stop’ 🛑Needles 💉Business Lessons 🧑💼 Here’s something I learned about myself today: One way to ensure that I will debate you on a topic until I give my last breath or until you are huddled in a corner in a fetal position is to end the statement of your opinion…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading