Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olympic Undertaking

Right now, in a land far, far away, a whole bunch of two leggers are competing against each other in something called The Winter Olympics.

After having watched and studied the Olympic thingies for a week now, I believe I have discovered the reason that two leggers train their entire lives in order to be chosen to represent their countries at the Winter Olympics:

They're freakin' nuts.

I have done some research and have discovered the origins of many winter sports. In the interest of educating my followers, I shall now chuck some snowballs of wisdom in your general direction.

The sport of  "skiing" began as a prank that a two legger from Austria pulled on a two legger from Britain. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British Empire had spread across the entire globe. Since England has no geographic features whatsoever, the British quickly became fascinated with mountains and felt compelled to climb every single mountain they happened across. No matter how high, how cold or how dangerous, as soon as they saw a mountain in the distance, they would immediately grab their ropes, tighten their belts, shout "Jolly good!", and start their ascent. Upon reaching the summit, they would have a spot of tea while they tried to figure out how to get back down.

One Englishman, Sir Nigel Worrynaught, found himself in just such a situation. He sat atop one of the highest peaks in the Alps, sipping his tea and quietly pondering the huge crevasse that had just swallowed his favorite manservant Dunswaddle. Soon, Hans Von Fujimoko, a young Austrian Tae Kwan Do master happened by. Curious, he asked the Englishman what was amiss?

"My manservant Dunswaddle seems to have gone FDACWOL (Fallen Down A Crevasse Without Leave). The blighter didn't even give notice in order for me to hire a replacement and now I am stuck upon this mountain with no one to carry my kit. Why, it'll take me days to get back down."

Austrians, unlike their neighbors the Germans, had yet to prohibit the ownership of a sense of humor, and Hans saw an opportunity for a bit of fun at Sir Nigel's expense. He karate chopped two saplings and proceeded to tie them to Sir Nigel's feet. As Sir Nigel stood upon the saplings and turned to ask what to do next, Hans gave him a shove and down the mountain he slid.

Somehow Sir Nigel survived the trip down the mountain and after declaring it to be "great fun" cleaned his lederhosen and climbed back up the mountain.

Many years later, a pair of NASCAR fans decided to take up mountain climbing during the three weeks per year that NASCAR was not being shown on the "TeeVee Box". After spending several hours at the base of the mountain and having consumed several cases of beer, one of the NASCAR fans turned to the other and uttered the immortal words: "Well, hot dang Jimmy Joe Bob, I reckon if'n we toted one of them thar rusted-out Chevy Novas up that thar hill, take off the wheels and replace em with a coupla fence staves, we could purty much ride that bad boy back down that thar hill and we'd have a passle of fun. Heck, we might even break sumptin if'n we do it right."

Thus the sport of Jimmy Joe Bobsledding was born. The sport remains essentially the same to this day, the only differences being the shortening of the name to "Bobsledding" and the rule restricting the competitors to carrying only 24 empty beer cans in the back seat instead of the original 238.

Curling is another sport that began as a joke. Back in 1873, many Americans were passing through Canada on their way to the Yukon gold claims. Ever curious, the Americans were very interested in the Canadian's methods of dealing with the boredom of the 14 month Canadian winter. One enterprising Canadian who was tired of cleaning up the mud and snow tracked in on the American's dirty boots, told the Americans that they spent most days sliding large stones around their igloos and using brooms to guide them to a target placed just outside the doors of their igloos. The Americans were fascinated with this game and soon became extremely adept at sweeping the floors of their Canadian hosts.

Curling became an Olympic sport in 1960 at the request of sports enthusiasts who found the sport of "watching paint dry" just too darned exciting. 

With the exception of hockey, all other events at the Olympics essentially are derived from the three mentioned above.

Hockey is simply a reenactment of a typical Canadian family dinner that invariably ends in everyone grabbing sticks and fighting over the last biscuit.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Potty Animal

I find that the most amusing moments of my life occur in the waning hours of the night. It must have something to do with the cloaking darkness and muted sounds that pervade my Kingdom while the two leggers slumber.

Last night, just such an amusing moment presented itself. However, I found in this particular moment not just a chance for a little nocturnal naughtiness, but perhaps an opportunity to educate my devoted minions on a mystery that I am often asked to explain.

It was around 3am when I heard the familiar sound of the male two legger cursing and stumbling around in the darkness in search of the bathroom. The cursing was caused by the fact that his night vision is somewhat lacking and he had once again stubbed his toe on the frame of the door thingy once again proving his ineptitude at navigating in the dark.

I find this perplexing when I consider the fact that he has slept in the same bed, in the same room, nine feet from the same bathroom door for the last 11 years. Almost every night of those 11 years, he has awoken sometime after 2am with the dire need to visit the aforementioned bathroom and the same chain of events has transpired. He attempts to stealthily navigate his way to the bathroom, arms windmilling around his body in an attempt to find some form of recognizable bedroom landscape feature that he can use to orient himself and thus eventually arrive at his destination without waking his mate. Invariably, as he approaches the bathroom, his stub-seeking pinky toe arrives at the door frame about .382 seconds before he lets out a blood-curdling scream and falls to the floor, grasping his foot and squirming in hilarious agony.

Anyway, as I heard the results of his latest attempt at nighttime navigation, I realized that something was amiss. Tiger Lily was sleeping on her pillow next to the computer thingy, Jaq was burrowed deep in the comforter in her room and Ivan was sprawled in a smelly heap on the heating register in the kitchen. Since I was on my throne in front of the firebox thingy, that could only mean one thing:


Totally unacceptable! Completely unheard of! Simply not right! And probably illegal in all 50 states (and Arkansas).   

Now we come to the question that I am most often asked:

What is the deal with cats having to watch when two leggers attempt to use the bathroom?

There are many theories in regard to this mystery. Some believe we feel compelled to watch because we are simply curious. Some think it is that we know that as long as the two legger in question is doing his/her business, we have a captive audience, and being cats, we take full advantage of their captivity. Some have even theorized that we are fascinated by the variety of smells and odors that waft forth from the vicinity of the engaged two legger.

It is widely believed in Ireland that cats are simply stalking the "wee people".

In Arkansas, it is thought that the cats are setting an ambush for dog thingies. They wait by the toilet until the dog thingy gets thirsty and then strike when it comes for a drink.

All of these theories are exactly wrong.

The truth is actually much simpler than that.

We watch because you fascinate us.

The sounds you make in the bathroom, both voluntary and involuntary, are unlike any other sounds anywhere. The way you scrunch your faces when things become.......difficult. The way you must inspect and admire your leavings before pushing the flushy thingy.

It even fascinates us when you notice us staring at you and feel compelled to ask "What? What do you want? Why are you staring at me?" As if you expect us to suddenly say "So sorry to disturb you, I was just wondering what you were doing. Perhaps I could be of service to you while you are sitting there. Would you like a magazine or perhaps a glass of water?"

So there you have it. We watch you because it amuses us.

As far as last night was concerned, after realizing that the two legger was about to enter the bathroom unaccompanied, I quickly and silently bounded over his writhing body and assumed my position next to the sink. After he recovered from the pain of the puffy pinky toe, he slowly pulled himself up from the floor by gripping the sink. As he pulled himself up, he reached over and turned on the light only to find himself looking directly into the eyes of an amused tuxedo cat.

I suspect that he had no........difficulties "going" this time.