Tuesday, October 27, 2015

More Veterinary Nonsense

You can't make this stuff up ...

There were other conversations at the vet that day, too. This one? This one was the one that beat'em all.

It kept me on my toes ... and by "on my toes" I mean it forced me to stay alert to the fact I might guffaw unexpectedly at what was said or that it was possible I would offer up some wiseass remark before it was too late to stop myself from doing so. 

Not actual Kaftan Lady
A woman (who I will call "Kaftan Lady" going forward) walked in the front door of the vet's office wearing a huge - and I mean HUGE - muumuu-ish garb of such flamboyance you couldn't help but notice the thing. It would have been comfortable in Eddie Murphy's 1988 Coming To America. Peppered with groovy swirls of purple and gold and swaths of paisley all over the place, its length draped from shoulder to floor, complete with side slits way too high on the thigh for its own good. I was in fear of accidentally finding out what color underwear the woman was wearing ... if, indeed and in fact, she was wearing underwear. (Thankfully, that scenario never presented itself.)

Now, when I say "woman" I don't mean to assume she was old. Or older for that matter. She wasn't. She looked to be in her late 20s but her mode of dress made her appear a lot older than she probably was on closer inspection. (Not that I was inspecting her - it was difficult not to notice her.)

She wandered to the front counter and said who she was and why she was there. Having been told she'd be helped in a few minutes, she made somewhat of a spectacle of herself as she plopped down beside me. As she was rather large framed, it was a bit difficult to sit herself down without rubbing up against me or making some sort of contact. But she was careful about it, as careful as she was able (and probably a little too careful). Thus the fussiness of her actions.

The vet waiting room was packed to the gills with all sorts of cats and dogs. The admitting assistant at the counter was doing a bang up job of multitasking - checking on those coming in, writing up billings, asking questions about what people were there for, all while answering the phone as best she could whenever it rang. Which was a lot.

In between all the commotion, Kaftan Lady got the attention of the admitting assistant: "Excuse me ... you don't happen to have some of those pet carriers available by chance, do you? If you do I'd like to buy one. My cat got out of the box I had duct taped while we were on our way over here. I don't know how she managed it because I had the box taped up pretty good. But she's good at getting out of stuff and she sure got out of that box! Right now both my cats are in the same carrier and they really shouldn't be. They kind of defecate all over each other when they're in the same carrier. So ... do you have any carriers I could buy?"

The cats in question had been in the waiting area on the floor for the last 10 minutes. I hadn't heard a peep out of them. No movement, no meowing, to fighting or signs of agitation ... zippo. I rolled my eyes ever so slightly to myself, knowing this woman might be the kind who likes to make things more dramatic than they needed to be.

She got her carrier, thanked the assistant and proceeded to construct it right there in the middle of the room with everyone watching. When complete, she gently opened the door to the carrier the cats were in and extracted one of the animals. The cat she took out was monstrous and hairy and nervous about coming out in the open amid a dozen other animals. With little effort she quickly lifted it up and deposited it into the newly constructed box where it immediately proceeded to meow loudly and pathetically ...

... such that it got the attention of all the dogs in the room. 

Who, one by one, began to snuffle and whine.

Which made the cat cry even more.

Which caused the dogs to threaten to turn things the way of a ruckus. Every owner in the place pulled their pets closer and shushed them as best they could. 

Then woman turned to me.

"I'm an absolute wreck today. I came down here to get shots and medicine for my cats and a few things for my two dogs back home but I had to run to the printer down the street to see what he was doing with the logo I'm having him do. You don't happen to know anyone who does logos, do you? The guy doing mine is kind of opinionated and likes to do things his own way, which isn't the way I want my logo to be done. He thinks he has free reign with it but I don't want him going wild. I want it the way I want it. Besides, he's charging me too much. I just want someone who will do what I tell them to do for a cheap price. You don't know anyone ... do you?"

This image might hit close to the mark

I was exhausted just listening to her story ... which I swear she blurted out in a single, solitary breath.

"No, sorry ... I don't." I confessed. She sighed and shook her head.

Immediately, and for the next 15 minutes, she busied herself asking almost everyone in the place why they were at the vet or telling them how gorgeous their pets were. It's like this woman could not sit still or shut up to save her life.

Finally, the assistant called out to her stating all her stuff was gathered and ready and the cats didn't really need shots. They gave her the total of the bill, some $265 dollars plus change. She explained they would need to contact her husband.

"He handles all the money, you see. If I give you his number at work, can you call him and give him the total? He'll give you a credit card number over the phone ..." The assistant called from behind her for someone to come help her out. When a nurse came to the front, she took the woman's number.

"Now, when you call my husband (his name is Frank by the way) don't be alarmed if he sounds drunk. It's just the medication he's on from the accident he had recently. He may be a little hard to understand, so just be aware," she instructed. "A lot of people have a hard time understanding him, but it's okay because he's not drunk. He just sounds that way, even at his work."

I stifled a bout of laughter I could feel rising up from within. But I was beginning to wear down; if this continued much longer, I feared I wouldn't be able to quell the urge to guffaw. I could feel it deep down, anxious to get out.

The nurse called the number, asked for Frank and held tight while he got to the phone. She introduced herself and began explaining why she was calling ... and then stopped all of a sudden.

"I got hung up on" she confessed making Kaftan Lady sit a little straighter with an unexpected start. "I don't know what happened. I'll try again."

It took a few minutes but the nurse finally got through to Frank, finished her reason for calling and completed the transaction. But man ... did it ever take a long time, the better part of 10 minutes by my estimation. I could tell the nurse wanted to pull her hair out but she remained calm and hung up when finished. She told Kaftan Lady all was good to go.

"Good! I'm so glad! Did he sound drunk? Because most people think he's drunk when they talk to him on the phone. But he's really not drunk. He just sounds that way, even at his work" she repeated once again.

Up she rose, went to the counter grabbed her stuff and blustered out the door with a thank you.

...but without her cats.

She was parked in the handicapped space right outside the office. I heard her curse as she got out of the car. She slammed the door, practically ripped open the office door and whooshed back in a huff.

"I forgot my cats!" she said apologetically while gathering the two carriers. She headed for the door a second time.

When she got in her car and finally left, it was as if everyone
heaved a sigh of relief ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, October 26, 2015

T-Shirt Collection: No Hay Lucha

Shirt and background.

Just because.

P.S. Shirt translation: "There is no struggle without a mask."

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, October 23, 2015

T-Shirt Collection: Oakland Raiders

While technically not a T-shirt, it's part of the collection.

Because ... Raider Nation, baby.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Of Man-Thing And Mike Ploog

A couple guys named Michael:
Mike Ploog (left) and Michael Noble (uhm ... oh, on the right)

Yes ... I've been busy with a lot of things of late.

Including guest writing over at Warehouse Find, the Official Blog for NostalgiaZone.com where my meanderings reveal 


(Well ... maybe just the origins of how I got into comics ...)

Take a gander ... and comment over there, too.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

... With A Bit Of Stuffing On The Side ...

Absolutely True Story ...
While at the vet yesterday, in came a monster of a  Newfoundland puppy. The owner and sat right next to me in an open seat and the dog plopped on the floor right near me. I swear he left a crater in the floor.

Understand I use the term "puppy" in the broadest sense in this case. The pooch, I discovered, was a mere 6 months old ... but topped out at 92 lbs. when he got on the scale.

"Oh ... he'll top out at get upwards of 150 lbs," the owner told me. "He's just in for a check up, is all."

He was a beautiful, alert and gentle animal that craved attention.

"What's his name?" I asked.

"Jeremiah Buttercup," she offered. "My granddaughter named him."

I smiled at her broadly, cocked my head, said "Who's going to argue THAT ... ???" and chuckled.

"Who indeed," she replied.

A little girl approached who had just come in with her mom and pet and reached hesitantly for the dog. "Careful" her mother scolded.

"Oh ... he's absolutely the gentlest with children ..." the owner offered.

"I'm more concerned with the dog," the mom explained tilting her head to her daughter. "She has a habit of slapping dogs in the head."

The owner of the Newfie scrunched her face a bit and looked at the girl.

"You can pet him if you like ..." she told the child. "... he thinks little girls taste like chicken ..."

.......... Ruprecht ( never STOP learnin' the children early )

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

T--Shirt Collection: Watchmen

Shirt front

From the deep, dark recesses of 2008's San Diego Comic-Con (really, there are no deep, dark recesses at San Diego Comic-Con) comes this nifty promotional shirt hocking Watchmen.

Shirt sleeve

Shirt back

For the record, I didn't think it was a bad film at all, a worthy adaptation of the award-winning comic series and graphic novel. 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Brief Morning Conversation

"What's that bar stool doing over there by your chair?"

"I don't know ... I'm not its keeper. It might have walked over there on its own. Or ... I might be using it to put my coffee on. Why?"

"You better not be standing on it ..."

I stretched out my arms in supplication, an "oh well" sort of gesture.

"... because that would not make me happy."

I stretched them out a wider.

"That's Life," I said.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, October 16, 2015

Punk Does Not Sleep Induce

Coming home from work at the midnight hour, it's a rare occurrence when I can drop off to sleep right after walking through the door. I'm still wired and need to wind down.

Usually, I pop the television to life and catch my recorded "NBC Nightly News," just as I did early Friday morning.

With the news beneath my belt and still not quite ready to turn in, I scrolled through the channels to see if there was anything further to lull me to sleep. I found something, but it wasn't anything to whisper slumberly sweet nothings in my ear.

It was Penelope Spheeris' The Decline Of Western Civilization, the 1981 documentary detailing the Los Angeles punk scene. It had been some time since I'd seen it and I settled in for the next hour.

The kicker for me was hearing once more the band Fear fronted by caustic lead Lee Ving belting out "Beef Bologna," "I Don't Care About You" and "Let's Have a War."

I'd forgotten what a force Fear was to punk and at that specific time. And the performances they put on in Decline - complete with verbal attacks, sexist and homophobic slurs directed at the audience - were raw and powerful.

I went to bed humming "Let's Have a War." And it's been stuck in my head all the live long day.

So, for your dancing and dining pleasure, I present it here for auditory consideration. Please enjoy ...

... and don't blame me if it gets stuck in your craw. I didn't twist your arm and make you press "PLAY" ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

T-Shirt Collection: The Goon Kickstarter Campaign

In honor of Eric Powell wrapping up The Goon with today's publication of the series finale (*sniff*), I present the Kickstarter T-shirt I received as reward for contributing to the campaign back in 2012. 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )


This isn't Bill. This isn't Bob.
It's Steve ...

You remember Steve, don't you?

Well sir, Steve's been through the ringer. He's seen better days.

He's weathered physical abuse (note the lack of the top of his head, various scuffs and abrasions, a reattached jaw that split in two right down the middle), quite a few relocations over the many, many years, unfortunate name changes (more on those in a bit) and other ailments.

But he's still here. Still ready, willing and able to make his annual Halloween appearance. And who can blame him? That's his thing.

I pulled Steve out of his packaging a year or so ago and he was in pieces ... literally. His skull was irreparable. There were so many skull fragments fixing him was out of the question. Recently, his right eye orbit gave way. He's forever had a couple missing front teeth so that's never been a problem. (He doesn't exactly eat, you know.) But the dude just keeps on keepin' on. Kudos for his persistence.

And that name thing? My fault.

You see, I've forgotten his name on a few occasions and mistakenly called him by others. Beside Steve, he's erroneously been called both "Bill" and "Bob," neither name having that "joie de vivre" which typifies his personality. Additionally, they don't roll off the tongue quite the way "Steve" does.
Really. Truly. Try it out. Say "Bill" out loud, wait a moment, then call out "Bob." See? Just don't sound right, do they?

Now ... say "Steve" then you tell me which name sounds better spoken aloud. I mean, all three names are monosyllabic but you're able to add that extra emphasis with "Steve" you just can't with the other two.

"Steeeeeeeeeve." "Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve." See what I mean?

I blame myself completely and totally for the flub, of course. And I'll chalk it up to nothing more a brain malfunction, some synapses or three not firing on all thrusters.

Something I should have done long, long ago was make certain I remembered by writing his name down. It doesn't get any simpler than that. But that's akin to the need to write down the names of your children. Or your dog. You know what your children's names are! You damned well know what your dog's name is! You don't need reminders for those things! But ... for a charismatic, suave man-about-town like Steve who only makes an appearance once a year, I'm sad to say things can get forgotten. Like, you know ... names.

So I've rectified that little worry as you can see. And unless the back of his face falls off, I won't forget his name again.

Happy Halloween, Steve. Do your thing.

 .......... Ruprecht ( has rectified a way to STOP forgetting Steve's name is Steve )

Friday, October 2, 2015

T-Shirt Collection: Too Much Coffee Man

This "Japanese bootleg" shirt was purchased long, long ago in a magical land far south in California (San Diego) from multiple Eisner Award winning cartoonist Shannon Wheeler himself, creator of Too Much Coffee Man, God Is Disappointed In You and other works.

Which is all very well and fine, sir, but ... what does it say?

"Coohii wa juubun da yo"
"Coffee is all I need"

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Years Of Living Dangerously

Today's Throwback Thursday post is about life and death and common sense ... or lack thereof.

Somehow, I survived my childhood

  Please enjoy ...

.......... Ruprecht ( will STOP living dangerously when he dies )