Archive for February 9th, 2004

Gen-Mod Animals of the Day


American consumers may have to wait a few years to own one of these
babies, but researchers in Japan, world capital of cute and cuddly, plan
to bring these Kissable Pandas to market by year’s end. Current techiques
limit genetic designers to the Panda’s natural black and white coloration
– the Panda’s will reportedly come in three designs beside Kiss – Referee,
Tuxedo and Chubby Checkers.

photo from

A Man With a Plan, But Not a Clue


Oy vey,
is it Valentine’s Day again,
so soon? For some reason Valentine’s day has never been a favorite of
the Dowbrigade. Our Personal Best in the V-Day sweepstakes was in 3rd
grade, just as the Beatles swept into the American consciousness. Perhaps
because of our fashionable bowl cut, or perhaps because it was a school
requirement, we got a Valentine from every kid in the class that year.
Since then it’s
all the
way.  But
hey, who’s counting?

The Dowbrigade’s lack of understanding of the opposite sex is legendary,
and as a result our selection of Valentine presents and gestures is strictly
hit and miss. Our all-time best result came the year we bought a box
of 36 school-kids Valentines (Gummi Bears, perhaps), inscribed each one
with "I Love You" in a different language, and hid them all over the
house, in Norma Yvonne’s underwear drawer, in her jewelry case, in the
stored summer clothes, inside suitcases, in the tea bags, her hidden
candy stash, etc.

It worked great.  She was finding them for months. After a while,
we got lucky every time she found one.  For a while, those were
the ONLY times we got lucky.  Who knew? We got the idea on a drivetime
sports radio show the day before Valentine’s Day.

On the other hand, the time we tried to use a coupon to get a free Limo
pickup and ride to some fancy Italian restaurant turned into a fiasco
when we fought with the Limo driver when he demanded a tip in excess
of what a taxi would have cost, followed by a mediocre meal and a chipped
tooth. A total disaster.   Again, who knew?

Not your fearless if flummoxed correspondent, obviously. This year,
somehow we have a reprieve and an angle to play.  Norma Yvonne will
be OUT OF STATE on Valentine’s Day! In Texas, visiting a niece! Won’t
be back til Monday!

This gives us three extra days to find a suitable gift, and for two
of those days we can take advantage of AFTER-VALENTINE’S DAY SALES! We
can get all the crud nobody else wanted, at significant savings. Any

Girafffe Whisperer Tall Order


"This is the most spoiled giraffe I’ve ever seen," said giraffe
specialist Vaughan Langman, while visiting one-ton Beau yesterday at
the Franklin Park Zoo. "I’ve never seen a giraffe with so much stuff
in my life."

Worried about the health of the 6-year-old Masai giraffe since he was
diagnosed with a wasting syndrome in September, Franklin Park Zoo officials
summoned Langman, known to some as the "giraffe whisperer." Langman,
a professor at Louisiana State University, spent the weekend at the zoo,
sharing with veterinarians and keepers his taming and handling techniques
honed in Africa.

"I got probably 25 years of catching, moving, holding, and treating," he
said. "What you’ve got there is not the average giraffe."

Langman advised moving Beau’s favorite food, forcing him to eat it inside
an enclosure, where he can be weighed and medicated. "He’s going
to kick and snarl, and so what? If he does the dying-giraffe routine," Langman
said, tilting his head to the side in imitation, "just bite his
tail and he’ll wake right up."

from the
Boston Glob