Thursday, December 31, 2020

How long was 2020 in dog years?


     So, the final day of 2020, come at last.
     A singularly challenging year. A fatal year, a plague year, one where 330,000 Americans died of a disease that was thoroughly booted by our bumbling nincompoop of a president, Losey L. McLoser.
     Don't do that little celebratory dance quite yet. Still a few hours left. Much can go wrong in that time, if 2020 is any guide. A volcano could rear out of Grant Park at 10 p.m.. Or a meteorite to come winging in your direction at a quarter to twelve. 
     What's to say it won't happen? Hope? Ah, ahahaha.... 
     And looking ahead ... what? All we have is a whiff of our old narcotic hope, plus Joe Biden and a nadir of a year already behind us, nearly, permitting us to imagine that 2021 must be better.
     Should midnight approach, and we make it there, to the end of Dec. 31, you might be wondering what you can do to ceremoniously bid farewell to 2020. A rude gesture, an obscene toast, a guttural shout, something that will represent the year in all its splattering splendor.
    Don't bother. I already beat you to it. You will be hard-pressed to conjure up a tribute to 2020 more fitting than the one that fell—okay, was hurled—into my lap Wednesday.
     I was on the sofa late yesterday afternoon, reading the new New Yorkeran excellent Talk of the Town piece by Adam Gopnik pointing out how autocracy is the rule, and 
democracy the exception, and how all the elements of fear and ignorance we've seen rampant this year have been faithful handmaidens to our national experiment because, well, they're omnipresent. "The only way to stave off another Trump is to recognize that it always happens."
     And I was feeling ... well, calm, and ready, fortified by Gopnik's perceptive take on the situation.
 Poised, and maybe even a little comfortable, as the winter daylight dwindled. So comfortable that I beckoned Kitty, my faithful dog over, and boosted her up, so we could sit on the couch together, one prone master, one loving dog.
     Poor dog, she's had a rough few days—hurt her knee Sunday, a torn ligament probably, then poked and prodded by two vets, on a variety of anti-inflammatories and herbal joint remedies. None of the long walks we both love for ... shit ... eight weeks. If that is even possible. 2021 is already souring. I can't even walk the goddamn dog.
    Accept. Endure. Overcome. All will be well. A moment of calm. I look at Kitty, scritch her behind the ear. And Kitty looks at me with her large, liquid, brown eyes. Which grow larger and more liquid, taking on a certain expression of ... distress. Yes, distress. The significance of which dawns on me just in time to slide her a few inches to the left so she is right over my midsection, when ... well, let's draw the veil a bit ... she coughs, and then lets loose a geyser. Like Old Faithful. Which luckily I catch with my cupped hand, trapping it against my body, sparing the sofa.
     I call for my wife, who run for towels and a garbage bag.
     Much scooping and daubing and squeegeeing. 
     Eventually I get to my feet and have a thought:
     Perfect ... that's just perfect.
     What better way to ring out the year?
      So unless an anvil falls out of an upper story window this morning, or a tree crashes through your roof, I think I have retired the prize for banishing 2020 in proper style. By being thrown up upon by a dog. Because really, has not the whole damn year been like that? It sure has for me, and I bet you too. And we're the lucky ones. Anyway, Kitty seems better now, and I'm okay too, and together we plan to face whatever comes in 2021. What choice is there? Happy New Year.


  1. Hey, Mr. S, look on the bright side. It was only puke. You're her biggest admirer, but at least the shit didn't hit the fan. (2020 was, if nothing else, a vintage year for sick humor).

    One of my cats, Micky, once took a dump in my Cub hat. But they won anyway. Cats seem to ralph more frequently than dogs, and their human companions soon get used to cleaning it up. They have been known to occasionally barf on their sleeping owners. Or shit in a shoe if not fed on time.

    And on that note, I'll just end with a "Happy Mew Year!"

  2. Well it figures as a 2020 ending. Hope she's better soon. How did she hurt her leg? Well Happy New Year greetings just the same.

  3. "Hope makes a fine breakfast but a poor supper." Francis Bacon


  4. "... lets loose a geyser. Like Old Faithful." That painted a picture. Did make me laugh out loud. Poor Kitty! Happy New Year!

  5. "By being thrown up upon by a dog." Not only that, but a dog you specifically, contentedly called over to you in time for the incident.

    I'll just note that this episode was cannily presaged in your post precisely one week ago:

    "And I remember looking down at the splash, with dumb bovine incomprehension, then up at him, and then off to the side, as if looking for the studio audience. I wasn't mad. I wasn't even particularly surprised. It was almost as if I had expected this, or something like it, and now it had occurred. The reaction was more a 'So this is how it's going to be, eh?' resignation. Which was apt, because that was indeed about how it went."

    Indeed, here's hoping that it will go better in 2021. Happy New Year!

  6. It can always be worse. We could be stuck with that clown in the white house for four more years. Let's just hope in 2024 we're not looking back at 2020 as the "Good Old Days". Happy New Year and looking forward to 2021, I think it will be better.

  7. May 2021 be the beginning of a hopeful outlook for all of us. Happy New Year to Neil and family, and to all EGD readers.

  8. oh, no! Sorry to hear of Kitty's distress, and of her sharing it with you in such a way. Hope it isnt a 'side effect' of one of her new medicines.

  9. Laughed out loud! Sorry, I don’t typically laugh at someone who just got hurled on, but it fit in so well with the column’s theme! Happy New Year to you and yours!


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