Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Mixed Bouquet for Valentine's

"Here's your card today
But I think it would be nice
To give you candy tomorrow
(It'll be half price.)
     courtesy of Bruce Tinsley, Mallard Fillmore cartoonist

The above is a sentiment dear to the heart of Richie who forces me to buy Christmas cards the day after Christmas - "They're 50 per cent off!" he enthuses as he hustles me out to the car.

In earlier married years, Valentine's day was a big deal - card exchange, dinner out ... but after 34 years, it seems a little ... unnecessary somehow.  Furthermore, it is very difficult to get dinner reservations and I speculate that we have a great many young couples (25 to 45) that still go out.  Based on the number of baby buggies (the size of Volkswagens) seen locally many of them  probably have children of varying ages.   It's not really that pleasant dining out on this night - the restaurant understandably wants to clean up; servers scurry to serve as an inducement to "Eat awready and GO!"  I tell you who makes out - the babysitters!  And they earn it, make no mistake.  Some children's parents should pay a bonus for hazardous duty. 

But there are joys to be found right in your own home.  Last night's entertainment (and it was) was the 141st  Westminster Kennel Club "Best in Show" contest, live at Madison Square Garden.  Notes I scribbled during the broadcast:

The car wash dogs and/or the animated bath mat dogs.  These are the dogs who have long, floor-length coats and when they run the hair swooshes back and forth.  Since nothing of the dog is visible except for its head, and sometimes not much of that,  I wonder what the judges take note of - gait is visible, dog structure is not.   Every time I saw one of these dogs I burst out into spontaneous guffaws; they look as though they have wheels underneath all of that hair. 

Last night the judges examined Hounds, Toys, Companion Dogs, Non-sporting and Herding dogs (who didn't get to do their thing; they were just paraded around the ring like all of the other dogs.)

The shortest dogs don't use their knees; it's a stiff-legged gait - much like their handlers who all ran flatfooted which couldn't have been good for their livers - pound, pound, pound.  Thus there is a ramp from the show spot down to the ring floor.

I'm surprised that there are any rabbits left in the United States or most of Europe since hunting dog after hunting dog was "bred" to get rabbits.  In the companion-dog size, many were dogs that originated in Asia that I'd never heard of and one breed that arrived via the deserts of Arabia (as it was then.) 

The show continues tonight - we get it on Fox Sports 1 - but look around if Fox isn't in your area.  If in the worst case scenario you can't get it, get a copy of the 2000 movie "Best in Show" and live it vicariously. 

What's for dinner, you ask?  Baby crab cakes and peach champagne to start, followed by roast pork loin with Tiger sauce, grilled cauliflower with a touch of white balsamic and hash browns.  Bon appetite and a very happy Valentine's Day to you all. 

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