Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Or, what can be done with ugly, unusual, useless, or unresponsive ungulate?

There will come a day when the Spirit of Serendipity decides to leave an unexpected gift of questionable value at your front door.

By the way, this has nothing to do with the last time a spunky stork stopped by with a non-refundable gift coupon you couldn't unload on your next-door neighbor (the witless wench married to the weird wordmonger), your flat-footed first cousin (The Dweeb), or the dang Ding-Dong Lady (with yet another magazine subscription you really don't need).

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes ... horses. Well, they come in different shapes and sizes. Most have four legs. There is however no widely accepted one-size-fits-all category for these unfamiliar if not pleasant oddities. So, here's my advice for those with nothing better to do than carp on about the ugly, unusual, useless, or unresponsive ungulate gifts they've received of late.

1. Smile, say thank you, and then stuff "it" in the nearest closet after the gift-giver leaves. If you sock "it" away in the attic, you can probably forget about "it" until you sell the house. By then, "it" will become someone else's problem... thank heaven!

2. If you haven't got a closet or an attic, just pass "it" along to a charity in need of strange things to auction off, or give "it" to a tiny tot. Cast-offs and curios do wonders for fundraising, and wee ones simply adore all the stuff that grown-ups toss away willy nilly such as old cigarette butts, personal pleasure protection products, or previously-enjoyed chewing gum.

3. Whatever you do, NEVER, may I repeat, NEVER LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH. Why, because "it" is not called "long tooth" for nothing!! "It" is bound to come back and bite you in your private parts, and you can ill afford more slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in your pitiful posterior.

4. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CALL YOUR NO-NAME HORSE ...A WRETCHED BEAST OF BURDEN ...that funky phrase is reserved for donkeys, asses and mule-headed folk that are known to inhabit planet Earth.

5. Put a sign in your front window, "ROBUST RIDERS WANTED". What a grand opportunity to foist your feckless, four-legged friend upon a Lady Godiva wannabe, The Lone Ranger reincarnated, a genuine root'n toot'n Annie Oakley, a crooning cowboy like Roy Rogers, or a member of the Hell's Angels!

6. Of course it's a dead horse! Carpe diem! Hidey ho, it's time to rent a flea market table, and offer consumers the chance of a lifetime... something they can flog for fun... just $1.49 per minute plus GST and PST. And, don't forget to offer a senior's discount ... "Freedom Fifty-Fivers Flog The First Minute For Free!".

7. Take your gift horse to the next public meeting of the Parks Board. Tell everyone your blessed Bucking Bronco has clearly bitten the dust but with a new coat of paint, "it" can be recycled as a quaint conversation piece for all the tacky tourists visiting town, a safe ride for wonky wunderkins, or as a place for the local yokels to gather who get lost easily in petting zoos, fish-infested aquariums, and wild game preserves.

8. Offer your nameless horse as a booby-prize to "captive audiences" like bus patrons waiting at the train station for their boat to arrive; success-oriented students of law, medicine, and business sitting on their buns for Godot to arrive with the answer to everything; or, merry-challenged monopoly players twiddling their thumbs hoping for the "get out of jail for free" card to turn up before they go broke or land on Park Place which they don't even own!

9. Wrap your hobby horse in colorful paper and leave outside a government office door with a note attached reading,

"This unparalleled ungulate requires little nourishment, no supervision, and thankfully no deep pockets to thrive, which is a lot more than I can say for the frigging white elephants you've created that are now eating us out of house and home!"

10. If all else fails, buy yourself a saddle, a pair of boots with spurs, and a cowboy hat so you can ride your silly steed bareback on your front lawn. It'll be a real hoot to see the neighbors gawking, gasping and going completely bonkers over your capricious litte caper. Oh, and by the way, do watch out for the men in blue responding to a 911 call from the party-poopers next door reporting an "indecent exposure incident" and the wet blankets across the street complaining about "someone operating a hobby horse without a driver's license".


Should you perchance be wondering if there's a sequel to this strange story...the answer by gosh and by golly is...hmmm...I'm cogitating on it...hold that thought...or better yet why not...sit tight and see. But if sitting your your buns is getting you down, by all means visit one of my favorite websites to clear your mind of cobwebs, calamity and chaos. Do a bit of window-shopping at http://www.despair.com/ for some hilarious and yet utterly superfluous accoutrement to decorate your urban tree house or your cubby hole at work.


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