Wednesday, June 29, 2005


-- Eccentric events and odd occasions to celebrate in July 2005 –

**Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by Lord Earl Craboon

July is one of the most popular jocund, jocose, and jocular months of the year.

In a nutshell, this means one can be jestful, merry, playful and witty without fear of becoming a public spectacle.

After all, it’s summertime. And in some places like Canada, this 60-day season comes but once a year ... along with oodles of blinking bugs, hordes of black bears, and far too many blessed barbecues to count.

“Joie de vivre” is in the air! Now get ready to jay-walk with joy, munch on jelly-beans with reckless abandon, and jog to your heart’s content (without any clothes on of course).

And without further adieu, as the saying goes, "May my karma run over your dogma". If you don’t fancy that, then enjoy the following odd activities designed to put a smile on your face if nothing else!

July 1 – JUMP FOR JOY DAY (Time to leap tall buildings, skip something important on your to-do list, and hang out with all the other jungle-bunnies at the Jungle Gym).

July 2 – JUNK ART, JUNK BOND, AND JUNK MAIL APPRECIATION DAY (Who said there’s no gold in them there hills of riff-raff and really tasty refuse!)

July 3 – JEZEBEL RECOGNITION DAY (A festive occasion to celebrate red-hot mommas, fashion-conscious floosies, and those saucy, sultry sirens that spice up life!)

July 4 – JUMBO APPRECIATION DAY (Time to honor all the white elephants supported by public taxpayers, and those everyone ignores sitting in their living rooms).

July 5 – JOUSTING TOURNAMENT DAY (For all Knights of the Board-Room Table who need to don their jock straps and shiny armor suits, ride well-heeled hobby horses, and yell “cowabunga” while poking each other in the mid-riff with super-duper, ludicrously long whopping rubber pointy things just to have a bit of fun and frolic).

July 6 – JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT APPRECIATION DAY (Time to honor the humble but clean and safe public places of ease that afford one the opportunity of taking a piddle during a parade, a leisurely leak during a jamboree or simply letting the creative juices flow at an outdoor jazz festival …so when nature calls, why isn't there a blinking one in sight?)

July 7 – NATIONAL JERRY-BUILD & JURY-RIG RECOGNITION DAY (It’s never too late to honor all those marvelous makeshift folks who simply slap things together with a bit of duct-tape, silly putty, and glue ...without everything falling down around their ears!)

(Time to audit the expense accounts of all politicians, pundits, and grand pooh-bahs who travel on the taxpayers' tab in the name of “expanding business opportunities” or “promoting cultural diversity and understanding” those outside our gated community!)

July 9 – JIM-DANDY, WHIZBANG & HUMDINGER DAY (A great way to honor average Joes who want a name change and need a reason to have a party when it isn’t even their birthday …they’re just glad not to be at work today!)

July 10 – JEEPERS CREEPERS - IT'S CRAB APPRECIATION DAY (In honor of all those cranky Cancer-types who love security, money, food, children and also some very old casual clothes with designer labels you wouldn’t be caught dead in even if they were once worn by Batman or the Bees Knees).

July 11 – JOLLY JUXTAPOSING DAY (For all those folks with a color-coordination or mix-and-match impairment gene, and now a valid excuse to dress up like a dashing dork!)

July 12 – JOYSTICK & JOYRIDE AWARENESS DAY (This day is dedicated to people who are all thumbs, hate teeter-totters, and always dreamed of driving a kiddy-car).

(In honor of those who quit their juicy jobs as call center operators, burger flippers, or toll booth attendants and ran away to the circus).

July 14 – JAW-BONING & JAY-WALKING DAY (Time to recognize the vital role played by influence peddlers and crazy cross-walkers in the lives of the dull and boring).

July 15 – JOB’S COMFORTER AWARENESS DAY (There’s one in every crowd who discourages or depresses while seemingly giving comfort and consolation – give them a wailing towel, a big fat sucker, and send them back where they came from fast!)

July 16 – JOSHING & BANTERING DAY (How about some good-natured teasing, idle-talk, and twiddling thumbs -- they burn calories and bring bliss; what more do you out of life?)

July 17 – JUMPER, JUMP-SUIT & JOHNNY FASHION DAY (Time to honor clothes designed for folks with no curves, no class or no clever jokes to tell while waiting for Godot to arrive).

July 18 – NATIONAL PUT-YOUR-JOHN-HENRY-HERE DAY (Finally a day to finger all those folks who scribble signatures on documents that none of us can read!)

July 19 – JANGLED NERVES & JIGSAW PUZZLE DAY (A time to honor little lost puzzle pieces and those frazzled folks who call this leisure activity – stress-busting!)

July 20 – JODHPUR APPRECIATION DAY (A form-fitting pair of leggings with a full cut through the hips that every well-dressed closet elephant-lover should wear naturally!)

July 21 – JOLLY ROGER RECOGNITION DAY (Pirates are pleased that basic black is back, while patriotic flag-waving folk adore the classic look of skulls and cross-bones to impress their friends & foes!)

July 22 – JOHNNY-COME-LATELY DAY (If you’re always late for a very important date …and your name’s not the “Mad Hatter”… this day is made for you!)

July 23 – JITTERBUG APPRECIATION DAY (So you have two left feet, and you can’t find the right groove let alone the wrong one…but who says you can’t jive, jump and down, or jiggle your booty like the Big Bopper?)

July 24 – JETSAM & FLOTSAM APPRECIATION DAY (Time to toss a few things overboard in the sea of life before you take that all-expense paid trip on the Titanic!)

July 25 – JIGGING, JOGGING, & JUGGLING DAY (A way to honor those who like tap dancing on the head of a pin, running a mile in someone else’s shoes, or deftly flinging objects into thin air with not a hope in hell of catching them without the aid of a spanking new magic wand).

July 26 – JALOPENA PEPPER AWARENESS DAY (If the devil is in the details, then Beelzebub probably eats Tabasco sauce for the main course and hot peppers for dessert! So if you want to be a big bouncer or a big bazooka movie star – eat plenty of those little suckers!)

July 27 – JUMP IN THE JACUZZI DAY (To gain a new perspective on life, toss your knickers, drop your drawers and enjoy a bubble bath with your friends or neighbors).

July 28 – INTERNATIONAL JARGON APPRECIATION DAY (In recognition of people who love the sound of their own voices and enjoy spitting out some very strange words that baffle or boggle the mind of those who have to wade through all their bleeping bumpf!)

July 29 – JOVIAL JINGOISM DAY (Time to write a hiliarious, catchy but short patriotic jingle to rally the freedom-loving world against the evils of licking luscious bubble-gum flavored soft ice-cream on a hot day!)

July 30 – JACK-IN-THE-BOX & JUMPING JACK DAY (A day honoring all those who spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and other resources trying to stuff “Jack-be-nimble-Jack-be-quick” back into the wrong frigging box ...but never tell that to a manager …because these Big Birds are paid to pigeon hole everyone!)

July 31 – JOWL APPRECIATION DAY (This is joy-filled festive occasion features fondling of a dewlap, wattle or pendulous part of a double chin belonging to an intimate friend or close companion - just to let them know how much their wiggly whatsit means to you).


Speaking of pirates and other pushy people, check out a terrific little Gothic t-shirt shop to find your favorite itty-bitty basic black booty attire or something else you can shake a hook at! See:

Friday, June 17, 2005


Or, when will the Goddess of Glitch refrain from piddling on my parade?

By Famagusta Lubcroy, a ridiculously polished Heavy Media Operator, part-time Heel Washer n’ Wheeler, and lead Hog Head Singer at the Jawbone Breaker Bar & Grill in Noodle, Texas

Being a meat-packing maven doesn’t leave me much time for pussy-footing around really big, big issues like life, liberty, and everything in between.

So rather than perspire like a pig or sweat bullets like a sloth – take a leaf out of my loopy little lesson book.

First, whistle a warbling, wonky, if not whipperginny tune. If you don't know any, fear not. Just close your eyes and say these picayune prayers to relieve your stress, strain, and sickening “why me” stories…

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I cannot accept,
And the wisdom to hide the blessed bodies of those I had to dispose of today (because frankly they began to get on my nerves).
And while you're at it, please help me to be careful of the toes I stepped on yesterday (as they may be connected to the feet I may have to kiss tomorrow).

Oh, and before you loose all your remaining marbles (to the God of Gaffs), light a candle and hum. If you can't hum quietly, then mumble loudly these wallopy words under your breath:

Help me to give 100% at work…
Let's see that’s roughly:
- 12% on Monday
- 23% on Tuesday
- 40% on Wednesday
- 20% on Thursday
and 5% on Friday.

And dont' ever let me forget that:

When I am having a bad day ...
and it seems everyone's trying to wind me up:
it takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 to smile and only 4
to extend my arm and smack some poor sot in the mouth!

And after all that flapping of gums, jostling of tongues, and rolling of one’s eyeballs back into one’s horrible head (just to see the frantic look on the faces of friends, family members and even foes) ... I’d say you had a particularly pleasurable paddy-whacking day!

If that's not enough, try this merry-go-sorry mantra on for size:

May fleas enjoy a rip-roaring respite in your sleeping bag,
May the bats jump up and down in your belfry, and
May the Goddess of Glitch find somewhere else to demonstrate her whomping, whooshing, and other assorted wonder-wench talents that leave you in a sad sack state of mind not to mention dampen your appetite for Buzzard’s Breath beer with a side order of messy "bleeding-heart" sob stories.


So who needs mantras anyway?....

Moi --'ve got to be kidding!

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Or ....Paws for Thought....

By Thor Trewoofe, a glad-handing globe-trotter with a keen interest in those virile Vikings who once ruled the world of whacking, whomping, and perhaps far too much whoopdedooing for their own good

Canucks take a good deal of pride in their hockey, beer, and cell phones (especially those Fido commercials about perky pet-owners who bear a striking resemblance to their posh- or pathetic-looking pooches).

In Toronto, (the capital of everything BIG in Canada), they organized a weird and wonderful dog's breakfast event this month called “Woofstock”, to celebrate man’s best friend plus push every imaginable product and service to pamper one’s hip-looking hound.

The most fur-friendly towns in Canada are probably Poopoo Creek (British Columbia), Dog Pound (Alberta), Dog Creek (Manitoba) and such Ontario doglegs as Dog’s Nest, Pooch Lake, Pooh Lake, and Puppy Lake. The only doggone place however where they've actually waged a war over the issue of freedom for Fido is in Victoria, British Columbia. Elected officials there passed a bylaw permitting off-leash perambulating and piddling for well-behaved mutts (and owners) who care to saunter and sniff their way along a scenic seashore stretch known as “Dallas Road”).

In fact, America is home to some unusual pastimes such the enduring love of its citizens for bigger-than-life spectator sports. One of the most popular forms of entertainment involves media-hungry politicians. They simply adore "marking their territory", "getting their paws on a bone", and "letting a little fur fly" once in awhile, (as long as they're not caught on tape "barking up the wrong tree").

Come to think of it, if the current President of the United States needs canine confidantes in the Whitehouse, (two Scottish terriers named "Miss Beasley" and "Barney" to guide the affairs of state return for a free run of the red carpet), then you know things must be hunky dory. Just don't let Lassie, Spot, and Snoopy know or they'll want in on the action too!

The companionship of a canine is clearly a must for those seeking election to the highest office in the United States. According to sources at the "President's Pet Museum", since the founding of this pet-friendly nation, 40 out of 43 U.S. presidential pet-owners have brought with them a magnificent menagerie of some 200 critters to share the "top dog" spot at this prestigious address.

And for those who can't get enough hair-raising facts to stimulate their minds, there are 28.4 million web pages devoted to these marvellous mutts. As if that were not enough, more than 1,086 geographic features (including airports, bars, bays, beaches, bridges, buildings, canals, capes, cemeteries, channels, churches, cliffs, crossings, dams, flats, gaps, glaciers, islands, keys, lakes, mines, oilfields, parks, pillars, post-offices, ranges, reservoirs, ridges, schools, springs, streams, summits, swamps, valleys, and wells) have been named after these blessed bow-wowing creatures (according to the U.S. Geological Survey - National Mapping Information website).

It may be a "bird dog", "hang dog", "dog-in-the-manger", "dogmatic", "dogtrot" or simply a "dog-eat-dog" world out there ...but judging from the plethora of pet-inspired U.S. place names, the most Fido-friendly towns to hang out in are probably:

  • Big Lick (North Carolina)
  • Canine Gulch (Alaska)
  • Dog Bluff (South Carolina)
  • Dog Canyon Estates (New Mexico)
  • Dog Corners (Maine), Dogs Corners (New Jersey)
  • Dog Creek (Oklahoma, Kentucky)
  • Dog Ear Lake (Florida)
  • Dog Hill (Tennessee)
  • Dog Pond (Arizona)
  • Dog Hole Lake (Florida)
  • Doggie Island (South Carolina)
  • Doghouse Junction (California)
  • Dog Island (Florida)
  • Dog Island Corner (Maine)
  • Dogpatch (Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona), Dog Patch (West Virginia)
  • Dog Ridge (Texas)
  • Dogtail Corners (New York)
  • Dogtown (Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee)
  • Dogsboro (Georgia)
  • Dog Walk (Illinois, Kentucky)
  • Dogway (West Virginia)
  • Gnaw Bone (Indiana)
  • Licking (Mississippi)
  • Mutt (Virginia)
  • Paw Paw (Illinois)
  • Poocham (New Hampshire)
  • Tick Bite (North Carolina)
  • Township of Dog Ear (South Dakota)

Americans currently spend close to $34 billion annually on their pets. While ornery owners sometimes find themselves in the proverbial "doghouse", millions of mischievous mutts and misbehaving mongrels enjoy a life of ease as someone's favorite "animal companion".

It is estimated that 64.5% of American adults are now categorized as overweight according to the American Asssociation Obesity. As if that's not enough, more than 40% of household pets today are said to be obese, causing alarm among the nation's pet-insurance providers (as health-related illness claims for "Max" or "Minnie" spiral out of control).

Meanwhile back in Emerald City, vets are trying to capitalize quickly on the latest canine craze among celebrity pet-owners -- tummy tucks, fancy face-lifts and testicular implants. So rest assured "Petunia Plump", "Ms Piggly-Wiggly" and "Fat Freddie" too can be slim and trim ...(just like Toto for pete's sake)! Who says you don't stand a dog's chance of winning a red ribbon in a Bow-Wow Beauty contest?

According to, (a remarkable database of delightful doggie doodads for canine consumers), there's something for everyone who enjoys a bit of "Rufus retail therapy". Forget about "letting sleeping dogs lie", or "teaching old dogs new tricks", because if one's keen about making sure "every dog has his day", then "putting on the dog" is all that's required (plus a valid credit card of course).

Here’s a hint of just how important these pooch products and dandy “dogs” of all kinds are to the economy of the world’s richest country. According to the folks at, they have more than 96,000 canine consumer products in 38 categories to whet your whippet's appetite! Not surprisingly, one might even conclude from these statistics that America has definitely gone to the dogs -- and who knows, they could be right!!

Meanwhile across the pond in England, professionals from "PetPlanet" point out that one insurance company has collected file cabinets of doggy data about which mutts have the highest accident-rate. So do take care and avoid naming the silly scamp Rush, Fagin, Heinze, Berty, Ruskin, Jena, Cagney, Captain, Brook, or Radar please.

Lest anyone think that everyone's gone completely bonkers, one only has to read the anecdotes of Aesop (whom it seems had a penchant for pooch platitudes judging from his wildebeest works entitled “The Dog in the Manger”, “The Dog and the Wolf” and “The Fox, The Cock and the Dog”).

May the Force of Fido or Fifi be with you and yours forever more! And if there are any bad dudes out there...better beware of dog catchers or at the very least ... "Dog" the Bounty Hunter... 'cause he's got one powerful posse on your tail!


For those who can't abide blood-letting sports involving elected officials, take a look at a low-impact, safe sport known as "Dog-whistle politics" (played by peace-loving politicians from "Down-Under" places). See "Double-Tongued Word Wrester" for more delightful details

Bothered by the dog-days of summer? If so, drop by your local dog show or at least book ahead for the "Woofstock" Festival held in Canada's two canine-conscious corners -- Toronto and Vancouver

And for dogs and owners who can't get enough of each other, try going OVERBOARD

Of course, you can always "put on the dog" by purchasing some marvellous matching Mutt and Jeff t-shirts at . Or better yet, you can fork over some change to get the latest custom-crafted, international designer doggie diva duds from Jennifer Ritchie of Campbell River, B.C. She stitches everything from casual chic canine wear like sweaters and aviator jackets to fairy outfits, pink petticoats or costly corsets, not to mention bejeweled Renaissance gowns for trendsetting tarty-types with matching muffins like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

Remember, only in America can you find a world-famous bounty hunter, media personality and speaker by the name of Duane "Dog" Chapman --

Pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to call your dog? Need to post a picture of your pooch -- visit Oh and forget about pursuing a degree in onomastics, consulting a Ouija board, or asking your best friend what to name your four-legged furry companion ... just visit

You think you've seen it all? Well we may have dog groomers, dog sitters and even dog walkers, but how about dogs who earn their own keep! Yup, check it out at

If you're a pleasure-seeking "party animal" with a few "pet peeves" under your belt, take a peek at some wonderful whimsical prints and originals by Salt Spring artist Julia Lucich at

On the other hand, if you prefer being a "watchdog" -- keep your eye on the weather -- because although it's never rained cats and dogs anywhere, it has however rained frogs, toads, fish and birds; (chalk it up to some very wicked whirlwinds, waterspouts, and tornados). See for more interesting stuff.

How about some "Earthbound dog-tags"

This year marks the 55th anniversary of Charles Schultz's best-known, best-loved, bouncy beagle in town, "Snoopy", not to mention the other wise-cracking "doggone" cartoon-strip characters from "Peanuts" who are also a real hoot! For more details, check out the website to meet Peanuts and all the gang.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Or, jest-in-time jobs you’ll never forget any time soon!

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., a graduate of the University of Gleed (in the Village of Thribble) with a scholarly degree in Agathokakological Studies (The Ancient Art of Mingling Good and Evil), with time to waste conducting research into odd job titles you hadn’t even a clue existed until this moment of mirth and merriment

In spite of the fact that we live in a world filled with high-tech gadgets, gizmos, and gewgaws, there are still a few witless words of wonderment that remain to tickle the odd funnybone or two.

While political correctness may protect sensitive eyes and ears, there is perhaps one exception. It seems that the International Society of Sanitized Spin-Doctors & Politically-Correct Polyglots has not yet tackled the perplexing realm of occupational titles.

Perhaps the Department of Double-Think, not to mention their confreres, (the authors of “Websters’ First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language”) have not yet figured out what to do with those rather colorful if not highly questionable job postings that appear from time to time in the “help wanted” columns of daily newspapers.

Thanks to impeccable records kept by recruiters, labor market analysts, and occupation classification specialists, we now have a host of artful appellations deserving of an extreme make-over, or at the very least, a moderate face-lift.

The following list of jestful jargon, although by no means complete, focuses on a variety of joshing jobs beginning with the first two letters of the alphabet.

No doubt the daunting task of destroying the dastardly double-entendres in the world of work will be right up the alley for our esteemed politicians, pundits, professionals not to mention other esteemed members of the politically-correct public who are devoted to ensuring our health and happiness (along with Dr. Phil and Big Bird of course).

Here’s a glimpse of a few genuine job titles that may bring a few giggles to readers but putting them on a resume, well that's another matter. All appear courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor (who publish them in a tiny titillating tome entitled ...what else but the one and only, Dictionary of Occupational Titles).

  • Apron Scratcher
  • Assembler - Wet-Wash
  • Automatic Screw-Machine Operator
  • Balling-Machine Operator, Ball-Racker, Ball-Sorter, Ball-Warper Tender, Ball-Winder
  • Bladder Changer, Bladder Trimmer
  • Beam Doffer, Beamer, Beaming Inspector, Beam Press Operator, Beam-Warper
  • Bean Dumper
  • Beater (Lead and Head), Beater Engineer, Beating Machine Operator
  • Beck Tender
  • Bed Rubber, Bed Worker
  • Belly Builder, Belly Roller, Belly Wringer
  • Belt Notcher
  • Bender, Hand
  • Blind Hooker
  • Blow-Off Worker, Blow-Pit Helper, Blower Room Attendant
  • Bobbin Stripper, Bobbitter
  • Body Presser
  • Bonderizer, Bonding Machine Operator
  • Booking Prizer
  • Boomboat Operator
  • Boring Mill Operator (Vertical and Horizontal)
  • Bosom Presser
  • Bottomer, Bottom Bleacher, Bottom Brusher, Bottom Buffer, Bottom Filler, Bottom-Maker, Bottom-Nailer, Bottom-Polisher, Bottom-Pounder, Bottom Precipitator Operator, Bottom-Presser, Bottoming Room Inspector/Supervisor, Bottom-Scrubber, Bottom-Stainer
  • Box Icer, Box-Shook Patcher, Box Strapper, Box Wrapper
  • Brain-Picker
  • Breaker-Off, Breaker Tender, Break-Off Worker, Break-Up Machine Operator
  • Breast Buffer, Breast Finisher, Breast Sawyer, Breast Worker
  • Brick Unloader Tender
  • Brim Buster, Brim Greaser, Brim Pouncing Machine Operator
  • Bucker, Bucket Chucker
  • Bulldogger, Bull-Gang Supervisor, Bull-Riveter
  • Bump Grader Operator, Bumper Operator
  • Buncher, Bunch-Breaker
  • Bung Driver, Bung Dropper, Bung Grader, Bung Remover, Bunghole Borer
  • Burring Machine Operator
  • Butt-Maker, Butt-Presser, Butt-Trimmer
  • Button-Clamper, Button Riveter, Button-Reclaimer
  • Buzzle Buffer

And for those of you who can’t wait for the next installment of hooey in need of a hygienic hand, here’s a taste of the titillating titles in store for you -- a Hob-Grinder, a Precision Lap Hand, and a Nipple Machine Operator.


For a more comprehensive compendium of cracker-jack jobs, please consult the online version of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles published by the U.S. Department of Labor,

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Or how about those whizbang humdingers anyway…

By Theolonius McTavish, a kilted clansman and person of wanderlust in the land of heat stroke, alligator crossings, perishing palm trees, bridges galore and of course, the Conch Republic

I was recently invited by a far-flung fogy of mine to visit her in Florida, (home to some pretty feisty fish not to mention 13 million God-fearing, gun-toting folk).

Not being a frequent flying-carpet sort of chaise-longue person by nature, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Frankly, just getting in and out of the sprawling airport construction zone proved to be an adventure. Methinks it might have helped had I been able to sprout wings to get me out of the mess, but wouldn't make me look too dorky).

As I’m not one for screaming meemies, tasteless fast-food, fake fun resorts or frightfully expensive fantasies, I set out immediately for the Keys. After five hours of navigating turnpikes, tolls and testy thoroughfares, I found a long, thin, well-appointed spit of land just south of all the blessedly hot Miami beaches and cash-friendly casinos (with no charming little pink flamingos incidentally).

A few wellwishers had warned me about frolicking in the Florida Keys as they bid me a fond farewell. Clearly they hoped that I might be lost in a hurricane so they wouldn’t have to make a ‘welcome back’ sign upon my return, host a breathtakingly boring party to view my digital photo album, or smile graciously after accepting a tacky t-shirt or trinket from an inveterate tightwad.

Needless to say, I decided to travel light. Wearing a smashing kilt, a matching tartan tam, not to mention my carry-on luggage comprised of a set of bagpipes, a flask of fire water, and a waterproof sack of oatmeal, I set off to visit my freedom-fifty friend with a large girth, a nose ring, and a personal philosophy called "leading the good life any way I please".

Of course, doffing my hobnailed leather brogues for a bit of fresh air in the middle of the aerodrome probably didn’t endear me to the locals. It seems the gesture drew more than a few unwanted glances from security personnel plus a host of superannuated damsels-in-distress whom I thought I had left behind in what is euphemistically referred to as a “maintenance-free, pet-friendly, independent active lifestyle housing community” (and far too many busybodies for my liking).

To make a long story short, the Florida Keys are shall we say wretechedly hot, horrifyingly humid and full of half-baked humor indeed.

A spirit of serendipity is certainly recommended when visiting any tourist trap, especially a place that bills itself as the homeland of hoopla and hullabaloo -- “The Conch Republic”, (and that’s pronounced “KONK” if you please)!

My first inkling of stepping into the wonderous world of wonk was catching a glimpse of a rather obscure, weather-beaten sign announcing an “alligator crossing”. (Thank God I didn’t run over one of the booglies as it was downright dark and my bleeping bagpipes, my trusty Swiss Army thingamybob, and my easy-to-assemble pup-tent were all in the trunk.)

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the sights and sounds of the Keys. Well, I have to report that it was very hot and humid which is fine if you’re Beelzebub or the devil-in-disguise (which is probably why the state-trooper stopped me for driving in my birthday-suit while admiring one of those fast-moving, flaming red sunsets).

Fortunately for me, oddballs are very welcome in this neck of the mud-flats and mangrove swamp. If truth be told, I seem to fit right in with the pathetic-looking palm trees, dust and colorful guano that cover this looney bird landscape.

Besides visiting a hole-in-the-wall place offering 22 colors of grout (on special), a saucy “Squid Row” venue, a barmy beach less bar known as “Hog Heaven”, and a simply scatty spot called the “Pelican Poop Shoppe” in Key West, I have to say this land of crushed critters, honking big watercraft, and 7-mile-long bridges over shark-infested waters seems to have precious little going for it.

The saving grace of this trip however was a taste of twaddle – the unforgettable lingering aroma of “Hogsbreath” lager complemented by a plate of “chilly willies”, “crispy conchs” and a spicy side order of BBQ “unwing dings”.

By the way, if you’re feeling a bit peeked and out of sorts from all the silly snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and sordid sniveling about the heat…you might try dropping in to chat with some fearless folk who live there all year-round. They hang out in such pleasure-filled places as “Lions Lair Swimwear”, the “Bonefish Dermatology Clinic”, "Fast Buck Freddie's", "The Lazy Gecko" bar, "Crabby Dicks'" restaurant, the "BlOnD GiRaFfE" key lime pie factory and the “Eye Candy Boutique”.

Just convey greetings from the home of ice, snow, and polar bears (plus a few million ex-patriots from 200 nations including one stubborn, sauntering Scot wearing wee kilt with no knickers named Theolonius McTavish)!


The little jaunt to Florida was an eye-opener as can be seen from my photos of the sites: ; ;

And for those who can't get enough "Hogsbreath" lager and laughter, you'll have to visit the hogs in person at the saloon in Key West