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17 YEARS OF POODLESHOOTS

Here is a selection of Island-Life entries over the years which mention the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ. Records prior to 1999 have unfortunately been lost, due to the inebriation and subsequent incapacity of the Official Secretary.

THE ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

DECEMBER 5, 1999

The Annual Thanksgiving Day Poodleshoot and Barbeque was a resounding success with over fifteen of those puppies bagged during an eventful booze-saturated day. Although the Grand Prize went to Dan Richard for a fierce fifteen pounder that put up a mean fight to the finish on the roof of the Royal Ballroom, Honorable Mentions and Awards of Valor go to Carol Taylor of St. Charles, and Jed Clampitt, who successfully defended themselves and took their prey when cornered and out of shells for their 12-gauge in a boathouse, they took up pitchforks in a battle to the finish. Tom of Sonoma again won Style awards for using a percussion-loaded croquette mallet while riding on his trusty stallion, "Beans".

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ANNUAL THANKSGIVING DAY POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

NOVEMBER 26, 2000

'Tis the holiday Season, begun with a vengeance, as always. This year's Poodleshoot and BBQ was a resounding success under the cloudy skies and fog. Fourteen and a half critters got bagged this time, the last catch being the ace by Willie Cutters, who used a Briggs and Stratton Mobile lawn mower, to snag his prize for the Most Inventive Weapon, easily defeating the brothers from Salinas who, using percussion grenades and 180lb crossbow, brought in a couple of fine 8 pounders.

During the Melee at Crab Cove, where close quarters reduced the participants from Glock nines, Makarovs, Sig 380's and light howitzers to basic machetes and molotov cocktails, the latter providing the unexpected benefit of on-the-spot bar-b-que conditions.

Honorable Mention went to the Seaver-Kent cadre from distant Palo Alto, who braved bitter winds and fog over the straits to participate with a set of explosive golf balls and a jeep-mounted anti-aircraft gun, used most effectively along the Northwestern Territories of the former Navy Base.

Apologies to the owners of the former good ship USS Prewitt; from long range, your lapdog had looked like a rare Rhode Island Blue. The Society is chartering the Island Ship Scavengers to salvage your vessel.

All-in-all it was a spendid day on the Island, full of Tradition and lots of whiskey and good times, if not always good marksmanship. Here's hoping your Holidays remain joyful and bright. And not too serious.

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The Infamous 2001 Island Poodleshoot and BBQ

 A REPORT ON THE ANNUAL THANKSGIVING DAY ISLAND POODLESHOOT AND BBQ IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2001

WHAT ON EARTH WENT ON IN THE HOUSE OF ODYSSEUS

Well, the annals of the Island shall remember this Thanksgiving for many a year following for the weather and political events and poodles all conspired to make this a most memorable Holiday.  It must have been the extraordinary weather, for nothing else can explain what happened.

Come around me laddies, for I would sing of arms and the people of the Island -- those people who are never at a loss.   Fate made us fugitives from urban blight -- we were the first to travel far from the coasts of Babylon after the sack of Bush.  Who here remembers the terrible times of '84?  Across the lands and waters we was battered beneath the violence of High Ones; for savage Reagan's unforgetting anger; and many sufferings were ours in war.    We struggled hard to save ourselves and bring our companions safely home, but many perished by their own madness.   Raise up your glass me lads and   revisit once again the cities of man and learn their different ways in peace.

I call now on the God of the Waters of Life, Uiscque-ba', who resides in the cruiskeen luin to grant me words to fill this tale.  Grant me the silver tongue of Vatus Seamus Heaney, the golden wit of Nuala Ni'Domhnaill.  Listen, Muse, while I sing this song.   Listen, Muse; I sing not loud nor long.  Or Whatever.

THE FIRST DAY

Dawn extended her rosy fingers to stir Padriac, for Padraic needed to be about and making ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ. Gently she brushed the shadows of Morpheus from the eyelids of sleeping Padraic and deftly stirred his morning stirabout. When Padraic failed to stir except to turn about beneath the bedcovers, Dawn gave him a mighty wack for Dawn McCloskey is not one to be trifled with and that got him up all right.

It was important that Padraic be prompt for Padraic was this year's Official Beverage Supply and Control Officer and Padraic had obtained a substantial supply of hard stuff from the Old Country just for the purpose. And let it be known poodle-huntin is thirsty work.

Down at the Landing there was much libation and spilling of Padriac's elixir. To give nuance to the Event, the Island Hoophole Boys Symphonic Orchestra turned out in force with trumpets, kettledrums, fifes, fiddles, didgeradoo and bagpipes and a merrier noise you never heard when they all bent to play "A Nation Once Again." The Rules were read, oracles were consulted, the keg was tapped, and at eight o'clock the starting gun went off. Immediately the hunters dispersed only regroup at Jacks for breakfast, for no one can bear a poodlehunt on an empty stomach. Colum had brought a flask of the good stuff which went liberally into everyone's coffee.

At the more reasonable and leisurely hour of half-past ten the hunters dispersed again.

Across the Island came the merry sounds of the hunt in the form of cries of "Poodle there!" and "Clear shot!" and "Look out ya daft sod, by jaysus!" Bruce of Oakland took a pair of Miniature Greys with a single shot from his hollowpoint crossbow darts, tipped with C4.

By afternoon it became clear by various signs that a herd of poodles had gathered, or been driven, to the West End, but by that time the supply cask began to run low and in many thoughts turned to dinnertime. There was little to suggest that things would run amiss until close to sunset a phenomenal explosion dropped the bicycle bridge main span right into the pond. A number of terriers were seen scampering from the scene.

A halt to the days festivities was called. So ended the first day.

THE SECOND DAY: THE BATTLE OF RITTER PARK

The Second Day began woozily with beer and a brandy chaser for the cold. Things really began to fly apart when Officer O'Madhaun attempted to issue a ticket to a motorized pram crossing against the light on Otis Drive and was assaulted by a pair of attack terriers who appeared out of nowhere. The Good Officer had need to resort to his chemical defences and liberal application of his baton and was glad enough to escape with his life when the terriers were joined by a pack of mixed breed poodle terrierists.

Meanwhile, Eugene Gallipagus found himself treed in a palm after he lost his firearm in the lagoon while taking a little nip anon from his hip flask. Unarmed and pursued by poodles, real or imagined, the man shinned up one of those goofy palms down by 8th street and no amount of persuading could bring him down. Not until that flask was empty.

At the same time, the Calumny brothers with Eustace and Fay encountered a pack of Silverhairs dug in at Ritter Park and, armed with quart bottles fortified from the Official Keg, as well as a brace of Winchester rifles, began exchanging volleys for quite some time. You may think that the Fairer Sex would retreat at this bloody assault, but Eustace and Fay gave as good as they got, vigorously pumping out round after round until the smell of cordite perfumed the air. It was not until the following day that a concerned passerby indicated that the "return fire" was, in fact, ricochets off of the tin roof and eves of the school. Much harm was done before this realization, however, and the For Sale vehicles parked along the road lost all their glass as a consequence.

At the time, however, everyone had in mind the terrible outrage when City Hall was hijacked by Terriers and then the additional insult of blowing up the bicycle bridge to Harbor Bay Island. Of course emotions ran high and the general feeling was that moderation in pursuit of poodles is no virtue.;

It must have been this sort of sentiment that moved Artie Javier to remove the top of his Ford SUV and mount a hyperventilated liquid acetylene welding torch to the lip and then, well supplied with fifty-gallon drums of petrol and Padriac's home brew, he took to the beach and set it, the outhouse, the boardwalk and himself on fire. For some two miles. Saints preserve us from the screams. Not to mention those of Artie, who dove into the ocean to quench himself and found that salt water does not a balm make to open sores.

Fortunately for those dwelling along the peaceful strand, the sky opened up with a vengeance and buckets began to lash down through a howling wind. The Hoophole Band and Orchestra scattered down by the cove looking for shelter.

Five hunters boozing it up in the Eighth street park with the horn section of aforementioned Orchestra, not far from a certain palm tree, took refuge under the children's play set in the sand while fronds whipped by and branches crashed to the ground all about them. "Thank heaven for Cabela's," one feller said, tugging down his extra-special Poofter-Reproof Stetson. Just then the sky made a frightful crack and Eugene slipped to earth, breaking his leg in three places.

Thus ended the Second Day.

THE THIRD DAY: THE BATTLE IN THE BOG

Saturday began in a wet welter of lashing rain, falling trees and soggy spirits, which the various parties attempted to keep alive by liberally tapping the seemingly inexhaustible keg of Padriac. A rude night was spent in the field by many however.

An emergency meeting of the City Council was had, without religious invocation, and laws were passed restricting movements about the Island and calling for bicycle and pram permits with photo ID. A special Detention of the Hounds Act was passed amid some acrimonious debate and was vigorously protested by the Chins, the Kais and the Jindo-Chiens on account of previous unforgotten abuses. Supernumerary powers were granted to the Traffic Division of the IPD, that included detention without warrant or charge, enforced finger and paw printing, unrestricted surveillance of pounds, kennels, garages and runs, spontaneous search and seizure -- especially motor vehicles and bicycles. Furthermore, assets of known, suspected or probable bicycle shops that may possibly have had something to do with blowing up bridges and harboring terriers became part of the Traffic Division's duties.

Now, a few individuals began to question the extent of what they claimed was a bad over-reaction in the wrong direction as the means to handling the case of a pack of bad doggies, but these were quickly hushed up and put away and nobody heard from them again. What's good enough for Chili is good enough for us. And that is the American Way.

But upon the Field of Honor, under pelting rain, the hunters let fly with everything against anything that moved, for it became impossible to see anything clearly with all the weather and the thick smoke drifting over from where Artie had set it afire mingling with the gun smoke and the occasional flash-bang of a surplus grenade.

The ground at Eighth Street Park down below the baseball diamond began to turn soft with all of the rain. Down by the Crab Cove picnic structures, a gang of poodles managed to take dripping shelter together with an unknown number of wirehairs and Scotties. Well it was pissing rain like all the angels had gone to a frat party at Chico and poodles have to hang out somewhere. All these were in the company of the Island Yappydogwalker's Association. As for the Scotties it was clear that they did not care what company they kept in this wet and so they became fair game.

Seeing this, Jim Kitson took up his blunderbuss and ran out towards them in a foolhardy charge and promptly fell flat on his face in the mud before the poodle assembly. And of course they bit him. Running, sliding and slipping to his aid, but finding her flintlock useless in the humidity, Susan Laing swung her rifle stock about her head and clubbed a Munchkin Toy about the ears. There began a melee when the other hunters came up to engage the Walker's Association, dressed in yellow impermeables and armed with sharp umbrellas, maces and garden implements; this action will be henceforth forever known as "The Battle of the Bog". One of the drummers lost his kit, which became most unmercifully pierced and battered while Ms. Tchamberpott of Central Avenue gave a mighty thwack upon the pate of Mr. Goodman of St. Charles Street. The hunters were driven back by missile weapons past the little slide where they gathered in a bunch among the play sets surrounded by the snarling, yapping pack.

A little ways off the Association built a small bonfire out of captured woodwinds. Only an early nightfall brought merciful end to the slaughter. Thus ended the Third Day.

THE FOURTH DAY: THE MEDDLING GODS

The Fourth Day began in a rollcall of injuries and disaster. Colum fell asleep underneath the Official Beverage Container and woke up in such a state with whatever was in that stuff permeating his brain until he rose in a frenzy and seized his grandfather's military saber. Seeing poodles and terrierists everywhere he ran out to the beach in his skivvies to prevent the landing craft from coming in with more of whatever might try and invade California. Now Colum had long been a member of the Native Plants and Species Association, and so it must be remembered that just about 90 percent of the planet had been long pigeonholed in the man's skull for years as some form of potential enemy. It was largely for this reason that nobody hindered him from going down to the beach and flailing away with that rather nasty saber at the waves, all the while shouting "Up the Republic!"

So there you have the start of the dismal Fourth Day: Colum is out beating the ocean waves in his underwear with a saber, Officer O'Madhauen appeared a sorry sight with his uniform in tatters, his baton a twiddle, his oxters stained, his galluses tangled and his boxers in a twist, yet dangerously armed with new and silly ordinances. Eugene lay with a broken leg and Jim Kitson laid low by a nasty flesh wound. Both Calumny brothers down with self-inflicted gunshot injuries and the beach blackened and smoldering. Holly Golightly rode her bicycle off the end of the bicycle span into the pond and darkness covered her eyes.

Up on the hillock the little band of hunters, out of ammunition, remained surrounded and in desperate straits.

Such was the dispute on the Island that even the Gods took sides. Angus nà Og gave favor to the hunters on the hilltop, but the Sè of Ballyougue had it for poor Colum over a long ago slight so they drove him mad. The God of Bureaucracy, Loki, delighted in the whimsical decisions of the Council, for cumbersome and idiotic law always delights Loki, such is the nature of this God. The Imp of the Perverse, Poe, gave favor to the poodles, for wherever the reason and sense of man is overturned, there goes the Imp. Now this way, now that went the war upon the bog and the field of Ritter. And things looked very hard, very hard indeed for the mortals thereon.

And when all seemed at its darkest, there came a shout for after the defeat at Thermopylae they went down to the sea in ships. Into Crab Cove sailed two jolly frigates: The Herodotus, skippered by Carol Watkins and Marlon Price, and the Ada, helmed by Paul Bailiff and Mary Beth.

A gangplank thunked ashore and striding across it came the troops. First the Shepards, marching in military precision, then the Dobermans, they of perky ears, then marched the brutal pit bulls of Oakland, noted well for ferocity. These took up ranks along the sedge.

Then came the Irish Wolfhounds, the Whippets, the Greyhounds -- fleet of foot -- and a phalanx of smart setters led by Marcus and Vail, tails a-wag. All these noble born breeds and worthy of the name.

Then followed Bassets, Hounds of all types, Borzoi stepping proudly, Spaniels, Braques with black berets, Mastiffs, Chows, Dalmatians with fire equipment, Dingoes, Collies, Huskies, Chins from Japan, Retrievers of all kinds - especially Labradors, Boston Bulldogs, the life-saving Saint Bernard, The sly Samoyed with two eyes askance, Laikas, Deerhounds, Weimariners, Malamutes, even the Corgis sent a squad from their war upon webmistress Lara Croft, and many others, not forgetting the noble Xoloitzcuintle trotting along behind.

A great shout went up at Africa's noble offering: the Basenji's came bounding in with nervous grace and assurance of victory over even the lion, most fearsome of beasts. Victory will surely be ours, for even Africa has sent its legions. All praise the Basenjis, extraordinary fighters!

Following these came the Great Music Band of Marin, conducted by James Gardiner. Molly Giles, that winsome lass, led the fifes and flutes while craggy Doyle held forth upon the French Horn. Isabelle Allende led the fiddles played by a coterie of the Mill Valley Ladies Who Interfere. Stephen Torre, dressed in a bearskin, sounded the oboe. All these were followed by the staff of Mama Bears pounding the kettledrums.

When all had disembarked, the front lines went bounding and leaping up the hill to rescue the beleaguered there to the joyous sounds of the 1812 Overture. The reinforcements fell upon the flanks of their enemies, driving them across the boggy plain and the enemies bent like leaves of grass before the wind. Their impermeables were torn and their spears shattered and they were utterly routed and they scattered like grains of rice before the tempest of terrible metaphors and purple similes. Angus na Og raised up his spear to give final victory to the humans. This time.

The insurrectionists were quickly put down and the whole army marched down to Ritter Park to take care of the action there. And there it was that Paul Bailiff performed many deeds of valor in the name of the Free California Republic with his cast iron shillelagh na frypan. After dispatching five of the beasts he combed his hair with a wagon wheel and the Ladies Who Interfere swooned upon the sward.

Dalmatians rescued Colum from the waves easily enough, for who on earth can find fault with a Dalmatian, pride of the firehouse? And Colum was carried back upon a shield of palm fronds and loving tongues licked his face. Such was the disposition of Mad Colum.

Thus ended the Fourth Day.

THE FIFTH DAY: PEACE

Clouds boiled over the Fifth Day, but the rains held off. The dead and dying and dead drunk were carried from the fields of carnage. Long before noon, the keg of Padriac was put aside and bottles of decent Jamesons were brought forth to cleanse the wounds of the injured and the sick. And there were very many sick. The official bugle of the Hunt was blown at noon and the Fourth Annual Thanksgiving Poodleshoot and BBQ was officially over. And we all sat down and had another Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn't be beat and Isabelle Allende performed festive Hispano-Celtic dances to the sounds of Doyle's flamenco guitar.

And so me lads, that's the way it was on the Island, this Thanksgiving. We've cleaned up most of the mess, but now we've got a rather peeved Officer O'Madhauen, and Osama Bin Lassie is still on the loose, and there's a whole lotta really bad legislation and police powers we gotta deal with now -- all on account of a few bad dogs, mind you.

By the way, how are things on your Island?

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NOVEMBER 28, 2002

THANKSGIVING IN CALIFORNIA: A MINOR HISTORICAL DIGRESSION

West of the Mississippi, nobody ever heard of the Pilgrims, and if they did people would rightly consider the bunch to have been a pack of tight-ass ingrates who cheerfully murdered those who had offered life-saving substance only a few years previously, and who had gotten kicked out of Europe in the first place because of their intolerant and pinched view of life.

Nevertheless we do celebrate the Thanksgiving as a way of giving a nod to the Cosmic Whatever for allowing us to get this far and to count the blessings with which we are gifted. The story of the First California Thanksgiving is a fine one, and all the better for its freedom from religious zealotry. And who should have begun this august institution here west of the Sierra but, you guessed it, the descendents of Oog and Aag.

The first "official" thanksgiving took place on November 30, 1850 at the decree of then governor Burnett, and it is assumed by many that the celebration occured largely because of the enormous contingent of New Englanders who had swarmed over the Sierra as part of the '49 Gold Rush. It seems the platillo enjoyed in the mining camps consisted largely of jackrabbit, as few turkeys are to be found up in those hills. Truthfully, deer having been hunted out of the hills long ago, and bear having become largely mythological even as early as 1850, any sort of meat at all was hailed as a god-damn god-send.

In fact, Thanksgiving in California had occurred much earlier and records go back quite a ways. Even before the Pilgrims had landed, in fact. There is record of one Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate, who, according to documented Spanish historical records, celebrated the first Thanksgiving day in El Paso del Norte, right by the river banks in 1598, roughly fifty years before the first Anglo Saxon Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Rock.

Of course, that was in modern-day Texas, which everybody knows does not count unless you are Lyle Lovett.

What really happened what this: In the town of Hapless Camp, the memory of which has now dissolved from the history books, there lived 148 would-be 49'ers, two female, mostly-Chinese, cooks named Nellie and Isabelle, who pleasured the miners with food and other fine things, and their poodle, named Cheesin-Lo. About August, end of summer, a particular flea bit a particular miner, named Festus, and he subsequently expired of a terrible fever that featured these obnoxious swellings all over his body. These swellings are called "buboes" and this thing he died of is called commonly "Bubonic Plague". Unfortunately, Festus was not overly fastidious in his household arrangements and a whole host of fleas enjoyed his syrup before he went.

Well, to make a long, really sad story short, the entire population of Hapless Camp died of the Plague, leaving one, flea-ridden Cheesin-Lo left in search of poodle kibble or whatever he/it could scrounge.

Only god, or Satan, knows what it is that makes poodles free from the plague. In any case, Cheesin ambled down the road toward China Camp, dead set on getting more feed and unconsciously dead-set on infecting the entire population of the Sierra with the dreaded Plague, for China Camp was at that time the nexus of activity through which all of the Gold Country traffic traveled. Had Cheesin reached China Camp, he/she/it would have sent the contagion on across the valley to SF and beyond.

Here it was that Festus Jacinto Mariposa deOog, passing along with his blunderbuss, happened to discover the animal, a clear shot, right in the middle of the road. Keep in mind that in this time, with no deer, no bear, no cows in the hills to speak of, any sort of meat was heartily welcome. So it was that Oog shot Cheesin square between the eyes. Then, he hauled up the flea-bitten carcass on his shoulder and trudged off to find a place to skin the thing and eat it.

Now here our tale becomes somewhat questionable, we understand. Why Oog would have turned aside from the main path back to his cabin so as to find a better place to roast a dead dog, history does not record. Perhaps he noticed some secret sign on a tree now long since cut for BBQ briquets or perhaps he simply wanted to gut and clean the animal away from his dwelling. Who knows? In any case, Oog wandered from the main path and soon fell, poodle and self, into a long shaft at the end of which he landed with a thump that broke his leg.

As he lay unconscious, several fleas took this opportunity to bite him. This was not a good thing.

After he was finished being unconscious, he woke up. Then, his next step was to regret being awake for the pain in his leg was most excruciating. With his handy flintlock tinder he lit a small fire so as to see where he had ended up. In fact, he lay upon a chest, quite smashed by his fall, of thousands of gold coins. And to the side lay a skeleton. In the boney hand of the skeleton was a piece of paper. On this piece of paper were written the following words, "This be the long lost Mariposa Treasure. If'n you find this 'n me, remember me. Mah name is . . . ". Unfortunately, the rest of the note was illegible.

Many hours, perhaps days, passed before Oog heard a voice at the top of the shaft. "Halloo! Enybody down thar?"

It was Aag. Out for his constitutional after his ritual mudbath and Indian sauna. Aag, not particularly industrious by nature, had taken to earning his living by selling shovels to would-be miners. Relaxed and alert, he found this shaft at close of day, from which a strange light emitted. Oog had taken to burning pieces of the treasure chest for light and company and cooking poodle. It was the light and smoke from the burning chest that attracted Aag.

In short order, Oog communicated the essentials: That he was a miner with a broken leg at the bottom of a shaft with an half-eaten poodle on top of a veritable mountain of gold and would offer two-thirds or more to anyone who would get him out.

Sounds fair enough, but, as a Golden State native, Aag was always alert to "the Catch".

Unwisely, Oog added that he had a terrible fever going on and it seemed there were these "swellings going on" all over his body.

Now, Aag was no dummy. He knew about the Plague. He knew what it meant for the relative capacity of science in his day. And all he knew about catching it was from hearsay, which said, "You so much as breath near such an infected person and you gonna DIE fur sure!" And he thought about the thousands of men who had swarmed over the Sierra crest now all living close to one another.

"Okay," he said. "I'll be back." In truth, he was. With the first mechanical "bulldozer" ever seen. He got two bulls from a paddock and built himself a flatboard with a backwards hitch on it so that the bulls could push this thing forwards. He then mounted the contraption on the tailings from the old mine and then drove the bulls forward, shoving about a half-ton of earth over the old mine shaft hole. Then he did it again and then went away.

The best we can say about the poor feller under about a ton of gravel and dirt is that Oog died of suffocation before the buboes really got him. And that the entire population of the Sierra survived.

The following day, Aag held a great feast to give thanks to the gods and to whatever for having saved the entire population of California from a terrible fate. And there you have it, the real and absolutely true story of how thanksgiving came west of the Mississippi River. All the other mining camps up there took up the practice as well, for the life of a wannabee gold miner was difficult and fraught with mountain lions, poor diet, bad mud, nervous jumping up and down and, generally, very little gold. So these fellas working up in the hills thousands of miles from home dearly loved a party with drinking and carousing and good eats and raucous music. Which brings us to the beginnings of rock n roll, but that is another story.

THE ANNUAL THANKSGIVING POODLESHOOT & BBQ

2002

Here on the Island we have our own little rituals. The 4th Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ gets underway at dawn on Thursday. Aspiring hunters and lovers of good BBQ need to check out The Official Poodleshoot Rules Page for further info.

We all love a good feed and a jolly good time as well as that good old tradition and we are full of it here on the Island. Everybody says so.

Now here's some holiday advice for y'all. Don't drive anywhere: assume every third automobile contains an incompetent boob who learned how to drive on a Hong Kong Carnival ride and the only reason more people don't die is that their aim is poor. Realize there ain't nothing that is gonna change Uncle Ted and Aunt Whizbang in a day; they've been going at it for years. As for Uncle Bob who gets drunk every year and shoves his hands into the taters, we suggest purchasing two items beforehand: 80,000 volt stun gun and a pair of handcuffs. Things will go much better after ya invite him down to the basement to "fetch a nip or two." Believe me.

REPORT ON THE 4th ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT

2002

Thursday dawned clear and beautiful, ushering in a delightful day for a peaceful day of poodle-hunting. And just to make damn sure the day stayed peaceful, Sean "Knickers" Malone sent around an invitation to every member of the Island Dogwalkers Association to a special "Pink Frilly Fashion Show" with promised free champagne and a raffle for two majestic works of art featuring one sad-eyed clown and one kitty with oversized luffable eyes. How tweet. As an added bonus, the demonic genius Knickers added that a life-sized portrait of Elvis would be present.

Them dogwalkers hopped into their pink RV's and just about scampered en mass to the location: Paso Robles, some hunnert 'n fifty miles south of here.

Meanwhile, we was free to roam about the preserve, shootin' up poodles wherever they may be found, and there was all sorts of shootin' and drinkin' and good old times just like the good old times.

Now there's some peoples who take exception to this all americun sport a poodle-huntin', especially that French couple who had the misfortune of bringing two fine ones on this All Americun Hollarday, Fifi and Foufou. Well, not even a year's supply of good quality diesel from the soon-to-be-demolished Chevron on Otis plus an all-u-kin-eat ticket for the Boston Market's Fried chicken buffet could assuage the damaged feelin's of these here furriners who just stomped off in a real hissy-fit.

Hell, they didn't even wanna taste a bit of Fifi with Marybeth Whittamore's Special Jack Daniels Sauce.

Seems them furriners are gettin' their panties in a twist all over the world cause of Bushy, Ashcroft and such. They be claimin' that those Americans are just to darned violent, what with always taking the heavyweight champeenships, and the little things with machetes and stuff in Central America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Hell, they never even mention Australia! Which I swear neither George Bush nor his daddy nor eny Texan at all, has ever sullied with any violets. You can check the facts on that, m'am. So there. Thank you very much.

Now I know we mighta misbehaved a bit with that there Noriega feller, and as for the Middle East, well, oil is oil and let it pour where it may. Gotta fill that there SUV somehow: else she gets so top-heavy she wants ta tip over all the time. So you can see I just hafta keep 'bout forty gallons in her all the time, just to make the ballast and keep her safe. But I swear we never, never, never had any hand in doing stuff in Beijing. In spite of Nixon. No sirree. Chinese rice is safe from our meddling, I tell you.

Any who don't wanna discourse from the subject overmuch. Just to say, that poodle-huntin' is my god-given aesthetic right and they' stop my huntin' when they pull that poodle BBQ dripping with special sauce from my cold, dead hand.

So, accolades to Lynn Lindberg for her ingenious arrangement in which a host of poodle pups were caught by her pseudo Martha-Stewart demo out by the Cove. Fine job Lynn. Very stylish. Then Chris Lindberg earned himself the Devious Award for constructing a computer game that had Fifi working the controls to capture an unwinnable bowl of kibbles -- by design -- until Fifi jumped up and down in frustration and stepped on a circuit board that delivered about 80,000 volts at high resistance. Clever use of HTML, Chris.

Frances McDermid, noted movie star and celebrity, put in a brief appearance, by making nice use of a wood chipper set at the bottom of a tiger trap near the wharf. What a lady.

In short, it was a marvelous day and a splendid time was held by all. Except by the French. And that couple down by the Gold Coast. Sorry about your Honda.

More apologies to Paul on his old Gibson 12-string. Heck a bit of Elmers glue and she'll play almost like new. If'n we hadn't fergot the damn song is in G instead of C we wouldn't a fergot our Piece out by the outhouse. Any who, it still makes a fine club, although it tends to splinter a bit more than the old National Steel when smackin' poodles about.

It was not until the end that Padraic brought out his Special Home Brew and, as the sun set in flaming colors behind the golden gate, the lot of them sang misty-eyed songs of old Tara.

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THE 5th POODLESHOOT

NOVEMBER 30, 2003

This November marks the 5th Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ. This year the Event was enlivened by the introduction of live decoys employed by the mother-son team of Lynn and David Lyndberg of Pleasanton, assisted by David's lovely wife, Patty. A notorious Black Mambo Poodle was brought in restrained and surrounded by a phalanx of armed guards to a specially prepared holding tank. A large percentage of East German Schnapperhund and South American Cogere-Cojones Whippet in its bloodlines made the beast nearly tractable with higher than average intelligence, otherwise the entire affair would certainly have to have been called off due to the breed's natural atavistic viciousness, developed and preserved from prehistoric times as a consequence of its onetime habit of fighting dinosaurs for scraps.

It is an animal little changed since those times.

The plan was to stake the Mambo near a walking path in Washington Park while Patty was to feign involvement with a special Reese Witherspoon Vanity, done in shocking pink and set upon wheels for mobile deployment. David and Lynn were to crouch with flamethrowers and explosive nets nearby. Our dear Patty was not left undefended in these seemingly precarious circumstances, for a secret compartment was prepared beforehand with a loaded Smith and Wesson .45 caliber pistol and a 500,000 volt electric riot baton. The Mambo was kept quiet in the meantime by feeding it liberally with live Corgi's, which the Mambo devoured most daintily.

Everyone else made their respective preparations according to their own likes and dislikes, as well as taste for BBQ, and so the time led up to the start, delayed only by several lengthy toasts proposed on the part of Jim Kitson, of Santa Clara Avenue, in honor of the USS Hornet, the American Armed Forces, Our Island Home, his good friend Thomas, Mexican Independence, Nancy Pelosi and the staunch Democrats, each one of the Kennedys, plus a few causes too arcane to remember, the whole affair jolted forward and was announced via a hearty blast upon the Traditional Silver Kazoos.

The line of hunters then moved out into the field under a grey sky and the day began quietly while a selection of musicians performed at the main stage bandstand located in the middle of the baseball diamond. A real crowd pleaser was the Barbershop Quartet that performed selections from the works of Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart. Musical accompaniment was provided by Tobi Nishiyama on tuba, Josh Bennett on kettles, Professor Schickele on Hardart with Inflatable, Robert Fripp on broomstick-washtub bass, and Ken Collins of St. Charles on the Banjo-Bandsaw Anomaly. Mr. Collins' 20 minute solo on the Bandsaw Anomaly can only be described as unusually sublime.

All were well supplied with liberal portions of warm toddy punch, supplied by O'Brian's of New Orleans.

Once again, the Island Yappydog Walker's Association had been redirected by stratagem. This time, it was let out at the Eagle's Hall that a Benefit to Free Martha Stewart was holding a raffle for a donated life-sized portrait of Elvis as Jesus, holding a big-eyed doggie with one arm and embracing a sad-eyed clown with the other. All done tastefully in velvet fabric. Raffle was to be held in the newly dedicated Brittany Spears Shopping Center in Turlock and word had it that the Famous Dame might appear.

They fell for it like rats on moldy cheese and the Island was free of trouble for a while.

And so the day passed pleasantly to the sounds of live music and the occasional shotgun blast, hand grenade, and the unmistakably familiar report of the Mac-10 going full throttle, as it is wont to do in East Oakland and other parts.

Mr. Dominici of Marin brought in a nice one impaled upon a saws-all from Johnson Tools and Julee Coover came successfully out of a melee that erupted in Pagano's illegal parkinglot/storage facility when a brace of Norwegian Blues cornered her and Toni Savage behind the new illegal fence. The plucky pair climbed up onto the towering stacks of manure and cement -- also illegal -- with the snarling hounds snapping at their pumps. From this vantage point, Toni proved the vigor of her name by hurling sacks of hardware stock down at the curs, managing to brain three of them before John Maio, Director of the Altadena Playhouse, came out of the house dressed and made up like Kagemusha, which so astonished the enemy they fled before him and the tide of battle turned in favor of the armies of the White Rose and the enemy fell as leaves of grass before the wind.

At the end of the day, all the tired little hunters came trundling back with their kills or their wounds, as happened to be their luck. Jim Kitson smoked a fine one stuffed with a goose inside his special Poodle-smoker, fed with fires stoked by bundles of cigars from Cuba.

The odor was curious, to say the least, but at the end of the day, a fine time was had by all and we all had a Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn't be beat and we all went to bed and went to sleep and didn't get up until the next morning. When we got a call from Officer O'Madhauen.

But that is another story.

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THE 6th ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT

2004

The Sixth Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ began sedately with none of the wildness experienced in prior years. Please note the events of the tumultuous year 2001. The shoot began promptly at dawn at the usual starting point out on the West End ferry landing with a nip from the flask, a toot from the official Horn of the Hunt and a rousing rendition of A Nation Again by the Homophile Choirboys Symphonic Orchestra.

Vicious rumors had been circulating that the grand old tradition of the Fox Hunt was about to be abolished throughout the British Isles by Parliamentary Order, had produced its own ripple of concern here for there are some, surprisingly so, who maintain that the notoriously vicious, savagely destructive, and inane poodle is actually an animal possessed of intelligence as well as complex feelings, although no one has gone so far as to allege any serious utility for this creature.

Its hideousness is generally acknowledged, for the atrociously barbered poodle is recognized by every sound and sane gentleman to be an affront to Nature, aesthetics, and the eye of God and therefore worthy of destruction.

Nevertheless, there are some, such as Reverend Rectumrod, who have asserted that the means is as questionable as attacking and destroying a foreign country solely to obtain control over its oil reserves.

Strike that last comment as being entirely inappropriate for the avowed nonpartisan Poodleshoot.

Still, there are those who have wondered just what do we have against poodles in particular. Surely the yappy Chihuahua or the unnecessarily surly and unpredictable pitbull are more contemptible.

No, the faults of these dogs reside with their contemptible owners, who deserve to be exterminated without appeal, and not in the nature of an animal which began free from taint. Note how the Chihuahua will attempt to finger-paint messages with the only medium available -- its own excrement -- in desperate plea for an SOS when constrained in a public kennel. But ownership is not the fault of the dog in this case. What sort of idiot would consent to ownership of such a foolish thing is beyond me and therefore we see the entire problem resides in the ownership. Left to themselves, it seems plain that the yappy Chihuahua would have long since either exterminated itself by way of nerves, or developed more sophisticated means of communication than described above.

As for pitbulls, a cursory examination of their owners reveals the lowest segment of society: criminals, vagabonds, lowriders, litigation attorneys, and such ilk. Is it any wonder that any animal turns bad in such vile company? Look ye upon a baby pitbull and you will not discover a more adorable creature in the Creation of Goddess. As in the Doberman, who starts off life well enough until some asshole has his ears clipped, the pitbull means no harm on the outset. Perhaps we should rename the breed to Fuzzy-Wuzzy, instead of the obvious vermin-magnet "pitbull".

The poodle, however, is born vile and develops with care and feeding into an abomination that encourages the worst aspects of human behavior, for wherever the poodle holds sway among humans, one finds intemperance, intolerance, poor artworks, viciousness, saccharin sentimentality, miserable aesthetics, and general inclination to foolishness. Here we have the unusual occurrence of the Animal corrupting the Human and we firmly believe that the poodle is not a true animal, but a third category to be called Spawn of Satan, among which we list poodles, Neo-Conservatives, and the Ebola Virus.

But to continue, the Poodleshoot began without a hint of trouble. Lately the air has turned crisp -- for Northern California -- turning all the leaves of the oaks along Grand Street and the evening air is scented with the smoke of long dormant fireplaces all over. Soon the air was filled with the sound of 12 gauge shotguns, the distinctive pop of 45 caliber rifles, the calling of hunters, "Poodle here!", and the occasional CRUMP! of the hand grenade and other surplus ordinance. One enterprising fellow used aluminum siding to fashion a couple mortars used with great effect down at the Point.

Mortars were forbidden within 1000 yards of the marina, owing to various errors of trajectory in previous years resulting in depletion of the Hunt Funds to pay for the unfortunate damages to several boots. One can only imagine the shocked surprise of all concerned at the time. There was an awful lot of hand waving, jumping up and down and exclamations of "Heck, it did that?!"

Things went swimmingly until the BBQ started, when a contretemps developed between Rev. Rectumrod and Father Persnickety over the issue of Moral Values in re poodles. The Reverend maintained that 'twer better to say grace after the dispatch of the pup and before dining per Tradition, whereas the good Catholic Father Persnickety maintained that it were better to perform orisons prior to dispatch -- when possible -- in respect to a life taken (no matter how vile). The dispute soon fell to blows between the principals -- as so often happens between the followers of Martin Luther and those of the Pope -- and the matter required sturdy intervention by members of the party.

Meanwhile, down on the strand a brace of hunters headed by an enthusiastic Eugene Gallipagus encountered a party of UltraRight Neocons embedded in a party of Island DogWalkers and there ensued a pitched battle nigh unto 8th Street with the Neocons employing the usual methods of deception, subterfuge, feint and bother, against the straightforward cut and thrust of the Hunters, who resorted in close quarters to cutlass, rapier and impermeables.

A brace of Silvers, guarded by a stout resistance of Dogwalkers, took shelter as rain began to fall, upon the islet of Foofoo, nigh unto the Falafel Cafe.

Hearing of a possible containment of poodles and the infamous Osama Bin Lassie, Eugene Shrubb sent a detachment of weary Marine Bums dressed in colander helmets, vestments of jerkin, hauberks of wok, and leggings of worsted, from his investment of Newark to see about this issue.

Night fell as the Marines arrived in wind and rain to bivouac in the Washington park, and thus ended the first day of the Annual Poodleshoot.

The Second Day dawned with cloudy skies and intermittent rain, which yielded in the latter part of the day to clarity and dry weather, albeit some wind. Down by the little strip of water separating FooFoo from the Island, the Marines decided upon a full on assault with heavy weapons to eradicate such resistance as remained. The defenders there prudently removed themselves prior to the assault and so the barrage of bottle rockets, mortars, and empty bottles of Jack Daniels fell upon deaf or nonexistent ears. The battalion of Bums charged through the shallows to take the island and destroy the two poodle Toys which had incomprehensibly remained. There they stood and raised the flag upon the Islet, which measured some .1 x .1 acre in size, proclaiming a great triumph of Democracy. Everyone then repaired to McGraths to get thoroughly drunk.

Newark, however, has yet to hold a free Election.

Down by the Strand, however, things did not go well. Dan Rathernot, of the local cable channel We Be Us, was deceived and snubbed by the City Council and parties thought to be aligned with the Neo-Con Poodle Support Party, while Missy Showslip, of the Foxy Network, was feted and well embedded with the most significant dignitaries. Loud were the champagne corks in that quarter.

As a result the reports from the battlefield are sketchy. We do know that Eugene's small party was beaten back by a phalanx of DogWalkers, Fire and Brimstone Preachers, and a large number of Christeen Shouters bearing bibles and terriers among them, and the hunters were driven nigh unto Crab Cove, site of the infamous Battle of the Bog in the year 2001. There the plucky warriors formed a shield wall about the children's trapeze set while the Christeen Shouters hurled imprecations of the most awful kind even as the terriers set up a horrendous din. Several Homeboys playing B-Ball on the Courts there were advanced upon by a platoon of Ecumenicals threatening the Courts with dismay. Night fell mercifully quick and all repaired to their respective bivouacs. Thus ended the Second Day.

The Third Day began with the Preachers stirring from their camp to receive reinforcements in the form of bullhorns and pulpits mounted on wheels. Things did not look well for the besieged as a cold rain had fallen during the night and several members became afflicted with the catarrh and all their gunpowder was spent or damp.

But just as the Preachers had got their pulpits harnessed up to the terriers for quick feint and dodge drive-by sermons, and the sun peered forth on the cold morn and the clouds rolled back from His Face not unlike the stone set before the tomb of the Great Holy Roller Himself for it was said, perhaps in a movie, "Look to Me on the Third Day". Then, across the sward there came a troop of Ecumenicals dressed to the nines in collars and habits and bearing crucifixes that glittered in the sun with great majesty and there were Bishops and Ministers among them. From far off Boston and New York and the distant sunless lands of Oregon they came, the Liberal Clergy, proceeded by the indomitable and well armored Popemobile.

The Liberal Clergy fell upon the Arch Conservatives with a great disputation and there was a tremendous thumping of bibles to be heard. First this way then that the battle raged and the warriors of the field were not unlike the leaves of grass bent by the wind. Eugene ran down to the Cove and threw himself in, there to be Saved by a Liberal Evangelical who baptized there on the spot. The crucifixes were used with terrible potency as battle-axes and the nuns employed steel-weighted rosaries with awful effect, slinging them about their heads and smacking them upon the pates of the prelates with Amazonian war cries.

Then, from the West, there arose a great shout and into the fray marched the Wiccans of Marin, casting spells and putting the fear of the pre-Xian Spirit into everyone. Then there was confusion among the Neo-Cons upon the pronouncements of Malthus and of Vico and Moses Maimonides. and others besides, for the Neo-Cons never had much of a grasp of History to begin with so they were unprepared to debate these issues and they were sore perplexed.

Just then the Popemobile was overturned upon a charge of pederasty-- fortunately after the Holy Rider had already disembarked -- and there was confusion and dissent among the Clergy with a great deal of milling about the palms of Washington Park, with a lot of rending of garments and sackcloth and ashes. During this melee, several poodles were aided in escape in the company of several visiting Japanese schoolgirls and the Hunters also took this opportunity to flee back to the ferry landing where all remarked that it was the most sanctified of all the Poodleshoots ever held, and many were drenched by the copious buckets of holy water which had been thrown.

They were soon joined by the Wiccans, who have no taste for religious disputation, or violence for that matter, and the company adjourned to McRaths for a round of drinks and celebration and thanks for having escaped a Fire and Brimstone fate. Thus ended the Sixth Annual Poodleshoot in the Year of Our Lord, 2004.

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THE 7th POODLESHOOT

2005

The day dawned gloomy with Matrix-like storm skies and proper November weather as the official bugle tooted its toot and the official Toast of the Hunt -- served up in the official beverage, Wild Turkey, -- was downed. With a jolly crescendo from the horn section of the Hoophole High School Marching Band and Classical Orchestra, the annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ had begun. Soon, the merry sounds of the hunt drifted across the Island: shouts of "Poodle there!", the sharp crack of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional sputter of automatic weapons and machine guns and the frequent Whump of percussion grenades. A couple caballero's from San Francisco clattered down Otis Drive, armed with riatas and lances. Peter, from McGrath's, set himself up near the Washington School with a small nine-pound howitzer stuffed with grapeshot, while Leonard Gardner from Marin showed up with a genuine black powder blunderbuss.

Not to fear for Leonard's safety, as he also packed a Colt .45 revolver should the thing fail to ignite in a pinch of poodles.

We had a number of celebrities among us, beside Mr. Gardner for the renown of the annual affair has spread far and wide. It may be the accidental torching of the entire Strand the year Artie brought in a flame-thrower pulled from US Army tank and mounted on the back of his truck, or it may be the destruction of several thirty-footers in the Marina when Hans Brinker employed mortar rounds that started the buzz that the Island is THE place to be on Thanksgiving.

The Island tends to be rather peaceful most of the time, but there is something about the atavistic blood lust stirred up by a really exciting poodlehunt that beckons the imagination to romp in full glory.

In any case, we had the honor to have among us the Chief Advisor to the President of the Bums and main architect of the War on Terriers as well as the invasion of Newark, Karl Manley Stovepipe. Mr. Stovepipe showed up in his usual regalia of full camoflage pants and jacket with camo spats, waistcoat and patterned boots of the most martial kind. His Clint Eastwood eyes glared coldly with the ferocity of a natural born killer from underneath his helmet and he chomped a cheroot with such savagery that one could almost pity the poodle that would encounter this superior species of Republican. It was well known that he had the skull and crossbones tattooed upon his naked pate. About his virile chest he strapped bandoliers of hollow points, dumdums, bear slugs, explosive shells and armor-piercing bullets. By his one side he strapped a two-foot long Arkansas toothpick and on the other he sported a modified 45 caliber automatic pistol which had a circular loading cartridge that held 36 shells. It looked like something from a science fiction movie and in order to shoot it, normal men had to tie their arm to a tree to handle the kickback. Mr. Stovepipe's main weapon of choice that day was a simple hand-held anti-tank bazooka. Clearly he did not care much if his catch was totally destroyed. The man loved war and killing, purely and simply.

Padraic showed up with a barrel of his special home brew, which he rationed out, but Mr. Stovepipe would show his spunk by downing a double portion. And when Padraic was not looking, he tapped yet more of the keg into his hip flask, for as mentioned, he was a Republican and that is their way.

Padraic did not have a chance to say anything of the part that keg had played in the infamous Poodleshoot of 2001 or that this liquor was minimally 150 proof. No he did not.

It was over by Chipman Middle School that things went badly awry. Besides the explosion over by the former W.W.I memorial at Crab Cove; that was another story with unfortunate consequences.

There, across from the schoolyard Officer O'Madhauen pulled the two caballeros over and cited them for exceeding the speedlimit in a school zone and turning left without signaling. The men were riding palominos at the time, but choice of vehicle matters not to this vigilant officer of the traffic law, for this is The Island and on this Island, traffic enforcement exceeds all others in priority. As a consequence, we have the same accident rate as Berkeley, which is notoriously not an island, proud defenders of the Department have said.

The Island Dogwalker's Association -- a rather unruly and provacational bunch in the best of times -- had gathered to watch from the schoolyard, and on such a day, they were all armed with umbrellas and other secret weapons.

"Look Fifi! Look at the horsey!", one of them said.

In any case, while the Officer was inspecting one vehicle for possible code violations, the unfortunate beast relieved himself of internal gaseous pressure. This caused the Officer to jump back. In fact he jumped back so far that his foot caught on the curb there and he fell flat on his back beside the stone sign there. That stone sign with its vegetation that makes such a perfect hiding place for a hunter looking to draw a bead on Fifi. Startled, the hunter there, for it was Mr. Gardner, dropped his match into the pan and accidentally discharged his gun. Which harmlessly broke a school window. But which also startled the horses.

Unfortunately for the horses and also for the caballeros, these were not true caballeros, but a couple of homeboys from Fruitvale and they had gotten their silver-studded outfits with sombreros from a costume supply shop. More importantly, they were a bit unclear on what to do exactly about a spooked horse.

Not to fear, for the riders need only lasso a tree and tie off the horse until it calmed down. Which one rider did quite successfully. The other however discovered he had made a terrible mistake when the bush began screaming as it got dragged along the ground. The man had not lassoed a bush; he had lassoed Mr. Stovepipe, who had been steadily finishing the last of Padriac's home-brew on the other side of the concrete marker among the real trees.

As he was being dragged along the grassy baseball field there, the pistol on his hip started firing, adding to the ruckus and everybody ducked down with dogwalkers throwing aside their leashes and impermeables this way and that so as to take cover for their lives.

About the time the bullets ran out of the gun the horse reached the Dogwalker's banquet table and leapt right over it, dragging Mr. Stovepipe through several angelfood upsidedown cakes as well as a large and formidable tub of that substance found inevitably at Rotarian and Kiwanis Club picnics, the misnamed "ambrosia".

This trivia is not so significant compared to the fact that although possessed of poor taste and questionable morals, the Dogwalkers Association did not consist of overly cruel individuals. An enterprising Mr. Beasley tied a couple leashes together to make his own lasso with which he captured the horse who had run into the baseball backpen area and gotten confused. After much discussion and the employment of mini-scissors, a pocketknife and tweezers, the rope attaching horse and man was cut in the middle while the man part lay semiconscious amid a crowd of yapping, yipping and licking dogs and there were poodles among them.

Some of the hunters came up, having regained their courage after a few more nips of the bottle and the cessation of random bullets, but being so near the school they could not discharge their weapons.

"I think it rather a good idea to call it a day all around," said Mr. Beasley. And he added, "We have your man in our power."

The hunters were rather concerned about the potential ramifications of this affair involving the President's Chief Advisor, so they eagerly agreed to halt the proceedings. Everyone was called back to the BBQ, where Padriac supplied the drink from his cask and the meager grill with seared Ahi, so nobody went home hungry that day. Or sober.

And that was the end of the 2005 Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

As for Mr. Stovepipe, he not only survived his wounds, but would brag about them and the incredible battle he had enjoined against superior numbers with his back to the wall, armed only with his Arkansas toothpick. He told everybody who would listen that he gave the enemy a damn fine licking.

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THE 8th ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT AND BBQ -

YEAR 2006

DAY ONE

The Annual Poodleshoot opened under sunny, clear blue skies and everyone commented they had not seen such delightful poodle-shooting weather for many a year. It all began as usual when Padraic got up at the crack of Dawn. That is to say, failing in rousing the man with shouts and imprecations, Dawn O'Reilly gave Padraic a mighty whack upon the pate and set him off down the boreen with a keg of the official Shoot beverage, Wild Turkey shortly before sunup.

The day began quietly while a selection of musicians calling themselves the "St. Charles Atonals" performed at the main stage bandstand located in the middle of the baseball diamond. A spirited rendition of "Sha-boopie" done with Jew's Harp and oboe turned out to be a real crowd pleaser . Musical accompaniment was provided by Rex Suru on tuba, Josh Bennett on harp, Professor Schickele on Hardart with Inflatable, Robert Fripp on broomstick-washtub bass, and Ken Collins of St. Charles on the Banjo-Bandsaw Anomaly. Mr. Collins' 20 minute solo on the Bandsaw Anomaly can only be described as "unique".

Padraic took a few moments to read the Rules and introduce the Special Guests for this year's event: The Fremont L7 Choir and Shooting Club, consisting of the best LGBT crack shots in the East Bay bar none. Event organizers had long realized that belching, farting, cursing and firearms display should not be limited to the male gender and so Padriac was sent to the L7 Clubhouse as emissary bearing formal invitations and the tender offering of a cheeselog as token gift.

So it was that Vicki, Veronica, Velma, Violet, Vanessa, Vivian, Valentina, Vashti, and Susan Laing showed up strapped to the nines with bandoliers and full of that honest American red-blooded poodle-shooting spirit.

Expected later in the day was the annual White House Representative, this time to be none other than the Vice President himself. "Buckshot Dick" is known to have such a love of hunting that he sometimes rushes out into the field before the license formalities have completed. It was thought that last year's contretemps involving the President's Chief Advisor would be avoided by sending someone who has demonstrated greater awareness and care with firearms.

With a jolly crescendo from the horn section of the Hoophole High School Marching Band and Classical Orchestra, the line of hunters then moved out into the field under a blue sky -- annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ had begun. Soon, the merry sounds of the hunt drifted across the Island: shouts of "Poodle there!", the sharp crack of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional sputter of automatic weapons and the frequent Whump of percussion grenades adding to the Holiday Cheer.

The L7 group made their mark by bursting into a rousing chorus of Der Rosenkavalier after a particularly good hit by Veronica on a male Russian Silverhair. Veronica terrified the normally macho Eugene Gallipigus no end by her excited cries of "Prairie oysters on the barbie!" Eugene took this time to set up a poodle blind on the far side of the Island and he was not seen at all by anyone for the rest of the hunt even though Vashti tried to assure him with, "Don't mind Von -- she's a Separatist, but she has a good heart."

One would think that these new circumstances would have led to a terrible disaster in which the much ballyhooed "War Between the Sexes" would have caused a general degeneration of the whole affair into chaotic sniping at one another among the hunters, but it was only Eugene who seemed to have a problem and he went off to be by himself. In fact the L7 group proved to be extremely capable during a skirmish between the Hunters and the Island Dogwalkers Association who once again picked Crab Cove as the area in which to launch a sortie against one of our platoons.

The platoon was advancing cautiously past the baseball field when the DWA swooped down on them with impermeables and flintlocks, tossing smoke grenades and firing RPG's from across the Memorial Sward that lay before the Cove HQ building. You know the building -- its the one with the cute tidepool display. Things would have gotten serious if Vicki had not stood her ground like one of Queen Caliafa's Amazons of yore, firing an explosive tipped crossbow dart right into the middle of the RPG unit, messing up their hairstyles real bad and sending the DWA yapping back into the trees.

In general the first day ended well, with most parties bringing in either hearty catches or very colorful stories meant to enliven the fireside for at least three generations. Lynn Depaul, an L7 Associate, experienced significant success with her Therapy Darts fashioned from syringes and IV tubing. Nancy and Sean of St. Charles Street, a heartwarming mother-son couple, used an electrified net strung between two trees and a 9-Iron for final dispatch.

Marin's Paul and Marybeth employed blackpowder rifles and cavalry swords in the Old Tyme Weaponry Division, bagging a pair of Blues, while Suan of the Marin L7 contingent employed a morningstar flail with halberd to great effect during a melee by the boathouse.

Visiting guests, Dee Plakas, Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner of the "slash-metal" group "Camel Lips" performed on stage at sundown to an approving, if somewhat bemused crowd. "It aint exactly Nashville, but they're okay," commented Jim Kitson of Santa Clara Avenue. "It reminds me of a cross between a gang of chainsaws and the sound of a squadron of P16's divebombing into the Pacific Ocean."

2006 POODLESHOOT - DAYS 2, 3 . . . AND 4

No one knows exactly what went wrong for the rest of the Shoot, what happened there at the evening concert, or how it all happened at all despite the best of preparations. Some think that one of the nefarious DWA's, or perhaps even a member of Osama Bin Lassie's outlaws snuck something into the Official Keg, for an empty bottle labeled"Warning: Contains Genuine Spanish Fly Extract. DO NOT MIX WITH ALCOHOL!" was found nearby. Several witnesses mentioned later they noticed a suspicious person wearing a trenchcoat loitering by the keg, who was only deemed "suspicious in retrospect, for everyone loitered near the keg, as it dispensed whiskey bought and paid for already by the entrance fees. Some others said they saw this person run off on four legs.

In any case, the following day began desultorily. Every once in a while a mortar would go off and an Uzi would tear loose, but the Island seemed suspiciously quiet. In the evening everyone came back, laughing and rosy-cheeked from the cold, to the pit at the Ferry Landing, but the catch seemed rather small in comparison with previous years so that Padriac was forced to break out the frozen Ahi to add to the BBQ that night and no one seemed to mind.

The following day, almost no explosions were heard and only a couple blasts from a Mossberg echoed over the Island. But still, the hunters returned, laughing and chatting and joking amongst themselves as usual.

Entirely empty handed.

For the gloomy and overcast Sunday, the final day of the shoot, the hunters were offered premiums for the biggest or most inventive catch and the morning passed with silence across the land. Padraic quizzed the spotters and rulesmen, who reported that all the hunters had disappeared. Padraic left the Command Post to see for himself. In disbelief, while standing on the corner of Otis and Grand, an Island Dogwalker passed him by merrily leading a prancing pom-pommed Motley French, who waved at him cheerily. The unarmed Padraic fled in terror across the field, falling into a poodleblind set up improbably and quite obviously to all upon the uncamoflaged pitcher's mound. Wherein he found Victoria and Verne in an advanced state of dishabille upon a cot. And they were not hunting for poodle by any stretch of the imagination.

Around the corner he went to step over Marybeth -- who was on top of Paul more or less in a bivvy sack -- to bump into Veronica and Velma, who were going at each other like crazed weasels with their lips locked together in the corner of the schoolhouse where a few bushes blocked the wind. They were not hunting for poodle either, at least not in any canine sense. In the distance he noticed a Cabela's Blind planted out in the open and rocking back and forth as if set on the pitching deck of a ship.

Out by the Strand he found one of the Officials. And Vice President Richard Cheney. And a phalanx of men in dark suits who kept speaking into their lapels while looking about them constantly through dark sunglasses. Despite the overcast heavens. With them, carrying a Mossberg 12 gauge, was the Archbishop of Boston.

It was inquired of Padraic about where the rest of the hunters might be. "Other men with guns." One of the men in dark suits said flatly.

"Ahhh!" Padraic said, smacking his forehead. "We thought all about security. This section of the hunt is Reserved for the Vice President. The others have been . . . retired for the day. Out of respect and deference you know."

"Good!" said the Veep. "That's the way it should be."

With many excuses Padraic dashed back to the Command Center, leaving the Official, Mike Ramsey, in charge of guiding the VP and his escort. All along the 8th Street area he noted blinds of every description setup without any care to disguise or camouflage as if the people had been in terrible haste to erect their, um, constructions. In the normal year, one might find one or two of these things set up by newbies, but this time it appeared as if every last hunter had secured one for him and herself. Back at CP, Padraic called over to Big Five Sports to inquire about blinds . . . .

"What's going on out there? We sold every last one from this store and the store in San Leandro over the past 48 hours. Nobody would take a special order though." Said the salesperson.

That's when Padraic noticed the bottle beside the keg. And that is when, tears pouring from his eyes, he took up Suan's morningstar flail -- god knows where she was and what she was doing at this point without her weapon -- and with a mighty swing, stove in the side of the keg with a shattering of oak and an eruption of whiskey. Dawn came tearing around the side of the BBQ trough then shouting, "What in god's name are you doing you omadhaun! Have you taken leave of your senses?"

And before he could stop her, she took up a flagon, filled it with the draining whiskey and downed half of it as Padraic cried out, "No!"

"I'm not going to let it all go to waste. And that is no way to treat daycent water o' life. What did you do that for?"

"It's pizzened," said Padraic who dropped dejectedly onto a bench.

This statement caused some concern in poor Dawn. "That's why we hear no shots anymore. The lot of them, poisoned!" She looked at the flagon from which she had just gulped a pint of poisoned whiskey. "What's going to happen to me?! Will it be quick?"

"Noooo." Padraic said, shaking his head. "The Poodleshoot is all destroyed."

Dawn shrieked something in Gaelic. "God save my soul, I'm murthered!" And she sank down beside him on the bench.

"Tell me how the others looked. Sufferin' and agonized like? Was there pain?"

"Noooo." Padraic said. "They all looked pretty happy."

"And you tried to save me by staving in the keg. Me dearest chum-chum Padraic." She snuggled up against him. "Give us a kiss before we die, a long hot one."

"O, we've been married twenty years and more and I do not think you are ready for what's coming." With that he stood up and drank down the rest of the flagon on the table there, dipped it into what remained of the whiskey in the shattered barrel and drank that down too as Dawn protested and clung to him.

"Do ye want to be like the rose and the briar, now?!" She said.

For answer, Padraic said, "Make love, not war." And he kissed her just as the heavens opened up with torrents of rain, sending all the Ruleskeepers under cover, including the Vice President, and putting an end to the day's official activities. As the Officials ran this way and that a peace descended upon the Island such as it has not seen for many a year and there was an end to all the war making and shooting, and although the rain put out the coals in the Pit, a number of embers continued to glow well into the night elsewhere.

In truth, every participant, save perhaps for Eugene, who spent the entire four days all by himself in his blind, reported perfect satisfaction with this year's Shoot. Or it may be nobody would cop to what went on. Even old Buckshot Dick came away with a nice kill of a surprised Motley French down on Shoreline. And he only managed to slightly wound the Archbishop in the buttocks in the process.

And that is the way the 2006 Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ came to an end, so help me god in truth.

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THE 9th POODLESHOOT

2007

This year rosy-fingered Dawn opened the curtains of the night upon a brilliant cloud free day and most glorious weather for a delightful poodle shoot. In the East, the great doors of that brilliant stable swung open to let the blinding-white horses of Helios leap forth to launch that streaming chariot of the sun across the blue heavens.

The day began quietly while a selection of musicians calling themselves the "St. Charles Atonals" performed at the main stage bandstand located in the middle of the baseball diamond. A spirited rendition of "Sha-boopie" done with Jew's Harp and oboe turned out to be a real crowd pleaser . Musical accompaniment was provided by Rex Suru on tuba, Kirk Johnson on harp, Professor Schickele on Hardart with Inflatable, Karen Rega on broomstick-washtub bass, and Ken Collins of St. Charles on the Banjo-Bandsaw Anomaly. Mr. Collins' 20 minute solo on the Bandsaw Anomaly can only be described as "extraordinarily unique".

Padraic took a few moments to read the Rules and introduce the Special Guests for this year's event: The Marin-Based Chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West.

The annual White House Representative, "Buckshot Dick" sent apologies for his inability to attend.

Libations and offers were made to honor the gods, and wise Athena, Goddess of the Hunt, sent down a token in the form of an owl who perched upon the buckeye tree with imperious mein while gusty Boreas sent a gentle sirocco across the lagoon.

With a jolly crescendo from the horn section of the Hoophole High School Marching Band and Classical Orchestra, the line of hunters then moved out into the field under a blue sky -- the annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ had begun. Soon, the merry sounds of the hunt drifted across the Island: shouts of "Poodle there!", the sharp crack of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional sputter of automatic weapons and the frequent Whump of percussion grenades adding to the Holiday Cheer.

Javier quickly won the First Bag of Day award with his Mauser nice shot by the Old Stone Wall near the Old Same Place.

Down by the Cove, Wally -- armed with his modified Bear Pistol -- got into a sort of contest with the lithsome Mary Beth Whittamore, who had brought her vintage "Hunter's Pet", which is a sort of .410 caliber bicycle gun once made by W. Stevens and designed for black powder use. Mary Beth had employed her significant welding skills, however to up the caliber to a .555 with a reinforced chamber of titanium alloy, proving there is no end to caliber size and no limits to feminine capabilities. Here is a picture of Wally with his Bear Gun equipped for 50 cal explosive shells.

The two friends had great fun potting poodles hiding behind palm trees. Wally would simply blast the trunk away to reveal the Fifi behind the former tree and so with his next shot, would bag his game.

Jim Kitson, of Santa Clara Street, earned a Style Award for his ingenious Poodle Trap Au Bufano which consisted of something that looked like a Primitivist Sculpture of iron, heavy ship timbers from the wreck of the Forlorn Hope and several round stones, each weighing in at some two hundred pounds. At the base of Jim's erection, a slice of Mama Reebop's Sweet Potato Pie had been set on a pile of kibbles all neatly arranged on a lace doily. French perfume, used to scent the trap, was offered up to the Grey-Eyed Goddess and to Short-Haired Eris, Goddess of Parking and Discord.

When the game took the bait, several of those stone balls rolled off of the top of the sculpture, making quite a nice furry pancake for the Bar-B-Que and all the gods were well pleased.

Mary Beth, preferring the more delicate approach, would enrage the beast by setting fire to pink ribbons, a sight everyone knows a Fifi cannot abide. As the animal charged, Mary Beth would pot her game on the run. The two took bets on numbers of devastating head shots and many were the decapitated carcasses brought to the "pit" that day. There is nothing lovelier than a pretty lady blasting away with a .555 pistol.

Over at the BBQ, Kirk and visiting Mike Rega put on a spectacular demonstration of "deep fried poodle" on their special Southern Poodle Cooker. It was so much fun, and the meat so moist, others also wanted to try their hand at it. Click on the pic to watch the movie. Sometimes the kills are not quite killed before they go into the pot, hence the need for the hoe chopper there.

Everything was going really well, with all the folks giving thanks to the gods for a successful hunt, enjoying their fried poodle, BBQ poodle, "pulled" poodle, puppy stew, kimchee poodle, and poodle-kabobs when Paul showed up at the pit with his game.

PADRAIC: Paul, what the hell is that?

PAUL: Its my catch.

PADRAIC: Paul, that aint no poodle.

PAUL: Its poodle enough for me to eat it.

PADRAIC: You know the rules.

PAUL: I don't care about the rules. I am going to cook and eat this thing.

PADRAIC: Where did you get that thing and why did you kill it? Was this some sort of accident?

PAUL: It was no accident. It bit me and now I am going to bite it. Happened over by Washington Middle School. Damn things should be ona leash . . . .

PADRIAC: Let me just look here at this tag . . . Good God, it says "Sweetums" / Oliver Howitzer 62 Fernside! This aint no poodle; it's Mr. Howitzer's rottweiler! You just killed somebody's pet!

PAUL: Its not a pet, its an ungoverned monster with teeth that bit me. It was all self defence.

PADRAIC:What are we gonna do now? What if Mr. Howitzer sees his dog like this?

PAUL: Throw him on the 'Que -- I'll make him disappear fast enough. I'm hungry!

PADRAIC: O, I do not think this will end well . . . .

Yes, the gods are mysterious in their ways. They treat us like flies for their sport. Grim visaged Fate stalks the earth in pursuit of the intractable Mr. Howitzer, but all who attended this years Annual Island Poodleshoot and Barbeque had a grand time, save for a dog bite or two.

That's the way it was this Thanksgiving, 2007 on the Island. Have a great week.

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THE 10TH ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

2008

This year the 'Shoot began with uncommon festive ceremony in view of the Tenth Anniversary of this traditional holiday.

As usual rosy-fingered Dawn parted the curtains of the night to step lightly across the dew-dappled fields under Michelangelo skies, muscular with gods and gleams of fast-approaching Phoebus, until she reached nigh unto the hedge privy to make there the streams of gold that ease us all pleasurably into the day.

Gently she kissed the eyelids of still-sleeping Padriac, mighty Innkeeper and Guardian of the Hunt, but he stirred not except for a brief snort of somnolence for Morpheous held him firmly in his shadowland.

That's when rosy-fingered Dawn gave Padriac a mighty wack startling him awake and banishing abruptly that dull old Morpheous for Dawn O'Reilly was not to be trifled with.

By the time Padriac and Dawn had arrived at the "Pit" there in Washington Park, the Island Atonal Marching Band and Hoophole Choir were setting up their instruments.

This year, the band included Rex Suru on tuba, Kirk Johnson on dweezil harp, Professor Schickele on Hardart with Inflatable, Karen Rega on broomstick-washtub bass, Helen on Hapless 85-Key Harmonium, Goody Thompson and Lucky on percussion and conch shell, Pat Aston on kettledrum with tapas, Doctor Smallberries on oud and five-string Acme Vaporware Fantod, Ken Collins on the Banjo-Bandsaw Anomaly. Oscar Matzarath on Tin Drum, Oscar Kring on spittoon and stuffed monkey, Carol Traylor on horned crepuscular and bass zither, and Rachel Linzer on Brass Shrieker with Mugwhumper while Shawn and Nancy Grey performed the oboe-bassoon-clarinet-trumpet-resin tooter Occlusion Device.

Ken's 20 minute solo on the Bandsaw Anomaly has been described by critics as "unique in the annals of music".

After the band performed a spirited rendition of the well-loved Venezuelan National Anthem, arranged by Terry Gilliam and John Cleese, the Island Chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West entered from the one side and the Native Daughters from the other, all dressed in white and wearing crowns of golden poppies. They gathered in a circle and intoned the traditional Poodleshoot Chant in the ancient language of Nuovo Zembla as recorded by E Clampus Vitus.

They turned in a circle clockwise, then anti-clockwise, then interlocked their pinkies with arms raised and each then emitted a delicate fart.

Padraic took a few moments to read the Rules and introduce the Special Guests for this year's event: members and clergy from The First Recondite Unitarian Church and Stablery of Sonoma.

The annual White House Representative, "Buckshot Dick" sent apologies for his inability to attend.

Libations and offers were made to honor the gods, and Glaucous Athena, Goddess of the Hunt, sent down a token in the form of an owl who perched upon the buckeye tree with imperious mein.

With a jolly crescendo from the horn section, the line of hunters then moved out into the field under a grey sky -- the Tenth Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ had begun. Soon, the merry sounds of the hunt drifted across the Island: shouts of "Poodle there!", the sharp crack of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional sputter of AK-47's and the frequent whump of percussion grenades adding to the Holiday Cheer.

Jeff Silva won a prize for First Bag of the Day, by using a cleverly-designed hand-thrown cluster bomb.

Eugene Gallipagus sallied forth with his updated fifty-cal rhino-gun and quickly found himself hot on the trail of a brace of silverhairs who turned off of Grand Street and attempted to seek sanctuary in the Church of the Sanctified Elvis on Central Avenue.

Unfortunately, it was in the nave of this church that Ms. Morales was ardently attempting to change her name with Mr. Ramirez in a a long delayed joint wedding with Susan and Lynette, Tommy and Toby.

Because the Catholic Archbishop had put the screws to the pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Incessant Complaint upon hearing about the same-sex marriage events to be included in the program, Father Guimon had been forced to bow out, such that the loving couples had need to go in search of a minister for some weeks, until they finally found a sympathetic ear in that of Reverend Sanctus Sanfroid. With a Reverend and a church edifice, it was no problem to haul in Rebbe Mendelnuss, and Pastor Nyquist of the First Presbyterian Church for a genuine mixed wedding in thorough-going California style. The Church of Our Lady of Incessant Complaint sent a token Deacon to stand there looking uncomfortable in an effort to save somebody's soul on behalf of the One True Church.

Since Church and State are seperate by law and Constitution, Proposition 8 had no effect upon any of the proceedings, some of which had been handled at City Hall by clerks with very sweaty palms, but a wedding is a ceremony in a church and a civil union is what everybody else gets regardless.

Pastor Lisa Freethought of the Unitarian Church was engaged in marrying off Andre and Marlene the same day, so the Island was just as chock full of joy as it was of churches on the day of the Poodleshoot.

One person, most decidedly not ever joyous, stood outside the Church of the Sanctified Elvis with a crowd of picketers who shouted the most base and obscene things imaginable. Among the milder picket signs, was one that read, "GOD HATES YOU!" That person outside the church was the irate Fred Phelps, the very same man who finds Billy Graham a false prophet, the Pope a demon, Ireland a nest of serpents and the country of Sweden to be Sodom and Gomorrah. Fred Phelps hates so many people and institutions that the only person ever recorded to have liked him was Saddam Hussein.

Phelps has his own church of course, in the state of Kansas where they tolerate his ilk, and where the primary credo is that all gay people are hated by their god and deserve to die terribly. It might be added that Mr. Phelps is not a nice man.

Into this melange, just at the critical moment of "I do" happened beneath the nine foot high poster in velvet of Elvis in his white suit, charged several poodles, followed by Eugene blazing away and several other hunters armed with the usual assortment of firearms, morningstar flails, katana swords, crossbows with explosive-tipped arrows and the general sportsman set of paraphernalia complete with nets and steel-jaw traps.

The Phelps congregation scattered like Chaff upon the Wind blown by the Lord, dropping signs and bullhorns in their haste.

One erring shot blasted the sign hanging from the armature there at the street, causing the heavy board to crash down on the unfortunate Mr. Phelps, who went down in turn like a sack of rocks to lie out there, spreadeagled and unconscious.

That's the odd moment when everybody noticed he had left his fly unzipped.

In any case, the poodles ran amok in the church, causing all sorts of mischief and stealing from the collection plates and the big fruit basket offering until Bear drove them out by flailing a chain from a 1939 Shovelhead Harley -- which he had worn about his waist as a cummerbund for his tuxedo. Lynette also performed with valor, using the crescent wrench she always kept about her for mechanical emergencies with great effect and she was rewarded in the doorway with a warm kiss from Susan.

As he stood panting at the door, watching the poodlechase head pell-mell for the Unitarian Church across the street, Sophie, his consort of many years laid a hand on his arm in admiration.

"Bear, you are a filthy beast, and I love you." she said. Such are the ways of love, inscrutable and mysterious.

As it turned out, once everything had sorted itself out, it was she who caught the first bouquet.

Sound of trumpets tooting victory here.

But to leave that happy scene we turn to the disorder upsetting the normally sedate church of Reverend Freethought where hunters chased poodles who had been reinforced by a battalion from the Island Dogwatcher's Association. As Marlene, Andre and the Reverend snuck out the side door a pitched battle ensued which caused much hurt to the old building. Out of respect for the Reverend, the hunters abandoned firearms and explosives, resorting to bladed weapons, knuckledusters, and truncheons.

The Dogwatchers were armed with terrible leash flails and impermeables, while the poodles had their natural defences of teeth, claws, and their chemical arsenal of bodily fluids as well as semi-solids.

Reinforcements arrived from all sides and every angle and every window a gunport, every pew a trenchline of war in smoky semidarkness, for all the lights had been shot out and a murk from the burning hung a pall over all as the battle spilled into the street.

It was all a terrible orgy of destruction, an atavistic regression into primitive savagery worse than a Raiders football game in which Lex Talonis became the only law as everyone descended into bestial violence, going at it hand to hand in the pews, tooth and nail. Soon the battle overwhelmed the Baptist Church next door and the marquee there became riddled with machinegun bullets.

Not even the Archbishop could halt the carnage, for he was thrown by a percussion grenade from his replica Popemobile and brought low among the fallen leaves of autumn where he lay groaning.

It was then, during the island's Darkest Hour, a great Miracle did happen. There, amid the smoke and reek of battle strode the form of a mighty God, larger than life, a God fierce of mien and bearing a long cigarette holder in his clenched teeth and the glitter of a monogram on his shirt cut through the viscous air: HST.

The spirit of Hunter S. Thompson had returned to earth, called forth from the Hereafter by the women in the First United Church of Wiccan Faith down the street.

With a wave of his hand he distributed Purple Windowpane, mescaline, Brown Death, Crystal Blow, Cut Rock Cocaine, PCP, and a thousand other things equally as devious as the minds of the most perverted swine of the Neo-Con Movement, them that deflower virgins in barnyards and stripmine the Nation's Treasury with their Whores of Babylon, fornicating upon the desks of Congressmen to please the obscene Lobbyist.

Yes, worse things than so concieved. And the minds of the Enemy were deranged and so ran amok down to the water where a contingent of the Iranian Navy had just landed. This was the Special Delegation invited to the Mixed Wedding Reception (to be described later) from the Iranian submarine Chador.

When the Iranians encountered the demented poodles they drew their sharp scimitars and slew them upon the Strand, exclaiming, "Infidel dogs!" But they attended not the BBQ, for such flesh was considered by them devoutly as "trafe". The Dogwalkers fled across the infamous Bicycle Bridge and were seen no more and there returned peace to the Island.

Back at the Pit, many a weary hunter returned with little to show for all his trouble save for his intact skin and his life.

But the great keg of Padriac was broken open to allow the Water of Life to flow freely and assuage all wounds while a flank of Ahi was thrown on the barbi so that none would go hungry and so there was feasting and merriment into the night.

So ended the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ of 2008, which shall be remembered for many long years to come.

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THE 11TH POODLESHOOT

2009

Listen Muse, as we grant orisons to you, Glaucous Athena. O grey-eyed goddess of hunters and the wild things of the woods, grant us wisdom and keen sight to descry thine companion, the farseeing owl, and perceive also festive fox, orotund opossum, reckless raccoon, vapid vole, and scampering squirrel, he of bushy-tail and nuts.

Anoint the tongues of the Sacred Sons and Daughters of the Golden West so that we may speak of the Poodleshoot as it was in the Days Gone By of 2009. Give us breath to praise brave deeds, heroic battles and tremendous feats of honor. Let us sing of arms and men, they who never were at a loss. They who traveled far after the sack of Crab Cove and saw the City of Man and learned its ways. They who endured many troubles and hardships in the struggle to save their own lives and so bring back the homes of the Island to poodle-free safety. They did their best, but could not save themselves, for they consumed the swine of Mr. Howitzer, the real-estate developer, which is considered trafe. Verily, even the pigs-in-a-blanket is anathema. And so the Developer, who considers himself a god, had them all arrested.

On The day of the Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners of cloud and mist, leaving behind a sort of dew upon place after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Then she gave him a mighty whack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities.

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra, with Denby on the Verpflixtemusikwappenguitar, Karen Rega on tenor tuba, Ken Collins upon the Hardart Banjobandsaw Anomaly, Pat Aston on tea and scone, and a pennywhistle section including Suzie, Aisling, Rachel Linzer, Carol Taylor, and Beth Turnbull, with Oscar Kring on drums. Sean and Nancy Grey contributed their part on Hazmat Tube-shriekers while Pat Rodriguez put in a particularly illuminating performance of Aida in high C. Hanford-Freund added a choral portion with Mumble and Threat in various low thirteenth keys too numerous to mention.

The Island Times reported that the performance was "highly unusual", and "extraordinarily provocative", among other things. Jazz Weekly reported "not since the sonic walls of cacophony produced by Pharaoh Sanders during his heroin phase have we heard such amazing sound." The Island Gerbil more modestly reported that "the performance often approached something akin to music with astonishing unpredictability."

The critic for the Contra Costa Times succinctly reported pretty much as he always does for anything other than Ibsen, Shaw, and Mahler, "Simply appalling."

Once this was done, the Native Sons of the Golden West gathered in a circle for their Invocation, chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before chanting, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," At the conclusion of which, each emitted a delicate fart.

After the ritual pouring of libations, the Official bugle was blown by Susan Laing and the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of bazookas and RPG's. In short it was a jolly, sunny day for a Poodleshoot.

Soon enough Mark Peters of Santa Clara brought in the first batch for the barbie in the form of a neat pile of fajita-ready poodle on a plate.

The Official Ruleskeeper, MaryBeth of Marin, inquired as to the authenticity of what patently was no longer recognizable as canine, let alone breed of dog.

"Here ya go," Mark said. "Pre-shot digital pix of poodles in motion with the hits duly recorded. Did that with a mini-cam mounted on the turret."

"On the Turret?"

"Hell yeah. Right above the 50-cal. Great home movie aint it?"

"Fajita poodle ready to go. Okaaaaaay . . . ".

"50-cal will do that. Hoo-ya!"

Things were going swimmingly until a group of hunters ran into a passle of poodles on punts piloted by a parade of Teabaggers, who clearly were flaunting the rules by bringing in a load of fifi's with their pelts dyed pink, blue and white and holding them just offshore but within the municipal boundaries of the Island. As is usual for Teabaggers, the party refused to reason, but instead sent several mortar salvos to the Strand before defiantly raising their rally flag -- a picture of Fred Phelps bearing a sign that said, "God Hates You." Which caused Rev. Sarah Freethought of the First Organized Unitarian Church of the Island much grief.

Soon, the Strand was littered with anti-tax initiatives and leaflets bearing Teabagger slogans released from cluster-bomblets. Slogans such as "Death to Sick People!" and "Don't you touch my Premium toot-toot!"

Our boys dug in there on the Strand near the outhouses as the Teabaggers beached their LTO's and thence ensued a great deal of argumenting and screaming back and forth in which the hunters called for honest debate and the Teabaggers vituperated and cursed "Get sick and die you Commie Socialists!" with great redundancy.

While this was going on, the day grew long with little to show for it at the barbie on account of the boys being pinned down on the beach, so Eugene went with some scouts to the East End and found there a brace of porkers grunting and uprooting the native bunchgrass near the disputed bicycle/pedestrian bridge, long an article of contention here.

The pigs being outside of a pen, it was deemed salubrious for all concerned to get them inside of something or somebody, preferably well soaked with a spicy sauce from Everett and Jones, so they shot a couple of them and were stringing them up there for to be made into chops and ribs when along came Mr. Howitzer, the Developer, to whom the swine belonged. They had gotten loose from Harbor Bay Isle, where a lot of pigs like to keep themselves, although not these particular ones, for they had a mind to wander and uproot and alter the landscape, much as Developer animals are wont to do frequently.

Howitzer, having with him his blunderbuss and his trusty pigdog, Eisenhower, had him round up the hunters who all surrendered as it was violently against the rules to kill a non-poodle breed on this day, and so they were all brought to the courthouse on Shoreline where the weapons were impounded and all arrested.

But, because of budget cutbacks, there was no longer any trial for criminal matters at the courthouse -- which may seem odd to non-islanders, but all must understand as we own an hospital which does no geriatric, no obstetric, and no trauma treatment, it makes sense we would also have a courthouse where nobody can be tried for crimes. Nor is our jail any great shakes either, so all of them were fined and given a lecture to and released while the commissioner and the police returned to their thanksgiving dinners with tears in their eyes on account of no longer being able to try anybody at all for committing their special crimes.

So Eugene and the crew, which consisted of Paul of Marin (who happily would have shot Eisenhower and the rules be damned but for a clear line of sight), Steve Vender, Doyle of San Francisco, and Jim Cassell, all returned to the Pit, bypassing the Strand where a most contentious and long-winded filibuster was in progress.

When Padraic saw everybody returning empty-handed with tears in their eyes and the day gone and all the fajitas long since consumed, he broke open the emergency freezer and threw several flanks of ahi on the barbie.

Eventually the folks down at the Strand got away by putting up cardboard cutouts and a tapeplayer that looped the phrase, "Let me just say one thing . . .". through a loudspeaker so that the Teabaggers, never ever ones to allow anyone else to get in a word edgewise were consumed with imprecations, defamations and vitriol of the most debate-nixing kind. Discuss anything? We'll have none of that! And so on.

And so as the sun set on the Island Rev. Freethought said grace over the tuna burgers and gave thanks that this year, at least this year, her church building was spared extensive damage during 11th Annual Islandlife Poodleshoot and BBQ. They then set to and all had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat before going to bed and not waking up until the next morning.

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PUTTING ON THE DOG

THE 12TH ANNUAL POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

2010

This year the Poodleshoot began on a fairly decent day, a bit overcast but with none of the rain that has been pelting the Bay Area each weekend since the start of Winter.

As per Tradition ... rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night

As per Tradition, on the day of the Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners of cloud and mist, leaving behind a sort of dew upon place after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Then she gave him a mighty whack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities.

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra, with Denby and Paul B. on Verpflixtemusikwappenguitaren, Mary-Beth on the dental-floss acoustic bass, Sue Laing on tuba, Mark Peters and Jaime Reilly on Elgar Memorial Tube Shriekers, Mike and Agnes Rettie on Squirrel Nutter Defenstrators, Steve Vender with 8-gauge shotgun and Colt 45's, Doyle Mcgowan and Jessica along with 12 ex-wives and boyfriends on the 80 key Argumentarium Farter with Pipes and Steam.

Many of the media in attendence commented "the performance was simply remarkable," while the critic for the Contra Costa Times succinctly reported pretty much as he always does for anything other than Ibsen, Shaw, and Mahler, "Simply appalling."

Once this was done, the Native Sons of the Golden West gathered in a circle for their Invocation as led by David Phipps and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugle was blown by Susan Laing and Tally of Marin, after which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of bazookas and RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

This year's special guest, in lieu of the Consolation Guest Award to the awardee, former Veep Buckshot Dick, who could not make it on account of reported ill-health, the Search Committee had to fasten on the first Zippy boldface Personality that likes to hunt in any manner -- no matter how unsporting -- and who was a shameless media hound eager for any free or paid-for access to any limelight whatsoever.

Yep, that former Governor of Alaska, Ms. Palin, accepted the invite.

"Blast away with donated guns and ammo on somebody elses dime? You betcha!"

Some members of the Committee protested that hiring Sarah Palin to attend the event pandered to a slumming reflex akin to combing the local trailor park for one's date to the Prom or the Homecoming Dance, but Buckshot Dick had been in the hospital a while to have a pacemaker put in. The guy had been in there for about a month because to have a pacemaker put in, the chief surgeon needs to locate the main pump, and this the best medical teams in the world had failed to accomplish to date. Nobody could figure out just what kept the old guy walking around as the sera in his veins read a temperature as cold as icewater and it appeared doubtful the man had any heart at all.

Anyway, back to the Poodleshoot.

Wanda Fudge won a prize for 1st Kill of the day by the ingenious means of her animated poodle doll decoys, which contained mini mp3 players that spooled out endless streams of Robert Goulet and Brittany Spears. The enterprising Ms. Fudge snared her prey with trays of warm treacle and dispatch was done with machete ($9.99 from Cabelas), resulting in very clean catch.

Susan Laing, the horn player, managed to incapacitate three blue poodles by holding an high C note for twenty seconds, which burst their eardrums and shattered the glass of the drug store where they had taken refuge such that they were drenched with such a mixture of perfumes and salves they expired due to mortification of their sensibilities. Those which did not, died by means of self-laceration upon the broken glass on the floor. Cleaning these carcasses, however proved to be quite arduous.

Beatrice (Bea) Benjamin won a style award for using a wire neck snare on an extended painter's pole and a lariat while riding her scooter down Shoreline, whooping like the cowgirl she is. She earned extra points by way of demonstrating remarkably accurate knife-throwing skills with a nine-inch genuine horn-handle Bowie. Broke them puppie's necks and strung 'em up ready for clean and dressing at the fish house.

Maureen of Petaluma took several nice silverhairs with her laser-guided Ruger and got Honorable Mention at the Pit for her Vache et Chien au Fromage recipe. Not exactly grill, but fine eating nonetheless.

Clebia, late of Brazil, was provided an assist by an unnamed companion and Beatrice Benjamin's dog, who was loaned out to various hunters as a pointer and fetcher. Clebia employed an explosive bolo with great effect over near Washington Park.

Graham, late of England, accompanied by his lovely wife, proceeded along Grand Street with walking canes which did triple duty as single shot 30 caliber rifles and 48" epees. Graham also wore an ingenious codpiece designed by the same fellow who did the effects for the first Alien movie. This device delt effectively with the nasty sniffing habits of these canines by means of a spring-loaded jaws equipped with razors in the first ever recorded instance of phallus dentata. Observers commented the effect was sudden, explosive, violent and highly effective. A wicker creel was used to tote the catch, of which the couple enjoyed six between them before ending their casual stroll.

A posse, consisting of Beverly Johnson, Frank Matarrese, Doug DeHaan, and Marie Gallant held a friendly competition between themselves and the New Order Hunter's Club, consisting of Mary Sweeny, Tracy Jensen, and Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft. It seems although rivalry continues, the atmosphere has improved for these former political antagonists. Adam Gillit and Rand Wrobel tried to join clubs, but as nobody would accept them, they entered the 'Shoot as free agents, forming their own clubs with open invitations.

Such is the delightful camraderie on Poodleshoot day, when all the old contentions are -- momentarily -- laid to rest.

Being politicians, their weaponry consisted of the usual conservative line of shotguns, 32-20's, and range pistols with a few mortars and mines thrown in for zing.

A momentary hiatus occured when Officer O'Madhauen pulled over Doyle McGowan and Jessica Vanderbeck of San Francisco on Otis near the Southshore Mall for jaywalking at an illegal speed.

The good Officer was of good mind to issue a goodly sermon about traffic and pedestrian safety while writing up the $150 ticket and the two obediently put down their military grade flamethrowers and their pistols to listen to their sermon.

"An so ye be meanin' ta be walkin' outside the lines now, do ya?" said the Officer, always zealous in protection of the City's traffic ordinances above all things.

A shot from Leonard Gardener's blunderbuss zinged overhead and wanged off of the lightpost as he spoke.

"The safety of Society depends upon the strict adherence of all inhabitants and citizens to the letter o' the law," continued the Officer.

A line of short geysers stitched its way across the median as Eugene attempted to nail a Grand Poo running down the way with a human arm clenched in its jaws. Eugene had never handled an AK-47 before and had never had lessons in how to do so, but thanks to the energetic efforts of the NRA and people who actually read the Constitution, a man like him or lesser was entitled to go into any emporium and walk out with such a marvelously destructive power and thence let loose at will anywhere at all in the city. The burst of gunfire came up short at the edge of the squad car.

"Hey!" Warned O'Madhauen. "Mind the striping now! Take care o' th' the divider paint!"

"Sorry!" shouted Eugene, who let loose a stream of loud bullets down the way to Trader Joes as the poodle ran hell for leather in the right lane.

"You now!" Shouted O'Madhauen. "Get on the pavement or I'll cite ya!"

The poodle dutifully zigged over to the sidewalk before dashing into the parking lot of the mall, still with someone's arm in its jaws and followed by Eugene and a couple other hunters, all blazing away with 50 cals, sending concrete chips flying as they did so. A couple palm trees toppled onto parked cars.

"Now then, as I was sayin', the fabric o' society here depends upon the firm adherence to the Rules of the Road, the CVC and the Municipal . . .", continued Officer O'Madhauen.

Down at the beach Denby was playing a movie theme song composed by Mark Knopfler near the end of day when lights speeding a few hundred feet above the water and the whump-whump of rotors announced the approach of a fast-moving helicopter. Little sparkles appeared at the door of the chopper and everybody ran for cover as 88's starting pounding the beach.

The Special Guest had arrived.

FAAA-WHOOMP! Geysers of sand, hunter poodle parts erupted to high heaven. The former Alaskan governor had managed to commandeer a Huey "Puff the Magic Dragon" chopper and the rockets started hitting the beach to wreak terrible carnage. Tracers started arcing from LTO's offshore to soften the approach.

Yes, Sarah had enabled the return of the Teabaggers, who sorely desired to establish a foothold here in California. Having failed during the elections, this had become their Final Solution. T-Day.

"Runaway! It's Palin going rogue again!" someone shouted.

Readers may recall how last year the Teabaggers had attempted an assault by means of barges ("They came across the water in barges, numerous as beetles"). They were confabulated only on technical principles, and the crowed was allayed by means of ahi tuna. (Not sure what that sentence means, says Editor, but stet.)

Meanwhile things looked dire for the Island and for California in general. If the Evil Teabaggers were to establish foothold here, there would come the harrowing of the Island and following the horrid harrowing would be no end of poisonous invasion throughout the Golden State. There would be confusions and consternations and misreadings of everybody's Constitution and the darkness of Mordor would creep across the land from the land where everything happens first and the end of Civilization would be at hand, for the elimination of all Government is the establishment of the State of Anarchy by definition and we will all end in some atavistic darkness on our hands and knees barking into extinction amid the reek of fouled language beneath the blood-smeared idols of the Great Confabulator and Greenspan.

O the horror, the horror.

From afar, from the Marin Heights and Mount Tam, from the Grizzley Peak, from the San Leandro waterfront and from Newark where the citizens care naught for all that happens to their city, all who watched the rumbles of distant battle and the sudden orange flares on the horizon of explosion stood amazed at the tumult and wonder.

Onto the beach the LTO's dropped their ramps and the orcish types sallied forth, grunting and waving their treatises and their obnoxious, divisive signs and their weapons of confusion and of fear, for Fear is the chief weapon of the Teabagger. That and curious sexual practices. They were an hopping, flopping, stalking, striding, tooting, oozing, screaming saraband of Lovecraftian horror advancing upon the sweet innocent earth of the Golden State, the land so beloved of our honored Gaia.

Reverend Freethought of the Unitarian Church prayed for the salvation of California. And her prayers were heard by the Sisters of Wicca and the Daughters of the Golden West who assembled there along the Strand to face the Dark Enemy. There stood Columbia, she of that nation and now of ours, clad in breastplate all of brass. And there stood Beatrice, with her spear and her noble dog beside. There stood Maureen, armed with chef's cutlery to the nines. Wanda stood there and Susan and they raised up their arms and howled to the sky for they were of California and its soul, and death meant nothing to them save end of all and what use living if one enslaves oneself.

And there behind them Sista Boom set up a long rank of drummers so as to drive the ranks forward and hearten them with the rhythm of the Earth.

When the two lines met there was dubious battle. Up above the gods and goddesses had each taken sides, much as in olden days. On the one side, Athena, grey-eyed goddess, stood with Hera, Demeter,

Hermes, oldest of the gods, and Erato with her eight sisters. On the other stood Moloch, Satan, Belzebub, Malderor, Ares, and Hephestus. Before them all stood Eris, Goddess of Discord.

First this way, then that seesawed the Battle of the Strand. Old Gaeia groaned to feal the tumult on her flesh torn by the engines of war. All the creatures of the earth fled from that smokey tumult of fire and dispute. The Right Wing folded in upon itself and the Left collapsed under the assault. The Constitution was singed and Human Rights were debased. It was said the hand of the father was turned against the son and that of the son against the father and brothers fought to the death on the sanguine, smoky plain until Old Gaeia cried out in pain to her brother, Neptune, he of the seasalt eyes and beard of long seaweed. Neptune rose up his massive trident and brought it down with great force, once, twice, three times. And lo!

There from the depths arose he of ancient Tara, Finn ni'Cuchulain, Giant of Howth. The stars shook in the heavens and the sea foamed as the old god arose from the depths, his beard a writhing mass of sea serpents dwarfing the Loch Ness creature and his hair dripping the Leviathan and immense cephalopod back down in the great wash that flowed from his green body. And each that fell from his locks was as great as the greatest oceanliner ever devised by the hands of men. Entire archepelagos vanished beneath the swell caused by his rising from the depths and his roar of anger swept the snows from the summits of Whitney and Everest. The ancient forces of old had been called forth to rescue the Earth.

Finn McCool had risen and he was wroth.

The Giant reached out his hand and pulled and pulled upon the skirts of the sea until the very flow of the tides reversed itself. Into this flow was pulled the entire submersive fleet of the Iranian Navy, the AIS Chadoor, which found itself yanked back from its investigation of certain disturbances around the Koreas across the Pacific with incredible speed.

All along the Strand the water pulled back, leaving the LTO's of the Teabaggers stranded and their war machines struggling in the mud not unlike the corrupt armies of ancient Egypt pursuing the Chosen. Then, when the water returned, their boats overturned and their machines drowned in a great hissing of steam. Then arrived the Chadoor which beached itself and from the hatches emerged the mujadeen armed with scimitars shaped like the moon and which shone like the stars and they fell upon the poodles and the Teabaggers there and began a great slaughter and so the scales of battle tilted in favor of the Californios who drove their enemies before them like leaves before the wind until the foes of genuine Democracy and California were utterly undone and there was weeping and scattering of ash in the Land of White Tennis Shorts and the Tom Delay was found ajudged to be guilty of all manner of crimes and their chieftain banished into exile.

The warbird of Palin was brought down with nets and the Palin made her escape upon a parasail, so it was said that Sarah Palin went parasailin' into the sunset and she was neither seen nor heard again in these parts again, for which the people were thankful.

Then there was great rejoycing at their victory in holding off the vicious assault of the Teabaggers in the Golden State and much smoking of the pipes and bongs of peace and another flank of poodle was laid upon the barbie by Padraic in celebration and the sweet rains descended to cleanse all the land of gore and filth, thus pleasing Gaeia who much loves the rain upon her skin.

Mayor Beverly nodded her head and blessed this day of victory and drank deep of the horned cup of uisc'qebah and that of mead.

Thus ended the 12th Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

RECIPES FOR GRILLED/ROASTED POODLE

(NB: Somewhat illegal in the USA. Check local statutes)

THAI STYLE

It is a food made by mixing dog meat with seasonings and vegetables, and

boiling and roasting them. When eating Duruchigi, liquor is usually

accompanied for its taste.

The standard amount of ingredients for one portion.

(1) Ingredients

200g of boiled dog meat, 20ml of gravy, 50g of green onion, 50g of leek, 40g

of dropwort, 20g of perilla leave, a little pepper, 5g of perilla oil, 1g of salt, 2g of mashed garlic, 2g of mashed ginger, 2g of red pepper

(2) Cooking instructions

Put gravy and vegetables into heated pan and roast them, and after vegetables

become softened, put dog meat and ingredients into the pan and mix them. If it

is not salty enough, dip in the sauce.

VIETNAMESE OLD STYLE

Ingredients: 700 g Poodle Shoulder, sliced thinly

Marinade
4 Stalk Lemongrass (75g) sliced and minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 (55-60g) Shallots, peeled, minced
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
3 Tbsp Cooking Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Accompaniments
1 Cucumber, shredded
Rice Vermicelli, cooked
Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce, shredded
½ Cup Toasted Peanuts, chopped
Mint leaves
Asian Basil
300g Bean Sprouts
1 Recipe Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Method

Suggest marinade the poodle for about 3 hours.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. (For best result, use a charcoal grill) Grill the dog slices until the meat is done and the edges are nicely charred on both sides. Remove the meat from the grill and cut into smaller slices, if desired. Serve immediately with the accompaniments.

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THE 13TH ANNUAL POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

2011

And so, as we all are gathered this Holiday, gently nodding after the L-tryptophan before the fireplace, come gather 'round all ye dear ones here where it is warm. Listen now. . .

O noble muse Calliope

O noble muse Calliope, grant us epic vision! O Euterpe, muse of song, grant us the liquid voice to say all with elegance. O sly, grinning Thalia grant us aid, and whimsical Eris, that Goddess who has caused so much to happen in times past and modern, and who at times appears to be the one Goddess to rule us all in these times, let inspiration flow in token rhyme, suggesting rhythm that will not forsake the listener, till this tale is told and done. Let us call forth from the fireglow sense and color to flesh these strange shadows that from the flames will grow, 'til things unseen will seem familiar.

While the storyteller speaks, a door within the fire creaks;
Suddenly flies open, and a girl is standing there.
Eyes alight, with glowing hair, all that fancy paints as fair . . .

At first there were three collars for the elven dogs under the sky. Seven then for the pomeranians in their halls alone, nine for the Dark Breeded doomed to die. One for the Dark Poo on his dark throne on the Island where the Shadows lie. One leash to rule them all, one leash to find them, one leash to bring them all and in the darkness bind them on the Island where the Shadows lie."

As per Tradition, on the day of the 13th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners of cloud and mist, leaving behind a sort of dew upon place after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with

Then she gave him a mighty whack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under cloudy, chill skies.

"No boat, no training."

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra, which this year included an extended Choral Section which perversely employed instruments as well as voice, and which consisted of Adam Gillit on Bass Thumper, Mayor Marie and Councilperson Tam on Augmented Shriekers, and the Public Works Department with Briggs & Stratton-powered Woodchippers. Firechief Mike D'Orazi stood upon a Park Street Stump and rhythmically poured a cup of water over his head while uttering apologies and the phrase "No boat, no training."

Mr. Ratto, the Park Street Mayor, supplied the water.

The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Retroviral Trumpet were Carol Taylor and Pat Aston of St. Charles. Also from St. Charles, the new Cacophony Quartet of Stacy and Greg Dehoedt together with Fruitbat and Godzilla injected liveliness on the Lars Ulrich Inkspritzer. Fruitbat, a form of feline, leapt upon the keys of the organ console while Godzilla, a form of canine from the breed known only generically and dimly as "halfling", tugged upon the bellows with his teeth.

Ken Number Two did a scratch 'n rap with a Gilt Verpflixtenbassguitar Monstrance and Pope Dongle.

Rachel and Henry did a duet on the Three A.M. Howling Anomaly Thumper that sounded positively Middle Eastern in style.

Sgt. Michael Ramsey employed the Amplified Vacuum-weedwhacker and Mace to great effect, especially during the Crowd Dispersal Movement.

Karen Rega and Owen Brown joined the Kring family on Kettledrum Automats outfitted with Impermeables at which Oscar Kring proved to be vigorously adept.

For the 1812 Overture, Jeff Silva operated a brace of 12 pounders and pennywhistle, all well coordinated by means of a Cabela's Saltwater Spincaster.

Denby attempted to direct with little effect or control until thrown bodily from the stage by Helen Gilliland, who had everyone change the setlist to include The Internationale, The Pipefitter's Union song, and Joe Hill.

"Simply appalling. Dreadful. . . ."

Many of the media in attendence commented "the performance was highly unusual, while the critic for KCBS succinctly reported -- pretty much as he always does for anything other than Ibsen and Shaw, Mahler and Elgar -- "Simply appalling. Dreadful. I was born for theatre; this made me long for death."

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation,led by David Phipps of San Rafael, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Susan Laing of Central Avenue and Tally of Marin, after which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

As the 'Shoot progressed through the day, a little contratemps down by Washington Park developed into something considerably more serious.

Hunters chanced upon the Occupy Island encampment

There hunters chanced upon the Occupy Island encampment, which, like true Islanders, maintains such a polite regard for good behavior as well as a desire to avoid fuss, moved its encampment from City Hall to Lincoln Park for about a week, when concern about damage to the lawn caused them to uproot and move to Krusi park, and then, out of regard for the students at Otis Middle School, from there to Jackson Park.

After several weeks of successive moves, all done so as to least offend anyone, they wound up at Washington, where someone commented that while the group understood the tenets of non-violence pretty well, they seemed to not get the idea of civil disobedience at all.

We are Islanders -- perish the thought of disobedience!

Nevertheless there were a few of them getting tired of all the moving about and the lost media coverage opportunities, so things were getting fractious over there. A schism developed -- as it always does in all great Movements -- between the Movers and the Stayers.

In any case hunters from the poodleshoot stumbled upon the camp while in hot pursuit of a set of leashed silverhairs heading with their dogwalker for the relative safety of the high bunchgrass. A man wearing a brightly colored woven beanie unfolded his tall gangly body from one of the tents there to confront Eugene Gallipagus who was firing his AK-47 as he ran. His name was Lincoln.

"Dude! Wussup with the bullets man?" said Lincoln.

"Dude! Wussup with the bullets man?" said Lincoln.

The poodles had escaped into the thatch, so Eugene stopped.

"Poodle huntin'," Eugene said before lighting up his cigar.

"Yo man, don't go firing that thing off around the tents. We have kids here. And kitty cats."

"Kitty cats." Eugene said blankly.

"Right. They are our mascots and friends. Right Mr. Wuggles?"

A small head poked out from under the tent. "Mao."

"Kitty cats." Eugene said again.

"Mao!" Mr. Wuggles said.

"What a cute kitty!" said the Man from Minot who shouldered his RPG to scratch the ears of Mr. Wuggles.

"O for Pete's sake," Eugene said, and fired a few rounds into the air.

"Dude," Lincoln said. "I wonder if you are getting enough catsup in your diet." The Man from Minot laughed. "You want some lentil soup? Its cold out here. Come on into the tent where its warm."

Such was the humble yet honest generosity of the Occupiers in that field of dispute.

"Let's get out of here," Eugene said.

As the hunters fanned out in the area below the park which abutted the Robert Crown Memorial Beach and the dog park there, which looked suspiciously empty on this holiday a squall moved in from offshore drenching everything and getting all their powder damp. They decided to head back as a group to re-supply their weapons at the Pit. Lionel already had a pair of Russian Blues in his bag and Arthur had a full-sized Cock-a-Poo weighing 12 pounds in his so they were all of generally good mood. As they skirted the Occupy encampment they became embroiled with that camp's issues.

Things are generally in a wreck

Now, the Occupy Movement is not the only Movement going on in the Country today, and the Bay Area is not exempt from all of these sects and movements and general upset jumping up and down. Things are generally in a wreck and have been for quite a long time, and quite a lot of people are upset all over the place about Progress, lack of progress, the National Debt, the unemployment, the Recession (which has not ended, mind you), cutting down trees, failures to save, bailouts for the unworthy, offshoring, the Chinese in general, the Japanese earthquake, drill baby drill, high oil prices, and the constitution of the US Constitution, to list just a few issues.

Now the Tea Party has long wanted to establish a foothold here in California, but has been frustrated in their aims, largely because our own version of the Republican Party has been already pretty ridiculous and unable to speak for itself. This is not true in many other states; this is largely a Golden State problem.

The Tea Party is really just a more extreme version of the GOP, but even within that Movement you have schisms. Our own version here features a splinter group that feels natural urges must be curbed by means of rigorous self-discipline in a kind of bladder-oriented pull-up-by-the-bootstraps philosophy.

they call themselves the Pee Tardy Party

These folks believe that if one adheres to a strict regimen of going to the toilet 2x per day, at the most, then moral discipline will ensue. It really is just a logical extension of Just Say No and they call themselves the Pee Tardy Party and they make just about as much sense as the larger group, but long for the same ideals of Strong Military, Seperation of the Races, Corporate Personhood, and infallibility of the Pope.

Furthermore, this group sees the Occupiers as a riff-raff collection of Hippies trying to restore the hated ideals of the sixties of peace, love, non-violence, and tolerance. Besides, they were stealing the thunder from the Project for the New American Century.

And lo! An host of the Pee Tardy gathered there upon the sward below and in the gathering gloom of setting sun, their helms glittered with malice as they lowered their spears aimed at the Occupy Encampment. Seeing this, Lincoln gathered his people to form a shield-wall against the onslaught.

Also seeing this, Eugene and the hunters took pity and moved to assist their former hosts who had offered them lentil soup and shelter.

They swarmed across the sward like beetles

And from the thatch there emitted a number of poodle-walkers with their terrible yapping charges bounding like the Wargs of Old, all armed with terrible impermeables and intentions to cause grievous harm. Secretly they had gathered their forces, plotting war and violence during this Holiday. They swarmed across the sward like beetles and looked to destroy the hunters who took refuge behind the shieldwall which held against that dual, devilish, demonic deluge of alliteration, although Mr. Wuggles got squashed into furry kitty jelly amid the melee, and sore distressed was Lincoln at this loss.

When the onslaught failed, for the charge led up against the slope where the basketball courts and the camp stood on higher ground, the enemy fell back for a moment while they sent an emissary, Mr. Xerxes Ungoliant.

Mr. Ungoliant strode into the camp with his high helm of black feathers and dog paws taken from hapless losers to his own pet, Fifi-Rog, and O! He was hideous in his proud breast-plate that was made of Registry Silver Plate spoons and forks. Gaudy he was as well and he stood there haughty before Lincoln and Eugene, who had become of necessity allies in this war.

Mr. Ungoliant demanded unconditional surrender, a donation to the dog park as well as the Association, signature to membership in the GOP, allowance to vote by proxy for all of them by the Pee Tardy, and the proffering in mason jars of one-half of their manhood. All of which Mr. Ungoliant considered to be eminently reasonable.

We are . . . Islanders!"

Herewith Lincoln, he the erstwhile man of peace and gentleness, drew himself up and said loudly, "Here is my answer to you. We are . . . Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiislaaaaaaaaaaaanders!"

With that the man gave a great shout and kicked the emissary so hard that the man flew backwards into a hole dug for a privy where he lay groaning and in anguish and all broken and soiled were his feathers and his tennis shoes. So ended the emissary.

The united Pee Tardy and dogwalkers launched another attack, this time by means of missle weapons in the form of sling-shots and boulders and WMDD's (Weapons of Mass Doo-Doo). Again the attack was beaten off as the last bit of light crept from the world

It was sore and desperate in the camp that night as the countless watchfires of the enemy ringed the forces of the Allies while a dreaful howling continued throughout the night, along with periodic sneaky forays.

Mr. Terse . . . was there because of his love of violence

Who was there among that besieged group? To the Occupiers had come the Sweeneys of the East End. Eugene and the Man from Minot. Gilberto, Filiberto, Alicia, Ana, Santiago, Yolanda, Yvonne, and little Santiago of the Almeida family were there. Jose, Javier and Xavier were thhre because of all the free food. Mr. Terse, formerly of the USMC, was there because of his love of violence and warcraft. The irritating fellow who always begs for spare change at Mariner Square Village was there among the tents with his wife. Lionel of the Pampered Pup was there with his friend Arthur.

Among the regulars, Latreena Brown bickered with Malice Green, Sympatho Mimetslovic, Serbian "mindreader" and fortuneteller" was there trying to make a buck forecasting hunting success by tossing the tarot and now caught behind the lines. Angus McMayhem was there with his angry beard and his kilts askew. Pimenta Strife was there looking to get laid again - she was trying to hit 1,000 by the end of the year and still had over a hundred to go. The Amazing Anatolia Enigma, also trying to make a buck with sleight of hand magic tricks sat huddled in his sodden magic cape by the fire.

All waited word on how the calls for help would be heeded. Eugene had climbed one of the tall palms there to use his cell phone as a beacon. From that height he was gratified to see the signal fires erupt in a line all along the Grizzley Peak and out to distant Mount Tam and over the water to Mount Davidson. They would come, but when?

"Look to the West by the Third Hour," Scott Lyons said, who also went by the name "Jade Myst".

"What the eff does that mean?" Eugene said, swinging in a tree three stories above the ground.

"A girl needs something to wear," Scott said. "And foundation takes time, dear."

"O for Pete's sake." Eugene said. "We are going to get killed."

"O for Pete's sake." Eugene said. "We are going to get killed."

"I emceed Funoccios for years," Scott said. "I saw them die all the time up there on stage. Just relax."

"Ahhhhhh!" Eugene clasped his head in his hands.

"You need more catsup in your diet," Scott said. "Ta ta!"

In truth it was a rough night. And it took hella longer than three hours for people to show up.

As the sun arose through the murk that seemed to be some foul pestilence conjured by the Dark Lord in his tower behind Mordor's keep. But down the Eighth Street the reinforcements began to arrive.

From far off Marin, from the Land of San Anselmo and distant Fairfax, the Bailiffs and the Whittemores had come, along with Bright-Eyes Beatrice with her sturdy spear-arm and Leonard, the scholar of fisticuffs. From the White Tower across the water, Steve Vender had brought his cohort, Martha. From the flatlands of Pleasanton and the hillside fastness of Castro Valley, the riders of Lindberg came two by two. From the South, the Kitsons, they who are called disparagingly "strawheads" by the dark enemy came marching in a phalanx.

Marty from distant Alaska arrived in a great boat of a Winnebago with his loyal wife yclept Ruth, and they had white malamutes among them. And Lo! Behind the Winnebago was towed a decommissioned Army BARC (LARC 60) upon which deck twin 50 cals had been mounted.

From Babylon Scott Jade Myst brought a contingent of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, all armed with jeweled crucifixes and official Sin Pardons and rosary "morning stars". Formidible indeed was their foundation.

All these and more had come upon the summons and there was joy that was tempered, for although friends had come, they remained apart for the matter of the seige enemy had ringed them all around and made the situation dire for lack of water and potty.

As the sun struggled to make its way through to the camp, Lincoln rose up and lifted his soup ladle high and cried out, for he was fey, and yet young, and committed to his cause, and for such as these death is a matter of after the fact.

Whatever that means.

In any case, this is the speech young Lincoln, stalwart Lincoln, noble Lincoln made unto the throng gathered there.

"Fellow Occupiers and friends! The hour is come for us to choose whether to live as slaves and be slaughtered or starve miserably and miss out on Thanksgiving leftovers or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them! Onward and glory for the Island for we shall never submit to the Overlord resting comfortably on his Persian carpets, lolling with his lollygag puppies! And furthermore . . . go Raiders!"

With that the shieldwall advanced upon the enemy who were all amazed

With that the shieldwall advanced upon the enemy who were all amazed at this effrontery. Seeing the camp go on the offensive, the reinforcements gather themselves hastily and the two forces came onto the flanks of the forward line and Lincoln smote the first orc-like fellow upon the pate with his ladle so furiously the man's eyes went a-goggle and he fell backwards quite stunned.

And lo! The Allies swept forward and the enemy fell back like leaves of grass before a mighty wind and the hearts of the allied host rejoiced as their foes turned and fled and the now combined forces rolled up the line, munching up the line of the erstwhile besiegers not unlike Officer O'Madhauen reducing a donut to crumbs within his Crown Victoria.

As they returned back up the slope one dogwalker held his ground there and rallied his forces so that then it decayed into hand-to-hand combat, vicious eye-poking, curses, low insults, and spitting in the face, yea, the fight descended into tooth and nail, atavistic savagery, a miserable foretelling of next year's election cycle.

"Communist!"

"Nixon-lover!"

"You rotten Social Democrat!"

"Fascist pig!"

"Oooooh! Weak kneed liberal Acornite!"

"Fox Network Spews idiot heeder!"

From their secret underwater location, the captain and crew of the Iranian spy submarine, the Chadoor, all watched in amazement through the periscope.

"Captain, what is this we see?"

"Military maneuvers, Ensign. And the ungodly acrimony of the infidel. It is customary for them to idulge much dispute at the dinner table in this time of curious festivities."

an winged host descended from above

Things looked sore distressed, but an winged host descended from above as Tally brought his parrot friends from Twin Peaks to swoop down in multicolored ferocity, fluttering and pecking and pooping upon the heads of the enemy while Fruitbat and Godzilla sowed confusion from below by scampering between the legs of the Dark Forces so they were utterly confused and dismayed.

Resistance vanished like cigarette paper peed upon by the storied bumble-bee.

At the end of the day, a great victory was celebrated back at the pit and all who where there stood amazed at the tales of valor and a great feast was had by all the allies, for the Occupiers were invited with their lentil soup, and with the turkey stuffing and soup and veggies there was plenty for all as well as the good mead and Uiscquebah, the Water of Life, supplied by Padraic and Dawn.

Yea, even the Crew of the Chadoor did partake of that feast, for they much admired the valor witnessed from afar and furthermore the savory scents of rosemary and other spices which did remind those sailors suffering from months and years at sea away from home of the splendid gardens of Qom. In addition it was admitted that the turkey upon the spit was deemed halal although none of that crew did partake either of of grilled poodle nor Padraic's Water of Life, although Sprite was allowed by law.

Only Eugene was sore distressed for -- once again - he had failed to bag his limit.

"Feck all," said Padraic. "Have some catsup on your turkey burger, man."

Thus ended the Thirteenth Annual Island Life Poodleshoot and BBQ.

THE 14TH ANNUAL ISLAND POODLESHOOT AND BBQ

2012

Come gather round ye bairns and waifs, landsmen and ladies, betrothed and bereft, schooled and unwise, scoundrels and gentlefolk of the Island, of these lands of California that were once upon a time deemed island as well, and all ye of foreign lands who have bruited rumors of this wondrous event.

Here now the tales of our annual revels of which renown has spread far and wide, or so we hear, and learn of mighty feats of arms and of glory and spectacular deeds that have astounded the gods and goddesses of heaven and earth as well as all humankind who has learned of the matters of which I now sing to you.

{fife}
Good people pray heed - a petition.
Your attention I beg and I crave
And if you are inclined for to listen
An abundance of pastime we'll have.
I have come to relate many stories
Concerning our forefathers' times,
And I trust they will drive out your worries
Of this let us be of one mind.

Many tales of the poor and the gentry
Of labour and love will arise;
There are no finer songs in this country
In Oakland and Stockton likewise.
There's one thing more needing mention:
The dances we'll dance all in fun,
So now that you've heard our intention
We'll play on to the beat of the drum ...
{tabor, fife}

The Poodleshoot is a special occasion that takes place but once a year and is founded in age-old customs that some say were brought north from Mexico by way of Monterey centuries ago, and before that was derived of ancient practices of the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the legendary Firbolg, who, since they were seldom seen in the old Hebrides or the scampering heath of Trim, might just as well have bided their time remaining unseen and unfound in the regions about Tenochtitlan before the time of the Feathered Serpent.

None is alive now to tell that tale, and so perforce we must make do with the small parcel of Tradition that we now have.

she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, leaving behind a sort of dew

As per Tradition, on the day of the 14th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, leaving behind a sort of dew after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she tugged upon the coverlet, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Firmly she turned the dial so as to allow the sweet strains of muse Calliope to thrum the air as guided by the goddess Rosalie Howarth of KFOG, but Padriac snored and stirred not.

Then she gave him a mighty thwack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under cloudy, chill skies once again down by the disputed Crab Cove where servants of the Dark Lord had been plotting to seize the land so as to build yet another series of Dark Fortresses not unlike Cirith Ungol. Yea, the place was in the multifaceted eye of the Developer of the Spider.

But the park as yet remained hale with its pleasant little exhibition center, albeit closed for the Holiday and the company assembled upon the sward undisturbed.

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra accompanied by the Brickbat Targets chorale ensemble.

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of Mayor Marie and Councilperson Lena as soprano alla pique, Councilperson Rob as basso infernal -- reprising a remarkable role as Don Giovanni -- Councilperson Chen as Loki with his distinctive rubato tenor and Councilperson Beverly as mezzo soprano disdainful, with Councilperson Marilyn in her debut as alto triumphale. The whole company did a truely astounding version of PDQ Bach's Die Wechselnde Buergerhalle Stuehle in F#.

Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated"

Many reviewers have called this piece amazingly impossible to accomplish. The East Bay Express found "this game of musical chairs is really funny." Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated" and "hard to believe," while Jim Harrington has called this performance, "the most appalling rubbish since the last time I wrote a mixed review. I never fully approve of anything but this gave badness a new name."

The Chronicle, always more reserved due to the heavy influence of conservative ACT in the City, has commented, "It should be interesting to see how well this thing floats in the future amid this stormy time for companies. Please, we cannot afford another Phaedra."

Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.

In any case, after spirits had been revived with a sloshing round from the kegs, the Hoophole Orchestra launched the proceedings with spirited instrumentals. The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Retroviral Trumpet were Carol Taylor and Pat Aston of St. Charles. Also from St. Charles, the Cacophony Quartet of Stacy and Greg Dehoedt together with Fruitbat and Godzilla injected liveliness on the Lars Ulrich Inkspritzer. Fruitbat leapt upon the keys of the organ console with dexterity while Godzilla tugged upon the bellows with his teeth, his tail flailing in counterpoint.

Tommy and Tim of Park Avenue performed upon the Hydro-Potatomasher and the African zebra-fellator with defibrillation device.

Lou Cadme did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Increaser, while Carolyn Masters wowed everyone with the Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie Coomber and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck, both with Incendiary Bustier Shriekerspritzers. Nice pair, those gals.

Jeannemarie Coulter contributed her skills upon the Tin Blathermouse with great effect and Jodet Paloma Ghougassian sounded affectingly sweet with the Mugwhump Twinkie-smasher upon Persian Carpet.

Jade of San Franciso performed upon the Inflateable Cross with Crossbow Zinger and furthermore offered to provide stage foundation makeup to any aspiring trannies needing professional help and an experienced hand.

Antimacassars and doilies were supplied by James Hargis.

They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle"

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation, led by David Phipps of San Rafael, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Pat Kitson of Mountain View and Tally of Marin, after which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

Like any decent faire in the Bay Area we too have booths loaded up with pricey tchotchkes and glossy take-home brochures. Corporate invitees Hallvarsson & Halvarsson, set up a welcome table, however some felt the company failed to understand the message of the Poodleshoot. Their material read, "Vilkommen till frukostseminarium: Varumirke, CSR och risk i tre frigor, samma sfir...".

Well, of course most of you probably have considered the same issue. Whether you speak Swedish or Norwegian. We all want to minimize risk with robust communications but not at the expense of opaque acroynms like "CSR" and puzzling emails. In any case, Varmt vilkommen!

In any case, the 'shoot went swimmingly. This year's Washington Invitees included House Speaker Boehner and, as a balance of interests, former Rep. Wiener, the latter of whom it must be said, was quite the hit with the ladies around here. Along with a few gentlemen as well.

Another contingent of representatives from the White House arrived, but did not go out into the field. We will talk about this contingent later.

Rep. Wiener spent most of his time with a group that calls itself The Plaster Casters in the Native Son's Parlor hall, which had been converted into a hunting lodge, while Boehner hooked up with Archbishop Rattenfaenger, who had only agreed to return upon assurances that Dick Buckshot Cheney would not be firing off any lethal weapons in the State of California.

He was mollified upon the assurance that only persons willing to obtain a legal hunting license for the area would be allowed within the perimeter.

Sarah Palin also was not invited back. As someone commented, perhaps a bit unkindly, "That bitch be gettin' old."

This year a great effort was provided to prevent the sort of chaos which had corrupted previous shoots, which, instead of the organized slaughter of nasty creatures (anyone who has been on a boar hunt can understand this) has decayed into catastrophic mayhem.

So this year a small detachment of blue-helmet UN Peacekeepers were brought in. Because of the length of the flight, the liberality of in-flight beverages, and general UN constitutions, most of the Peacekeepers wound up in a cordon surrounding the outhouses on the Strand. Only the Irish members possessed bladders firm enough to venture beyond that quarter. The Irish Republic members had already seen enough to turn anybody's bowels into cast iron.

For the longest while the UN Peacekeepers seemed like overkill. For the first time in years things seemed to be going smoothly. All the problems of previous years, due to harsh economics, bitterness, sense of hopelessness and fear and anxiety, all that felt oddly missing. Hunters moved through the crisp air that always follows a sequence of heavy rains in the winter here, the brown leaves all gathered in the gutters still running with effluvient days afterward as the Island slowly drained itself, the skies all bulbous with clouds during the day after the slate-gray mornings and the boots swishing along through the grass, ducks and geese overhead, the ocean lapping not far away, much as it had in those days when you went out with your dad in the hills up near your uncle's place to hunt mule deer or racoons or whatever. Much as it had been back then, you with your 22L with that special wooden stock you got last xmas and your father there, explaining things, showing you the places where the water bubbled up magically from between the stones, the stones everyone had arrange there as a kind of shrine or something in those woods, smelling, yes! So fresh!

Was this not the time of peace and the way things ought to be? And the end of the day with your father and the visiting Perada family, their father and yours talking about the old days, the days before the Corps of Engineers blocked up all the feeder streams to the American River, halting the massive steelhead runs, the massive steelhead runs which had drawn people from all over for the priviledge of hooking one single steelhead, one single fish after fishing 8-12 hours, one single fish that happened to weigh somewhere near 65 to 70 pounds but which would give you the fight of your life, by god for the next four hours at least.

Those were the days.

You could step out back behind the house in Antioch and shoot yourself dinner. What you hungry? Step out back and bag yourself enough venison with a 32-20 in minutes to last you days. It was the time of peace. Before everything changed.

Yet on this 14th Poodleshoot in the year 2012, it soon became evident that not a poodle could be seen anywhere upon the island far and wide and wondrous was that to behold. In vain Officer O'Mahauen stopped vehicle after vehicle to issue citations for rusty wipers, missing turn signal lenses, driving too slow for traffic, speeding, carrying an unsecured child seat with no child, all to locate possible poodle smugglers.

Flashbangs heard toward the East End revealed only Rep. Boehner popping off with the Archbishop at images of Che Guevera and Cesar Chavez by the bicycle bridge. The two had just been plinking and drinking 12 year old scotch.

"We in the church are much enamored of 12 year olds," said the Archbishop.

Boehner, a rock ribbed Protestant Conservative was not amused. "Look, I am only hanging out with you so as to fit in with the times. You got the Supreme Court but you aint gettin' my little Johnny . . .".

"There you are hiding!" a voice said. It was Joe Bob Bingle of the radical Pee Tardy Party. "Hiding like a rat after selling us down the river!"

"Listen punk! You cost us the election against a very beatable opponent with your shrieking, hysterical nonsense!" Boehner said. "Eff you!"

Supporters from the Pee Tardy showed up to face off against Boehner's militant arm of the New Project for the American Century. It was brownshirts against black armbands and things looked pretty ugly as the two sides called each other vile names and accused each other of subversive liberalism and betraying the cause of Conservativism.

The Pee Tardy folks started chanting "Mitt's a sh-t! Mitt's a sh-t!" and brought out their secret weapons, a brace of pink-dyed miniature poos.

Boehner turned to his Secret Service detail and said, "Deal with them." Before leaving. Like any true rock-ribbed Conservative elitist, he left dirty work to the lesser folk to handle. As House Speaker he had better things to do than discipline a pack of unruly doggies.

The Pee Tardy Party came at the Rockribbed Conservatives with lowered lances while mounted upon segways as the Conservatives circled their golf carts, driving off the initial attack with missle weapons in the form of golf balls and well-served tennis.

The Pee Tardy folks, lacking discipline save for holding stubbornly to their dictum of no compromise found themselves driven back by the square-set jaws of the Conservatives as they sallied forth in Locust Valley formation.

This way and that the lines wavered until it all descended, as these sorts of things usually do, into a melee of atavistic savagery where all rule and governance is abandoned to the state of anarchy -- which is, after all, the natural result of eliminating all government.

Many were the fallen on both sides that day, and many would learn on the following morning the lamentable limits of their supposedly ironclad health insurance agreements, most of which forbade coverage for injuries sustained as a result of acts of war. Fortunately, due to Obamacare, all of them were eligible without exception to re-up for more reasonable healthcare coverage.

Nevertheless, other than this melee, nary a poodle was to be found on the island.

In dismay the hunters collected back at Crab Cove where Reverend Freethought of the Unitarian Church was in deep discussion with Rebbe Hortense of Beth Israel.

The hunters issued their plaint and asked what to do and lo! the White House contingent did appear and it was the First Lady with her daughter Malia. And the girlchild spoke unto the assembled multitude and said, "Put down your arms and make of your swords plowshares and know that all the world will observe your deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."

With that, a black helicopter descended so as to whisk away the White House representatives to their own family gathering.

And so, as the UN Peacekeepers approached and surrounded what came to be known as the Bicycle Bridge Melee, the sun set on the 14th Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ, where fortunately a large store of ahi had been set aside as well as box after box after box of supplies for Ms. Almeida's Portuguese bacalhau, the only reputable dish in the world that still employs Norwegian salt cod. That is how it came to be that the hunters of the 14th Poodleshoot came to dine upon seared tuna and lutefisk, while the Pee Tardy folks noshed upon cold K-rations while deliberating such unrealities as succession and the planet of origin for Father Christmas.

That is the way it was on the Island this Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday season.

bullseyedog.gif (4164 bytes)

 

2013
FIFTEENTH POODLESHOOT

So anyway, it is hardly to be believed that this year marks the 15th Anniversary of the Annual Thanksgiving Island Poodleshoot and BBQ. Yes, its been 15 years of 49'er Spirit in blazing away with all sorts of firepower with red-blooded American zest on a day that makes every decent breed of hound thankful to high heaven he or she is not a member of that atrociously barbered breed of dingle-balls and yaps called "poodle".

One may ask the question "Why poodles?" Indeed the question has been asked many times, and not only about the Poodleshoot, oftentimes descending to theological argument, featuring the Primary query: "If god does exist, why does he or she allow poodles?" and "If poodles exist, does this presuppose the existence of Satan? If Satan exists because of poodles, does then this presuppose that god does, in fact, exist?" as well as numerous Secondary Queries coupled with Propositions and Conundrums enough to puzzle Pope and Curate for the next one thousand years long after the poodle and Man are both extinct, and at the end of it you just know the disputation will continue, no doubt among the higher lifeforms as in the chimpanzee, the cockroach, and the Welsh Rarebit of Hibernia.

The current pope is a feisty fellow with much on his plate to repair or devour and he has been jetting about fixing up all the problems caused by those impish Cardinals having elected a stodgy German last time against all good common sense. One of his encyclicals, which is a sort of paper composed by popes while riding the official Papal Bicycle -- hence its name -- is titled "Divinity and the Poodle -- A Call for Investigation", so something may come of all this theocratic folderol after all. Give or take 500 years.

This may have all began with the ancient Romans who presented the poser, "Viaduct?" Vy a duck? I dunno vy not a horse. I am all right myself, how about you?

Even Pastor Nyquist has gotten into the fray, having written a paper to the Collected Lutheran Bishops entitled, "Canine Manicure and Simplicity". As for the folks in red robes who hang out at the Tibetan temple on Santa Clara, let us quote the Buddha from his book of Five Ways. "Wisdom lies in the abnegation of Yappiness. The tranquil mind attains Nirvana."

Still comes the question, "Why poodles?" In a world fraught with immense tragedy rife with Newtown massacres, pestilence and ebola, child soldiers of Sierra Leone, Somalian pirates, kidnapped girls chained for years in shipping cartons, imbecilic Tea Partiers, Sarah Palin, wretched mental health, loud people who drive SUV's, Klaus Barbie and all his kind, Hitler inventing the baby-kissing photo op, and even worse, how can one spend any time being concerned about a miserably coddled Fifi shaved to look like a large trout lure?

Indeed, within the question resides the answer, an answer worth pondering.

As per Tradition, on the day of the 15th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, traveling across the yard from the battered old half-moon privy hard by the weeds to the house back porch, leaving behind a sort of dew after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she tugged upon the coverlet, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the most somnolent God.

Her fingers becoming rays of sunlight, turned the dial so as to allow the sweet strains of muse Calliope to thrum the air as guided by the goddess Rosalie Howarth of KFOG, but Padriac snored and stirred not.

Then Dawn gave him a mighty thwack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under bright, chill skies once again down by the disputed Crab Cove where servants of the Dark Lord had been plotting to seize the land so as to build yet another series of Dark Fortresses not unlike Cirith Ungol. Yea, the place known as Neptune Pointe (sic) was entangled in the multifaceted eye of the Developer of the Spider.

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra accompanied by the Brickbat Targets chorale ensemble.

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of Mayor Marie and Councilperson Lena as soprano alla pique, Councilperson Chen as Loki with his distinctive rubato tenor, and Tony Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful, with Councilperson Marilyn in her reprising alto triumphale in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie. Former Councilperson Rob Bonta appeared in cameo basso infernal as Iago from the Doubtful Friend.

Many reviewers have called this piece amazingly impossible to accomplish. The East Bay Express found "this game of smoky backrooms is too much to believe." Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated" and "hard to believe it goes on. And on. And on still more," while Jim Harrington has called this performance, "the most dreadful rubbish since the last time I wrote a mixed review. I never fully approve of anything but this gave badness a new name."

The Chronicle, always more reserved due to the heavy influence of conservative ACT in the City, has commented, "It should be interesting to see how well this thing floats in the future amid this stormy time for companies. Please, we cannot afford another Phaedra."

Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.

The Examiner, as usual, ignored Reality and talked about the batboy who had been abducted by space aliens.

In any case, after spirits had been revived with a sloshing round from the kegs, the Hoophole Orchestra launched the proceedings with spirited instrumentals. The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Retroviral Trumpet and Smashed Manager were Carol Taylor and Pat Aston of St. Charles.

Lou Cadme did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Stroker, while Carolyn Masters wowed everyone with the Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie Coomber and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck, both with Incendiary Bustier Shriekerspritzers. Nice pair, those gals.

Jeannemarie Coulter contributed her skills upon the Tin Blathermouse with great effect and Jodet Paloma Ghougassian sounded affectingly sweet with the Mugwhump Twinkie-smasher upon Persian Carpet.

Jade of San Franciso performed upon the Inflateable Cross with Crossbow Zinger and the Crawford Makeup Mirror Shriller.

Antimacassars and doilies were supplied by James Hargis.

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done to everyone's great relief, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation,led by Doyle McGowan of San Francisco, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Pat Kitson of Mountain View and Tally of Marin, after which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

This year, the White House representation was headed by Mrs. Clinton, who never really has left the White House and who still has one of her vanity tables there in a small room. She was accompanied by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who stated that although she was not a fan of hunting per se, she did feel a need to get out of DC for a while to get some rest.

The Conservative Party, which always seems to enjoy gratuitous violence and bloodletting, especially when it involves someone elses children, sent Ted Cruz, while the Pee Tardy folks sent Bernhardt Stoor.

The rain weather which had been forcast turned itself around into a gorgeous set of days of clear skies just perfect for popping doggies on the run. Mrs. Clinton, ever much the hawk, overflowed with exhuberant excitement of the chase after a brace of Russian Blues, and managed to declare war on Iran, Russia, China, both Koreas, San Leandro and Newark within two hours, quite forgetting that she was not yet elected President.

When reminded of that fact by her companion, she expostulated, "Not elected?! That did not stop George Bush!"

Down by the Crab Cove playground the Angry Elf gang set up their base of operations and they had a great deal of fun firing off 1950's era Thompson submachineguns. The Angry Elf was greatly enamored of the old gangsters, especially Meyer Lansky and he loved to emulate that man, even to the brown suit the mobster had worn. His gang did not do any hunting so much as fire indiscriminately at any sort of likely target, whether it be palm trees, lavatories, kiddie slides or other hunters and so everyone soon learned to stay well away from there until they had gotten deeper into Padriac's home brew which significantly worsened their aim.

The Angry Elf was there with Brian Grump, Toshie Fan, and the Toad and they were a fell lot with their guns and primitive torture devices. There's always some in the crowd who ruin the joy of things by way of their earnestness. There in the middle of their camp they builded an hearth of human skulls and fueled with foul tinder so as to produce a billowing reek that clogged the once pristine sky.

Over on Otis Drive Officer O'Madhauen had caused a massive pileup at the intersection of Grand and Otis when he had tried to vigorously enforce the speed limit, the turn signal ordinance and the jaywalking ordinance, which morphed into enforcing the traffic light itself, the crosswalks, and the vehicular equipment advisory, not to mention the driving with a cell phone law that no one else seems to enforce. The officer had such a time scampering back and forth across the street, detaining vehicles and pedestrians right and left that he had to call for back up and have Officer Popinjay go commandeer one of those nasty metermaid cabs so as to round up malefactors like a sheepdog, for it required time to write up all those citations properly and he could not simply let them go with a warning and finish off the paperwork later.

Besides, the City gets 17% at least from every citation fine.

He walked up and down the rows, idly pepper spraying

Eventually, the two officers, by dint of zeal and obtuseness, had detained some 150 people, whom they corralled into a space on the lawn of Wood Middle School and somebody asked if it was alright to enjoy a bite to eat and get some drink while arrested and Officer O'Madhauen could find no entry about that in the big green CVC book so everybody there had a fine time being arrested and noshing on turkey schmier on bagel toast and drinking champagne until Officer Popinjay did what California police are sometimes known to do. He walked up and down the rows, idly pepper spraying the people who sat there compliantly and waiting for something to happen. He did this because he was bored and because he had the power to do so. And this really put a big damper on things and there was no more turkey schmier or schmier of any kind to be enjoyed and the errand boys ran away on their bicycles, weeping uncontrollably.

Elsewhere, the day proceeded with only the usual joyous mayhem. AK Glass armed with a crossbow firing explosive darts managed to nail a fine catch estimated at five pounds prior to dispatch down at the windsurfer clubhouse. Not much was left of the carcass for the BBQ however, and size was estimated by the length of the ears so the points earned were recorded by the scorekeeper. Clebia, formerly of Brazil and now San Francisco, managed to catch two miniature toys in a soup kettle fitted with a sieve, which made for easy dispatch and immediate paella stew, plus some left over in a doggie bag for the little terrier at home.

an IED-DP (Insanely Evil Doggie-Doo Pinata) that exploded

The Native Sons of the Golden West party, led by Doyle and Susan Laing prowled carefully in the vicinity of the bicycle bridge upon reports of Sympathizers. Sure enough a squad of dog walkers dressed in pink and lavendar with green pumps clashed with our boys after setting off an IED-DP (Insanely Evil Doggie-Doo Pinata) that exploded with a terrific stench, knocking Eugene Gallipagus flat on his back. The resulting TBI and PTSD would affect the boy for years to come. The squad was pinned down there at the trestle as the poodliers assailed them with missle weapons not unlike the Persians against the Spartans at Thermopylae.The Angry Elf Gang, seeking gain and notoriety, had made secret pacts with the Evil One Eyed Poodle and so had instituted machinations, deviltry and all sorts of nasty mayhem, chiefly featuring this assault. The air filled with the reek of poodle, obscuring the sun and simultaneous attacks were launched, seemingly at random all over the Island.

Things would have gone exceedingly bad for the squad with Doyle getting the majority of his clothes torn from his body and Susan getting more of an eyeful than any proper lady of her age should enjoy, but she laid upon him his wounds such unguents found in the Houses of Healing as in Kingsbane and Thriftfoil and Hunkythane which art known to produce visions. And she laid upon him her body so as to warm his cockles proper and undulated not unlike the healing sea.

"M'lady," said Doyle. "We are being attacked at present! We are at war!"

So much is written in the Annals of the 15th Poodleshoot of the Island.

Things would have gone severely ill for our patriotic squad outposted on the edge of the frontier, but save that Beatrice, glowing in robes of white came leading a pack of noble reinforcements. Among them terriers in the foreguard, followed by dashing golden collies. Next up in the phalanx appeared the strutting Great Danes on the left flank and the wooly sheepdogs on the right. Up the middle charged the Shepards with a tremendous bark! Following these came the leaping basenji's, they of the curly tails and silent attack, and among them the swift whippit along with the much misunderstood and maligned pit bull

All these and more fell upon the enemy and they were vanquished in dismay, even among the picnic tables, and they scattered like leaves before the joyous wind. Thus was the party at the bicycle bridge rescued and avenged.

All around the Island, the dismal fogs roiled against the sun as pitched battles ensued on this formerly sacrosanct holiday. The Lady of Jackson Park, Tammy Chadwick, held forth her ring of power and invoked her Elvish powers to hold back the legions of grim visaged Wargs. To the North, the Wiccan power of Tony Savage beat back battalions of fell hog riders seeking to impose the will of their Dark Lord.

And lo! It was come unto the third day of destruction when the skies filled with the children of Gwaihir, mentioned elsewhere in the chronicles, and so the julu, the hummingbirds, descended in large flocks to cause confusion among the rampant orc-like poodle-lovers. The dank mists fostered by the Angry Elf gang which sought to exploit the dissension caused by excessive development rolled back to reveal gorgeous heavens.

The iridescent wings of julu and his clan descended among the rabble of the Angry Elf and caused confusion and dissension and so the Angry Elf gang was disbursed from that bad camp which celebrated Development and Building upon every square inch and the gang ran through the streets all undone with their shoe laces untied.

The battle at Crab Cove thus being resolved, the battle at the Boatworks settled down and the Wargs withdrew and the battle at the Pointe (sic) settled down to a truce. Then it was come time for peace, blessed Peace to take hold of the Island and all who had wounds were assuaged at the Houses of Healing, thanks to Brother Obama who granted that no preconditions should interfere and all who were with no income nor recompense were allowed to be healed for now the word of Law held sway.

We have fought well against . . the lathered coverall of fascism

And was come unto the time that the last trump was blown and the last rack of Fifi laid upon the barbi well slathered with sauce of Everett and Jones and the final speech was given unto Padraic who said, "Brothers and sisters, today we are well met. We have fought well against false sentiment and artificial emotions and the lathered coverall of fascism, and we say on the occasion of the fifteenth Poodleshoot and BBQ, here, here! To all a grand year and next year best of luck at the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ! Drink up me laddies, for last call is now upon us!"

bullseyedog.gif (4164 bytes)

2014

16TH POODLESHOOT

As per Tradition, on the day of the 16th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, traveling across the yard from the battered old half-moon privy hard by the weeds to the house back porch, leaving behind a sort of dew after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she tugged upon the coverlet, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the somnolent God.

Her fingers becoming rays of sunlight, turned the dial so as to allow the sweet strains of muse Calliope to thrum the air as guided by the goddess Rosalie Howarth of KFOG, but Padriac snored and stirred not.

Then Dawn gave him a mighty thwack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under bright, chill skies, which had cleared from the storm clouds for the day, once again down by the disputed Crab Cove where servants of the Dark Lord had been plotting to seize the land so as to build yet another series of Dark Fortresses not unlike Cirith Ungol. Yea, the place known as Neptune Pointe (sic) was entangled in the multifaceted eye of the Developer of the Spider.

The affair began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra accompanied by the Brickbat Targets chorale ensemble.

This was followed by the devilish meisterwerk composed by PDQ Bach entitled, "Die Sieg der Satanische Landentwickler", an adaptable work which allows insertion of alta-contemporary chorales at the whim of the Conductor.

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of Mayor Marie as Conductor and Councilperson Lena as soprano alla pique in The Lame Duck segment. Councilperson Chen as Loki with his distinctive rubato tenor, and Tony Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful did a fair version of "A Man of Constant Sorrow", with Councilperson Marilyn in her reprising alto triumphale in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie.

Newly elected Mayor Trish Spencer appeared, together with Jim Oddie en masque, performing El Mysterioso Surprise, which evoked tonalities of The Phantom of the Opera. Frank Matarrese reprised his role as Zorro Retournee.

Former Councilperson Rob Bonta appeared in cameo basso infernal as Iago from the Doubtful Friend.

Many reviewers have called this piece amazingly impossible to accomplish, and quite a pastiche. The East Bay Express found "this game of smoky backrooms is too much to believe." Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated" and "hard to believe it goes on. And on. And on still more," while Jim Harrington has called this performance, "the most dreadful rubbish since the last time I wrote a mixed review. I never fully approve of anything but this gave badness a new name."

The Chronicle, always more reserved due to the heavy influence of conservative ACT in the City, has commented, "It should be interesting to see how well this thing floats in the future amid this stormy time for companies. Please, we cannot afford another Phaedra."

Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.

The Examiner, as usual, ignored Reality and talked about the batboy who had been abducted by space aliens.

In any case, after spirits had been revived with a sloshing round from the kegs, the Hoophole Orchestra launched the proceedings with spirited instrumentals. The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Smashed Manager Organ were Carol Taylor and Pat Aston of St. Charles.

Brad and Janet of Park Avenue performed upon the African zebra-fellator with defibrillation device and plate of 420 Brownies.

Lou Cadme did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Stroker, while Carolyn Masters wowed everyone with the Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie Coomber and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck, both with Incendiary Bustier Shriekerspritzers. Nice pair, those gals.

Jeannemarie Coulter contributed her skills upon the Wooden Horsie Flailing Flange with great effect and

Shannon Ramsey sounded affectingly sweet with the Mugwhump Twinkie-Smasher with Airhose.

Jade Myst of San Franciso performed upon the Inflateable Cross with Koan-Zinger and the Crawford Makeup Mirror Shriller.

Antimacassars and doilies were supplied by James Hargis.

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done to everyone's great relief, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation,led by Doyle McGowan of San Francisco, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus. The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" and all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Pat Kitson of Mountain View and Tally of Marin, after which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

This year, the White House representation was headed by Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler who was accompanied by California's Attorney General. Ruemmler is considered one of the top choices to replace Eric Holder, who recently resigned as National Attorney General. Harris had also been considered, however she recently won re-election to the Golden State post and besides, she has said she likes the weather in Sacto better than D.C.

Eric Holder and Chuck Hagel arrived in a seperate detachment which kept to itself.

The change in political realities being what they are, and the 'Shoot being such a popular event, representatives from the Pee Tardy and Republican parties also sent representatives. A specific request to exclude Sarah Palin due to past taste and rule violations was received with great relief and appreciation on all sides.

Notice of a Para Sailing contingent caused some anxiety among the GOP delegates, who have a history of linguistic reversals, but when told this was a California thing involving surfboards, the situation relaxed into genial bipartisan bonhomie, for everyone finally had come to agree on at least one thing, and a new rule against unsportsmanlike hunting from helicopters was passed and a great Huzzah! went up and delegates of all persuasions shouted "Hip hip hooray for the Great old USA!"

Indeed the Poodleshoot, now into its 16th year had acquired the august status of Tradition in America. There is much that is thoroughly American about the entire celebration, which conflates love of firearms, sanguinivorousness, rebellious behavior, ecstatic jumping up and down, questionable music, and gleeful destruction. One is hard put to imagine the genteel -- genteel save for people from Marseilles -- or the logical Germans engaging in any such activity. Certainly not the pothead Dutch or the sensible Italians with their meatballs and pizza. Even the dog-loving Thais, along with the Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese would not engage in such pursuits, as extreme as any of those peoples may be from time to time, for they have been around for thousands of years and so already have their own traditions.

The Japanese have their Kanamara Matsuri, and the Chinese have their Gum Lung. The Indians of India have curry and vegetarianism, which precludes Poodleshoots along with BBQ, and they have their seemingly interminable conflict with the Pakistanis to provide national venting, while the Burmese still need to outlive Yul Brenner.

The entire Middle East is bat-wacky insane at the moment, providing plenty of opportunity for sport killing of each other, which allows a form of protection for the dogs that live there. No one has seen a poodle in the vicinity of Dar es Salaam for well over two thousand years.

As for South America, the Uruguayans exuberantly BBQ guinea pigs during their festivals, dressing them up first in cute, adorable costumes before quickly gutting them, so there is sensibility here of caring. In Brazil, no gaucho worth his salt would waste his riata upon something so lowly as a poodle. Heavens no. And as for the United States of Mexico, dear, beloved, benighted Mexico with its drug lord problems and Jesus on a tortilla, well, the Mexicans have enough problems without creating another by means of a poodleshoot. Besides, most Mexicans possess common sense.

In any case all this talk about Tradition brings to mind previous Poodleshoots not recorded in these annals.

Down by the McKay Avenue spit, where the clapping storks have roosted for generations in the tall palm trees there, a place which traditionally has been a site of contention from ages past up to the present dispute between the GSA and the EBPR, Eugene took a breather in a lull of a fierce firefight between his party and a group of well-armed dogwalkers underneath one of those tall palms with Grant Marcus, a fourth generation Islander. There they leaned upon their rifles as did the ancient Greek spearmen and Tolkenian heros of old and rested amid the continuing battle.

Eugene commented that this scrap was a nasty one indeed, compared to years past. He said he never expected the enemy to actually fight back.

It was then Grant regaled Eugene of Poodleshoots of yore. Back then, in the early days before the Civil War, the poodles were armored with stiff jerkin that resisted the ball and shot of smoothbore flintlock muskets. Then it came down hand to hand battle in the weeds, with men picking up rocks to use as weapons, as in the Battle of the Acute Angle and the Wilderness of Cattails. Then there was the disastrous charge of the Flashlight Brigade at night in '04, which gave rise to heraldic poetry penned by Old Tennis Shoes: "Doggies to the left of them. Doggies to the right of them. Dog poop in front of them. Onward the six or so. . .".

This began among the early Spanish colonials not long after they build the Presidio in the curious year of 1776 out of traditional adobe brick. Adobe is a bad thing out of which to make structures in a place prone to heavy rains, but it took a while for the Spanish conquerors to figure this out. With everything slumping in place, adobe reverting back to its main constituent material -- mud -- the Spanish settlers looked for distractions. They tried bear baiting and they tried bear hunting, making things spicy by using only a knife and a rope against the 1500 pound grizzly, but nothing proved quite as exciting as hunting poodle, a version of which had been introduced by effete Gabachos and which had burgeoned into large, vicious dog packs, the members of which learned to barber each other with flint knives.

The rowdy 49'ers adopted this poodlehunt custom, which as California gradually civilized itself, died out in all but a few rare backwaters, such as the Island.

The 1904 Earthquake and Fire pretty much put an end to many barbarous entertainments, including the Barbary Coast itself -- but that is another story.

It was in November of 1906, the Bay area still recoiling and rebuilding after the Earthquake and Fire when Ole Sanderson and Carlos Tunt revived the poodleshoot Tradition after seeing so many stately homes replace the brick chimney stacks which had once been the defining feature of the East Bay. The sight of a pompadoured creature prancing on the sidewalk where men had once labored with steam and shovel infuriated the two to such a degree they reintroduced the Poodleshoot as a formal event to celebrate thanks upon survival and many are the stories from those days, featuring valorous deeds along with tender stories of the heart.

It was in the tumultuous year of 1916, the US poised to enter the War to End All Wars that Ole Fergeson, armed with a crossbow and taking cover behind a water tank, saved the Stanford House at Lake Merrit from a brace of poodles bearing flaming torches in their mouths, and so met the future Helgi Fergeson, who thanked him profusely in her chambers with her ample gifts, by which she had much renown.

Then, as now, with every tank comes a sentimental story.

So anyway, said Grant. Those were the days.

Then came the general assault and the two were hard pressed, retreating up the spit to the cove where a missile weapon brought down Eugene's companion, even as they joined a group of stalwart lads and lassies who returned a volley that repulsed the onslaught for the moment.

As Grant lay there, passing his last breaths he said, give this message to my relative Grant Marcoux. He is a blacksmith living at the end of Grand . . . . And with that he passed a token to Eugene as darkness covered up his eyes and he was no more.

And with this, Eugene arose and he was wroth and he called forth the others around him for he was fey and young, well not so young actually being something like forty or so, but still fey and they launched their offensive and charged even as the sun withdrew behind veils of striated incarnedine and gold and azure beyond the trees and they came upon the enemy and smote them and scattered them like leaves before the wind and they were utterly destroyed, so angered was Eugene and his companions.

The next day amid feasting and celebration of victory there was lamentation for the fallen and Eugene remembered the token and this he took to the house of the blacksmith was known as Grant Marcoux and some wondered how is it that in this age of iPods and nanothings there lives still a blacksmith among us, but in this house Marcoux dwells yet still, a tethering to a past in which things were made to last and be repaired to last some more, for that is the way on this island, where we do things the old way.

And unto Marcoux, who runs the Pilgrim's Soul Forge, Eugene brought the token and upon seeing this token, Grant said, and so he is gone?

Eugene nodded.

Marcoux took the token and shook it and said, "Thus Jingletown jingles."

Well this made no sense at all to Eugene and he went away with wonder in his heart. For that is the way in times of war; quite a lot of it does not make any sense.

So ended the 16th Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ.

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17th POODLESHOOT

2015

As per Tradition, on the day of the 17th Annual Poodleshoot, rosy-fingered Dawn arose from the horizon's dark bed and pushed back the shutters of night to allow Phoebus to mount his golden chariot and so, preceding the day, she trailed her gauzy banners across the firmament, traveling across the yard from the battered old half-moon privy hard by the weeds to the house back porch, leaving behind a sort of dew after her passage. Gently, she flushed, and gently she tugged upon the coverlet, and gently she kissed the eyelids of the sleeping Padraic, but he stirred not. Gently she nudged the man, who only mumbled and snorted as he remained held fast in the soft, wooly folds of Morpheus. Playfully, she noodged him once again, but he remained walking in that shadow kingdom of the somnolent God.

Her fingers becoming rays of sunlight, turned the dial so as to allow the sweet strains of muse Calliope to thrum the air as guided by the goddess Rosalie Howarth of KFOG, but Padriac snored and stirred not.

Then Dawn reared back with her rosy fists upraised and brought them down heavily to smite Padraic a mighty thwack, and that got him up all right, for Dawn O'Reilly was not a woman to be trifled with at any time of the day. And so Padraic bestirred himself to make ready for the Annual Island Poodleshoot and BBQ.

So it was that Padraic rolled out the barrels of the Water of Life and set up the Pit for this year's festivities under bright, chill skies, which had cleared from the storm clouds for the day, once again down by the disputed Crab Cove where servants of the Dark Lord had been plotting to seize the land so as to build yet another series of Dark Fortresses not unlike Cirith Ungol. Yea, the place known as Neptune Pointe (sic) was entangled in the multifaceted eye of the Developer of the Spider. A great battle had been fought there between the orkish forces of GSA and the noble greensleeve battalions of EBRPD and there a tremendous victory had been won, turning thre Enemy to rout and so this season would be the occasion of much celebration.

The ceremonies began with the traditional playing of the Paraguay National Anthem, as arranged by Terry Gilliam, and performed by the Island Hoophole Orchestra accompanied by the Brickbat Targets chorale ensemble.

This was followed by the devilish meisterwerk composed by PDQ Bach entitled, "Die Sieg der Satanische Landentwickler", an adaptable work which allows insertion of alta-contemporary chorales at the whim of the Conductor.

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of Mayor Marie as Conductor and Izzy as soprano alla triste in the Doloroso segment. Councilperson Oddie as Loki with his distinctive rubato tenor, and Tony Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful did a fair version of "A Man of Constant Sorrow", with Councilperson Frank in his basso triumphale reprising last year's performance in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie.

Mayor Trish Spencer appeared, together with Jim Oddie en masque, performing El Mysterioso Surprise, which evoked tonalities of The Phantom of the Opera. Frank Matarrese thoroughly nailed his role an Black Sabbath's "Land Pigs.".

Former Councilperson Rob Bonta appeared in cameo basso infernal as Iago from the Doubtful Friend.

Many reviewers have called this piece amazingly impossible to accomplish, and quite a pastiche. The East Bay Express found "this game of smoky backrooms is too much to believe." Karen D'Souza of the Contra Costa Times has called it "devilishly complicated" and "hard to believe it goes on. And on. And on still more," while Jim Harrington has called this performance, "the most dreadful rubbish since the last time I wrote a mixed review. I never fully approve of anything but this gave badness a new name."

The Chronicle, always more reserved due to the heavy influence of conservative ACT in the City, has commented, "It should be interesting to see how well this thing floats in the future amid this stormy time for companies. Is theatre truely dead?"

Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.

The Bay Guardian emitted a sort of rattle of breath, trembled in its bed, and was still for eternity.

The Examiner, as usual, ignored Reality and talked about the batboy who had been abducted by space aliens.

In any case, after spirits had been revived with a sloshing round from the kegs, the Hoophole Orchestra launched the proceedings with spirited instrumentals. The elaborate instrumental section performed Sousa marches and works by Debussy in true Island tradition, and featured vocals as well as strings, horns, thorns, woodwinds, and bloodhounds.

Performing on the Smashed Manager Organ were Carol Taylor and Rachel Linzer of St. Charles.

Brian Kring and Toshie of Park Avenue performed upon the Mendacious Dieben and Sneaky Pete while Little Nichtnutz executed the Shoplifter with Stolen Keys.

Lou Cadme did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Stroker, while Carolyn Masters wowed everyone with the Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion with broken boards. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie Coomber and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck, both with Incendiary Bustier Spritzers. Nice pair, those gals.

Jessica was joined this year by her newlywed husband, Sean, who pounded vigorously upon the Bald Curate's Pate.

Jeannemarie Coulter contributed her skills upon the Wooden Horsie Flailing Flange with great effect and Shannon Ramsey sounded affectingly sweet on the Mugwhump Twinkie-Smasher with Airhose.

Jade Myst of San Franciso performed upon the Inflateable Cross with Koan-Zinger and the Crawford Makeup Mirror Shriller.

Antimacassars and doilies were supplied, as usual, by James Hargis, who also performed the Effexor Waltz.

Once this essay at musical endeavor was done to everyone's great relief, the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 34 1/2, gathered in a circle for their Invocation,led by Doyle McGowan of San Francisco, and chanted in the language of E Clampus Vitus.

The men, wearing their ceremonial robes and colorful fezzes, moved in a circle with their pinkies interlocked, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, before intoning, "Heep heep Hepzibah!" before all jumping into the air simultaneously. They then sang their parlor charter song, "Die Launische Forelle," After they had done this, they moved again in a circle as before, concluding by bowing deeply, dropping their drawers and thence emitting a sort of 21 gun salute.

After the ritual pouring of Wild Turkey libations, the Official bugles were blown by Pat Kitson of Mountain View and Tally of Marin, upon which the hunters moved out into the field. Soon the air was filled with the gleeful holiday sounds of AK-47s, the cracks of freshly oiled Winchester rifles, the occasional crump of percussion grenades, cries of "Poodle there!", and the homey whoosh-bang of old-fashioned bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot.

This year, the White House representation was headed by John Kerry and Dept. of Defence Ashton Carter. Jerry brought his military issue carbine and a 1911-style sidearm, stating "I am a gun owner, I have always been a gun owner, and those who claim I want to take their guns are full of North Korean noodles."

The change in political realities being what they are, and the 'Shoot being such a popular event, representatives from the Pee Tardy and Republican parties also sent representatives. A specific request to exclude Sarah Palin due to past taste and rule violations was received with great relief and appreciation on all sides.

Also forming a largish contingent were all the candidates for the GOP nomination to run for President in the upcoming election.

Indeed the Poodleshoot, now into its 17th year had acquired the august status of Tradition in America. There is much that is thoroughly American about the entire celebration, which conflates love of firearms, sanguinivorousness, rebellious behavior, ecstatic jumping up and down, questionable music, and gleeful destruction. One is hard put to imagine the genteel -- genteel save for people from Marseilles -- or the logical Germans engaging in any such activity. Certainly not the pothead Dutch or the sensible Italians with their meatballs and pizza. Even the dog-loving Thais, along with the Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese would not engage in such pursuits, as extreme as any of those peoples may be from time to time, for they have been around for thousands of years and so already have their own traditions.

The Japanese have their Kanamara Matsuri, and the Chinese have their jook and Gum Lung. The Indians of India have curry and vegetarianism, which precludes Poodleshoots along with BBQ, and they have their seemingly interminable conflict with the Pakistanis to provide national venting, while the Burmese still need to outlive Yul Brenner.

The entire Middle East is bat-wacky insane at the moment, providing plenty of opportunity for sport killing of each other, which allows a form of protection for the dogs that live there. No one has seen a poodle in the vicinity of Dar es Salaam for well over two thousand years.

As for South America, the Uruguayans exuberantly BBQ guinea pigs during their festivals, dressing them up first in cute, adorable costumes before quickly gutting them, so there is sensibility here of caring. In Brazil, no gaucho worth his salt would waste his riata upon something so lowly as a poodle. Heavens no. And as for the United States of Mexico, dear, beloved, benighted Mexico with its drug lord problems and Jesus on a tortilla, well, the Mexicans have enough problems without creating another by means of a poodleshoot. Besides, most Mexicans possess common sense.

The Poodleshoot has run for 17 consecutive years on the Island and this year the line of GOP contenders for President moved out in a scattered line into the field and soon the air was filled with the cheery all-American sounds of winchester cracks and the crump of grenades, punctuated by the pleasant swoosh of RPG's. Far across the island, the occasional boom from the 188 given to Javier for his birthday by the Narcos of Sinaloa boomed with sonority.

Trouble ensued when around Washington Middle School the GOP contingent members began shooting at each other instead of at the preferred targets due to a terrible misunderstanding. Ben Carson blew off Trump's toupee and the Donald let loose a double shotgun blast that winged Megyn Kelly's purse. Trump denied he had aimed deliberately at the Fox News commentator.

"Honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry," Trump told the anchor. "I've been very nice to you, although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn't do that. If you just took off your dress it would make me feel better."

One of the more contentious moments came when Kelly bluntly asked Trump: When did you actually be­come a Republican?

Trump, perhaps slightly exasperated, told the crowd: I dont think they like me very much.

Clearly, the questioning got to him.

There ensued a brief exchange between Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee on entitlement reform. FBN, on the other hand, conducted a meaty melee during which a tomato or two was occasionally tossed. John Kasich came itching for a fight, and in fact produced a set of boxing gloves for the purpose in challenging Der Donald. Donald Trump pitched back with his usual high-mindedness, tossing a bare-knuckle right and a left with great zest and responding at one point to Kasich with: Ive built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. I dont have to hear from this man.

In the bullpen, Carly Fiorina swung a medieval battle-ax with telling effect, which earned high marks from the independent judges. A melee between the Island Dog-Walker Association and the hunters took place at Crab Cove and there was much altercation amid a thrashing of impermeables and umbrellas and leashes and the Cabela's hardware. All vigorous was the fight as seen from a distance as a dust cloud arose to partially conceal the dubious contest as the fur flew and the teeth flashed.

It was then that something happened which completely turned around the entire jovial tone of the Poodleshoot: The United States was attacked by the notorious DAESS and they picked the Island to be their main beachhead foothold Omaha warfighting kind of major boots on the ground kind of mean thing. They swarmed across the water in light skiffs like beetles to take the sands of Robert Crown Memorial beach, capturing the importance locus of the restrooms right away, driving back Eugene Gallipagus who was armed only with his special .50 cal Remington Poodlegun. DAESS warriors, dressed in their habitual black scarves and hoodies with black jackets and bloomers with high heel boots -- rather chic, actually -- stomped along the disputed bicycle path, kicking over signs and wastebaskets and old ladies right and left, practicing all their stomping warfighting women hating decapitating puppy raping kidnapping ancient artifact smashing sorts of mean old nasty sorts of things and not a single kid was left with a Tickle Me Elmo for comfort in their path for they smashed up all the kids toys as well.

And they came to the cove where they ran up their flags on the basketball hoops their and showing no mercy slew a fair number of dogwalkers there and quite contrary to the rules of the poodleshoot, a few afgan hounds as well and they advanced upon the holy keg of Padraic bearing the sacred ichor of Uisce qe Bah, the Water of Life that was the official libation of the 'Shoot with the intention of destroying and stomping on that as well with only Padraic armed with his blackthorn stick and Dawn beside him armed with the weight of her tongue and the DAESS armed with scimitars that did flash in the grey gloom as if in emulation of the pall cast from the Dark Tower of Barad Dur during the Wars of the Rings.

Well now friends, this situation was serious and it seemed that all was lost as the high tide brought ever more of the nefarious DAESS, they that call themselves betimes ISIL or ISIS, besmirching the name of that holy Goddess with their foul blasphemy. And Padraic raised up his blackthorn stick to cry out, for he was fey and full of life and today was a good day, a good day to die as any other with Dawn standing beside him as the Enemy approached.

But Lo! A light did appear in the northwest, the land of Marin, from which did sally forth an noble host of hounds, all born upon the ships made by the magical woodsmiths of Woodacre. Upon these ships were the Amazons, Beatrice and Toni and they had with them the bounding anti-terrorists terrier Toto and the mighty Dakota who bounded upon the Main with a coat that shone verily of gold like the sun himself. Molly came forth with her pen, Isdradil, sharper and more bright than any sword, and Paul and Marybeth were among them bringing a company of feline warriors led by Rumsey, slaughterer of the great Lizards of Anselmo. Among them also were the Phipps Family, each armed with laser ablation devices that glittered. All of these came ashore to do battle upon the sands of Crown Beach and joining with them were the Dog Walkers who turned to side with their former enemies and the homeboys were heartened by this glad sight.

Tammy and Chad emerged from the fastness of their Park Avenue Keep and Chad wrought great destruction upon the DAESS by crushing their toes with the wheels of his chariot and bonking upon their pates with his oxygen bottles and Tammy called forth much magic for she is a Wiccan and was joined by yet another company led by Tony Savage, she of the Island Coven of Witches and they caused the DAESS to be much confused by manner of spells so the warriors saw two, ten, twenty opponents before them and so they hewed at empty air repeatedly in their confusion.

This way and that the battle raged upon the green and the holy Earth, our mother, was much abused by this treatment as the pitched battled descended into an atavistic tangle of savage tearing and rending and barking and noise and mean nasty old warfighting kinds of things down there in Crab Cove and there was not much the law could do about it because there was no violation of traffic ordinances during this epic contest save a couple DAESS did offend the eyes of Officer O'Madauen who promptly arrested them for jaywalking on a weekday and took them to jail where they were much contrite sufficient to read their Korans, which none of them had ever done before.

Still the battle raged on a day and through the night and on to the next day when a great burbling was heard and the water was rent by a visitation and the periscopes and antennae of the Iranian spy ship El Chadoor emerged from the waters offshore and there issued the sailors let by First Mate Mohammed and they fell upon the DAESS whom they loved not and the First Mate was heard to exclaim, "You know as much of Islam as I am a banana sundae you heathen dogs!"

Verily, the Enemy host bent before this onslaught from the sea as leaves of grass before a great wind and they were scattered and put utterly to rout and there was great rejoycing as the favor of battle turned and gods of Hunter Thompson and Chief Blackhawk and the true Isis, the Great Goddess, looked down with approval and blessing and all the Island Host were touched by the noodle of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and so all were blessed and their various hurts charmed back into health.

That night there was a great feast among the former enemies, consisting of the Iranian sailors, the Dog Walkers, the Island Hunters and even Patti St. John of the Bicycle Coalition, all reveling in their common victory and instead of Boshintang, the Marinites brought sprouts and arugula and sweet pomegranates and Padraic and Dawn brought out the Ahi and threw it on the Barbie so there was plenty to be had for all.

And so ended the 17th Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ in feasting and rejoycing.

Denby, bearing his lute, came across Beatrice there who sat with Toto at her feet. He laid his hand upon hers to thank her for her noble office in defence of the Island, but Toto, ever vigilant did make a most protective and convincing growl, so he quickly removed his hand and they sat and talked about a great many things, about warfighting DAESS stomping artifact smashing kinds of things and of birds and roses as well.

Little David Phipps held his laser-powered Tickle-Me-Elmo toy, rescued from DAESS, and pushed the button to cause an ablation on a satellite high above in space so that it arced a modified perihelion and descended to burn up as another shooting star.

"Again! Again! Do it again!" said Elmo.

 

 

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