NOVEMBER 26, 2017
The 19th Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ
The annual Island Tradition took place again, beginning with the usual, traditional ceremonies.
As per Tradition, on the day of the 19th 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 briefly from the storm clouds for the day, once again down by the disputed Crab Cove where servants of the Dark Lord had once plotted to seize the land so as to build yet another series of Dark Fortresses not unlike Cirith Ungol.
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 Councilperson Izzy as soprano alla triste in the Misericordia segment and former Councilperson Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful did a fair version of Iago's treacherous soliloquy, with Councilperson Frank in his basso triumphale reprising last year's performance in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie.
Vice Mayor Malia Vella adoped the key of obsequious for her duet with Roger Dent of Jamestown Properties in "It's a Shopping Mall by Any Other Name."
Mayor Trish Spencer appeared en masque, performing the aria "The Hapless Burgermeister" with Councilperson Jim Oddie following in the role of Flip-Flop.
Frank Matarrese thoroughly nailed his role on Black Sabbath's "Land Pigs", but disappointed in the Eroica segment which features the "Young Man Taking a Stand" soliloquy.
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. We almost were convinced Trish Spencer was really a City Mayor, a role she continues to adopt despite the necessary qualifications required -- and her unexpected laughter in the middle of the funeral scene was puzzling. Is her portion supposed to be farce or tragedy? We were confused the entire time and wish she simply would go away as she makes the entire City Production look ludicrous."
Of course, their theatre/music review got mixed up for that issue with the economic report and the mid-term elections special, so the meaning of that is up to interpretation.
The East Bay Express got the dates wrong on its Calendar section, so they had no review.
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 Pushy Manager Organ were Carol Taylor and Rachel Linzer of St. Charles.
Brian King and Toshie of Park Avenue performed upon the Mendacious Dieben and Sneaky Pete while Little Nichtnutz executed the Shoplifter with Stolen Keys until the Tac Squad entered with fanfare and removed them for questioning.
Neal of St. Charles noodled on the Meyer Lansky Kazoo and stamped his tiny feet for percussion while The Henchmen crooned Barbershop Quartet style behind bars. Neal followed up with a slam-bang sale on dime bags of Crystal and Horse. When caught, Old Neal commenced to sing in several keys at once. Quite a challenge and great drama.
Former legislator Anthony Wiener (R) of Washington DC did a standup job upon the Howling Organ Stroker, while Barbara Boxer (D) wowed everyone with the Swan Song Flammable Pedalpushing Accordion with broken boards. This complemented Kristin SweetMarie McCoomber (ENG) and Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck (USA), both with Incendiary Bustier Spritzers. Nice pair, those gals.
Jessica was joined this year by her husband, Sean, who pounded vigorously upon the Bald Curate's Pate and six-month old baby Dylan who applied himself assiduously to the Bland Howler.
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.
it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot
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 home-made bazookas and modern RPG's. In short it was a jolly, fine beginning for a Poodleshoot with overcast weather that soon turned quite rainy.
This year's emissary from Washington D.C. turned out to be President Rump himself, along with the last people in the world whom he has not insulted -- Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers. Then, of course, there came with him those people generally considered Political Satellites plus the Secret Service. Despite Rump's steadfast promotion of the Second Amendment in staunch support of his Political Base (neo-nazis, KKK dragons, itinerant yahoo rubes, radical fundamentalists, right-wing extremists, Deplorables, ect.) the presence of so much weaponry in one place causes any number of people who depend on the guy significant concern.
Of course the Shoot has seen many luminaries and VIPs appear without incident in the past. Well, very few incidents.
So Rump was attended by that group known as The Odious Crew (TOC). A right wing contingent from the Westboro Baptist Church called The Inane Committee (TIC) joined with them.
Once the first volleys from AR-15s went off, the Tappet Brothers scampered over to the Pit to discuss valve trains and timing belts and remain out of harm's way under dripping umbrellas.
A stubborn platoon of dogwalkers dug in on the edge of the sports field at Wood Middle School near the shoreline as a murk of clouds gathered above the battlefield and there was much travail and yapping of poodles as hunters attempted to cross the vast expanse while being subject to a whithering fire of missle weapons and canine WMD's (Weapons of Mass Doo-doo).
Then came President Rump with his battalion of TOC and TIC cadres and Rump let out a mighty blast of hot air at the dogwalkers who defended themselves with parasols and impermeables that began to melt before the mighty blast.
"NOBODY IS BETTER THAN ME! I OWN A HELICOPTER AND YOU ARE NOTHING! MY VICTORY IS GONNA BE BIGLY! BIGLY, I TELL YOU! LOSERS!"
Thus spake the mighty Rump with great volume, as is his wont, and the dogwalkers were beat by by the savage fury of the blast of hot air. But such was the fury of the blast that the shingles came loose from the school buildings and the goalposts became uprooted and the blast continued long after the last poodle had fled yapping with the TIC contingent beating them about the ears with bibles while spewing a miasma of hellfire and brimstone invective.
One of the TOC squad let loose with his blunderbus next to President Rump's ears and the unfortunate man was assailed on the spot with fury.
"WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? YOU ARE NOBODY! I AM PRESIDENT! I AM PRESIDENT AND YOU ARE NOT! TRAITOROUS PRESS! YOU ARE FIRED!"
"ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES WITH ME IS FIRED! BUNCH OF LOSERS! AS FOR THAT NORTH KOREAN GUY I USED TO LIKE HIM -- NOT ANY MORE; HE IS JUST A KITTY CAT. AND AS FOR REPRESENTATIVE MOORE HE IS A HECK OF A GUY. WE GRAB THEM BY THEIR KITTY CATS . . . ! SENATOR WARREN TOO! THAT POCOHONTAS. I'LL GRAB HER BY HER KITTY CAT AND SHE'LL COME ALONG! I AM THE GREATEST POODLEHUNTER OF ALL TIME! ALL THE REST OF YOU ARE LOSERS! LOOOOOOSERS!"
The hot air from Rump blew down the batting cage and bowled over the other hunters on the field. All the palms lining 8th Street were stripped of their fronds in the tremendous wind. The sky was dark and roiling already and the hot rain went sideways across the desolate waste with everyone taking shelter. Gust of hot air blew through the hunter's camp and the Pit, sending dangerous coals flying up into the trees where they caught fire in the branches.
The poodlewalkers seized this confusion to launch a counterattack on many fronts. John Knox Ford was cast down among his planning documents, the members of ARC who had fought valiantly on behalf of Renters on the Island were scattered, and the decent hunters among them were dismayed by the slaughter even as President Rump ignored the realities, continuing to trumpet his pride amid the gathering storm made even more virulent by Global Climate Change. He cared no longer for poodles or the Hunt and his entourage was left confused.
Kelly Ann Conway, drenched to the skin, swung a morningstar flail and so crushed the skull of a hapless boxer, which was quite against the rules, but she was busy making up her own reality and so could not be persuaded of the error.
It seemed that all would be lost as the fires raged to the north, the rising seas threatened to overwhelm the tender-hearted least terns, neo-nazis rampaged down Church Row with cavorting poodles who did poop wantonly upon the sacred grounds and incubi such as Moore who had long hidden repulsive defilements beneath robes of sanctity marched with flaming crosses and the treasury was all undone for Nixon had long since removed the Golden Standard.
Jason Arrabiata, Rev. CFSM, called up to His Noodliness, begging for supplication and so the First Night passed in wailing and lamentation. The sun arose in a fearful murk, which let through only a single ray of light that shone down as if from Heaven above, when Lo! a wagon from Marin came bearing a great load of peaches and many more followed him from the Valley and distant Mexico, called up and able to cross the Rio Grande with their loads of precious fruit for there was not yet a massive wall planned and likened unto the gates of Mordor, not yet fearsome trolls manning the battlements.
And when the wagons reached the field of slaughter where Rump continued to ramp his unreasoning cant, they let loose the buckboards and an avalanche of sweet fruit advanced upon the Rump who was perforce sent backwards to his black helicopter and so into retreat, for veritably, President Rump had been im-peached.
Then went up a great shout among the valiant and the stout-hearted who rallied with the Amazonian warriors led by Elizabeth Warren and Barbara Boxer arrived in the nick of time from distant Marin to support all that is good and just and so united they drove back the enemy all yipping and snapping like a mighty wind bends the grass and the blessed rain did fall to extinguish the northern fires and although there was suffering and great loss, and house and rick be totally destroyed, those things can be rebuilt for life continues defiant against tyranny.
So it was that Padraic laid ahi upon the Barbee and there was feasting and rejoycing upon this victory over Evil and terriers did romp and disport upon the torn green with glad eyes for the enemy had been driven back and the rain meant an end was put to the terrible drought that had so plagued the Golden State.
Thus ended the Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ, 19th occurance of that tradition on this Island and all I speak is the truth, so help me God.
As the blessed rain fell along with merciful night, the night train far across the water wailed from under the gantries of the Port of Oaktown, keening across the estuary, the former airfield that was now sanctuary for the Least Tern, the grassy Buena Vista flats that was now the Jean Sweeny Open Space Preserve, the construction zone of what used to be the old Cannery and its detritus-strewn loading dock, crying over the basketball hoops of Littlejohn Park, and dying between the Edwardian house-rows as the locomotive click-clacked in front of the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, trundling out of shadows on the edge of town past the former Ohlone burial mounds to an unknown future.
That's the way it was on the Island for the 19th Annual Poodleshoot.