DECEMBER 1, 2019



So anyway. What with all the fires and power outages in NorCal, the Annual Poodleshoot report has been delayed. But this being the 21st Poodleshoot on the Island, there is no rushing to press on this.

It is hard to imagine that 20 years ago a daft group of lads decided to hold a humble Poodleshoot in defiance of misdirected sentiment, obnoxious aesthetics, and hideous twisting of values where an asinine species we will never truly understand gets more attention, devotion, and preference than members of our own species. It can be argued that in this present day in the 21st century we still have problems understanding each other, let alone another species.

20 years of Poodleshoots and still people lavish more attention and affection upon a miserable scrap of fur and teeth than suffering fellow human beings. Well, that is why the Poodleshoot came to be.

All that aside, the 20th Annual Poodleshoot proceeded as follows.

The annual Island Tradition took place again, beginning with the usual, traditional ceremonies.

As per Tradition, on the day of the 20th 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, woolly 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.

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 piece has been favorably compared to John Phillip Sousa's Liberty Bell March, with which work the modality is inextricably entwined..

This was followed by the devilish meisterwerk composed by Marie Kane entitled, "Die Sieg der Satanische Landentwickler", an adaptable work which allows insertion of alta-contemporary chorales at the whim of the Conductor at the pleasure of any municipal governing body.

The ensemble group which has made something of a name for itself by inventing entirely new parts for voice, consisted of Mayor Izzy as soprano alla triste in the Misericordia segment and Councilperson Daysog as mezzo soprano mournful did a fair version of Iago's treacherous soliloquy, with former Councilperson Frank in his basso triste "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" performance in the esoteric work La Chambre à l'arrière Enfumee Boogie by Brooks and Dunne.

Vice Mayor Malia Vella adopted the key of obsequious for her duet with Roger Dent of Jamestown Properties in "It's a Shopping Mall by Any Other Name."

John Knox White and Tony Daysog performed a lovely duet as well as a lovely pas de deux in pinstriped pinafores with nunchucks. The two sang "Our Town" and "I got you Babe with astonishing verve.

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 -- none of which she seems to have ever possessed. Was her portion supposed to be farce or tragedy? We were confused the entire time and are quite glad about the results of the recent Midterms as she has made 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. Michael Rumsby of St. Charles marched in circles playing the bagpipe-tuba in the key of F## while the horn section played in the key of B13.

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 T. 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, which concluded with a parade of zoot suits conducting the perp-walk down the aisle. Quite a challenge and great drama.

Mill Valley, which has been courting the Island on a number of issues, sent a former Mayor who performed "The Little Chick goes Cheep, Cheep, Cheep," to a mixed reception of bystanders, who saw this rendition as a sop against MV's notorious wealthy exclusivity.

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 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 overcast.

This year the official delegation from DC featured Rudy Guliani, spearheading a phalanx of lawyers that shot randomly at everything in sight as Rudy waddled across the greens with his Poodle Blunderbuss Cannon, destroying household pets and crockery and the Truth with great abandon.

All of the scandals in the past year in the Crystal City of DC produced quite a number of Poodleshoot candidates, however those that did not go to jail turned out to have a great deal of moral turpitude and so none of them were available for the Poodleshoot.

Sarah Palin wanted to come back for another go-around, as she so much loved killing things from the safety of aerial position where neither weather nor fierce animal retribution could be encountered, but organizers found a rule against multiple Sarah Palin Parasailin' in consecutive years and so she declined in a snit of Twitter.

Mrs. Frippary, of Mill Valley, came down Southshore Blvd on a visit with her adored Snickers on a leash with a collar of bright LED lights that captured Eugene's scope and so he drew bead, squeezed carefully, and let loose a round that blew Snickers to heaven with a sort of somersault in the air.

Shoot officials and also Poodle-Favor complainants responded quickly.

"Score of 8.9 for the somersault," said one official. "I would give it a 9, but he used an unimaginative 30 ought 6."

Eugene proudly held up his dripping kill for photographs.

"This man just shot my sweetums!" Mrs. Frippary complained. "That ought to be illegal! Just look at my oochee coochee poopee now!"

"Madam," said Official Banks. "You have been known by report to ignore Snickers attacking other dogs, biting children and adults and chasing the postman."

"No," said Mrs. Frippary. "He is a good doggie."

"Madam, you have been known to give preference to your dog over human beings at every turn. You gave him treats from the table when people are dining, encouraging a begging behavior. When people pass by him he snaps at their feet. You have demanded others feed your dog scraps from their own meals, and you have ignored his violent antisocial tendencies, ergo you have failed to socialize your dog."

"I do not understand what you mean by 'socialize your dog.' He is a good doggie!"

"That is exactly the problem. You still do not understand the importance of socializing your dog in a crowded metropolis like the Bay Area where service animals and the like need to be trained so as to interact with adults and children safely and without pretense."

"I live in a small-town environment surrounded by trees and wildlife. Why should I tame my dog?"

"If you kept your dog in an isolated kennel 24x7 away from humans that would be fine. I also see complaints from your spouse that your dog attacked his genitals because you insist on having the dog sleep upon the bed with you each night and the dog intervenes during sexual congress."

"That is a misrepresentation. Snickers just wants to join in on the fun. Wait a second . . . how did you know that?"

"Madam, you are promoting then disgusting bestiality?"

"Well, um, that's .. . that is entirely out of line of what I meant . . .".

"Madam, you are either revolting or totally ignorant. Which comes down to how we treat this poodle problem. The kill is judged valid and points are granted to Eugene Gallipagus for a vaid contribution to the Barbee and to Society at large. Madam you are free to take part and enjoy the last of Snickers, with E&J BBQ sauce. Everett and Jones is a Bay Area Tradition, enlivening BBQ meats for all occasions."

"I think not!" Mrs. Frippary said.

Surprisingly, the rest of the Poodleshoot went off swimmingly. There were a few contretemps when Mitch McConnell tried to shunt the 'Shoot towards a GOP pro-gun caucus and the TwitterHead in Chief sending fullisades of short missifs declairing illegal witch hunts and all sorts of nonsense until Padriac simply shut the stream off with irritation, giving all a sense of relief.

The Marin Dogwalkers Association had brought in truckloads of poodles on flatbeds and the hunters had a field day popping these effete morsels one after another. Plans were in the works to move the 'Shoot to either the San Geronimo Valley or Fairfax environs due to the plethora of misguided sentiments found harboring the savage canine in great numbers.

The shift was being administered in large part by the West Marin Expats Association which had found that the folk who had ousted born and raised possessed little in the way of decent manners or common sense and that something had to be done about it. West Marin Expats had been all forced to leave their hometowns due to the rising prices and gentrification of the one-time blue-collar area and they were wroth with desire for vengeance and a return to good, old-fashioned family values.

As a result the weekend featured a lively Poodleshoot event which, for once, was not marred by mischance or disaster, allowing the to recoup losses incurred due to lawsuit and funeral expenses in past years.

And so there was a great route of Piddler contingents involving great loss to them and great addition to the Barbee which smoked with the seared flesh of poodle for fully a day and never was there seen such a triumphant poodleshoot as this one in the year 2019 even as the heavens opened up and poured down a tremendous deluge to end the Fire Season of 2019 with joy. So ended the 21st Annual Poodleshoot and BBQ and perhaps the last to take place on the Island.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over Fairfax and White's Hill, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridge-tops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.