Sunday, February 27, 2011

RE: (Humor) What the heck is a flippernugget?


I write so much that I’ve practically got words sweating out of me in the most inconvenient places – the words, not the sweat – forcing me to scribble on any surface I possibly can – fast – lest I forget the idea.

As it turns out, a simple piece of paper is not all that easy to come by when you’re out and about spreading around joy as I am wont to do. My peripatetic ways force me to commandeer writing surfaces in transit which is why I’ve been known to put pen to often-non-paper upon quite an array of items; fast food bags, receipts, the car door, neighborhood children, bank deposit slips. (With regard to the latter I was informed that humor column text does not convert to legal tender.)

The problem with this modus operandi is that afterward I’m left to decipher my own notes and that can be a tricky business, my penmanship being marginal when I’m stationary, let alone in forward motion.

Placing a receipt on the steering wheel and writing on it with an eyebrow pencil makes it difficult to get my own drift because that’s all I’m often left with. Drift. As in: the writing implement is drifting downward leaving the semblance of letters from what appears to be an extinct language. Perhaps Atlantis-ian?

Thus, I’m left to decode jottings like “tennis shoes,” which I’m convinced are, no doubt, an integral part of a brilliant book waiting to be written. If only the crucial springboard to this unforgettable literal legacy could be understood.

When I reflect upon these same doodles later, not when I’m more sane or focused, but simply later, I have no idea what I was thinking. This brings me to my recent Dead Sea scrolls finding when I excavated a torn and rather lonely-looking piece of binder paper from underneath the detritus of my passenger seat upon which was inscribed one word. Flippernugget.
Now, what could I have been thinking? I know we call those dealies we convulsively punch on the side of pinball machines, convinced we’re pinball wizards, flippers, but no nuggets there.

In an effort to jog my out-of-shape memory I looked the word up on the Internet, but all I came up with was a mythical cartoon, rainforest-dwelling animal. Oh, and some random blog entries about not being able to sleep. I know. I don’t get the connection either, but I’m guessing these folks write all sorts of arbitrary things like I do, but they turn them into blog entries, not columns.

At first, the search engine helpfully inquired as to whether I meant, flipper nugget, two words, as though that was going to net me a bigger answer fish. I got bupkus whether it was expressed as a compound word or not.

I’m going Old School and getting out the dictionary. Finagle, finfoot, first mate, Flemish, flocculate. Nope. No FLIPPERNUGGET. What if I parse it out, like I was done taught to do during my turn-of-the-century education?

Okay. Flip. “Someone or something that flips.” I think we can all agree that doesn’t contribute much to the goal of clarification. The entry also mentions a fin and then a flat or hinged something-or-other in the theater. That sure doesn’t ring any proverbial bells, so let’s go for some whistles. I’m going to go look up, “nugget.”

I’m back. Basically, it is a “lump of matter.” If I put the two together I’ve got a lump of matter that flips. Huh.

Perhaps the 1960’s show, “Flipper,” starring that loveable dolphin by the same name that was smarter than the average human had a full name of Flippernugget? Probably not.
Maybe when a certain fast food restaurant first came up with their fish fillet they thought they’d try fish nuggets and they were going to call them flippernuggets? Nah. I’m reaching now.

Well, I’ll have to chalk this one up to, “I have no idea what I was thinking” and file it. Mental note: This file is almost full. Purchase a bigger folder.

It’s clear there was no reason in the world why I would have written that word down and who knows how you would…hold on. Maybe I’ll go on over to Wikipedia. I can probably be the first to create my very own entry. What? It asked me if I meant, “flippilodge?”
Oh, flippernugget!

Ohhhhh. I just made it up as an expression. Well, mystery solved AND there’s no need for a new “I have no idea what I was thinking” file folder...yet.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

RE: Fetch, Heimlich!...a humorous take on the care of your pooch...

Fetch, Heimlich!

Did you know there is actually a prescribed Heimlich maneuver for hounds? That’s right. When Fido gets that nasty rawhide stuck in his craw you, as his loyal, trustworthy, non-insurance-holding owner are responsible for removing said rawhide from said craw. [As an aside, the craw is located just below the wishbone.]

There are actually many websites devoted to the emergency management of choking canines. Evidently, dogs are “notorious for swallowing just about anything that will fit in their mouths.”

Now there’s a news bulletin. I once found myself attempting to pry an entire ham out of my dog’s mouth that most certainly did not fit, although he rectified that situation in a hurry.
In my experience, these resourceful and independent cusses resolve any issues with potentially dangerous materials on their own, but it’s still a good idea to have a back-up plan.

The doggie version of the Heimlich maneuver situates the pet owner in a most unflattering standing position whereupon the choking creature is straddled backwards. Wait. It gets better with the most specific of instructions.

Knees should be slightly flexed, bracing the dog’s shoulders as you place your hands in a hand-over-fist position on the bowwow’s abdomen, sliding them toward the aforementioned knees. Have you tried to find a dog’s shoulders lately? Tricky work, that. I can barely find my own shoulders without a mirror.
We are then instructed to feel for the bottom of the animal’s rib cage (because that’s where the diaphragm is located, silly) which is where we are to land sharp, short thrusts, followed by a quick release.

Lest you get the wrong idea, you are not to lift the critter off of his feet, but rather you are focused on dislodging the object in order to keep your pet earthbound in more ways than one.
You must repeat this sequence every two to three seconds until the dog is breathing freely, even if you’re not because you’re so stressed out by the entire ordeal.
If you should be unlucky enough to possess a small breed you are instructed to lie down with the pup and perform the above procedure. I don’t know about you, but as much noise as our mutts are always making, what with the blowing, barking, gagging, snoring, yapping and snarfled begging, I’m not sure if I’d be able to identify whether or not my dog is in real trouble.

Over the course of several years I’ve taken my share of mandatory and otherwise CPR classes, rendering it nearly impossible for me to ever look at a mannequin or an extremely thin person the same way again, at which time we were instructed to shout at the victim, “Are you choking?”

I guess that won’t work in this scenario for obvious reasons. The animal wouldn’t be familiar with the word “choking.” More than likely she would think we’re asking her if she’s a good girl which often leads to the receipt of a treat and that’s how we got into this sticky wicket in the first place.

In light of these newfound tips our family has imposed a mandatory “no dangerous treats” policy in our home which should alleviate any problems that may arise as a result of our pets sneaking off unsupervised as they chew on anything but AKC-sanctioned snacks.

Meanwhile, speaking of sneaking and treats, I think I’ll wrap this up and toddle off, so I can treat myself to a new pair of sneakers. It’s odd, but I can’t seem to locate any of the six pairs I own, all of which sported some pretty snazzy leather trim.