Peace is not achieved by ignoring the news as much as it is by making your own news.

Stuff I was supposed to care about this week.

  • An old celebrity took a bold, statesmanlike stance by making obscene one-line insults about a man, not present, whom the audience hated.
  • Two friends of Dennis Rodman hung out with paparazzi in a far-away place and ate good food.  I think there was a rapper there named DMZ.
  • A bunch of lawyers in Washington D.C. filed a number of confusing documents against other lawyers, and presented these to other lawyers in the court before discussing their actions with lawyers on TV.

Stuff I cared about:

Item One:  Beaver Juice
Making the rounds on the Internet and early morning talk shows was the announcement that Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile is releasing a whiskey called “Eau De Musc,” which is infused with musky stuff that comes from the “castor sacs” of beavers.  I was interested in this story for a number of reasons.  First, I like whiskey.  Secondly, I’m fascinated by the word “sac” which seems about as dirty and disgusting as a word can be.  The absence of the k makes all the difference.  Spell it with a k and people think about bringing home groceries.  Leave it off and the word creates its own funky odor, like the smell in the bottom of a teen’s gym bag.  If you’re a man, you are probably embarrassed that you have one.  

So why would someone want to put sweat from beaver privates in whiskey?  To get someone to notice, I imagine, and pay $65 for a bottle of it.  I like to take pickled pigs feet with me to potlucks and tailgates.  You can buy one jar, take it to one gathering, everyone will notice that you brought something, and then at the end of the day, you are asked to take it back home with you.  On to the next party.  It’s a great strategy if you want to eat for free and not get called a freeloader.  Buy a bottle of the beaver excretion juice and you can probably carry it to a hundred bar-b-ques before someone opens it.  To be honest, though, I think you’d be better off buying three bottles of Four Roses or Evan Williams and actually drinking them.  Bourbon ain’t bourbon in my book if it is born outside Kentucky.

Item Two:  Bad Reviews
A friend got a bad review on facebook.  He owns a restaurant that we’ve frequented for a couple decades.  The reviewer said he was the “rudest most unprofessional owner” she had ever seen and recommended that people should eat at his place if they wanted to be treated “like trash.”  Regulars started combating the negative with positive reviews.  “Hey, this place is great!”  Stuff like that.  Friends of the negative reviewer began posting how they would now never go to the place that they probably would have never gone to anyway.  Battle lines were drawn.

Dining at the restaurant the following day, we heard all about it–how the person seemed to enjoy the food, how Comcast was to blame for having spotty service which temporarily killed the ability to accept credit cards, how “people be crazy,” etc.  I would imagine if we had eaten at the bad-reviewer’s house that evening we would have heard something different.  It didn’t matter.  Truth is the first casualty of war, said someone famous once.  And this was war.  Barstool lawyers came up with theories.  Protests were planned.  Fist wagging became the greeting of the day.

In the end, being the best at something should always be taken as a compliment.  If you can be the rudest of all time, that takes some doing–especially in the modern age of incivility.  Wave your rude flag proudly.  Advertise to people who want to be treated like trash.  I hear that is a growing market.

Item Three:  Patient Cat
cat on stumpThis is probably the most interesting news of the week.  Yesterday, the cat, we’ll call him Chauncey, sat on a stump in the backyard for nine straight hours.  He may have gotten up once or twice to go to the bathroom, but I never witnessed it personally.  Other than to shift from one comfortable position to another, he didn’t move.  Just the stump and the cat–like a park statue in a trendy neighborhood.  Another side not is that unlike what one would normally expect from cat behavior, he did not sleep.  He seemed alert, looking up into tree branches, scanning the deck, sniffing the wind.

I found it to be fascinating.  I am not very good at sitting still.  I’m not good at pouncing either–the other pastime of cats.  One extreme or the other.  At any rate, I had to speculate about “why” the cat sat for so long in the same spot.  Comfort couldn’t be the reason.  It’s a stump.  It is a hard piece of wood in the shade, though, so there is a degree of pleasantness to the relative temperature.  People say that if you want to find the coolest spot in the summer or the warmest spot during the winter, look for a cat.  It was certainly cooler indoors.  So, the stump was only the best spot in the backyard.  Something more had to be going on.

The day before, Chauncey had a minor squabble with a kitten that wondered into the yard.  Chauncey doesn’t tolerate other cats.  Instead of aggressively moaning or posturing, which most cats use to fight without fighting, he just leaps immediately on whatever cat he sees and tries to eat it head first.  It’s like he has to constantly prove himself to a gang he wants to join.  He was a little more tolerant of the kitten, choosing to simply chase it away.  Some degree of decorum exists even in the most hardened criminal.

Maybe he was waiting in that spot to see if the kitten would come back.  I’ve witnessed cats staring for days under a stove where they once saw a mouse flee.  If this was the reason, what did he have in mind for the kitten?  Was he going to make it a new friend?  Was he fantasizing about eating it, hoping that it had grown out of kittenhood within a day making such a thing permissible?  Was he regretful about letting it off too easy?  Was he concerned that the kitten was considering a move to his backyard?

So many possibilities.  It kept my mind busy for a day.  I know what you’re thinking: if you want an answer, ask.  I did.  Chauncey keeps his deepest desires and motives close to his chest.  He choose to engage me only in small talk.  Perhaps he recognizes my limitations.

Until next week, enjoy your own news. Don’t let the TV heads win.