Monday, July 30, 2007

For the do-it-yourselfers

Hi, I'm Bob Vila. The supreme ayatollah asked me to meet with you today to discuss an important topic: decoy pugs. Mugsy uses these decoys for security reasons, but a well-made decoy pug can have all kinds of uses. You're limited only by your imagination. Now, let's get on with it, shall we?

Step 1: You'll want to start by gathering up fur. The baseboards can be a good place to find materials. Make sure you have a sturdy support to work on -- these decoys can get heavy.

Step 2: Now you've cleaned up all the fur collected on the baseboards and clinging to the table legs, but it's not quite enough. Don't despair, Pug Lifers; with the right tools, you'll be just fine. I recommend a good, sturdy brush. Now go to work on your real-life pug. Try going both with and against the grain. You'll be amazed at how quickly the fur adds up. Don't be afraid to brush too much; I've yet to make a pug go bald.

Step 3: Now we're getting somewhere. See the pug begin to take shape? From here, it's just a matter of smoothing out the rough edges. Try some 400-grit sandpaper, and a chisel if necessary. Before you know it, you've got a decoy pug of your very own.

For accessories like the ayatollah's turban, we use a proprietary prop with a Mr. Potatohead-like attachment feature. The details on these are classified, so you'll have to try fabricating your own. Good luck on your projects, everybody! For Ayatollah Mugsy, this is Bob Vila saying, "Allah be with you."

Bringing home the bacon

It was an eventful and exhausting weekend at the ayatollah compound. Bruce, my large-pawed Lab cousin, stayed with me while his parents were out of town. Bruce and I have many qualities in common, chief among them our love of treats. But we also have our differences. For example, my affinity for water extends only to that which is in my bowl. Bruce, on the other paw, seeks out liquid at any and all opportunities. On a walk Saturday morning, he splashed in every puddle he saw and showed an uncanny ability to drink while moving at full speed. His tongue skimmed the surface of each pool of rainwater. Then, on a later walk, Bruce actually leaped headlong into the neighborhood creek. Needless to say, I moved away from the water's edge as quickly as possible. Like the nervous ducks, I wanted nothing to do with young Bruce's splashing.

Once Bruce dried off, we got to work on some pressing security matters. My canine Muslim faith had prevented me from properly interrogating one of the ringleaders of this year's chew-toy insurrection. Bruce, however, had no such qualms about "questioning" Squeaky Pig. Thank Allah for extraordinary rendition.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A purr you don't want to hear

I found a story recently that I thought would be of interest to the congregation. It shows that cats, like dogs, are capable of extraordinary feats -- feats that humans cannot even begin to comprehend. Either that, or this feline grim reaper should be taken in for questioning.

Click here to read about Oscar the cat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mark your calendars

It is official: The Pug Life Telethon will be Aug. 3, 2007. That is one week from Friday. I hope you will join me for a daylong extravaganza featuring entertainment, celebrity guest stars and impassioned fundraising. I am in negotiations with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to hold the telethon in Texas Stadium, where it is said that the hole in the roof allows Allah to look down upon the playing field. I believe this will be a fitting venue for such a significant milestone in canine culture, and the stadium will accommodate a respectable crowd of 65,000 congregants. I know, I know. That will leave many of you on the outside looking in. But take comfort in the knowledge that should you be unable to procure one of the $350 tickets, you will be able to turn to this blog for updates.

A decision has been made

Many members of the congregation have weighed in on my recent betrayal at the hands of a loved one. Some were quick to condemn mother for her poor infant fashion sense. Others came to her defense, pointing out her role in shaping the world's foremost authority on canine Islam.

I have taken both arguments to heart. And despite mother's grievous transgressions, I have decided to keep her around. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I hear her pouring my morning meal.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Betrayal of trust

There are times, my flock, when our loved ones disappoint us. When their actions are so far out of line that they serve as an affront to our personal moral beliefs. I experienced such disappointment over the weekend, my flock. And the one who betrayed my trust was none other than my mother.

She was going to a baby shower. "Mugsy," she asked beforehand, "I know the ministry's coffers are low, but may I please buy a gift for the baby-to-be? I promise it will not interfere with the flow of rawhide to your eager mouth, Your Holiness." I briefly considered her request and then nodded my consent. Longtime readers of this blog know of my well-established compassion for the world's children. Though seldom as attractive as puppies, they are innocents and thus deserve a good start in life. I believe the children are our future -- our future dog servants. So not only did I grant mother permission to purchase a fitting gift for the baby, I also offered a suggestion that would ensure this human had a leg up right out of the starting gate.

And what gift did mother purchase for this child? Not an Ayatollah Mugsy Youth Infant Creeper, as I had recommended. Not even a Pug Crumb Catcher Bib. It is tragic, really. This child could have entered this world at the height of fashion, commanding respect from his or her peers from Day One. Plus, the baby would have served as a crawling, drooling billboard for the ministry. What higher purpose could Allah bestow on a human child? Instead, it will wear some common outfit from Target. If ever mother was deserving of chastisement, now is the time. So let her have it, my flock.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Magic moment

In a little over 24 hours, a major literary event will take place. I pray that mother doesn't dig out the Muggy Potter glasses again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Telethon update

In an earlier post, I mentioned this Friday as a tentative date for the Pug Life telethon. But my mother -- apparently unaware of the planetary significance of this extravaganza -- scheduled a veterinary appointment on the same day.

This will push our telethon back, but it will also give you all more time to save up your money for donations or audition for a slot in the event's entertainment lineup. God willing, I will have an announcement on the official telethon date, as well as the official slogan, within the next few days.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oklahoma's finest

I have returned from my long roadtrip through the Sooner State, brought about by a pair of hospitalized great-grandmothers (both now doing well). So I will fill you in.

After my high-level security talks with Rabbi Jake and Bruce, I stopped by the house of the former Sister Bella to check on her progress. Just as I feared, it seems a "booster exorcism" is in order for our Chihuahua sister. But no blood was drawn, so we will label this a successful house-call. The next morning, we visited one of the great-grandmothers in the hospital and then drove up the turnpike to Tulsa to see the other. And it was there that I sampled a rare treat:

To those unfortunate souls who have never tasted a Coney I-Lander coney, a pilgrimage is in order. This fast-food Mecca is a Tulsa institution. Its undersized hot dogs boast an oversized flavor exceeding even that of enriched rawhide. Founded in 1926 in downtown Tulsa, the eatery has expanded somewhat over the years, with a handful of locations throughout the Tulsa area. Yet, tragically, its flavorful wieners have eluded the palates of many. While substandard fast-food chains such as McDonald's and Subway have proliferated across the globe, the religious experience of eating a cheese coney with no onions remains confined to northeastern Oklahoma.

Over the weekend, I paid my first visit in well over a year to this purveyor of heaven in a bun. It was just as I remembered: the soft, steamed bun; the perfectly melted cheese; the tiny yet intensely flavorful (and hopefully halaal) weenie. And that chili. Oh, the chili. It is like nothing else on Earth. Allah Himself just have lovingly ladled it onto the bun. If you ever find yourself within a hundred miles of Tulsa, do your taste buds a favor and take a coney detour.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

ARF security conference

Greetings, my flock. I come to you from an undisclosed location in central Oklahoma, where I have convened an emergency summit to discuss the urgent security issues facing the ministry. I met last night with Rabbi Jake and my new cousin Bruce, who also made the trek from the Dallas area. The three of us began with a thorough security sweep. We marked off several hundred yards of curbside property, claiming it for the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF). With a secure cordon around our meeting place, we went to work under the abundant stars. The talks sometimes got testy. I won't lie, my flock, a few growls were exchanged. A security crisis within the ministry has a way of ratcheting up the tension. But ultimately, we knew we were working toward the same purpose.

You may think that Bruce, being less than 4 months old, is too young to sit in on such high-level talks. But he is rather advanced for his age, and he is eager to learn. Plus, he is tall enough to knock the food off the humans' table.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Infidels conspire against us

The ministry's headline crisis is over. Praise Allah! But this incident shows how our reliance on the Internet leaves us vulnerable. On a whim, a rogue programmer at Blogger was able to interfere with my sermons. This is unacceptable. Unacceptable, I say! Because the plotters in this conspiracy have not all been identified and dealt with, I am raising the collective hackles of the ministry to Code Red. With the first-ever Pug Life telethon right around the corner, we cannot afford any further disruptions.

Several new security measures are being enacted to ensure that the telethon, tentatively scheduled for July 20, will go off without a hitch. I have diverted fur from our patriotic ribbon program to be used in life-like decoys -- decoys that will be positioned around the ministry, making it impossible for any would-be evildoers to determine my true location. These carefully molded piles of fur have the look and feel of a real pug and will even be dressed in stylish ayatollah attire. The late Saddam Hussein employed a similar strategy to great effect, and I am confident that it will provide another layer of security as the ministry sniffs out those who would do us harm. Be vigilant, my flock.
Is anyone else on Blogger unable to write headlines for their posts? For days now, this problem has persisted. I click in the headline box, yet no cursor appears. How can I properly convey my message without a headline? Perhaps some infidel is trying to sabotage my teachings, to torpedo my burgeoning ministry. Could it be an atheist chew toy? A feline? A rival religious faction? God willing, I will get to the bottom of this.

EDIT: Thanks to Upwiththesun, my sermons will no longer be incomplete. This is one "improvement" that Blogger should have skipped.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The chain gang

Over the last week or so, I have noticed many stories in the news media about humans chaining themselves to doghouses. The movement seems to have taken hold from coast to coast. The motive: to protest the tethering of dogs. This strikes me as a worthy endeavour. While I can see instances when chaining a canine in the yard would be acceptable -- when you want to do some gardening in the front yard and need the aid of a dog's green paw, for instance -- it is generally to be frowned upon. Allah blessed us with four legs so that we might roam and claim new territory, and being chained up is counter-productive to His intentions.

Many of the humans taking part in these protests made a point of letting their canines run free while they were shackled, and this is a move I whole-heartedly applaud. These humans will find the transition to canine rule under the coming Pugistani theocracy to be much easier than their less-forward-thinking brethren.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

News of the beard

The competition is fierce in the canine beard and moustache contest, but that isn't the only news of the day. Jackson, the contest's organizer, has informed me that the humans in charge of the original World Beard & Moustache Championships want to display images of the canine contestants at their event on Sept. 1 in Brighton, England.

This will be an excellent opportunity to expand the ministry's reach while also showing the humans what a real beard looks like.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New protege

On Saturday, I welcomed a new canine to the congregation. My uncle adopted Bruce, a Lab puppy, from a shelter in Carrollton and stopped by to introduce him to me. "Ayatollah," he said, "I want Bruce to learn from you how to be a 'good dog.' Can you take him under your wing and mentor him?"

"Yes, my human child," I replied. "I will work with your large-pawed pup. For a small fee."

After receiving a biscuit in payment, I took Bruce out in the back yard to get a baseline of his skills. He possessed excellent athleticism and keen ball-fetching ability. He was a fast runner, but not as fast as yours truly. Yes, my flock -- despite this graying beard, the ayatollah can still tuck tail and fly.

Bruce's drinking form -- splashing much of the water out of his bowl -- differed from mine. But it proved effective all the same. Once the humans began to feast on their lunch, Bruce and I made our way inside. The pup displayed food-seeking techniques beyond his years, using his height to full advantage and nearly making off with slices of pizza on multiple occasions. It was apparent that with practice and a slightly refined technique, he could become a true begging prodigy.

Finally, it was time for Bruce to go. His parents had a date with PetSmart and one of those cages the humans like to euphemistically call "crates." I took young Bruce aside. "You are off to a fine start, my canine protege," I barked. "When next we meet, I will introduce you to rawhide."