Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mugsy's rules for trick-or-treaters

Hello, boys and ghouls of the congregation. Today is Halloween, and I have prepared a ridiculously large bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters. This is important, not so much because we need ample candy for the neighborhood children, but because we want to have leftovers to enjoy ourselves. In order to promote an orderly trick-or-treating experience, I am publishing the following ground rules:
  1. The typical trick-or-treater may take two pieces of candy.
  2. The really cutes ones may take three or four. (Life is not fair, my flock.)
  3. The trick-or-treaters with facial hair, no costumes and deeper voices than father may choose their treat from a specially prepared separate bowl filled with aging packets of Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper from Domino's Pizza. (Refer to Section 2 of Item No. 2 above.)
  4. Those who are afraid of two costumed, barking dogs may go home empty-handed. But the bone-chilling scare is on us. 
UPDATE: I have found two packets of Arby's Sauce and added them to the bowl for Category 3 above. None may question my generosity. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A curly tail and uncommon valor

The Pug Life Medal of Valor is a prize reserved for only the bravest and most heroic among us. Only those who save a life, donate large sums of money to the ministry, or are able to board a plane alongside people in Muslim garb without the slightest hint of nervousness are even considered. And of those, only a select few are deemed worthy of the medal, the highest honor that the ministry bestows to non-family members. (The ministry has no rules against nepotism, as evidenced by my brother Wendell's recent Scholar of the Year award.)

Today, my flock, I am proud to introduce to you a canine who has passed all the tests, proving himself worthy of our respect and admiration. Today, I present the Medal of Valor to the esteemed Kook the Pug. Kook's tale of heroism began in the wee hours of the morning in Denver, Colo. As an apartment fire raged, fed by the mile-high air, the complex's residents slept. All except young Kook. The 8-month-old knew something was terribly wrong. And confined as he was in his cage, he did the only thing he could do: He raised a ruckus. The pug sounded the alarm and rattled his cage until, at around 4 a.m., his human took notice and awoke from his slumber to find the north side of the building engulfed in flames. Illustrating a fundamental difference between humans and dogs, Kook's caretaker said his first reaction was to ensure the safety of a $500 bonus check in his apartment. Once that task was taken care of, he went to warn his neighbors. 

Because of Kook's heroism, nobody was injured in the blaze. The fire was contained within one unit of the building, where the owner was away on vacation, and the complex's other residents were able to safely return to their homes. 

"Kook is a real hero, as far as I'm concerned," said caretaker Patrick Vigil. I agree. Now why not go spend part of that bonus check on a big stick of rawhide for the pup?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A disturbing development

Upon further inspection, my flock, the situation is worse than I'd initially thought. The nomads are using young children as "human shields." The youths appear to be confined in the castle and are jumping about feverishly in a futile effort to escape. What savagery the enemy displays! This may put a damper on my plan to have father fire up the Hemi and burst through the nomads' traffic barriers in an attempt to break the bridge blockade. A subtler solution may be required.

Territorial challenge

My flock, it appears that I face a challenge for neighborhood supremacy. A band of nomads have, seemingly overnight, erected a castle in the center of Hillcrest Estates. Even worse, the nomads built their fortress on a strategic bridge that provides the easiest route from the ayatollah compound to PetSmart, the dog park and other key locations. They have placed cones at both ends of the bridge to bar all vehicular traffic. This is a clear act of defiance; for I have made numerous territorial claims on this bridge over the last seven years. Wendell and I are preparing to go in for a closer look. God willing, these interlopers will be cast out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grand Opening/Going Out of Business sale

Can it be true?!? Am I offering 15 percent off my already low, low prices?! I must be INSAAAAANE!!! Yes, I'm Crazy Muggy, with a deal too good to be true!! For two days only, enter promo code FAVES at the Pug Life Ministries Gift Shop, and you could get a moderate discount!! Bad credit? NO PROBLEM! No shoes, no shirt? NO PROBLEM! I'm stacking them deep and selling them cheap! I've got T-shirts, stationery, magnets, mugs, classic harem-wear thong underwear with my face on it -- I must be LOSING MY MIND! So don't delay; visit Crazy Muggy's store today, where the prices are INSAAAANE!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The sights of Pug-O-Ween

This year's Pug-O-Ween was a feast for the eyes (and I love a feast). Nearly 500 dogs turned out, many dressed in creative and colorful costumes. The collage above features a small sampling, with such winners as the headless pug queen, the Coney Island hot dog-eating contestants and Marvin the Martian, plus a look at Wendell and me relaxing without our helmets. 

What you will NOT see in the collage or elsewhere on this blog is any reference to Wendell's entry in the event's first-ever pug races, nor any mention of the fact that he has still yet to cross the finish line. No, we shall not speak of that ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big decision

After much careful consideration, I have decided to lift the Armed Revolutionary Forces' (ARF) controversial "don't ask, don't smell" policy. Given canines' natural greeting tendencies, it had become too difficult to enforce. The change takes effect immediately, so feel free to sniff away, troops. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pug-O-Ween prize

I have returned from my nearly two-week western road trip, during which I attended a canine suffrage conference in Taos, exhibited my artwork at a show in Santa Fe and climbed the tallest sand dune in North America in southern Colorado. But my crowning achievement would come upon my arrival back in North Texas. For before I even set foot in the compound, I made a pilgrimage to Grapevine for the 14th annual Pug-O-Ween. This highest of pug holy days had been marked on my calendar since 2008, because I am just that detail-oriented. (One does not attain the lofty rank of ayatollah without careful planning. I even know what I'll be eating for breakfast three months and six days from today: Iams Weight Management Dog Food. Can you say the same about your breakfast? I didn't think so. Slacker.) 

But not only did I make an appearance at Pug-O-Ween, my flock -- I finally won the ribbon that has eluded me lo these many years. Wendell and I placed third in the grueling Ghoulish Groups category! Allahu akbar! The previous two years, we had been denied a prize, despite mother's visionary innovation of the gnome pug beard in 2008 and father's somewhat less visionary but still visually stunning innovation of the yellow highlighter-colored Viking pug beard in 2009. Both years, we thought we had a chance. But both years, we were denied by a panel of Communist bloc judges who, for whatever reason, felt that "bribery" was somehow wrong. 

Because of these past defeats, we entered 2010 with limited expectations. We knew we would sniff some friends, old and new, and spread the word of Pug Life Ministries, and this was enough for us. So the ribbon was icing on the cake, as the humans like to say. Or, as I call it, Parmesan on the kibble. We were honored to take home a prize at the biggest Pug-O-Ween ever, which attracted nearly 500 pugs (and several other breeds, including my good schnauzer friend Sarge) for the worthy cause of raising money for DFW Pug Rescue

"So what were the costumes?" you must be asking, about to pass out from the sheer suspense. We were warriors from ancient Rome! 

"Carpe Milkbone!"

"He who is brave is free. And hungry."

"Begone from my sidewalk, Thracian scum! 
I will see you die in the arena!"

"I have led legions of pugs and conquered the whole
of Europe. And now I demand payment -- in rawhide!"

I won't lie, my flock. The power that I feel when I don this costume is immense and, as you may have noticed from the progression of the photo captions above, intoxicating. Yesterday evening, shortly after this photo shoot, Wendell and I enslaved several of the neighbors and forced them to battle in our makeshift driveway colosseum for sport. It wasn't until the elderly Jim pulled a hamstring that I realized I might be getting a tad overzealous. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll cancel tonight's bout. But I will definitely find some younger combatants. The grade-schoolers down the street seem flexible enough. 

"Ah, the spoils of victory."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mugsy issues interactive fatwa

In 2008, the world financial system nearly suffered a meltdown, tugged to the brink of destruction in large part by the bad decisions of inept mortgage bankers. As my ongoing refinance shows, such incompetence is still alive and well. What began in late August as an attempt to take advantage of the lowest interest rates since the 1950s -- and thereby save some money while paying off the compound earlier -- has evolved into an exercise in idiocy. The sins of the bankers are many, but among the most egregious are these:
"I think I'll just toss those
mortgage papers into the
fire and play another game
of Solitaire."
  • After we painstakingly filled out every section of the application, the loan officer butchered it. Among other things, he switched our race from "I do not wish to answer" to "non-Hispanic white," despite having never seen us in person. My flock, have you seen Wendell? This is most offensive. He also omitted all the ministry's assets that we had listed except for our checking account funds -- no stocks, no mutual funds, no retirement accounts, no vehicles -- just the cash in our account. And he altered father's employment history in such a way that we would later receive a call from the bank asking why the results of its employment check didn't match what was on the application.
  • For long periods of time, the mortgage lenders appeared to completely forget about our application, even though we'd agreed to close on the loan by the end of September. Only when I e-mailed them did they lurch back into action. At one point, I asked about the appraisal, convinced that things were taking far too long. When the loan officer replied, he said that the appraisal had been ordered a week before. Within 15 minutes, the appraiser called to schedule an appointment. I'm convinced that had I not asked, I would still be waiting.
  • The mortgage company contacted our insurer and had our policy changed to name it as the titleholder several weeks ago -- even though we were nowhere near closing on the loan.
  • The deadline of our 30-day interest rate lock came and went without any response to my e-mails. Then, finally, a loan processor called to say that we'd been approved and that we could close the following Thursday. The only problem: Since they'd taken so long, their preferred close date conflicted with a planned vacation. I explained this and asked if there was a way we could work around our trip. The woman said she'd call back later that day. She never did.
  • Fast-forward three days later: The same woman calls. "You're approved for the refi," she says. "How does Thursday sound for the closing?" "ARE YOU KIDDING ME, INFIDEL!?! I WILL SMASH YOUR FACE INTO A JELLY!!!" I thought as I calmly explained to her that I was going to be out of town that day. And that I'd told her the exact same thing three days earlier. 
  • Later in the day, I received an e-mail from Infidel No. 1. "Yes, we can extend your rate lock until you get back. We've absorbed part of the cost, but there will be an additional $155 fee. How would you like to pay that?"
I was flabbergasted. I was outraged. I was livid. And yes, my flock, I was in a fatwa-issuing rage. The infidels have left me no choice! God willing, they will know justice! They will be punished! And they will pitch in their own $155 for the privilege of collecting thousands of dollars of interest from me over the next 15 years, or they will pay the consequences!!! 

This is where you come in, my flock. For this is no ordinary affront. This whole ordeal has touched a nerve, like the kind that makes a dog's legs kick uncontrollably when the humans find that spot near his armpit. (Or legpit. Whatever the correct anatomical term is. In my current fiery rage, I cannot be bothered to look it up.) This crime against the ministry demands the attention of the full congregation. That is right, my furry and not-so-furry disciples: You must choose the punishment!

I have posted a poll at the side of the page. Please take the time to do your part and vote. The will of the congregation will be the law.  Justice demands it. Vengeance demands it. Your ayatollah demands it. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

OU 28, Texas 20

Today was a good day. 

Wendell agrees.