My dog recognizes one when he sees one

By Steele Coddington | August 26, 2009

Steele CoddingtonArbuckle is my dog. After I mentioned Arbuckle in an article a couple of weeks ago, a bunch of people have asked me if I really talk to him. Well, it’s a good question and I’m not sure a lot of humans want to know about talking to a dog. My dear grandmother told me to be very careful about telling people who I talk to, warning that if they were the wrong people, “Those men in the white coats might drive up in a padded wagon and cart you off to the funny farm.” Maybe they did that when she was a little girl. Or maybe her mom told her that so she’d be careful who she talked to and about what. Back then families had secrets … you know … I remember asking what ever happened to old Uncle Sylvester, and they’d whisper, “Well, he was the fruitcake of the family.” I asked grandmother, “What’s a fruitcake person?” All she said was, “You’ll know one when you see one.” So all my life I’ve been looking for a fruitcake so I can point at him and say “HE’S ONE!”

For some reason I was watching the state-run media (I forget which channel it was, NBC, CBS, ABC or CNN) to see if they still pretended to be a news organization, and they were focused on a Democrat committee hearing. As I watched the superfluous lefty propaganda bandied about, a strange realization popped into my head and I yelled at the top of my voice, “Good grief, it’s a whole room full of FRUITCAKES.” My wife, quietly watching, was so shocked she jumped right out of her bra. Unfortunately, she had on a shirt. Anyhow, I decided I better check the dictionary to confirm what my brain told me was true. Yep, sure as the dickens, right in the dictionary there it was. Fruitcake: a nut (also a rich cake containing dried or candied fruit, nuts, etc. – so we could also call the room where they were meeting “a rich cake”).

Back to Arbuckle. Yes, I talk to him. I also have conversations with trees, and really enjoy talking with saguaros and rocks. But Border Collies, according to animal researchers, are capable of understanding up to 240 different words. The only reason they don’t respond to humans conversationally is because they don’t want to embarrass some damn fool who only knows how to say “Polly wants a cracker” to a parrot.

Arbuckle isn’t too good with a knife and fork at the dinner table, but is a good conversationalist. He loves to taste and comment on fine wines. The other night we were tasting a California chardonnay. As I swirled the wine in the glass and took a sip, I said, “Kind of fruity.” He sipped his and said, “Yes but heterosexual.” I tasted again and said, “A little arrogant.” He replied, “But not greasy.” Just a couple of oenologists exchanging pleasantries? Until I mentioned ObamaCare. He growled and said, “Fruitcake” and then he hummed the first verse of “America.”

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Classy insults

The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband, I'd give you poisoned tea."
He answered, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Prime Minister Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir", said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." – Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." – Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." – Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." – Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." – Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one." – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one." – Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." – Comedian Kip Adota

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." – John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." – Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." – Samuel Johnson