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Battle Red Bag, Vol. 6: Now With Haiku!

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As I mentioned in the previous Bag, I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was in town for the wedding of two very good friends from law school (plus, to a slightly lesser extent, for the opportunity to try Primanti Bros. sandwiches).

As we were checking in to the Omni, out of the corner of my eye, I could've sworn I saw someone walk by wearing a long, fuzzy tail on the back of his or her pants.  Then again, I'd had a lot to drink in the airports and on the two flights, so I assumed it was just Old Man Vodka playing tricks on my pickled brain.

Until I turned around and saw another tail, this time attached to a person (I assume) in a full raccoon outfit.

Without taking my eyes off the furry beast, I carefully slid down the length of the front desk to the concierge.  "Good sir," I said, "it seems that there is a rather large Procyon lotor here in the lobby."

"Indeed," replied the concierge.

"The hell is that about?"

"Furry convention," he said, as if that answer should make the slightest bit of sense to someone who was not dressed as an Aggie's dream date.


"Every year," he said.  "The furries have their annual convention here in Pittsburgh every year around this time."  (His actual words did not contain a hyperlink, of course.)

"I see."  And I did.  Sort of.

Anyway, over the course of the weekend, I learned --- mainly through talking to creeped-out cab drivers --- that there were about 7,000 furries in town that weekend.  I also learned --- mainly by talking to creeped-out hotel staff at the Omni and the Westin, which was ground-zero for the furpocalypse --- that this convention functioned a lot like any normal convention with awards ceremonies, mixers ("My Little Pony Friendship is Magic"), and lectures ("Are You A Werewolf?").

Note: I did not make either of those titles up.

You may be wondering, as I did, why Pittsburgh?  Best I can tell, it's because going any further south in June would result in hundreds of deaths from heatstroke as overweight wanna-be comic book artists dressed as huskies roasted in their own fur.  Same thing would happen in much of the Midwest/West this time of year.  In Pittsburgh, the only thing they have to worry about is not being (allegedly) raped by Big Ben.

As for that picture at the top of this post, I snapped it on our way back to the hotel about 2am Friday.  As the lighting was poor, allow me to describe what you are seeing.  On the left is a fellow (?) dressed in a full tiger suit, which he has accessorized with a leather biker vest and what appear to be leather culottes.  Tres chic! Rawr!  On the right, you have some jagoff in a t-shirt and jeans rocking a fluffy raccoon tail.

Oh, in case you were wondering, Primanti Bros. was pretty awesome.


On to the Bag...


Politics aside, would you rather bang Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin?  Justify your answer in the form of haiku. Now answer the same question taking politics into consideration, also haiku format.


Who needs politics
I''ll take up taxidermy
Stuff the mama bear


Tea Party faves, both
But Pants Party invite goes
To the half-term gov


1) Where would you say the sum of your football knowledge came from? Who (aside from yourself) would you credit the most for your current philosophy and mindset on the game? Do they have any intriguing ideas
to disseminate via newsletter (or book, as the case may be)?

2) You are allowed the privilege of selecting five songs. None of those songs can ever appear in a commercial again. Which five would you pick and why? (Side note: If you don't pick "This Is Our Country"
I am murdering you, so it's more like four.)

3) If someone were to offer to pay for you to relocate to another country and offer you the money it would take to sustain your current standard of living (at least), a) would you do it? and b) where would you go?

1. Prior to law school, my philosophy was shaped through books like The Physics of Football, The Hidden Game of Football, and the first two editions of Pro Football Prospectus.  Once I got to law school, however, two of my very good friends were die-hard football fans, and we spent an inordinate, near-unhealthy amount of time discussing (read: arguing) nearly every aspect of the on-field game.  Our biggest shared interest, however, was (and is) on the defensive side of the ball.  To that end, we started to carve out "rules" for how best to build a team depending on the scheme you wanted to run.  I credit these guys with building the philosophy that resulted in my wanting Mario Williams over Reggie Bush or Vince Young.

2. For reasons of self-preservation (and because the song sucks tremendously), I'll start with John Cougar Mellencamp's "Our Country."  Just a terrible, terrible song, made worse by Chevy and Fox's joint effort to make you hear the song 75 times every Sunday.

Next, I'm going with Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life."  It's not that I hate this song --- I don't.  It's just that I can't stand seeing a song about shooting heroin (into your ear at one point!) pasted over smiling geriatrics and overly tanned cruiseship passengers.  The incongruity drives me insane.

Third, let's go with the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar."  Again, like Iggy above, this is not a bad song.  In fact, it's a pretty kick ass song ... about having wild interracial sex with slave women.  There's just something jarring about seeing it in a Pepsi ad.

Fourth, Sheryl Crow's "Everyday is a Winding Road."  Terrible song, grossly overused by car companies.  Yes, I get it, it mentions a road and you're selling me a convertible by showing it on a winding road.  How clever. I hope you run off that road like Toonces.

Finally, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son."  It's a terrific song that gets purposefully misused by companies like Wrangler, who play only the first few lines (Some folks are born, made to wave the flag / Oooh, the red, white, and blue) without acknowledging that it's a damned protest song (And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief" / Oooh, they point the cannon at you).  As with Iggy Pop and the Stones, supra, I'm picking this one just so companies stop bastardizing it.

(Honorable mention: the use of "Sweet Home Alabama" by KENTUCKY Fried Chicken.)

3. I started packing my bags halfway through this question because I thought you were making me some kind of offer.  Jerk.

To answer your question, however, I'd pick London, England.  Yes, I know that the more traditional answer would be somewhere tropical and whatnot, but (a) I'm married, so scantily clad native broads aren't a huge selling point and (b) I love me some London.  More specifically, I love British people because we agree on the important stuff in life: good beer, a hatred for the French, and being a sarcastic wanker.  Also, as a Spurs fan, the proximity to my team would be nice.


I'm looking for a summer cocktail that does not involve rum. I don't like rum. I don't like rum and cokes. Even with a lime. Vodka is more my speed. I love white russians, especially with Three Olives Expresso vodka. So smooth. However, that is a winter time drink for me. I don't typically stick to just one type of drink for a week or even a night, but want something different. A side note: Three Olives Dude vodka mixed with Sierra Mist tastes like a Mountain Dew.

If the Texans do make the playoffs and get trounced in the first round, can we really call it a success? I say no because then the same FO and coaches will be staying and have a lower draft pick with no guarantee of making it back to the playoffs next year. What say you?

This question was more difficult that one might imagine, simply because I've never really thought of drinks as being tied to one season (except for, possibly, a hot toddy).  In my world --- a little planet I like to call Alcoholism --- drinks are drinks are drinks, regardless of the location of the earth in relation to the sun.

Which is not to criticize the question, as I assume many people have certain drinks that they equate with "summer" or "fall" or whatever.  That's cool.  So ... summer drinks that don't contain rum, you ask?  I asked a couple other drinkers for some ideas, and here are a few we came up with:

  • Barracho blanco -- 2 oz. anejo tequila, 4 oz. Squirt, and a little salt over ice.
  • Mexican martini -- 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. Cointreau, 2 oz. Sprite, 1 oz. orange juice, juice of half a lime, shaken with ice and strained.
  • Cranberry vodka and sprite, served over ice with a squeeze of lime.
  • Gatorodkas -- Take a 16 oz. bottle of gatorade (I recommend lemon-lime), drink it down a ways, refill with vodka.  Shake.
  • John Daly -- Arnold Palmer (1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea) mixed with 4 oz. of vodka over ice.

As for the second question, I'm with you.  Getting into the playoffs and getting throttled would be, as they say in Morrocco, craptastic.  It would almost guarantee at least three more years of Kubiak, barring some sort of 6-10 meltdown, and it would convince the braintrust that the team was a lot closer to being a Super Bowl contender than they probably are.

At the same time, I'd be so jazzed about making the playoffs, that I'd probably wait until after the loss to even consider this outcome.  So, you know, DOUBLE THE PAIN!  WOO HOO!


I got in trouble my freshman year of college for underage drinking - a shocking revelation, I know.  As part of the punishment meted out by the University, I had to attend a two-Saturday class intended to impart on me the perils of drugs and alcohol.  (The effectiveness of this class is certainly up for debate.)

One particular exercise has stuck with me, though its ultimate purpose remains a mystery.  Each individual was asked to describe their "ideal party."  The first few were rather lame - "all my friends at my favorite bar!"  "a bunch of friends at my house!"  But then it got to me.  I'll spare the specifics, but it involved a private cross-country 747 flight with all my friends, the Playboy Mansion, and a vodka ice luge.  My classmates agreed this sounded like an excellent time.

Which leads me to my question: with an unlimited budget, describe your perfect party.  By way of parameters, let's say it can only be one night but you may take into consideration getting to the party.

Unlimited budget, you say?  Well I hope you have your passport ready and your vaccines are up to date.

We need to get to our location quickly and in style, so we'll be flying on three Bombardier Global Express XRS jets, cruising at a nice Mach 0.85 in that bad mammajamma all the way to beautiful ...


Ibiza!  During the day, we'll enjoy the beach at Playa d'en Bossa, before heading into Ibiza Town in the early evening for dinner and bar hopping inside Dalt Vila.  Around midnight --- early by Ibiza club standards, I understand --- we'll make our way to Es Paradis on the waterfront in San Antonio, where I have reserved a special VIP section for my guests and have also made available an open bar of all the best liquors.

Now, you might have wondered earlier why I would need three planes as large as the Bombardier?  The answer is simple: along with 40 of my closest friends, we're bringing along 10 recent Playboy models to act as cocktail waitresses for us.  No friends of mine are going to have to do something as mundane as waiting in line for a free glass of Glenfiddich 50!  No, sir.  Not on MY watch.

At the end of the night, which I anticipate to be around 8 a.m. the following morn, we'll hop back on the planes where a buffet of tremendous hangover foods (Whataburger bacon cheeseburgers with jalapenos, McDonald's Egg McMuffins, cheese grits with bacon, wings and waffles from the Breakfast Klub, an assortment from the Kolache Factory, etc.) will be served by the same Bunnies.  (Will they be tired?  Of course not.  At least not with the amount of coke they will be provided throughout the night.)  Also, tons and tons of screwdrivers and/or bloody marys.

That's my party.


Is Ash Williams from the Evil Dead film series the coolest movie character of all time?  Are you foolish enough to tempt the wrath of Bruce Campbell and answer "no?"

Hmmm...interesting.  He's definitely in the running.  It's hard to top Winston Wolf, of course.  Mr. Blonde is also cool, if you're into psychopaths.  Umm ... going old school, Tom Hagen from The Godfather was a special brand o' awesome, as was Capt. Willard in Apocalypse Now.  You also can't really leave out Luke from Cool Hand Luke, what with "Cool" being in his name and all, nor can you ignore Doc Holliday from Tombstone.

All that said, you can make a pretty good case for Ash, especially with the final lines of Army of Darkness:

Ash: [voiceover] Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I am king.
[Ash grabs girl close]
Ash: Hail to the king, baby.
[Ash kisses the girl]


At what time do you think the greatest number of people worldwide are asleep? And what percentage of the population would that make up?

I'm going with somewhere around the winter solstice and you'd want it to be noon on the international date line. Short days, wasting as much light as possible over the Pacific and try to get China and India in the ideal sleeping time. Still, bet that's a pretty low percentage.

Then I started thinking on a smaller scale...what about a state, or a city? What state would achieve the highest percentage of sleeping citizens at any one point? How small would you have to go to get 100%? Some small rural city? I bet this is one area where Arkansas could do better than 47th in state rankings.

I figure it has to be whenever the timezone that holds the greatest number of people is in the wee hours of the morning (say 3 a.m.).  According to the good folks at Wiki, that would be UTC +8:00, which covers all of China and contains 22.5% of the world's population.  If it was 3 a.m. in UTC +8:00, then it would be 11 p.m. in UTC +4:00, which contains, among other things, most of Russia. It would be 12:30 in the morning in India, 2 a.m. in Jakarta, 4 a.m. in Japan and the Koreas, and 4:30 or 5 a.m. in Australia.  It would be 1 p.m. the previous day in Houston.  Even accounting for whatever percentage of people in these counties works a night shift, we're still starting with something close to 50% of the world's population in the prime sleeping hours.  So that's my answer.

As for states, I think you're right that the smaller and more rural the population, the more likely that a lot of them would sleep at the same time, so Arkansas would probably fare pretty well in this measure around 3 a.m.  But not as well as they do in syphilis!

To get 100%, though?  Even pretending like insomnia / late night video games / watching internet "movies" would keep someone in any population up at any given moment, I think you're going to have to get pretty small.  I grew up in a town of 74 people.  Any bigger than that and you're probably never getting 100%.

Lone Spot:

We all know that the Colts have had decent success drafting undersized players for their Tampa 2 defense. I've always noticed that while these players are shorter than the ideal player for their position, they tend to have a greater leg-length-to-torso-length ratio (think bull frogs). Example, a 5'8" DB who possesses the leg length of a player that is 6'0", just with a shorter torso. When you think about it, is it really the height of the player that truly matters? I mean, how often does a DB use the distance from the ground to the top of his head to his advantage? Longer legs mean greater stride length to keep up with taller WRs. Also, proportionally speaking, you would expect them to have a longer wing span, which would allow them to reach a higher point than the typical player at that height. The players that come to mind are Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Nmamdi Asomugha, and a few of the Colts' LBs and DBs whose names I forget.

Do you think this is a concerted effort by the Colts organization to find those players that slip through the cracks because of a less than desirable measurement of height while using their own metric to find those players that might be able to overcome said deficiency? If so, why don't we hear more about this approach leading up to the draft?

Thank you. I'll hang up and listen now.

I'll take your word for it on the ratio and the prevalence among the Colts.  (Coincidentally, I've noticed that fans of the Colts tend to have a greater waist-size-to-height ratio than most fanbases.)

Now, do I think it's done on purpose?  I dunno.  On the one hand, that would certainly be a pretty clever Moneyball-esque way to derive value from undersized players, so I could definitely see a creative GM going that route.  On the other hand, I sort of wonder if the only "undersized" guys who are going to get a second look, even from a team like the Colts, are the ones who show good speed, good leaping ability, etc., all of which you would expect the longer-legged undersized players to demonstrate relative to the short players with proportionally correct limbs.  By which I mean, it could just be that the kind of short guy who shows you he might be able to play in the NFL is just, by default, going to have longer legs because of the metrics we're using to guess who can and cannot play in the NFL.

Besides, as you alluded to in the last question, with the 24/7 NFL news cycle and the glut of draft related coverage that we get from February through April, I have to imagine that, if that was a purposeful drafting strategy, we'd have heard about it from someone by now.


This needs to be resolved once and for all... and fills your Alison Brie quota for the week.

Who is hotter: Alison Brie or Mila Kunis??

On one hand, we have the traditional brunette (white) girl next door in Ms. Brie. On the other hand, we have the exotic looking Ms. Kunis (even though she voices a fat white girl on a TV cartoon that shall not be named).

Neither has nudie pictures floating around - so no points shall be awarded in this category to either. This is highly unfortunate.

Alison is currently starring in two "hit" TV shows: Mad Men and Community, though the definition of "hit" in this context is extremely liberal. She was also in the recent big-screen bomb "Scream 4". Ouch. Meanwhile, Mila is doing mostly movie work now... having appeared in many legitimately good movies: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Black Swan" and, uhhh, nevermind.

Mila has to lose some points for being in "American Psycho II: All American Girl" and "Extract". Whereas Brie either is awarded no points or loses points for not having a good movie to her name... though she was in a TV series called "Hot Sluts" (, so points duly awarded.

But Mila was on "That 70s Show" and she did a lesbian scene with Natalie Portman (hot!) so that has to count for something equal to or beyond just being on a show called "Hot Sluts" (though, seriously, a show called "Hot Sluts" and no one told me?)

Mila is only 5'3" while Alison is taller (how much IMDb will not say). I guess this depends on personal preference. Then again, I'm 6'1" so... taller is probably better. Since she's not an Amazon chick or anything.

I guess it comes down to this: Alison's boobs are bigger and she likes to draw attention to them for our collective entertainment. I think this might be enough to declare a (photo-finish?) winner.

A couple preliminary observations: 1. I didn't like Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  It started off pretty good, but got long and dull.  But maybe that's just me.  2. Your statement that neither has nude photos available sounded like a challenge, so I just wasted a ton of time there.  You were right.

Now, to the question.  This girl:


versus this girl:


I fear that you might be giving too much credit for their resumes, actually.  I mean, Julia Roberts has a great resume (from a success point of view, not necessarily from a watchability standard), but that doesn't necessarily get her in this discussion.  Also, while Scream 4 was a turd, Ms. Brie still looked good, ya know?

No, I think we have to focus solely on what these two young thespians bring visually, with bonus points added for doing hot stuff, whether on film (briefly around the 1:25 mark), on the web (probably NSFW), or just talking about it.

I fully admit to being biased toward Brie here, which is a surprise to exactly no one who has followed these Battle Red Bags.  Maybe it's the boobs and their ever-presence that Dave mentioned, or maybe it's just that I think Alison has a prettier face.  Heck, maybe it's just that I know she's an absolute freak.  It's definitely one of those things.  But she wins in my book.


I don't like beer, or at least haven't found any beer I enjoy. I don't like wine (cabernet sauvignon is drinkable, if there's enough beef to wash it down, but that's a waste of beef). I don't like hard liquor. More precisely, I think I've narrowed it down to not liking the taste of alcohol. Nonetheless there exist situations where it'd be convenient to be able to order some sort of alcoholic drink. In the past, I've ordered something like Smirnoff Ice, which I didn't really like (I still found Zima absolutely undrinkable when I tried it).

As I see it, I have four options:

1. Continue my current practice of just ordered a soda, explaining that I don't like beer/etc.

2. Order something like a Smirnoff Ice, even though, yeah, it's a Smirnoff Ice, and you can laugh at me for it, reverting to soda if that's what they don't have.

3. Pretend I can't drink alcohol for some reason-biological, interfering with medication, etc.

4. Have some semi-random person on the internet find me an alcoholic beverage that I would find drinkable that's not deserved grounds for considering me a laughingstock.

So, whatever shall I do?

I ... I don't understand.  I mean, I recognize some of the words in that opening paragraph, but their order does not make a statement that I can comprehend.

Silliness aside, I can understand where you're coming from to a degree.  It's not like most booze tastes all that great until you've pickled your brain enough to trick it into thinking that Ketel One tastes like angels' tears mixed with ambrosia.

My suggestion would be flavored vodkas.  As HT mentioned above, mixing a flavored vodka with Sierra Mist (or other clear soda) can create a drink that tastes almost nothing like alcohol.  I am partial to cranberry vodka if I'm using a flavored one, but the options are pretty limitless these days.  If you like orange juice, it mixes well with orange-flavored vodka (obviously) to create a drink that, aside from the ice, you can barely recognize as anything other than oj.


What is your opinion on Rugby?

Would you support a Rugby team in Houston?

If you could either have the Oilers or Texans, which would you choose?

What are your opinions on the up coming High School Football season in Houston?

Favorite high school teams, any players we should keep an eye on, etc.

Love rugby, even if I only barely understand it.  It's fascinating on television; I stare at it like a baby stares at a ceiling fan, with about as much comprehension as well.

I would definitely support a Houston rugby team.  What would it be called?

Texans any day of the week, especially on Sunday.  (I was never actually an Oilers fan, though they were my go-to on Tecmo Super Bowl.)

I have no opinion on high school football in Houston or otherwise.  I welcome feedback on this question from the commenters.

See above.


Why in god's name isn't Daryl Morey the GM of every single Houston sports franchise?

Because, as we've all slowly come to realize, God hates us.  So he puts a talented GM on a team that is plagued by injuries and bad luck, sticks a figurehead GM on a football team so that everyone can pretend that the mistakes are not all Kubiak's fault, and puts a poor crippled child in charge of the Astros.  He's laughing at us at this point.


What are your thoughts about this new TV show coming out titled "Suits"? Stupid? Or muy stupid?

One more.

Why does Beefy drink Bud Light? What is wrong with him?

Insanely stupid.  First, the whole eidetic memory trope has been done to death.  Second, not only did he not go to law school, but he didn't even finish college? I'm pretty sure the NY bar examiners would catch that, no matter how good his bar answers were.  They tend to check things like "did this twit go to the schools he claimed," to say nothing of how hard it would be to convincingly fake a transcript and the other bar application requirements.  Third, if he's lazy enough to drop out of college, despite how easily he can remember things, why in the world am I supposed to believe that he's suddenly motivated enough to do the background work it would require to convincingly pull this off?  Hell, it would be easier just to finish college, go to law school, and take the bar, especially for this dude.  Fourth, there's no damn firm in NYC (or anywhere) that "only hires Harvard Law grads;" if the top of the class from Yale or Stanford or a handful of other schools applies, s/he is getting a gig there.  Guh.

I posed your question to Mr. Beefy.  Here is his response:

Because I'm the sh*t and I show it.

BL's dee-lish, and you know it.

Feel free to inject your own theory, however.

It really comes back to the "Clean" and "Crisp" descriptors.  If your beer isn't described in this fashion, keep it.  Sell "flavor" to the f**king Heineken swilling chumps ... I'm a coddamn beer drinker, and I drink a f**kton of it, via bottle, mug, and Big O.

I can vouch for the last part of that.  The boy does drink an alarming amount of beer.


A) Please explain the continued existence of Blood on the Dance Floor. How can Durga allow this?

For reference, here is exhibit A:

B) Who is more likely to make the roster: Steve Slaton or Trindon Holliday?

You answered your own question: it is Durga's will.  Don't forget, she is the goddess of vengeance.  Blood On The Dance Floor continues to exist to punish the world for the existence of MySpace and for no one kicking the band's ass when they ripped off a Michael Jackson song title for their band name.  Also, for allowing auto-tune to be a trend.  Durga will continue to punish all of us until these wrongs are righted.

Trindon Holliday is FAR more likely to make the roster.  For one thing, Holliday as a return man is to Slaton as a return man as Michael Jackson as an artist is to Blood On The Dance Floor as an artist.  Considering Slaton's near-negative value as a returner, the fact that Arian Foster is being considered by the Pope to replace the Holy Ghost in the Trinity, the projected return of Ben Kerns Tate, and the fact that the Texans re-signed Derrick Ward in March, Stevie Wonder's days in Houston are numbered.


Does it amuse you how much press the ‘confidential’ negotiations get?

The way we’re all NFL crack heads and the way NFL loves some revenue, why not sell live footage from the negotiations on pay per view?

I mean, surely nobody would show out for the cameras…

I was actually talking about this to someone just a few days ago when the potential deal was leaked.  I think the owners and the Commish use the fact that they have good access to the media to selectively leak facts and tidbits about the negotiations that they believe are helpful to their side.  I mean, surely the deal that was thrown out there last week was not as pro-owner and one-sided as was first reported, right?

I wouldn't pay a dime to watch the negotiations, but I would certainly watch them if they were on NFL Network.


1. In your opinion, who's the best QB2 in the NFL right now? This question occurred to me as I pondered anew precisely how screwed the Texans would be if Matt Schaub went down. BRING BACK SAGE!

2. Your dog that died...what was his or her name? As you sit here, years removed from his/her passing yet presumably with him/her still holding a special place in your heart for all eternity, what is your most cherished memory of _________ (fill in dog's name here)?

3. Did you get choked up when you read the preceding question? I know I would have.

1. As we sit here today, the answer to this one has to be Kevin Kolb, doesn't it?  I mean, I suppose if you want to get technical, Donovan McNabb is the QB2 in D.C. right now, so you could argue for him, but otherwise it's Kolb.  Assuming both of those fellows are in different cities after the new CBA is reached, the best backup would probably be ... Sage RosenfelsKerry Collins (if Jake Locker wins the job)?  Jon Kitna?

Look, I fully admit to being anti-Sage because of a prejudice against human helicopters, but I don't want him back.  Yes, I agree that the Texans would be hosed if Schaub went down, but there aren't many teams who wouldn't be similarly up a poop-filled creek.  I'd rather see what, if anything, Kubiak could coax out of Dan O or Old Man Yates' kid than relive the Flight of the Fumble Bee.

2. His name was Homer, and, like all the dogs I've had, he was a basset hound.  (Tricolor, if you must know.)  And, since you asked, I've actually got two memories I'm going to share:

As I mentioned above, I grew up in a tiny town.  On the gravel road that ran beside my house, there was a low spot under a massive oak tree.  Homer used to lay in that low spot on hot summer days.  All of the neighbors knew this and just drove around the canine speed bump.  One day, this crazy old broad who lived down the road clipped Homer and broke his right rear leg.

He was in a cast for weeks, during which time, I literally carried the oaf up and down the back steps when he had to go outside.  After the leg healed and the cast was removed, he still wanted to be carried up the steps, because he was both lazy and stubborn.  I attempted to lure him up the stairs with hot dogs, but it did not seem to be working.

One day, as I was attempting to lure him up, the phone rang, so I dropped the hot dog on the back porch and went to answer the call.  When I came back, the hot dog was gone ... and Homer was back at the bottom of the stairs, begging to be carried up.  He'd literally walked up to eat it, then snuck back down, as if I wouldn't notice.

The second memory is more painful.  Our kitchen had a swinging door made of oak.  Once Homer got to be eight or nine months old, he was strong enough to push it open.  After he figured this out, he started doing it every day and coming up stairs.  Literally every day for nearly seven years, he would push his way out of the kitchen around 4 a.m. and come upstairs to my room, hop up on my bed, and sleep at my feet.  Every day.  Even when he started getting sick and losing weight.

Well, the day finally came that we decided to have him put down, just to ease the poor guy's suffering.  He was clearly in pain, and he was getting worse day by day.  It wasn't fair to him to keep him around just for our own emotional reasons.  I couldn't bear to go with my mom when he was put down.  It would've been too painful to see.

The next morning, though, when I woke up and there was no Homer at the end of my bed, I bawled like a little girl.

3. I literally have tears running down my face as I write this.  Thanks a ton.