We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant in Clearwater Beach with Judy's folks, Bill and Florence Flaherty. Nothing unusual about that except this year the folks were celebrating 70 years of wedded bliss.
We had such a great time, we agreed to do it again every 70 years.
I mentioned recently a Dearest Relative ("DR") in Gainesville who faced moving to some manner of assisted living arrangement. Swell fellow that I am, I have been trying to help smooth the transition. All went predictably enough until we addressed "What to Do With Bloodwort?" Bloodwort is my DR's aging cocker spaniel. (DR loves flowers and thinks "Bloodwort" a perfectly responsible spaniel name.)
Anyway, no sufficiently accommodating relative or friend came forward to claim Bloodwort, and dogs could not go where DR was bound. Dear Reader, if you are of a sensitive nature, please move on to Moody's Notebook or something genteel like that.
You were warned.
With Bloodwort well past the age of likely adoption through the local SPCA, and with no other options in evidence, it looked grim for Bloodwort. Reluctantly, DR concluded that Bloodwort would likely need to be - um - put gently to sleep. Sigh.
But DR is a novice in these matters, and his previous pets had had the good grace to expire of natural causes. So DR had never before had to take an active hand in the matter. The decision process was long and properly tearful.
Finally, DR stood tall and announced, "I'm going to have Bloodwort cremated."
Mind you, Bloodwort was still among the living. I allowed as to how it might be well to have some humane ministration - an overdose of doggie barbiturates or the like - at the caring hand of some pet professional. Discreet and humane, however sad and seemingly unavoidable.
"No." DR stood his ground. "I'm going to have Bloodwort cremated."
At this point, you might understand why DR was headed for protective custody himself, but he didn't really seem that far around the bend. Except for the cremation thing. "Think on it tonight," I said, "and I'll be back in the morning."
The warm Florida sun rose as scheduled the next day, and a new day always brings new promise. Not so fast, Pollyanna. Cremation was the final word, and cremation it was going to be. I rehearsed the likely conversation with DR's long-time vet. "When did Bloodwort pass away?" Dr. Friendly would naturally ask. And DR would respond, "Oh, he's not dead. That's why I want him cremated." I stopped thinking about it.
Enter - thankfully for Bloodwort - Janice. Janice is DR's letter carrier, who conveniently lives in pastoral Archer, some ten miles west of DR's place. In Archer, Bloodwort would have lots of land, the company of other dogs - dogs with perhaps more euphonious names - and an owner not apparently headed for assisted living. Janice would love to take Bloodwort home.
"Excellent," said DR, "I never wanted to cremate him anyway."
Eye of Newt was privileged last week to land an exclusive interview with Gilbert T. Pardee, Esq., the last lawyer in Pinellas County without his own billboard.
Eye: Mr. Pardee, thank -
Pardee: Please - call me Gil.
EON: OK. Now I understand you do not have a billboard anywhere with your picture and phone number.
P: That's correct. Not even one of those side-of-a-building jobbies.
EON: Why not? I mean, every other lawyer has a whole string of billboards.
P: I know, I know. I guess I'm just a late bloomer. My mother says I was not potty trained until long after all the other kids my age.
EON: Which was . . . ?
P: Two years ago. But we're not here to talk about -
EON: Right, right. But why don't you put up a billboard now?
P: Well, first of all, all the good spots are taken. The bail bondsmen grabbed up all the spots near the criminal courts, and the personal injury guys got the juiciest street corners.
P: Also, I've been trying to set myself apart from the crowd.
EON: How about a referral service? Can I find you through 1-800-ASK-GARY?
P: Actually, no. They, uh, asked me to leave.
EON: Really? Why?
P: I don't have a billboard. You see, Ask Gary makes referrals by checking out the billboards. The billboards closest to the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater in Tampa get first dibs.
EON: And . . . ?
P: The closest spot not already advertising lawyers was in Savannah. I'm not admitted in Georgia.
EON: So, now what? How are you gonna sell your soul to the devil if he doesn't know you're for sale?
P: I have one brilliant word for you: naming rights!
EON: Uh -
P: I thought of it when I saw that New York's Times Square is now Discovery Times Square. I thought, "Man, that is so COOL!" So I've just finished negotiating for the rights to our most precious asset.
EON: I'm afraid to ask.
P: You got it: The Gil T. Pardee 1-800-I-Object Clearwater Beach. Signs will be appearing soon.
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