Dear Life Proximity Associates,
I will keep this short, just like how we all wish 2020 felt. Normally I would have insulted you three or four times at this point in my Doggie Dash rant, but this year I do not feel the need to plunge that dagger into you. It appears that life these days has already taken care of that. I am in the same boat as you, adrift in a sea of stupid and trying to emote positivity on the outside while secretly deciding who in the life raft gets eaten first when it comes down to that. We all are just trying to stay afloat while keeping the mouth-breathers away from the oars. “No, no, Cletus, these oars are far too complicated for you. We’ll find you a special job later.” Hate to ruin your day, but Cletus and his friends have already been promoted to Admiral of the Fleet and are doing a banging job (no lube) deciding how best to save you. From the looks of it they feel the best course of action is drilling a hole through the bottom of the boat.
If anything, this situation (COVID-19, civil unrest, the Pacific Northwest turning into a Roman candle, etc.) and our response to it, both federally and locally, highlights the state of education in this country. You’re smart, so you act accordingly with socially responsible decisions that help the greater good. But then here comes Jedidiah and his wife, Velveeta, to gum up the works with their conspiracy theories and Dunning-Kruger effect (look it up… I’ll wait) medical knowledge. Not a lot of rational evaluation happening there. In the end we are just praying that they take their messiah’s advice. You want to drink that bleach? Drink it! Drink it all down, and then feed it to your slack-jawed kids, too, because we don’t need any more of your type.
People say that it will get better. I stayed hopeful, which often required a lot of cleansing sighs. But then it would get a little dumber, a little weirder, and a little more of a kick to the ol’ baby maker. I mean, at this point the next presidential debate is just going to be a fist fight in a parking lot. I heard that Biden wants it outside his favorite restaurant, Red Robin. He is currently shirtless with some kickass aviator shades on in the Scranton, PA Red Robin parking lot stomping around and yelling, “Trump dies, bottomless fries!” Trump said that he will only do it at Chic-fil-A for homecourt advantage, but he may be willing to settle for a Hobby Lobby parking lot. Parents are like, “You don’t want me to go to work and shut down my job. Fine, that makes sense, but you won’t assist me with proper unemployment benefits. Now my kids can’t go to school, so I can’t get a job because I have to watch them during distance learning at home. What should I do?”
The federal government: “Just shut the hell up and stop being a freeloader is what you should do!”
The local government: “We can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome our new bike lanes are.”
But then I just take a deep breath and keep on keeping’ on. The other day, though, I saw an uggo woman in a bikini with ‘Trump Boner Garage’ written on her gut and an arrow pointing down to her beaver trap. So… no, it will not get better. Society cannot recover from that. All we can hope for is that her trap rusted shut years ago.
When said hope is gone you must cling to the rock-solid positives that still remain like a lighthouse beacon in a sea of Mountain Dew backwash. During all of this chaos and collapse Oregon Humane Society has been standing tall and going strong. Maybe the time to be bashful and downplay things is gone. As the old man said to me, sometimes you just have to stop bluffing and play the cards you have. Well, if we are setting down our hands for everyone to see, then here are my cards: Oregon Humane Society, the charity that I have devoted my life to, didn’t puss out when it got scary! We took a deep breath, slapped ourselves in the face a few times, and got in the game. I and the rest of my team have been risking it all to keep it going, and the results speak for themselves. We have not stopped saving animals, giving them a (literal) second chance at life by matching them with loving homes. We have been providing life-saving medical service for suffering animals. We have been providing emergency pet boarding for people ravaged with COVID-19, and now we are also doing the same thing for people that have had their foundations rocked to the core by the devastation of the wildfires. We have been trekking pet food to every animal shelter and food bank in this state—charities staffed by kind, salt-of-the-earth people that have the same goal of keeping people and their pets afloat any way they can. We have been listening to the needs of individual pet owners crippled with financial hardship and overall despair and getting them whatever they needed to keep going with their pet, whether it be food, medicine, flea treatments, or even simple advice. We let them know that they are someone that is worthy of compassion. We haven’t kept going just because of our commitment to animal welfare. We also keep going because of our commitment to the city of Portland and the great state of Oregon, and we will always honor those commitments hell or high water. We are Oregon Humane Society, and we are the real fucking deal!
I actually had a lot more comedic bits sketched out for this plea, but I think that I will begin to wrap it up here. Like I said, no more bluffing. Feel free to ask me about my bits “The Ashley’s” and “Bitch, Bitch” if you run into me, and I will hopefully make you laugh with those outtakes. This is normally when I dish out the insults in an attempt to bully you into coughing up some coin, like a cyber shakedown of sorts. That just doesn’t seem appropriate considering everything happening. Maybe we can get back to my acid-tongue menagerie of verbal pain when the dust settles. For now, I am just going to ask that you consider being part of our solution by giving a buck or two. If that is not in the cards financially right now, then I get it. I truly do. I just ask that you keep Oregon Humane Society in your heart for when your situation improves, and I will keep you in mine.
With that said I am going to sign off and leave you to think about all of this. While you do that, I am going to close my eyes and go to my mental happy place, which is a mountain cabin home I share with legendary adult contemporary singer and international sex symbol, Anne “W.A.P.” Murray. She wraps her arms around me from behind (I am the little spoon) while her hit crossover song “Just Another Woman in Love” (sometimes it is “Snowbird”) plays softly from an old tube radio. Then she whispers to me that not only am I the best lover she has ever had (duh), but now she truly knows what love is-- it is no longer just a line in a song she is singing. We both exhale and drift off to sleep.
Take it easy and keep it sleazy.
- Tyler Norby-Murray