Archive for December, 2006

I Hope You Folks Enjoyed Yourselves

December 31, 2006

Shit I (still) refuse to care about in 2007:

Rosie O’Donnell

Donald Trump

The imminent war between the Itchy and Scratchy factions of the Republican Party.

Merrill Hoge

Kevin Federline

Any woman who has let the aformentioned Federline impregnate her.

Arthur March

Steve Irwin

The comedic stylings of Senator John Kerry 

Ted Haggard and his all-male Tweaker Revue

Michael Richards

Anything that comes out of the Pope’s mouth

Heather Mills

The West Wing

Barry Bonds

The DaVinci Code

Snakes on a Muthafuckin’ Plane

Nintendo Wii

Anything relating, even tangentially, to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Scientology and goddamn Xenu.

Mark Foley

The rapidly diminishing earnings and relevance of the Dixie Chicks. 

People whose passing was mentioned on this site in 2006:

Scott Crossfield

Buck O’Neil

Ed Bradley

Jack Palance

Shirley Walker

Gerald Ford

Peter Boyle

Daniel Smith

Bruno Kirby

Fidel Castro (postponed)

Jack Warden

Robert Donner

Paul Gleason

Buck Owens

Al "Grandpa" Lewis

People Whose Passing Deserved A Mention On This Site in 2006:

Lou Rawls

Wilson Pickett

Don Knotts

Dennis Weaver

Darren McGavin

Kirby Puckett

Alex Toth

Billy Preston

Aaron Spelling

Mike Douglas

Glenn Ford

Byron Nelson

Red Auerbach

Ruth Brown

Robert Altman

Dave Cockrum

Ahmet Etregun

Mike Evans

Joseph Barbera

James Brown 

Fayard Nicholas

Joe Rosenthal 

Number of Visitors this Year: 

Raw:  202,688
Cooked: 55,776 

Number of Posts This Year: 279    

Number of Posts Next Year:  Substantially fewer.  There’s a little Lebowski on the way.

 

 

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Hang ‘Em High

December 30, 2006

As far as bloody dictators go, I always respected Saddam Hussein. His defiant attitude during his trial revealed a proud man who wouldn’t go quietly. I have to admire that sort of obstinacy.

—–

While watching this, Mrs. Sarcastro brought up the inevitable loss of control of bodily functions that comes especially from hanging.  She is, after all, a medical professional.  To experience just how low that conversation went, go here.

Requiem For A Phony

December 29, 2006

At one point during John Edward’s facile announcement that he was seeking the presidency, I could have sworn he was standing in front of a green screen. He had this weird chroma-key lighting going on during one of the post announcement interviews. Like he was standing in front of a computer generated house, complete with computer generated devastation. Combined with his cheesy Stepford-grin and faux working-man attire, that weird lighting gave him the aura of a mid-market television weather man predicting a plague of locusts.

Given that his slogan last time around was, “Working 4 You“, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine him as the local NBC affilliate’s weekend weather guy. He is, after all, slightly less creepy than Tim Ross.

The big question is whether Edwards and his plastic populism will sell this time around. Probably not.

He plays on the fears and class resentment of the blue collar types. He positions himself as the champion of the little man. Except, you know, when he’s trying to cut in front of them in line at the Wal-Mart.

Does anyone really buy his doubletalk regarding the Wal-Mart Incident? Johnny may want to rethink some things before running for the highest office in the land.

If you are railing against Wal-Mart and their corporate practices, perhaps you shouldn’t have your flunkies try to score you a Playstation 3 from the same people you are calling evil corporate wrong-doers. Wal-Mart nailed you with their hilarious press release:

“The Company noted the PlayStation3 is an extremely popular item this Christmas season, and while the rest of America’s working families are waiting patiently in line, Senator Edwards wants to cut to the front. While, we cannot guarantee that Sen. Edwards will be among one of the first to obtain a PlayStation3, we are certain Sen. Edwards will be able to find great gifts for everyone on his Christmas list – many at Wal-Mart’s “roll-back prices.”

Three problems with Edwards spring to mind concerning the Wal-Mart Incident.

First, he was attempting to purchase a $600 gaming platform for his six-year old. As we live in Two Americas tm, he clearly lives in the one with a shitload of disposable income.

Second, as these things are flying off the shelf, there is no shortage of people who are willing to shell out $600 bucks for a gaming platform. Maybe the economy isn’t in the toilet, despite what ACORN and SEIU are telling him.

Third, apparently an overzealous staffer is the one who called Wal-Mart on Edwards’ behalf. If his own staff isn’t clear on the whole “Wal-Mart=Bad” thing, how is that going to play when it comes time to talk to North Korea? That’s a far-fetched example, you might say, and you might be right. But a failure to communicate one’s message within the campaign office portends a hard slog for someone attempting to communicate to the electorate at large.

As a leader, Mr. Edwards is responsible for everything his people do or fail to do. A typical chickenshit move for any weak leader is to blame a staffer or a volunteer when something goes wrong.

The leadership question brings us back to New Orleans. Edwards wanted a dramatic backdrop to illustrate that he is working on behalf of the common man, the downtrodden, the needy. Or at least while the cameras were rolling, he is.

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That’s the first thing I noticed, as a demolition and environmental abatement professional, was Edwards lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you notice from the pictures taken back in the spring for his photo-op test run, he isn’t wearing any. The girl he is working alongside is wearing a Tvyek suit, hardhat, eye protection, dust mask and gloves. That is an appropriate level of PPE for the hazards one would encounter in a typical Katrina-damaged home. Edwards has on gloves and a dust mask.

Sure he is sweating buckets. You would be too after five minutes of shoveling in the Lower Ninth Ward. It gets a little humid around them parts.

Yesterday’s photo-op was more of the same. Except his button down shirt had more starch in it as he acted like he was cleaning up someone’s yard.

What this country needs isn’t a man who will join 700 college kids working through charities in cleaning up New Orleans over Spring Break in order to get his picture in the paper. We need someone who will mobilize 7000 people to go down there and clean up New Orleans.

The job of President of the United States does not involve any ditch digging or wheel-barrow driving to the best of my knowledge. It involves marshalling the resources and leading the people in the efforts that the nation requires. We don’t expect our Presidents to fly sorties against enemy targets, unless the President is played by Bill Pullman.

I know about fifty Guatamalans in this town that can shovel circles around John Edwards. Any one of them would probably make a better President, too.

So Long, Jerry

December 27, 2006

It comes as no surprise that 93 year old former president Gerald Ford passed away. He was in ill health for the last few years. Plus, he was 93.

When Agnew resigned in disgrace, and Nixon appointed Ford as Vice-President, I was over at the neighbor’s house. Their kid Dewayne and I were building a fort in the backyard or something. We walked in the house and Dewayne’s hillbilly mother shouted, “Ford’s the new Vice-President!”

“Who the hell is this Ford guy?’, I thought to myself. Although, I could have that moment confused with when Nixon resigned and Ford became President. Dewayne’s hillbilly mother very well could have shouted, “Ford’s the new President!”

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Get off my back. I was eight. Sorry I didn’t keep better notes.

All I do remember is that Dewayne gave me the scar on my right ear when we were rough-housing after watching a Japanese monster movie. War of the Gargantuas, as I recall.

In any event, that was my introduction to Gerald Ford. He seemed to be a lot friendlier on TV than Nixon. Although, I was upset that Rich Little had less to do. Rich was in his heyday with the Nixon impressions back then.

During the 1976 campaign, our house was supporting the Ford/Dole ticket. I got into a fight at school regarding that election. The other kids belonged to families that were going to vote for Jimmy Carter. Like Jerry Ford, I was beaten in a landslide. Or at least beaten between the slide and the swing set. They outnumbered me about five to one. Which not so coincidentally, turned out to accurately predict Carter’s margin of victory.

During the Nixon years, my Mom and I were driving somewhere in Los Angeles, as was the custom at the time. At a stoplight, I saw a group of bald women protesting something. I asked Mom what was up with the kooky bald chicks. She told me they were crazy Manson girls. I didn’t give it much thought, until a couple of years later when one of those bald chicks took a shot at Gerald Ford.

Jerry dodged two assassination attempts. Both attempts came in the same month. Both would be assassins were women. Being that this was during the apogee of the “Women’s Lib” movement, even as a kid it seemed kind of funny. Especially because they both failed. You girls need to leave the president killin’ to the menfolk.

Some things you may not have known about Gerald Ford:

**He was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. His mother divorced and remarried when he was still an infant. He took his step-father’s name.

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**As part of the University of Michigan’s National Championship teams of 1932 and 1933 he played center. In 1934 he was voted Most Valuable Player. Does anyone know when the last time a center was voted MVP?

**Both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers offered him a spot on their rosters. Back then, a pro football player made $200 per game. He chose instead to go to Yale to be an assistant coach and law student. Today, who in their right mind would pass up an NFL paycheck in order to eat a bowl of shit in the White House?

**Was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission.

** Moved into a house on Evergreen Terrace across the street from one Homer J. Simpson after the previous owner left abruptly. Football, beer and nachos were enjoyed by all.

**Became a crime fighting superhero after gaining extraordinary powers thanks to a “hurricane-powered dose of radiation” received at a celebrity golf tournament. Along with former Presidents Carter, Reagan and Bush formed The X-Presidents.

Holy shit.  I almost forgot.  Possibly Ford’s greatest achievement outside of making ugly ties, ultra-wide lapels and WIN buttons hip, was to invite a Beatle to lunch.

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George Harrison was the first Beatle invited to the White House for lunch.  An awkward encounter ensued after Billy Preston complained about a hair in his soup.

And if you needed proof that the world isn’t fair, note that the only person in this picture still alive is Ravi Fucking Shankar.

Only 363 Shopping Days Left

December 26, 2006

As soon as the kids went to their father’s house, we took down the tree and rid the house of all things Christmas. By ‘we’, I mean Mrs. Sarcastro. I spent that time laying on the couch, watching the Arrested Development marathon on G4 and trying to read Jared Diamond’s Collapse. Needless to say, the Bluth Family got the better part of my divided attention.

We went to Sarcastro Mountain for an early Xmas and made it back in time for the 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. We would have watched it back on the mountain, but my brother loaned out our sacred family DVD copy of it to someone. He’s not sure who. Or why. Or when.

I made sure the truck was packed with a portable DVD player and a slew of classic Looney Tunes. It was a life saver and kept conversations like this from taking place:

Kid: An essay has five paragraphs!

Adult: Well, technically that’s true, but…

Kid: A paragraph has five sentences!

Adult: I know they are teaching you that as a guideline, but…

Kid: Yuh-huh. My teacher said so.

Adult: Why can’t an essay contain six paragraphs if you have that much info to relay?

Kid: That’s not what the teacher said. (Kid then relays a by rote recitation of the elements of a five paragraph essay.)

Adult: But what about this arbitrary five sentences to a paragraph nonsense? What if it only takes four to get the idea across?

Kid: Then in the fifth sentence, you have to say “I liked it”, or something.

Adult: Oh, that makes perfect sense, then.

This paragraph only has one sentence. Maybe two if I really stretch it.

Upon opening their presents Christmas morning, I had the distinct feeling that they felt like they were doing us a favor. Despite the fact their mother spent the equivalent of the Gross National Product of Yemen on satisfying their unquenchable thirst for high end gaming platforms and associated software. It must be terribly depressing to get everything you could possibly want for Christmas.

We have yet another family get together scheduled for tonight. Out of town relatives and such. This may drag on until late in the week. I’ll be glad when it is all over and life can return to some semblance of normalcy. Whatever that is.

Even The Hypno-Dog is burned out.

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—–

Because The Hypno-Dog Commands It!

December 24, 2006

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

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From The Sarcastro Family.

Customer Disservice

December 22, 2006

Thanks to the vagaries of the holiday season, I’ve been forced at gunpoint to go shopping. Let us now call out various sins of the restaurants and retail establishments by name:

Raz’z: Despite the annoying name, this place serves up some solid American fare. Chef/Owner Raz Admuso has a Horatio Alger-esque story that they made feel-good TV Movies of the Week about, back in the day. The food was nothing spectacular, but good. Our repeat business was earned by Chef Raz coming out and talking to the table. The personal touch makes all the difference.

All The Damn Baby Stores: What a fucking racket you people have got going on! How was it that the human race survived so long without all the completely unecessary baby junk you try to foist upon gullible parents? By taking a page from the drug companies, you manufacture dangers to the newborn child and then offer some snake-oil to alleviate the worries of the fearful parents. Brilliant! You should sell Restless Leg Medicine with the impulse items near the cash register.

Target: You bastards got some esplainin’ to do. If you are selling, say, a baby crib. Said baby crib is put on sale for $200. When the Hickory Hollow Target is sold out and refers you to either Brentwood or West Nashville, as they have them in stock, it is totally uncool to then charge $280 for that same crib. Thanks for the bait and switch. Dick.

K-Mart: You aren’t much better. I understand that you are barely surviving in Sam Walton’s world. Still, with most of your employees actively avoiding customers or playing with their extra chromosome, don’t get all pissy with me that I went behind your high security “Employees Only” door to find a manager. Don’t get all sullen because the sanctity of your Fortress of Sulkitude was breached by someone looking for a handcart to haul out $150 worth of baby crib. That one purchase probably represented 25% of your sales that night. You’re welcome. Dick.

Baby Crib Manufacturer: There is no getting around this. You get what you paid for. If I could crap Krugerrands, I would have bought a Stickley-style Crib. Instead I bought your cheap piece of junk. The cheap piece of plastic that broke during my rage filled assembly may be your fault, it may be mine. Now isn’t the time to point fingers. What is important, is that you are sending me a replacement part absolutely free. Now I have nothing but nice things to say about your company, the cheap-ass crib, and the fact that my kid won’t fall to his death when the front of the crib collapses like an Iraqi cease-fire.

Logan’s: This will only take a second. I guess we were imposing when we came in and said we wanted to eat. I had no idea that you weren’t expecting guests. The half empty restaurant confused us. It wasn’t that big a problem that our server was clearly someone who was not a server, but rather a stressed out manager trainee or possibly the dishwasher. All of that was fine. No my problem is that when I order the tilapia with the cilantro-chipotle sauce served over a black bean & corn relish as described in the menu, that doesn’t mean tilapia with motherfucking peppercorn ranch dressing dumped on top.

Ruby Tuesdays: You’ve come a long way since I bartended at the shithole on West End. Much improved in both menu, decor, service, food quality and presentation. Good job.

Office Depot: You haven’t really done anything wrong. The only kink in the plan was the dumb bitch in front of me wanting to argue with your employee over a three dollar rebate for buying paper or something. I don’t remember. After ten minutes of being stuck behind this pinhead haggling over three goddamn dollars and letting my mind wander to a happy place full of pirates, beer volcanoes and a stripper factory, I kind of forgot what she was going on about. As I followed her out to her car in a homicidal fugue state, I noticed the War Is Not Healthy For Children and Other Living Things bumper sticker on her Saturn. Evidently, she had already been caught and released with that tag so that everyone would know she is a moron. As for Office Depot, would it kill you to have more than one register open at a time, ever?

With all of that in mind, enjoy your trip to the mall this Christmas.

I almost forgot…

West Nashville Strike & Spare:  I took the kids bowling the other day.  As is our custom, we had pizza as part of the bowling alley experience.   I went to the snack bar, even though the lights were out.  Apparently, keeping the lights out reduces the glare on the television that the snack bar employee was glued to.  All the while keeping an eye on whatever was on BET, she asked me what I wanted.
“We’d like a large pepperoni pizza and three Coke Icees,”  I replied.

“Are you closer to Circus World?  Cuz dat’s where da pizzas come from.”

“So you’re saying I need to go down there to order pizza?”

“It’d be easier.”

So, I trudged back down towards where we were rolling and into Circus World.

“Didja order the pizza,” the boys shouted.

“Not yet,” came my through gritted teeth answer.

Down at Circus World the girl behind the counter was friendly and helpful.  She promised to bring us the pizza.  So, I tipped her two bucks for her mad customer skillz.

Five minutes later, I see her walking out the door with her purse and belongings in hand.   Questions began to arise.  She’s obviously leaving.  Who is making our pizza?  Why did I give her two damn dollars?

After waiting an appropriate amount of time, I walked back to Circus World.  Cries of “How much more longer for the pizza?” still ringing in my ears.

Back in the kitchen was my freshly baked pizza and a guy who looked unmistakably like Magilla Gorilla, standing over it counting pepperoni.  He may have been touching each and every pepperoni in what can only be considered some form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

He hadn’t seen me when I bellowed out, “How’s that pizza coming, pal?” in my Senior Drill Instructor Hartman voice.

“I’ll bring it to you sir,” he said in a startled voice.

Two minutes later, Magilla brought out the pizza.  We were famished and had been subsisting on only our Coke Icees.

Magilla had scampered off by the time we got the pizza box open and realized that not only had he not cut the pizza all the way through, but had not brought any plates.

Luckily, the boys and I were able to survive this nightmarish experience by clinging to our shared disdain for the mother and two kids at the adjacent lane.  She had dressed her sons, who were about five and seven, in adorable matching outfits.  And by adorable, I mean totally gay.   My boys were not only glad that we don’t dress them alike, but that they aren’t named Dylan and Austin.

Elvis is Everywhere!

December 21, 2006

In what will certainly become one of many exhibits for the prosecution regarding my fitness as a parent and role-model, I’ve been teaching the boys to sing the Jordanaires part for “In The Ghetto” everytime we drive through UCLA (Ugliest Corner, Lower Antioch). In order to let the boys learn the actual song, I went and picked up a copy of “Elv1s” from The Great Escape. It was like eight bucks for thirty Elvis hits. You can accuse me of putting Tower Records out of business if you like. But honestly, how long should they have stayed in business charging sixteen dollars for the same damn CD?

I’ve never really been a big Elvis fan. I became aware of The King during the mid-seventies. As far as I knew, he was a fat, sweaty, grotesque cheeseball Vegas act whose records were sold on television. The big cool-to-me acts at the time like Elton John, The Who, The Stones, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac would have to wait thirty years to become fat, sweaty, grotesque cheeseball Vegas acts whose records are sold on television.

When Elvis died, I remember thinking “good, about damn time”. John Lennon used to claim that Elvis really died when he joined the Army. This always struck me as ironic because Lennon really died sometime in late 1970. It just took 10 years for Mark David Chapman to track him down and put him out of his misery.

So, I’m listening to all these old Elvis tunes, and all of a sudden, it struck me. These songs are indeed timeless classics. In fact, several of them remind me of Nashville bloggers.

For example, now whenever I hear Hard Headed Woman, I immediately think of the willfully obtuse Aunt B.

Now Adam told to Eve,
Listen here to me,
Dont you let me catch you
Messin round that apple tree.
Oh yeah, ever since the world began
A hard headed woman been
A thorn in the side of man.

The hits keep coming.

Are You Lonesome Tonight seems perfect for serial onanist B-Dub.

WKRN’s Milkman of Human Kindness, Adam Kleinheider, brings to mind Wooden Heart. His opposite number, Brittney of NiT, is tailor-made for A Little Less Conversation.

Lefties Sean Braisted and Chris Wage sing duet on Surrender. Meanwhile, Mr. Wage’s paramour, Amanda, is the Devil in Disguise.

Immigration activist Mack of Coyote Chronicles is now indelibly linked to, what else, Return to Sender.

Katherine Coble, as usual, is Crying in the Chapel.

Suspicious Minds can only belong to Roger Abramson and the rest of the Staggering Prophets.

CLC is A Fool Such as I.

There couldn’t be an Elvis/Blogger meat-up without the founder of the feast. A Hunk, A-Hunk of Burnin’ Love, Nashville Knucklehead. The camera doesn’t lie.

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King of the Road

December 17, 2006

Now is the Winter of my Discontent.  Whilst travelling about my kingdom, I have seen much knavery and tomfoolery amongst the unwashed masses.

When the dawn nearly is upon us or whilst we are in the gloaming, some of the village idiots are refusing to ignite the lamps on their motorized carriages.  Or worse, they only turn on the parking lights.  Only a buffoon drives about with only the parking lights on.  Throughout Christendom it is the law that driving with just the parking lights on is forbidden.  Common sense and the law dictate that during diminished visibility, ones headlamps should be illuminated.  This goes double when it is foggy.  Those little fruity yellow lights aren’t helping anyone.  They aren’t fog lamps, you dung eating curs!

 On a similar subject, I shall smite thee with the Royal Crowbar the next time one of you peons decides to hop out of your car to try to get me to pull over for a funeral procession.  The headsman will wind up with a full day of work the next time you shit-stained peasants fuck up the King’s Highway.

It must be confusing for the uneducated coolies to see a vehicle that resembles that of the local constabulary trying to get people to pull over.  It is but a mere ruse on the part of the undertaker.  He charges the grieving family extra ducats for a couple of ill-bred wastrels to provide an escort to the gravesite.  These stupid sons of whores then operate their faux-police vehicles in a reckless manner that brings to mind the fabled Cow-Boys of the New World. 

The law states that you are not to pull over, but to yield your right of way or slow down to show respect.  The bedevilled simpleton who leapt from his vehicle to brandish his cell phone at my Royal Personage is fortunate that I had somewhere to actually go, unlike he and his fellow simpletons who all pulled over because a funeral procession was coming from the opposite direction.  Let this ring throughout the land; the guy in the coffin is dead.  The people following the hearse all have the day off for the funeral.  They are in no big hurry.  I, however, have a kingdom to run.  Next time you jump out to try to make me pull over, in violation of the damn law, you will get a Royal Boot up your ass.

Don’t pull that "local tradition" shit, either.  Something happens more than twice around here and you serfs call it a tradition.  We also have the "local traditions" of marrying our cousins, raping canoeists from the big city and lynching the occasional blackamoor.   The world doesn’t come to a fucking stop because some old crone is being hauled out to the boneyard.  If it means so much to you and you want to pay your respects, hop in behind the funeral procession and follow them out to the grave site.  Then there will be at least one less idiot on the road.

While we are on the topic of complete muttonheads, another group looking for a date with the headsman are the cretins at Robertson/Urbandale Rd. and Briley Parkway.  If you are turning left at a green light, you do not have the right of way.  The people on the other side of the intersection who are going straight and turning right have the right of way.  Careening your ’87 Cavalier into oncoming traffic with nothing but ignorance on your side will cause not only your deaths, but those of your family when my knights burn your hovels to the ground and salt the earth so that nothing ever grows there.  Ever.

Although, we are most pleased with Archduke Ray Bell, regent of the vassal state of Kickbackistan.  The roads in the kingdom are amongst the finest in all the known world

Pity that there is no money left in the exchequer to teach my subjects how to safely operate their vehicles.  Perhaps someday we could institute a system of licensing drivers throughout the realm.  Those drivers would have to pass a test of some sort.  In order to pass the test, especially the young beginner drivers, would have to take a course that would explain the Rules of the Kings Highways.  Upon successful completion, they would be given Royal License to use the roads.  Accidents and deaths would become a thing of the past as my subjects would all be aware of the laws, rather than living in the Dark Age of Superstition and Ignorance.  Gone would be the days of having your baby ride in your lap on a foggy morning so you can get to the Title Loan place as soon as it opens.  An era of Peace, Prosperity and Enlightenment would begin for all.

Or not. 

Obey The Hypno-Dog!

December 16, 2006


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The Hypno-Dog commands you to go run up your credit cards in order to purchase Christmas presents! The retail sector of the economy will collapse if you do not comply! Our nation will crumble if the Gods of Commerce are not appeased! Thousands of less-than helpful retail employees, like those bastards at Target yesterday, will lose their jobs!

Perhaps The Hypno-Dog could interest you in a gently used Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer set?

The Hypno-Dog would also like it if you could run by Pet Smart and get her some treats.

Thus commandeth The Hypno-Dog!