The Karintō Gambit

Some of you, the sad few who quit binge drinking the Carlos Rossi jug wine, may remember that last year a hedgehog stuffie was mysteriously infiltrated into our neighbor’s Nativity Scene. Despite best efforts by CSI and the FBI, the culprit(s) responsible were never brought to justice.

Hedgie 2, successor to the original Nativity Hedgie.

That neighbor and I have never been particularly friendly and some have asked what the back-story is.

It all started with an incident involving a certain small dog, let’s call him Max just for argument’s sake. One day Max was on a walk and his handsome and debonair human gave him enough flexi-leash so that the Malt could trespass and lift a leg on the Neighbor’s mailbox.

The Neighbor got huffy when he spotted the Pupperooski urinating on his mailbox. He gimped down the driveway, shaking his tiny fist and accosted Max’s human. The conversation went like this:

Neighbor: “Get that dog off my lawn right now!”
Max’s Human: “OK, c’mon Max get back on the sidewalk.”
** Max continues his leisurely pee.**
Neighbor, louder: “I said get him off my lawn!”
Max’s Human: OK, OK, he’s coming… c’mon Max, let’s go.”
**Max exits lawn**
Neighbor: “And don’t give me any looks. This is MY property. People like you don’t like it when I tell you to get off, do you, huh?”
Max’s Human: “Hey, it’s your property, you make the rules but we’re all neighbors, you don’t have to be a (diminutive of Richard) about it.”
Neighbor: “Just get out of here and don’t let that dog on my lawn again.”
Max’s Human: “Okey doke, let’s go, Max.”
Max: “WTF?”

Since that time I have made sure that Max scrupulously avoids the Neighbor’s lawn. Meanwhile, we have anonymously done our best to bedevil the Neighbor who also feeds peanuts to squirrels, an unforgivable offense. The aforementioned hedgehog incident may or may not have been an example of such bedevilment.

This year the Neighbor did not install a Nativity Scene thus thwarting our original holiday plans. Max and I wondered what else could be done to continue our holiday tradition of spite?

We were lounging with our combined 6 feet up on the recliner when we spotted the Alpha Japanese Female noshing one of her Japanese snack treats called Karintō.

Yummy! (I know what you are thinking.)
How about some karintō with your tea? (Still thinking it, right?)

Karintō (花林糖 for the curious) is a traditional Japanese snack food. It is made primarily of flour, yeast, and brown sugar and is deep fried. Most people think it originated in the early 1800s, probably based on a snack brought to Japan by Portuguese sailors.

It’s sweet and crispy. However, it’s most remarkable feature is that it looks just like a dog turd. See, I told you I knew what you were thinking. While that tends to dissuade some people from munching it, its unfortunate appearance does make karintō a wonderful prop for holiday revenge.

Did I do that?

Max and I pilfered some of the AJF’s karintō stash for purposes of science. After some experimentation, we found that karintō left overnight on dew-covered grass creates the perfect dog poop imposter. A quality simulacrum of brown, moist, soft, nuggety goodness, oh yeah.

Max suggested that we position a pile of seasoned karintō at the base of the Neighbor’s mailbox just for old time’s sake. We knew that the grouchy old Neighbor retired early but went out each morning for a walk at a predictable time. We figured that we would have easy access to the mailbox provided we made our attacks after 10PM which matched nicely with the Furbeast’s evening walk schedule.

Hmmm…doesn’t smell quite right.

When the time arrived to launch our sneak attack – the Pearl Harbor of Poop – we collected a heaped handful of karintō in a plastic baggie and ventured out. As we surreptitiously passed the Neighbor’s house I freed Max to pee on his mailbox and then slipped the karintō out of the baggie and crafted it into a nice pile at the base. It took only a few seconds and we skulked away unnoticed.

The next morning the Neighbor came out for his constitutional as usual and sauntered down the sidewalk. Max and I were peeping from the living room window to see what happened.

It was like watching one of Chaplin’s silent movies.

We could see the exact moment he spotted the brown pile next to his mailbox and the furious double take that followed. I can’t read lips but some mighty expletives were spoken. Then he went back into his house and returned holding a plastic bag of the type you use when buying wet vegetables.

Look what Hedgie did!

His body language was exquisite. It was easy to see that he was loath to pick up what he thought was a huge poo pile. He approached the karintō with caution and trepidation as though sneaking up on a dreaded boomslang viper.

He kept his body angled away from the droppings. He extended his plastic bag-clad hand and reached for all that wet, mounded goodness. Finally there was the hesitancy of the grip – you could tell from his face the very second when he grasped the cold, soft chunks. His disgust was manifold. He was so swept up in the horror of the moment that he failed to notice the absence of the distinctive fragrance that should have accompanied the product.

As he recovered from stooping, the Neighbor held the bag at arm’s length away from his body and proceeded to his trashcan where he deposited Max’s Christmas gift and went back in the house, probably to thoroughly wash his hands and complain to his wife about “those goddam dog owners who don’t take responsibility for their animals.”

Here ya go, DogDad, I got your karintō right here.

Max and I howled with laughter. Vengeance was achieved; the prank was pulled and no harm was done. The AJF was bewildered as to what was going on. We told her not to worry and that we going to have a quick snack.

But not karintō.

The shame is too great. But it was fun.

44 replies

  1. Only you would think of this Tom, only you! I’m laughing so hard my tears are running down my legs! Wait! What! Ooooops!

    Revenge has to be satisfied and you did a remarkable job of achieving it. No animals were harmed in the process. I’m surprised your neighbor didn’t have a stroke picking up that bag.

    I have no doubt you laughed your bazonger off, but sweet Max would’ve been humiliated to the core. At least he didn’t have to wear a freaky costume!

    ‘Course now the AJF is trying to figure out when she ate so many snacks because they’re gone.

    I know now you will have a wonderful holiday and that’s a good thing. Thanks for all the laughs your posts provide. They’re each an early Christmas present and much appreciated.

    Wishing you all a safe, happy, healthy and fun-filled New Year. Murphy sends her love. Oh! She wants to know when you snuck to NY and pooper-scooped our back yard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right, Ginger, that the AJF is suspicious about the missing karintō. I could never tell her about Max and my hijinks because she would too ashamed to show her face in the neighborhood. We let believe we were snacking on the stuff which is actually OK but not a taste treat I would spend much time searching out. We three wish you and Miss Murphy and all of yours a wonderful Christmas season too.


    • Wait…wait…wait…Max is totally innocent? Where’d you get that? He is the one who started all these shenanigans by peeing on the Neighbor’s mailbox in the first place. He’s a conniving little dog and don’t underestimate the deep well of bitterness he can hold towards those he perceives as having done him an injustice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘ a diminutive of Richard’ heh, heh, heh. So this is why no Nativity scene? What a party pooper! haha! I’d love to see the police come by and ask your neighbor to produce the evidence. **hey, did you smell this s**t?** 😂🤣😆 There are good neighbors, bad neighbors, and then there’s you and Max. What a riot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA*snort*!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😂 I can’t stop laughing!!!!!!!!!! 😛
    Way to go, Max and Tom!!!!! I’m so proud of you both! Keep up that funny s#!t!!! 💩

    Makes me mad that the guy talked to you and Max like that! Grr! 😠

    I wish the guy would’ve smelt it and then tasted one! 😀 He sounds like too much of grumpy rump partay pooper to do anything but come unglued! 🤭

    Max’s expression in the first photo is like, “Yeah. I did it. What’s it to you?” 😀
    Darn! I wish the nativity scene was up this year…I can just image where you could’ve place some of the karintō! 😮 😆
    (((HUGS))) and thanks for the laughs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

    PS…we had two neighbors who were arch-enemies of each other. Long story. But before they both moved away, one day I watched the one guy (#1) purposely let his dog poop just off the sidewalk in the other guy’s (#2) yard. About a half hour later guy #1 and his dog walked back down our street. I watched as he stepped in his own dog’s poop that had been left earlier. Watching him trying to clean it off his shoe while swearing made me laugh so much I thought I was gonna’ die from laughter! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Those who feed squirrels have a screw loose! Our former neighbor feed the squirrels peanuts and the squirrels would bury the peanuts in the fall. In the spring, the evil squirrels would dig up the peanuts and leave the rotten peanuts in our yard. Nox would eat the rotten peanuts and get sick. We told our neighbor about Nox getting sick in hopes he would stop feeding the squirrels as he enjoyed petting Nox. Even his wife tried to get him to stop feeding the squirrels.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s exactly what happens! We have holes in the yard, flower beds, at tree bases and everywhere from Satan’s Rodents and we’ll have to police the grounds to make sure that Max doesn’t nosh on them – he loves peanuts and p-nut butter. Maybe those neighbors are related, evil twins or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I cannot condone wasting food, especially food that looks that delicious. Now he’s going to actually think that he encountered poo and he’ll never believe that it wasn’t. So you are guilty and yet not guilty. I only wish he had smelled it and then taken a bite. Plus, who gets mad about animals simply urinating in the yards? The sun will dry that up. I don’t care for having to clean up number two by irresponsible folks, but pee is just pee. Perhaps his father was not around in his childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are a surprising number of people around here who genuinely do not like dogs to even look at their yard let alone relieve themselves there. I could understand (maybe) if we were talking about the lush fairways of Pebble Beach or Augusta but in most cases their lawns are remarkably unspectacular. A little nitrogen might even help. But I try to curb Max as much as possible just to keep the peace but once this dog gets a notion in his silly little apple shaped head, well, he’s going to go where he wants.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Tom, I’m sitting here reading post after post wondering whether you ought to be locked up, or hit the motivational speaking circuit o put some life back into grey souls. However, I think you’ve definitely been asking for the Big Red Fella to add you to his naughty list and give you a bag of sticks for Christmas.
    I don’t know much about the perils of co-habitating with squirrels, although we can end up with ducks in plague proportions and residents who feed the ducks can become rather unpopular.
    I’m think I might need to equip No. 1 son with some of this stuff. He’s going away on youth camp soon which is pranking on steroids. He’ll love this!
    Thank you!
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I noticed you were binge reading Max’s stories. That’s an real honor for us and one we don’t take lightly. Glad some of them brought a grin. I think your son, the former Mister, would greatly appreciate a set of Godzilla underwear. They would be the hit at youth camp. What could go wrong?

      Liked by 1 person

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