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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha