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Doug Blough

Do you know what the “running gears of a katy-did” are? If not, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger, because even though my Dad said it often, I never bothered to ask him what it meant. In describing someone frail and unkempt, he would say, “That woodhick looked like the running gears of a katy-did.”

It’s a small world, and the canine world is no exception. Two weeks ago, my elderly, gimpy, but still studly dog, Trinity and I were again separated for a long, lonely night. He wandered away from Tony Jolovich’s Lane 17 farm while I shingled. His aging hips make mobility difficult, but he was gone and Tony’s tenacious search proved fruitless.

For the most part, I’m just your average Joe. What isn’t average is the disproportionate number of famous people I’ve rubbed elbows with. This penchant started as a stunningly-handsome teen when I often stayed overnight at my friend Ron Hostetler’s farmhouse. They were a large family of athletic, good looking Mennonites who raised chickens.

Good poetry is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I simply cannot wrap my pretty head around poetry that doesn’t rhyme. It’s like women’s beach volleyball without bikinis. I’ll go a step further and say “a poem that doesn’t rhyme is like a bell that doesn’t chime.”

I’ve compiled another of my unorganized, yet invaluable collection of thoughts worth mentioning. Otherwise, I’d not mention them.

Firstly, a few observances about diet and health, because — let’s face it — if you don’t have your health or good looks, then you truly have nothing.  

I’m launching the Animal ACLU: “Animal Caretakers Litigating Unflattering treatment.” Our goal is to make animals equal to humans in all areas, and if not, we’ll sue the pants off this “humans first” society.

Sure, the Bible says God gave man dominion over animals, but you’ll find your dictionary describes “dominion” as “to submit to; bow down, take a back seat to.” (Don’t bother checking — I just told you what it says).

Via Facebook, which still confounds me, I reached out and touched someone I’ve not seen in 40 years. He touched me back with a kick to the groin. This fellow — let’s call him “Ned,” since he sounds obsessively image-conscious — evidently isn’t my biggest fan.  

June 30 began like many days for me: partly cloudy with a 70 percent chance of pain. But even I could never have guessed the perfect storm about to befall me. It was another Doug Day Afternoon, and as Mangold is my witness, every word is true.

We’ve heard it many times before — folks mauled by vicious animals, sometimes resulting in death, or even worse, disfigurement. A few weeks ago, 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo had his face “mostly chewed off” along a busy Miami highway before police fatally shot “Rudy.”

Occasionally, I must revisit past columns with updates and clarifications. Everything I write is true, of course, since exaggeration of my blunder-laden life would be like Barbra Streisand embellishing the size of her nose. But there are those rare misrepresentations.

A recent column in the Tribune’s Home Improvement edition recounted 35 years of roofing misery — falls, vanishing ladders in windstorms, sunstroke, etc. I suggested that may be why most roofers are lushes; they drink to forget. But that is stereotyping, which you might expect from a drunken Irishman, but not a good German boy like me.

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