Thursday, October 3, 2013

FTSF: Gnats, Love Bugs, Scanners, and My Best Friend

God, why did you create these monsters???

There's a gnat flying 
in front of my face.  

No matter what I do, the damn thing manages to avoid my swats, grabs and cigarette lighter flame.  

I seriously hate gnats!  

They serve no purpose whatsoever.  

They fly up your nose, 
sit on your food, 
and pester you to no end.

Kind of like th......

GOT HIM!!!!!!

I guess this is a lesson in persistence.  I could have given up and let the little pain in the ass get the best of me.  Instead, I persisted with my efforts.  By the most generous stroke of luck, my efforts, as clumsy as they may have been, brought forth success in my quest to be free of the frustrating pest.

He's now crushed, wiped from my palm, and lying squished atop a cigarette butt in the ashtray.  It's a trophy I will enjoy until I sadly dump it in the trash later.  No last rites.  No tears of sorrow.    

Whew!  That was almost as good as sex!

(Or, what I remember sex to be like!)

I wonder if gnats have sex?

Love Bugs ...
going at it safe from 18 wheelers!
There's a bug in the Deep South nicknamed the Love Bug that lives up to its name.  However, it's insides are so acidic, when they smash against a speeding vehicle, they must be washed off soon or they will mar the paint finish.  A couple of times a year, these suckers are all over the place and seem to thrive, as do the owners of coin operated car washes.  

I always wondered about living one's life just to make love.  

(Okay, so we were all teenagers once!  But, we did grow out of that stage.  It's called marriage!)

Envision, if you will, being one of these Love Bugs: 

  1. You're flying along, minding your own business, and from out of nowhere you spy the love of your life.  
  2. Not being hindered by any type of clothing, you immediately race towards each other, firmly grasp hold, and begin your quest for the best!  
  3. Hot, wild, passionate bug groans and grunts fill the air as your climax grows close.  
  4. Of course, you're somewhat oblivious to where your flight has taken you.  
  5. Just as you reach the peak, you look up and see an eighteen wheeler only yards away, bearing down on you at 70 mph.

(What a way to go!)

I guess going fast would be as good as any way to die.  I really have no aspirations to find out what getting smashed by an eighteen wheeler would feel like.  Of course, it might be worth it if I could go in the same manner as the Love Bug.  

(Just one more time before I die, at least!  And, "No", not with a Love Bug!  
God, to be a teenager again!)

In fact, making love used to be one of two favorite activities for me (the other being making people laugh).  Unfortunately, I usually accomplished both at the same time!

But, that's another topic for another day ... or night.

This is Finish The Sentence Friday! 

I've been somewhat absent lately because of my hectic work schedule.  In fact, some of my old readers have left me because I'm unable to spend hours going from blog to blog reading and commenting like I once was able to do.  Some have also left because of the political rants I've occasionally made.  And, since I've been doing some music posts and guest posts about music (my second love), some have decided the humor has died and slipped away.  To all of those that have left, I can only say, "That's Life ... Sometimes!!!"

I've always proclaimed that I dabble in humor, but I didn't name my blog "Rich's Comedy Blog."  That's Life ... Sometimes!!! concerns all things we endure and feel in life.  It's about feeling, loving, hating, and anything that brings about an emotion.  It may work to help you laugh, become aware, make you mad, or cause you to cry.  

Scanners just don't understand it ... because they don't read it.

So, I'll continue doing what I do for those that appreciate it here in the states, as well as overseas.  I'm surprised at the numbers it does draw, especially from other countries.  It's only one person's viewpoint, though, and should be looked at as just that.  

Anyway, let's move on to the real reason for today's posting!

Today's FTSF is once again presented by our hostesses listed with the rules in the JPEG below.
This week's prompt is:

The Hardest Choice I Ever Made Was ...

Let me begin by saying that I love animals.  In fact, I may even hold animals in a higher regard than many of the people I've met in life.  

Why?  Well, when was the last time that an animal lied, cheated, or stole from you?  How many people have you given kindness and love to in your life, only to find yourself being made a fool of in the end?  And, how many people that you've trusted have returned that favor by stabbing you in the back?

This Pygmy Rattlesnake was never
really a cuddly pet.
Now, let's look at animals.  In my life, I've had all types of pets.  Dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, horses, and even a hamster or two, not to mention working with all types of reptiles, big cats, and many others.  Yet, in every instance, I knew what the animal was going to do.  

And this one was just damn crazy!
No hugging or holding, please!
Oh, you have to be wary of those instincts of reptiles that will get you bitten.  The same with big cats.  (I've had bites from both!)  Even horses will sometimes expand their girth when you're saddling them so that the cinch doesn't tighten properly and will allow the saddle to slip later.  For sure, these are animals that you usually don't cuddle.

But dogs and cats ... well, you give them love and they'll usually return the favor tenfold.  Give them proper care, food and shelter, and you've got a friend for the rest of your life.  A friend that will be there when you need something to get you out of the dumps and not ask for anything special in return.  

When I was young, I always had dogs.  I've written about them before on  Many of them held deep meaning in my heart.  However, as I acquired a family and moved from rental home to rental home, cats seemed to be the best option.

Gabriela and Faletame
during a housecleaning session!
Faletame still thinks he's only
this big at times!
Over the years, there's been many.  Of course, my present two, Faletame and Gabriela, are my new favorites.  They're both so unique in that they love to fetch (throw a toy mouse and they'll go after it and bring it to you to do again), both meet me in the bathroom in the mornings when I awaken to give me some morning loving (OMG, get your head out of the gutter), and will answer me whenever I ask them a question (no, not in English, fool, but in vocal tone and body language).  To this day, Faletame still pictures himself a tiny kitten and believes that he can nestle on my chest with his head under my chin and one leg and paw around my neck, as a small child might be seen doing.  Most of the time, I let him get away with thinking that way and appreciate his attention.

However, I once had a pure white cat by the name of Antonius.  This friend was my shadow.  Wherever you found me, you found Antonius.  When I worked in Baton Rouge, and only came home on weekends, my wife would tell me that she always knew when I was on my way because one hour before I got there, regardless of the time of day, he would go to the sliding glass door and wait on me to drive up.  

After many years, Antonius started having problems.  His hind legs stopped working.  I knew he was in pain as I would reach for him and he would give me a little snarl.  Still, he would never bite as I would gently put him on a pillow on my lap and hold him close.  I took him to the vet quickly, and found out he had a spinal problem.  The vet then offered to send him to Auburn University for testing.  

No matter how I tried to validate the act, I just couldn't see my best friend being poked and prodded by people he didn't know.  There was no way that I could bear to see him suffer, but I just couldn't send him off like that.

So, the hardest decision I ever made was to have him put to sleep.

It may sound stupid, but I asked the vet for a few minutes alone with him.  I stroked his ears and neck the way he loved me to.  For minutes I reminisced about our first meeting, some of the times and fun we'd had together, and how much I loved him.  And no, this tough old guy couldn't control the tears that flowed during those five minutes.

I finally called the vet back in and watched him give my best friend the fatal shot.  Immediately, Antonius dropped off to sleep, never to awaken.

Taking him home, I buried him in the back yard.  At the head of his grave, I used a soldering iron to burn the following into a piece of wood for his grave marker:

My best friend ever

I'll never forget him.  And, yes, it was the toughest decision I ever made.  

I've lost a couple of cats since then.  We sit together during their last days, as much as possible, experiencing the heartbreak and love.  It's never easy to lose a pet. And, it's never easy to lose a friend.  What makes it tough is when you lose both.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think Faletame and Gabriela need a little attention.

"Damn it, where's that toy mouse!"


  1. Rich, I never actually had to put an animal to sleep, but I know my mom had to do this to our dog when I was a kid. This is a huge reason, she never wanted to get another animal, because it was just too hard for her to have to go through this again. So sorry for that loss and can only imagine. Thank you though for sharing with us and still linking up with us. I am truly sure your schedule is quite crazy, but seriously appreciate you joining us this week :)

    1. Janine - Congrats on getting published today my friend! You must be floating on air about now! It was funny. That was almost twenty years ago and it still brings forth a tremendous amount of emotion. I appreciate you dropping by ... seriously. Many Thanks!

  2. Um dude. Time to change your graphic. Talk about scanning! Dawn quit. Was thinking of telling you a couple of months ago but thought it'd be egotistical of me. Anyway. Gnats suck. All bugs suck. Except fireflies. They are cool.
    Reptiles are nasty. Except geckos. Still don't want them in my house though.
    Moving on. Sorry.
    OMG I have been there with your story about Antonius. I've done that with several dogs. My dad's house has a little pet area with trees planted for each one back there. I will never forget any of them. Hugs to you. And you're right. Faletame and Gabriela need some attention. Give it to them. Lots. I miss my dog SO MUCH.
    Hugs. Sorry about the stupid schedule and more so about the dumbasses who left because of whatever stupid reasons. They'll be back.

    1. Kristi, Kristi, my sister from another mother! I had no idea what you were talking about in the graphic. Now I do. Most sorry, my dear. You'd be the last person (except maybe my wife) that I'd ignore their efforts. I stored the JPEG months ago so I wouldn't have to take the time to search out the individual links each week. So, I'm a lazy ass at time .... I admit it! :) My most grandiose apologies! Will you spank me if I do it again? (Please!) lol Your dad sounds like a cool person. I know this is bad, but I'd be remiss not to ask ... "Are they dogwood trees?" I'm sorry. I know it's a sensitive area, as with my Antonius, but the demon in me had to ask. I'm not worried about the ones that exit. The ones that stay are my concern. I have to keep up standards in so much less time to devote to it. Still, I appreciate all who visit, if only once. Many Thanks!

  3. I was repeatedly attacked by those love bugs in Florida last week. I was like, what in the heck is going on with these mating bugs everywhere??!! Now, I know.

    Losing a pet is hard. We had to put our dog to sleep a number of years ago. Poor thing was in agony. It was really sad, but being there while they gave the shot, gave me some kind of closure that I appreciated.

    I have stopped reading blogs too for the most part. I haven't had the time. I don't have as many readers either, but like you said, c'est la vie...sometimes!!! I'm trying to jump around on FTSF, but have even sucked at that in the past few weeks, especially with my vacation. Glad to "see" you!

    1. Kate - Oh, how I've missed you, my friend. I hope things are getting better for you as you've been through some real traumas as of late. Us "old timers of BB's" need to stick together more. Time is so hard to find. And, believe it or not, even with all the treatment I've received, my eyes still blur ridiculously by the end of the day. One can only squint so long. lol Love Bugs were a pain. I used to work in Mobile and live across the bay. Every night a visit to the car wash was mandated. Sorry about the loss of your dog, even if it was years ago. I can tell the feelings haven't eased much over the years. You sound like me ... we have every intention of getting around the track, but are stopped almost before we get started. Oh well, at least we understand each other's plight! :) Many Thanks!

  4. I wonder, would I be a different kind of person if I'd had pets as a kid. Who knows.

    The picture you paint of your friendship with Antonius is very lovely, and I'm glad that you now have Gabriela and Faletame to distract you and entertain you.

    And if Kristi hadn't said it first, I was gonna call you on that graphic this week ;) Last time you made it into FTSF I didn't want to scare you off, but now you seem to be making a habit of coming back into this game (at least) you can get yer act together and sort it aaaht!

    (that was my best Lunnon (London) accent there, so you don't forget I'm one of your non-scanning overseas readers and you should be nice to me so you keep me ;) )

    1. Lizzi - Oh fabulous one! Never would I treat you with disrespect! You're one of my fav's! Between my pets, and living right behind my grandparent's farm, I had animals around me wherever I turned. They were a natural part of my existence and have always been a part of me. Sorry about the JPEG. I guarantee it will be changed next time around. I used to be a constant here (you can check out the blog lists), and really haven't missed that many. There are times I just don't have the time to come up with something worthy of the hop (like this one was, lol). Anyway, I'm not sensitive in that way, so if you see something wrong, just let me have it! Luv Ya! Many Thanks!

    2. Sounds like a cool way to grow up with so many animals around you.

      And don't fear - I remember reading you here many times when I first started FTSF - that's how I first got to know your zany, awesome self.

      Looking forward already to the next time you join in. Sucks that your work's so hard on you - quite selfishly I wish you had more time for this ol' Blogosphere.

    3. Lizzi - You and me both. I really miss going around and reading and commenting on so many wonderfully written blogs ... such as yours! (Okay, have I kissed your ass enough for one night? lol) Seriously, I do miss getting around more. There's really a lot of great people and writers here. But, a living must be made. If I could only get my wife another job, then I could quit! Funny, she's not real keen on that idea. :) Many Thanks!

    4. Awww but you came and left me a li'l comment box sugar, so you're off the hook (for this week).

      Such a shame when Real Life gets in the way of blogging *sigh* I've been finding that this week.

      But. The good thing is, there are lots of absolutely cracking writers out there, and once they've written, it's gonna be there to come back to when the timing fits.

  5. Oh I remember having to put my dog Max down. It was the right, but hardest decision to make. Literally holding their life in our hands as it were. At the time I thought we should be able to do this with humans and then my husband told me I shouldn't be trusted with that kind of power. :)

    Oh and as far as your blog name, it's That's Life SOMETIMES not all the time and not every time.

    1. Kerri - Really appreciate you stopping in! Sounds like Max was a decision trauma, for sure. One has to ask themselves, "I don't want to do it, but am I just being selfish by making them suffer?" It's a tough one, for sure. Maybe your husband was afraid of your temper ... not saying you have a temper ... just saying .... well, anyway... lol The blog is about life ... real, fantasy, past and present ... it's not going to be the same every time. I decided when I first started doing this that people will get tired of the same old stuff time after time, like I saw on so many blogs. Still, some scanners only look for the punchlines, and don't like to be reminded that the world they reside within isn't always the most kindest of places. So, they move on, looking for something they don't have to think about. Even in my comedy, I try to make a person think a little. I guess brain exercising isn't for everyone. Glad to see you're still with me though! Many Thanks!

  6. Dang, I forgot about the love bugs! I sure don't miss those from when I was living in Metairie!

    As for Antonius, I'm sitting here with tears running down my cheeks feeling you pain. As awful as it was, I treasured those last few minutes spent with my buddy Tyler when we had to put her down. She was such an awesome dog that even the folks at the groomers and Dunkin Donuts dried when they heard the news. Even though a new dog has moved into our lives, she can't move into that spot in my heart! :(

    1. Chris - Metairie! I know it well. At that time, I was a district manager for a corporation, and traveled the entire state of Louisiana. And yes, the love bugs were all over the place! lol Don't cry. It sounds like you went through the same thing with Tyler. Pets become our best friends without even trying. I wrote a piece on Hubpages (that I think I moved to my "Previously Published on Hubpages" page of this blog here, about a dog named Tramp that I'll never forget. There's so many questions I have about his passing, as I was off in the military when it happened. But, I love him to this day. I guess I'm just a sucker for animals. lol Many Thanks!

  7. Oh, Rich! I had a similar experience putting my dog, PegLeg down. I didn't write about it for FTSF, but I could have. It was absolutely one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. See him suffer or put an end to his suffering and feel pain like I never thought possible. We both did the right thing. Antonius was lucky to have you.

    1. Rachel - I have to apologize to you. I just saw a comment you made on another posting that I missed. I'll get to it as soon as I'm done here, I promise! I didn't mean to make you sob (per your Google post), but I couldn't express the torture of the decision in any other way. I know you loved PegLeg (which I'd be curious to know how he got his name). Still, we've been given the wisdom to make the best choice for them when they're unable to. It's our responsibility, as painful as it may be. I know PegLeg's looking down on you with thanks and love in his eyes. Many Thanks!

  8. First of all, it does NOT sound stupid. Now, you may think I'm crazy, but I'm going to tell you something. Last night my childhood dog came to me in a dream- I felt what it was like to pat her head and I remembered details about her face and fur that I had forgotten. It was beautiful. When I woke up I remembered that we put her down 15 years ago today. Eerie, right?

    1. Stephanie - Really good of you to visit again! Well, you know, men aren't supposed to cry and stuff like that. Funny how losing my pets hits me much harder than losing a human being does. My wife just says I have a cold heart. Maybe it's true. Your dream doesn't sound crazy at all. Animals, and our love for them, stay with us long after they're gone. I mentioned writing a piece about a childhood dog of mine named Tramp in a comment above. In the piece, I kind of went through all my pets chronologically. During that, I mentioned how Tramp was always there, happy to see me come and visit him, wagging his tail. I ended the piece, many paragraphs later, by saying something like, "And when I pass on, I hope to meet up once again with all my friends, and see Tramp, waiting patiently on me to arrive, wagging his tail." No, he's as clear to me today as he was 40 years ago. Love doesn't let you forget. It just likes reminding you sometimes. Many Thanks!

  9. I am still amazed at you (and a number of other writers) manage to get around as much as you do and still put out a Post that is worth reading. (and fun, and interesting...but you have Post that start at the beginning, take you where you think you're going, take a left turn (for fun or emphasis) and then tie it all together at the end.


    Not surprisingly I will say that I identify with your experience with your cat. It may sound odd, but I look at that final (incredibly painful and difficult) act as being the price some of us are lucky to be asked to pay.

    1. Clark - Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend. Again, your words are extremely kind. I guess you might say I'm a long winded storyteller of sorts. Oh, I love sidetracking along the way to see who's still paying attention. But, if a story doesn't come together in the end, it's really not a story ... only a clump of words and ideas that anyone could write down. Believe me, the endings aren't easy at times. In fact, my novel is still awaiting one that doesn't seem either cliche, or familiar.

      I can understand what you're saying about being one of the lucky ones. Nothing comes without a price. To be lucky enough to have experienced the love our pets give us, we are among the chosen to make a decision to end their suffering. If we never experienced their love, we'd be immune to the sadness the decision would bring, and not even be in a position to make the decision. With love comes responsibility. If you don't want the responsibility, forget the love. I get it, sir. Strong thoughts and wisdom there. Many Thanks!

  10. OMG...I am sobbing right now...I would never want our Balboa to be poked and prodded we would put him to sleep rather than feel pain...but it would be such a tragedy. (((HUGS)))

    oh no...sorry about losing your readers, but glad you are saying good riddens in a can't please everyone.

    1. Karen - Please, cheer up! No need to be sad. Faletame and Gabriela are two of the most loving cats around. Antonius had his time, and will never be forgotten, as I'm sure your Balboa won't be, when his time comes. All we can do is relish in their love and try to return it the best we can. No one likes losing readers, but then again, one has to realize, as you say, "You can't please everyone!" Some will be back, I'm sure. It's not like a mass exodus, but it is nice to see who comes only because they feel obligated, and who comes by because they enjoy the read. I don't always like it either, but sometimes I say things I feel I must instead of becoming one of those that hide from the truth. Perhaps, I hit some nerves in some. If it gets them thinking, then I've served the purpose I set out to reach. Many Thanks!