A Grin at the End: Puppygate defeat

January 2011 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Carl SampsonCarl Sampson

Unlike my many young friends who believe civilization began with the invention of the Internet — thanks for nothing, Al Gore — I can’t wait for the time when we all get our heads back together and communicate civilly.

I’m so tired of e-mail, Facebook, instant messaging, Googling and that other jazz.

Just leave me be.

I recently had my Blackberry repossessed — it’s a long story — and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

It was like getting two more hours in each day.

That’s 120 minutes when I no longer sit idly, mouth gaping and drool coming out of it, and pushing buttons to find out stuff that I really don’t care about.

These days I’m still forced to carry a cell phone, but it’s just that — a phone.

With any luck I’ll accidentally drop it into the toilet one day and be truly free.

I have to admit, though there is a good use for Facebook — like fending off conspiracies. I’m not talking about the Who-Shot-Kennedy kind of conspiracy.

I’m talking about those that exist within our family. I’m referring to Puppygate.

The other day I was checking in with our second-oldest son’s Facebook page to see if he had posted any new photos lately. He’s away at college, and I like to see what he and his buddies are up to.

As it turns out, he and his brothers were busily planning the overthrow of a dictatorship — mine.

For years, since our dog died, I had been manning the fortress walls against wave-after-wave of charges by our four boys who want a puppy.

Let me be clear. I like dogs. I always have and always will. But I also understand dogs are a lot of work. And I also know that, despite what they promise, my kids do not take care of dogs. My wife or I do.

I also know in a few years, even if heck does freeze over and they do take care of the dog, they will be off to college, jail or somewhere else. And Patti and I will be stuck taking care of a dog.

That’s why I’ve been on red alert about any push to get a puppy.

“Puppygate is go,” read the not-so-cryptic note on my son’s Facebook.

Puppygate? I asked myself as I scanned other messages.

“Yes, we’re ready for liftoff,” another message appeared in response to the Puppygate command.

This was a serious threat. My puppy alert shifted from yellow to red. I had to act.

“What’s all this about Puppygate?” I posted on the Facebook page.

“ABORT. I repeat. ABORT Puppygate,” a new message appeared on the page.

From that day on, I haven’t heard a thing about puppies, dogs or anything else with four legs and a tail.

I remain alert, though, ever vigilant against the enemies of peace who would inflict a dog on me and change forever my way of life. This was my finest hour.

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