Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Edward R Murrow wing here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The Edward R Murrow wing is located just across from the Fox Is To News As Oatmeal Is To Bird Poop Center for the Study of Analogy which is housed in the Bafflegab Building. We're down here filing a report from the road trip we recently took Des Moines, Iowa to see the sights. Ha Ha, just kidding. There are no sights in Iowa. We were there to attend a couple of meetings between the overlords and the powers that be concerning how  $72 million the casinos paid out to get greyhound racing off their backs was to be distributed. The overlords' first suggestion was  unmarked, non-sequential, small denomination bills, but the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission took issue with that because they didn't think the G-strings of the girls at local strip clubs would support the influx of cash causing them to fall down and thus violate one of the city's decency policies.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is the body responsible for regulating all aspects of gambling in the state. It is composed of six people, all white (hey come on, this is Iowa) four men and two women. Commissioner Delores Mertz is on the panel because she has the unique distinction of dating Robert E. Lee when they were in high school together and Commissioner Kris Kramer, who never spoke through any of the proceedings is on the panel because someone has to wear a short skirt. It's in the bylaws, you can look it up.

Anyway, the first order of business after Commissioner Jeff Lambert--who is also the Coordinator--called the meeting to order, along with the assistance of Commissioner Carl Henrich--who is also a Coordinator because you can never have too many coordinators--was to hear representatives of the Iowa Greyhound Association explain why they should be granted a license to race in Dubuque and take $36 of the $72 mil and continue to kill and maim greyhounds there. This was actually their second request for a license. Their first request had been for a permit to pile the cash in the center of the Dubuque track and just set it on fire, but it was denied because the Dubuque Fire Department couldn't guarantee they wouldn't cause the whole city to burn down.

Now, we figured this was pretty much a done deal being as the Commissioners probably knew if the overlords didn't get their way they were going to start holding their breaths until they passed out and stuffing beans up their noses and nobody wanted that, so we were trying to decide if we went to the water cooler in the back of the room and acted like we were getting a cup of water would anyone notice if we slipped a little Stoli into the mix, when up to the microphone steps overlord Dean Miner.

"The IGA are power hungry greedmeisters whose only intent is to rob and plunder the good citizens of Iowa, or more specifically, us. And I can prove it," he said, holding up a three ring binder that looked like it had about four reams of paper in it. Later, I got a look at it. It was called "Opinion, evidence, documents and proposal" which tells us he doesn't know the difference between a list and a title. Obviously overlord Miner hadn't done this himself which meant he was the leader of a rebel alliance. And who was Emperor Palpatine to his Luke Skywalker? A fellow named Jerry Crawford who was the attorney for the IGA. Yes, you heard that right, an overlord and a lawyer. Wow, thinks us, this guy has to be about 14 different kinds of evil. All of a sudden we were paying full attention, which, as an aside, isn't something we do very often, just ask Mrs. Maximus.

Anyway, overlord Skywalker, uh, Miner launched into a chronicle of Crawford's evil ways that went way past his allotted time to speak. In fact, Commissioner Ohorilko, who was tasked with keeping the speakers on schedule signaled Miner several times that he had run out the clock, all to no avail. He fired a small cannon, threw fruit at Miner, but finally gave up and shot himself. Two other commissioners died of old age during the presentation. Commissioner Lambert declared a short recess while the bodies were removed.

Well, needless to say we were quite intrigued by all this. Overlord on overlord conflict, this was better than watching republicans try to explain why they don't believe in climate change (Pro tip for republicans: just say "because I'm stupid." Saves time for everybody). So we were trying to figure out where all this might go when suddenly the room became noticeably colder and the lights dimmed. A man, although we weren't sure it was a man at first because we couldn't see the face clearly due to the hood, stepped up to the podium to speak. He said a single word, "approve" and by the way the Commissioners began clutching their throats and gasping for air we knew the speaker had to be Jerry Crawford. Then the room went totally dark and when the lights came on again he was gone and there was a distinct order of sulphur in the air. Commissioner Lambert thanked everyone for coming, reminded us to be grateful we were still alive and adjourned the meeting.

The afternoon session was a meeting with a representative of Spectrum Gaming, which was the company the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission had hired to determine how best to distribute the $36 million the IGA wasn't wasting in Dubuque to the rest of the overlords and the dogs. Overlord Miner rose to speak but before he did Commissioner Lambert asked for time to call paramedics so no more Commissioners would be lost. Overlord Miner explained that would be unnecessary as his comments were going to be brief which precipitated a mass exhale of relief from the attendees. Miner explained that however the money was divvied up some should be reserved for employees of the kennels who were currently not included on the list of folks getting dough. Now, we always knew that the overlords would dump a dog like a hot rock once it quit making money for them, but we weren't aware they felt the same way about the humans who worked for them, so to hear Miner's proposal was doubly impressive, coming as it did from an actual overlord.

Next up was overlord Bob Rider who had broken everything down by percentages, which impressed us because we were unaware the overlords even knew about percentages. Overlord Bob kept saying his plan wasn't going to make anyone rich, but it was fair, thus equating fairness with not getting rich, which seems and apt correlation to us as, given the nature of what the overlords do, not getting rich at it seems only fair. Another interesting thing about overlord Bob was that he was a double amputee, having lost both his legs somehow.We point that out for no other reason than during his presentation he said his dogs had paid for one of his prosthetic legs which caused us to wonder how many of his dogs' legs he had paid for.

Next overlord Jorene King spoke. She represented an industry adoption group and she just wanted the fellow from Spectrum to know she didn't know anything about anything when it came to what would happen to the dogs, but thought it would be useful to speak and waste everyone's time for a bit. Although she did mention that however the money was allocated, since everything came from the same pot, some overlords would be hesitant to submit their dogs for adoption figuring that the more money that went to saving dogs, the less would be left over for them.

After that came well known animal rights wacko Leslie Forys who gave an overview of the plan her group had submitted to Spectrum Gaming before the meeting. She talked about the network of 189 adoption groups around the county who stood ready to accept refugee greyhounds, the projected costs of veterinary care, transportation, food and housing until a permanent home could be found, and various other aspects involved with evacuating dogs from the area.

All in all a very illustrative experience, thinks us. Overlord infighting, money grubbing and oh yeah, guess we'd better do something to help the dogs all rolled into one day in Iowa. We were packing up our stuff and wondering where the closest happy hour was when James Flanagan rose to speak.

"My name is James Flanagan and I represent Grey2K," he said and immediately one of the overlord ladies in the back went into seizure. Overlord Bob began speaking in tongues. "I just want to remind everybody that we all have a common purpose here and that is to help the dogs," he continued, but by then the overlords had all gathered in a corner of the room and were chanting something we didn't quite catch. After a bit one of the overlords stepped forward and said, "I'll never let one of my dogs be adopted be an anti-racing group, even though they are the only ones who apparently care enough to come up with a plan." After that the overlords regrouped and slowly backed out of the room eying Flanagan warily.

So that was our great adventure in Iowa. It was educational, but you know what? It wouldn't break our hearts if the next one was in some place where you couldn't see from one end of the state to the other. Iowa is so flat it doesn't even have puddles, know what we mean Lotus?

I'm a white hot mess! Just kidding! Okay, truth is I am just new at all this and its confusing. Like slick floors-- who thought that was a great idea? And that dog in the shiny wall? She always growling at me when I am eating my supper. Of course I growl back and then the people laugh at me. I have also discovered the joys of animal crackers, and peanut butter! Toys are fun! People around me describe me as "so sweet and loving." Well, I HAVE gotten the knack of kissing. I am a great kisser! I will clean your ears, face, neck, etc., for you! Who can resist with my sweet little face? Give me a bit of time to adjust and and I am gonna WOW you with my best stuff! For more information about these dogs, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

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