Canine Panting Syndrome Strikes 40% of Population

Normally we don’t report on the pandemics nor epidemics that strike our local epidermis or pandermis, but sometimes a disorder so strange and unexpected strikes that even if it doesn’t affect the majority of our known world, it’s still newsworthy. Such is the case with the latest mouth-drying head-scratcher, “Random Canine Panting Syndrome” which makes me, among others, pant like a dog.

Look at me pant, what am I, some kind of mini-man-dog?
Look at me pant, what am I, some kind of mini-man-dog?

It only started about a week and a half ago when I had a head cold sufficient to make me incapable of breathing out my nose. Daddy-O the chef whipped us up a batch of his world famous* chicken nuggets. I was in a meeting with the editorial staff of my brothers at the time, but I was hungry and they sounded uncommonly good. My excitement overtook me, so instead of my usual smiling or simply saying “yay!” I opened wide, brightened my eyes to maximum contrast and panted like a dog.

It sounds strange indeed, but if you could hear it you’d say it sounds even stranger still. Panting like a dog? We don’t even have a dog and it’s pretty rare that I see one, so how could I have caught such a canine behavioral affluenza?

At first the affliction was contained, and I was the only one subject to its peculiar ways. Then, human-to-human infection began, and before I knew it, Daddy-O had it too. I would smile and pant like a giddy old dog, and then he’d smile and pant like a giddy (even older) dog too. Already it was becoming a serious problem in the entire community of my house, with 40% of the residents already showing symptoms.

The real problem with the panting disorder is that there is no fever and no discomfort, and as of yet, no known cure. Even as I dictate this article to Daddy-O, I feel a strong urge to pant coming on — due to the excitement of nearly being finished — and he feels a sympathetic urge to copy me (though he says it’s because it’s, and I quote, “just so cute.”)

If you’ve been in contact with a dog, specifically one that may have been panting, joyous or in some other way afflicted with “happiness” immediately wash your hands. It won’t help, but it’s the only advice I have.

* Well, the chicken nuggets are famous in my world. If you haven’t had or even heard of them I’d say it’s probably because my world is still pretty small, but it may also be that you don’t get out much, specifically into my kitchen.

 

Healthy Brother’s Sickeningly Losing a Tooth

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Though it may not look like much, that bottom chomper out of line is the one that`s loose and wiggling like Billy Bass dancing trout.

I’ve seen some crazy things in my time. I’ve seen goats that thought they were sheep, sheep that thought they were sweaters, and sweaters that thought they would fit a human being, but one thing I’ve never seen before is someone shedding their teeth like so much forsaken hair. Today is a new day for me.

Patrick shed all his hair before I was born. What can I say, brother has issues on tap, but that’s a different matter. Patrick is advancing in his years, indeed, he’s almost twice as old as me (though I’m closing in on him daily) and he’s starting to lose his first baby tooth. Is that creepy or cool? I need you to help me decide.

When his first ivory wiggler started making its way loose, he complained about it. Miss Mama-Lady (a really fantastic public relations coordinator for developmental issues) told him it was natural, that he’s losing a baby tooth, that he’ll get some cash from the Tooth Fairy when it falls out, and that he’ll get newer, bigger, better and more permanent teeth once it happens.

He’s excited, but I don’t buy it.

The Tooth Fairy, you say? This sounds more than a bit fishy to me. He’s been diligent with his brushing — as best he’s able as a mere child — but he’s still shedding teeth like jackets upon return from a brisk, wintry walk. This is an interesting pseudo-development, but I ain’t convinced.

toothy2Left – Here you can see a pair of rows of pearly white sets of human ivory. Towards the bottom-middle of it you’ll see one that’s out of place with a patch of pink behind it. the misplaced tooth is the one that’s loose and the patch of pinkest flesh is my brother’s tongue playing incessantly with it, as he’s been doing these past few days since he learned that he could do just that.

What’s worse than all of it is that he’s so preposterously proud of it. He wears his creepy, wiggling chomper like a badge. He shows it off to everyone we pass, and it means nothing to anyone except for him. Random dude at the supermarket ain’t impressed that he’s doffing a fang, they just think he’s grinning cheesy, which I assure you, he is.

What’s more, he’s spending half his waking days playing with it ala his wandering tongue, and the other half of the day facing himself in any old shiny surface, so he can watch himself as he plays with it. Seriously, it’s getting a bit creepy.

Do radiation poisoning survivors stare themselves down in the mirror and admire their ability to lose clumps of hair, regardless of whether or not they’ll grow back? Do lepers find reflective ponds by which to admire their disease’s ability to attrition their extremities?

Seriously, I’m not sure how to deal with this. I know only one defense mechanism, so I employ it: I pretend the whole thing isn’t happening. I pay no mind to his loose, wiggling, nauseating chomper in exodus. I just go about my playing and random babbling of total gibberish as if nothing is afoot, but I am indeed aware of what’s going on. All too aware, perhaps.

So I pretend it isn’t happening; I smile, I go on about my day. But, when it’s all said and done and it’s time for bed, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m brushing twice as hard and twice as long as ever before. This is madness man, I don’t want to lose my teeth and I don’t want to cut new ones. I spent much too much of my life cutting in what few and tiny teeth I have, I’m in no rush to whip out a fresh batch.

Assuming you are in control of your own life, I beg you brush, floss, and never assume you’ll lose your teeth nor grow a painfully fresh set of them. We’re not sharks, people, we’re not supposed to be growing random teeth ad-gum-bleedium, and there’s just no justifying this business. And if you’re eager to yield the alleged Tooth Fairy benefit, I say forsake it. Take the money you aren’t donating to Perplexing Times instead, and use it as your reward for not losing your teeth.

young boy with a loose tooth Above - I know this shot is more of a poster than a photo, but it felt necessary, in part because it's an important milestone in Patrick's life, but more so because Patrick is still much bigger and stronger than me, and because he can totally dominate me when I don't do his bidding... he insisted the photo was this big and he insisted the bright red arrow point out the loose tooth specifically. So there, Patrick, be happy with your gross, loose tooth and the unneccesary publicity we've given to it... Also, might I add, "yuck."
young boy with a loose tooth
Above – I know this shot is more of a poster than a photo, but it felt necessary, in part because it’s an important milestone in Patrick’s life, but more so because Patrick is still much bigger and stronger than me, and because he can totally dominate me when I don’t do his bidding… he insisted the photo was this big and he insisted the bright red arrow point out the loose tooth specifically. So there, Patrick, be happy with your gross, loose tooth and the unneccesary publicity we’ve given to it… Also, might I add, “yuck.”

 

Two Days in the Tub Admittedly Too Many

At Perplexing Times we work very hard to bring our readers the most timely and relevant articles possible as it pertains to growth, development and childhood milestone news, reviews and opinion/editorials. What we don’t control is the photos that are taken, and I thusly feel I must apologize about the recent glut of bathtub photos.

No, no, it`s a nervous laugh.
No, no, it`s a nervous laugh.

If you’ve ever read Dear Abby, you know that she’s never published a photo of herself (not even with her twin sister) in the bathtub. That’s because it’s pretty strange and even unprofessional to combine business and pleasure in such a way. It’s odd, really, and I’m not entirely sure why we do it, though I’m all too keenly aware of how we do it.

But in the past week, we’ve appeared in the bathtub twice, both in our Krispy Kreme hat article and in our St. Patty’s Day article too. This isn’t the first time either. There was that first time I discovered my wildly (though embarrassingly) popular wing dang doodle and other ones too.

They’re all as regrettable as they are embarrassing and I apologize sincerely for each and every one of them. I just write the articles around here, I don’t take my own pictures, and I insist now as I always have that what happens in the bathroom should stay in the bathroom, but I guess that, even as the editor of Perplexing Times, I don’t have the final say in these matters.

Even though I could harp and wax on this for days, I’ll instead take the high road and wane instead. I’ll just say that it’s never my idea to take my own photos in compromising positions (such as the buff and sudsy) but that I always suggest more subtle and dignified photo sets.

cute kids Above - Even Dominic is sad, and I'm sure it's because we did two articles in the tub during such a short time. Also, he wanted to eat the soap and climb back in the tub, but was denied on both attempts.
cute kids
Above – Even Dominic is sad, and I’m sure it’s because we did two articles in the tub during such a short time. Also, he wanted to eat the soap and climb back in the tub, but was denied on both attempts.

 

Krispy Kaps Melt like Doughnuts in the Bathtub

Our trip to Krispy Kreme was remarkably rewarding for us, and not just because we got to see the doughnuts being made and not because we got to run around like madmen, and not even because we got complimentary hats from the kindly staff who graciously keep the place running. No, it was really great because we got free hats.

Though happy, my hat is melting away like so much doughnut in the bathtub.
Though happy, my hat is melting away like so much doughnut in the bathtub.

At Perplexing Times we love bringing you daily news that’s relevant to the successful rearing of children in the modern world, but we also love the relationships we’re able to foster with our friends, family and readers. More than any of that though, no offense to family members or friends of course; we love to wear hats.

What can I say; they go on your head.

But today we’ve been served an injustice; television has made us dumber. Homer Simpson found a wayward doughnut in the kiddy pool and ate it without difficulty, but as it turns out, doughnuts melt like so much starch in the bathtub. So too, sadly, melt our precious hats.

Above - If it looks as though I'm drunk with the delight of wearing a paper hat in the bathtub, it's only because you're a stoot.
Above – If it looks as though I’m drunk with the delight of wearing a paper hat in the bathtub, it’s only because you’re a stoot.

It’s sad for us, these were great hats. We looked like old school soda jerks from an era only known to us from watching Back to the Future. We looked as crisp as we did hysterical, but a quick rinse in the tub and our hats have melted to a terrible pulp.

If you have a favorite paper outfit, do not wear it into the bathtub. It can only end with disastrous consequences to your clothes and the drain pipe too.

why wear a hat in the bathtub Above - In case you wondered what it was that catalyzed the demise of our paper hats in the bathtub, let this picture paint your thousand-word explanation. As you can see, there's a brotherly hate that lent its wicked hand in the untimely end of these otherwise flawless noggin-toppers.
why wear a hat in the bathtub
Above – In case you wondered what it was that catalyzed the demise of our paper hats in the bathtub, let this picture paint your thousand-word explanation. As you can see, there’s a brotherly hate that lent its wicked hand in the untimely end of these otherwise flawless noggin-toppers.

 

No Pictures at Dinner, Please

All the research I do starts in-house, here in our own archives. Brendan’s railed against the paparazzi good and plenty in the past, but with flash bulbs blazing aplenty, I guess it’s my turn now.

Oh come on, people, I`m trying to have a quiet dinner here.
Oh come on, people, I`m trying to have a quiet dinner here.

I don’t mind being part of this Perplexing nor literal family, but there has to be boundaries somewhere, and I’d think that the dinner table would be a decent place to start. No?

My research goes further to find an instance of Brendan having already reported on grabbing the camera strap. Just like I’m the new and improved version of Brendan, my story is the fresh and updated version of his old one, plus still a bit more.

So chill your piccy snapping out, already. You want the info, fine, it’s mashed potatoes and chicken shrapnel. Yes, it’s mostly on my mug and shirt, but it’s not that interesting, is it? You’ve got your scoop, move on.

I’m still barely an aspiring scribbler, but I insist we must start drawing some lines around here. I’m under scrutiny in bed, bath and far beyond. Can we consider making mealtime, tantamount to me time?

I’ve got my assignments, but I’m trying to eat now. I’ll write you something tomorrow or the next day, okay?

DB out.

I'm not grabbing your camera strap for fun, I'm trying to rough you up like the paparazzi you are.
I’m not grabbing your camera strap for fun, I’m trying to rough you up like the paparazzi you are.

 

Paper Hat Novelty Promises Lifelong Sustainability

Yesterday we reported on how great our trip to Krispy Kreme was, and it really was that great and more, if not better than all that still. Today, however, we’re forced to ask ourselves the question of how long the novelty of these disposable paper hats will last, but the answer, I believe, is forever.

My Batman sunglasses are as cool as they are hot, but pay more heed to this fine new lid atop my boiling pot.
My Batman sunglasses are as cool as they are hot, but pay more heed to this fine new lid atop my boiling pot.

Yes, forever. It’s a long time to me, at least three years or more, and something I think we can work through. When we got our disposable cardboard playhouse two months ago, we were assured (and believed ourselves) that it would only last a few weeks, but it’s still going strong.

Well, okay, to be completely fair, our house isn’t going as strong as you might hope. It’s made up mostly of tape, staples and assorted wire-ties and oddly assorted clips, but by some miracle (of which us boys did not participate) it’s still standing today.

So why should our flimsy, promotional kid hats be any different? They shouldn’t, and they won’t. We like our hats and we’ll wear them until the end of time, or until they fall apart, whichever should come first.*

Above - Don't take our frowns as a lack of appreciation, it's just that our sugar buzz was waning and the sun was in our eyes as much as it was our glasses. No, we just wanted to make something great of our new lives, these lives as they will surely pertain to wearing Krispy Kreme hats forever and ever, or until they dissolve, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.
Above – Don’t take our frowns as a lack of appreciation, it’s just that our sugar buzz was waning and the sun was in our eyes as much as it was our glasses. No, we just wanted to make something great of our new lives, these lives as they will surely pertain to wearing Krispy Kreme hats forever and ever, or until they dissolve, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

Today Perplexing Times enters a new era, one of perpetual wearing of Krispy Kreme hats in any and everything we do. We’ll wear them to the park, to school, at work, and as you’ll most likely learn tomorrow, even in the bathtub — which I’m sure will not be a recipe for disaster — but I’ll delegate that article to Dominic. He’s much better at writing follow-ups to my idiotically proclaimed proclamations.

* And seriously, we have no idea if/when/how the demise of our hats will come or whether they’ll last to the end of time. Come on, don’t act so surprised, how much physics, logic, or any other form of education beyond numbers and colors do you think we have around here?

EDITORS NOTE: Tomorrow will be our third consecutive article on the matter of Krispy Kreme, so I feel I must hasten to point out that we have not been sponsored by them, we just like them. They have fun stores, they are uncommonly kind, the value is fair and the doughnuts are delicious. Oh, and not only have they not paid us to write this series, they didn’t give us anything for free beyond the fresh, hot, delicious sample doughnuts they likewise gave to the people before and behind us in line, and none of those clowns are accredited journalists. We’re not shills, just fans, or my name isn’t Brendan Alexander!.

Above - This fine collage was shot just prior to our departure from the store. It may not look like much, but when you factor in the fact that we were all wired from gills to goiters on pure cane sugar, it took an uncommon amount of work from our staff.
Above – This fine collage was shot just prior to our departure from the store. It may not look like much, but when you factor in the fact that we were all wired from gills to goiters on pure cane sugar, it took an uncommon amount of work from our staff.

 

 

Okay, Fine, I’m a Maneater

Duran Duran, Timbuk 3 or perhaps Hauling and/or Oates? Beats me where the joke comes from exactly, but apparently I’m some sort of butt’s-chuckle maneater, and I won’t even try to deny it, especially on account of not knowing what “it” is.
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To me all things oral are akin to highest autostatic glory, so whatever you hand me, it’s all going straight to my gobble-greedy mouth. Withhold your judgment, if you don’t mind, it’s just who I am and how I interpret my world. I do it on pinkest buds of taste without any thought or regard to higher desire or any impliable meaning.

I didn’t find any of your grown-up humor in my licking carpet nor playing with a pair of furry balls, so are you surprised I don’t get the joke this time around? I’m still new here, mind you, so kindly don’t act so stunned.

Here’s the whole set up in advance of the (argueably weak) punchline. They handed me a pair of plastic mini-men, my gums were sore, I teethed myself all over them oral-style… That was it.

If that somehow makes me a maneater, then so be it. I still can’t say I get your joke even remotely, but I’m in touch with my ignorance and content with it. That’s a peace I’ve made within myself.

My name is Dominic, and I’m apparently a maneater. And, even with that in mind, I bid you the very best of good day.

Above - As if you can't already guess, this is yet another shot of me eating a man... what? What's so funny?
Above – As if you can’t already guess, this is yet another shot of me eating a man… what? What’s so funny?

 

I Wasn’t Mocking, Just Talking

Yesterday, my senior editor Bro-Brendan ran a kibblesome bit about me mocking him amidst a maddened, albeit unintelligible* tirade about even he don’t know what. I wasn’t poking fun, I seriously thought we were talking.

No offense, my brother man, I thought this was a chat
No offense, my brother man, I thought this was a chat

I’m a true novice in communiqué of the audible variety. Everybody chatters around me ad confusium but I never know what’s to, at, about, or merely near me.

He was sitting near me when he started shouting. He kept hollering, whether at or near me I didn’t know. What I did know was this: he wanted something he wasn’t getting, so maybe it was stimulating conversation. I yelled back at him with matched fervor, but to no avail.

He wanted some elusive something, I offered him a “the best something” I’ve got. Hey, my best is the best I can do, right?

Wrong. Brendan was furious with my efforts. He said I was working to defeat him. Defeat him? Come on, he’s my boss and I ain’t gunning for his post. I just figured we were discussing something unintelligible.

The guy talks with a pound of cotton and a dozen marbles in his mouth. He could say “hello”, “I’m hungry” or “pardon me, isn’t that my toy with which thou playest?” but I suspect even God would scratch his ill-interpreting head.

I’m not wiser than God, you know, and I’m not expected to be.**

He was yelling in my face so I thought we were talking, doesn’t that make sense? It does to me and I’ve only got four teeth.***

So to my ridicu-crazy Bro-Brendan man, I apologize. I didn’t know you were pushing an agenda unimaginable both to me and all of the unfortunate souls within the farthest pierce of your commendably far-reaching earshot.

To the rest of you, well, beware of Brendan and his unruly, yet remarkably unignorable banshee chanting. It doesn’t have words or any discernible meaning, but he sure does make up for it in volume.

* Unintelligible is an overstatement. It was barely diphonomic.
** Except by Brendan. He wants me to be more wise than God, but still less wise than him. Crazy, I know.
*** Four teeth is still a lot, right? I mean, they hurt a lot to get, so please don’t downplay their importance.

ABOVE - As I inquire of my peanut gallery, "Seriously, weren't we just talking here?"
ABOVE – As I inquire of my peanut gallery, “Seriously, weren’t we just talking here?”

 

Dominic Mocks My Maddened Insanity

Check this out, when I top-dollar holler and shout my lungs out, I’m not trying to open a dialogue. Somebody needs to tell that to my little brother.

That stupid baby doesn`t get it. We weren`t talking, I was thowing a hissy fit.
That stupid baby doesn`t get it. We weren`t talking, I was thowing a hissy fit.

I don’t remember why, and I’m not even sure I knew the reason then, but I was all busy shouting my lungs dry just the other day. I can’t speak for his motivation and I don’t even wish to guess, but out of nowhere Dominic started chatting back. Say what?

For the sake of my argument let’s say I was upset about Dominic stealing a toy from me without notice nor appropriate permits. In that case my yelling was totally justified; but his feedback is not. Stop thinking and trust me that this stuff all makes total sense, I promise it does.

But anyhow, I was yelling and yelling. Then this guy — who’d just stared back at me the first minute or half — bares the audacity to yell back at me. What gives mini-microdude? This ain’t a conversation; I’m hosting a one-man shout-fest here. It’s a business of volume, don’t you get it?

He emulated my volume, my gestures, even my horrific guttural intonations. This ain’t an open forum. I need to get attention at these times and this clown is mooking it up three ways from Thursday. Come on man, zip your interaction already!

So here’s the picture as of the post-one-minute mark: I’m yelling and he’s looking me square in the eye, all the while yelling right back at me. Come on Dominic, you’re degrading my thunder in ways Thor couldn’t even foresee. Yet here’s this micro-Mjolner screeching out the anti-blitzen to my decidedly non-Germanic krieg.

Monkey in my wrench, wrench in my works and thorn in my most tender side, please kindly knock it off already!

But seriously homey* we ain’t chatting; I’m pushing an agenda all my own here. Your counter-shoutery is at least confusing the matter, but more so the likely, mocking and convoluting the b’jeezylord out of it.

Why must he do this to me?

So my message to Dominic is this: We ain’t making chitty to the chat-chat, I’m screaming from the Id. I need undivided elder attention.

My message to the parents is this: Aaaaaaah!!! Ya get it?

And that, my dearly good friends, is simply that.

* Read that as “homey” not “honey.” He may be my home skillet in the pseudo-ebonic sense, but in times such as these I don’t call him my honey.

ABOVE - "Dad," I asked, "tell Dominic I wasn't talking to him. This is my time to shine like a shiner, tell him I'm blue and/or black, won't you?" Dad, it seems, didn't care to enter our discussion... Wait, no, it wasn't a discussion!
ABOVE – “Dad,” I asked, “tell Dominic I wasn’t talking to him. This is my time to shine like a shiner, tell him I’m blue and/or black, won’t you?” Dad, it seems, didn’t care to enter our discussion… Wait, no, it wasn’t a discussion!

 

Ball Rolling? I’m In!

I’ve watched this game long enough. I’ve got some hang of throwing and slapping, so as far as your big, little game goes, I think I’m ready to roll.

Our chairs doth be musical, and our hands like the swiftest flutist.
Our chairs doth be musical, and our hands like the swiftest flutist.

Daddy-O to Patrick to Brendan and back to Dad. No, really, I think I’ve got the idea. My aim is only as true as my investigative journalism, but I think I can do this. Roll it to me, I’m ready.

I can’t help it that I get distracted and forget the objective, it’s just so exciting to be part of the big show like this. I’m out of the stands and playing left field, instead of my previous position of left out. This is great!

I know, I know, I know. I’m not supposed to lick the ball before rolling it back, but I’m a licker, I can’t help myself and I’m sorry. Penalty points are okay, just don’t boot me out for it.

roll-ball2LEFT – It’s a giddy time for us, but I just want more ball time.

Patrick is pretty good at this, but as loud as he is skilled. Brendan gets distracted and loses focus like me but, when he does, it results in much worse things than slobbering.

Brendan is equal parts playing fair, absconding with the ball in play, and throwing it full force at my head. It’s a good target I’m sure, but that’s a much worse foul than my teething all over the ball, you know. At least put him in a penalty box or something, I’m still fragile.

So let’s roll. I haven’t read the game manual or anything, so I’ll trust you guys on the points system. Just don’t cut me from the lineup.

For fun and fitness: roll a ball. That’s all I can say right now. It’s my new skill and I have to go pursue it. More on this story as it develops.

Above - Here you may see the biggest picture of our ball-rolling game. Quite an auditorium of sorts, no? Enjoy your exlusive coverage while it lasts, when we go professional you guys will need cable to get this kind of coverage.
Above – Here you may see the biggest picture of our ball-rolling game. Quite an auditorium of sorts, no? Enjoy your exlusive coverage while it lasts, when we go professional you guys will need cable to get this kind of coverage.