Shoot all the Dogs and Anyone Named Al Davis
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by Douglas PageŠ

Admit it. You hate Al Davis.  First the bolemic little twerp drove the Rams out of town then he promptly departed back to Oakland with his Raiders, leaving Los Angeles in a football vacuum and  three million guys with no Sunday tailgate party.

It's gotten so boring around L.A. that last Friday this notice appeared in the Sports Section of the Los Angeles Times where the weekend football schedule used to be listed: "Bear season opens in deer zone D15 in the southern Los Angeles area."

For a second I thought it was the year 1797 instead of 1997. Then I remembered there's nothing else to do on autumn weekends. It looks like the bears are paying for the absense of football.

Maybe just as well. Apparently there is still a bear threat somewhere in the southern Los Angeles area. This came as quite a shock to me. I'm in the southern Los Angeles area and I didn't realize bears continue to be a menace.

But whatever the bear hunters are doing it looks like it's working. I can't remember the last bear mauling we had in Redondo Beach. I guess if these posses don't periodically patrol the berry patches in zone D15 and drive the advancing bears back into the woods or wherever they come from we'd have to dash between buildings around here to avoid being clawed by crazed brown bears determined to beat us to the honey shelf at Vons.

It's a little embarrassing. All this time I've been on the couch, taking my safety for granted, armed only with a breakfast burrito and the remote control. That's what happens when the only bears you see are in Pooh stories or on UCLA sweatshirts. It makes you complacent.

But since the bear threat has been neutralized and while the troops are still mobilized I’d like to suggest another mission. Since it's still illegal to shoot yuppies I'd like to announce the opening of dog season in zone 90277.

See, all the yuppies here at the beach have dogs. It's for status and mate-screening. Dogs are the only thing besides "Wheel of Fortune" and buffet mustards they have to talk about.

"Oh, he’s cute. Collie?"

"Dalmatian."

The dogs, of course, are the victims here and develop hostage neuroses from being confined in condos with yuppies, living in constant fear of being fed nothing but organic food. The dogs complain by barking. All the time. Once a day, like prisoners, they get walked. They thank us by leaving The Strand looking and smelling like a kennel floor.

No one enforces the feeble laws that exist to control the messes they leave and the police won't respond to barking dog complaints. Busy patrolling for bears, probably. In the building next to me there is a dog that barks constantly. Sometimes all night. Not at cats, paperboys, or UPS trucks. It just barks. I don't know why. I don't even know exactly which condo the yapping is coming from, and I'm afraid to go close enough to find out. The last time I tried it was 3 in the morning. and I was in a bathrobe carrying a flashlight, camera, and tape recorder. It was all misinterpreted.

So, this is where you guys with your guns come in. I think if you fan out from the pier starting around 5 a.m. Saturday we can get most of this taken care of before kickoff of the UCLA game.

Since I don't know exactly which dog is the noisy one I think the best plan is to do the same as you do with the bears - just shoot every one you can find, whether it's barking or not, just to be on the safe side.

You may get some complaints from the dog lovers, but no complaint from a bear lover ever stopped you from shooting bears, did it? No. But, to be fair, no automatic weapons are allowed. And I think it's reasonable also to set a limit on the number of dogs each of you can shoot on any given morning. 29 seems like a reasonable limit to me.

You'll be doing a service, you won't have to bivouac in the woods, Pekinese make wonderful rugs, and you can still have your picture taken kneeling over the corpse of an animal you've just slain for no good reason.

When you finish with the dogs let me know. I've got some ideas what to do with bad drivers, people who hire leaf blowers, and anyone named Al Davis.

-end-

Comments? Questions? Assignments? douglaspage@earthlink.net
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