Hold the applause, please. I know you’ve been waiting for me to share with you again after my long layoff, but I regret to inform you that I haven’t done anything dastardly lately. In fact, I’ve committed:
No shenanigans. (I’m not Irish.) [EDITOR: The word is an Americanism. According to Dictionary.com, shenanigan came about around 1855, of uncertain origin. Earliest records of it are in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, U.S. Suggestions include Spanish chanada, a shortened form of charranada “trick, deceit;” or, less likely, German Schenigelei, peddler’s argot for “work, craft,” or the related German slang verb schinäglen. Another guess centers on Irish sionnach “fox.” If it makes you feel any better, I thought it was Irish in origin, too.]
No tomfoolery. Unless that’s what you call jumping on Ninja, my cat friend. He lets me abuse him sometimes. As the Man says, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” I’m not sure what he means. Ninja is kind of a tomcat; though like me, he’s had parts of him removed in astronaut training.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, that was not astronaut training. That was a trip to the vet.]
No horseplay. Duh. I’m not a horse. Though I eat like one! And could eat one! Reminds me. I’m hungry! I’m always hungry. Speaking of horses, do you know who my favorite horse is? Mr. Ed! I have a feeling he and I could swap some stories. I also love The Black Stallion. He had lots of adventures. Unlike me lately.
No mischief. I’m not a miss. Or a Ms. And I’m not a chief. The Man is the chief around here. Or so he says when Annie isn’t around. I wonder about that. I mean who was the one who kept the hose unkinked when the water was pouring in the basement like I drool when the Man is loading up my food dish? Yup, you guessed it. Annie! Maybe I’ll just start calling her Chief (when the Man isn’t around).
No high jinks. No low jinks either. Or middle jinks. Speaking of Jinks, that would be a good name for a cat!
No gambols. No gambles either. There’s not really enough room to skip or play cards in my kennel. Also, it’s hard to play cards without opposable thumbs.
No gags. Only gagging around here is when I drink my water so fast that I have to catch my breath. I wish the Man would gag on Annie’s cooking sometime. Then maybe I could try it. Doesn’t seem too likely though. He hoards her cooking like a blind squirrel hoards the nuts he finds every so often. I don’t know any blind squirrels though. It seems as though a blind squirrel would be wise. I need a blind squirrel friend. I fear Petey the Stool Pigeon may be dead. Or just lost somewhere.
No monkeyshines. I’ve been told I look like a monkey and I smell like one too. I think that was on my birthday. And I’m pretty shiny right now as I was out in the rain to take care of some business. I also have a sock monkey friend named Orwell, but I’m not allowed to play with him anymore. He’s obsessed with the year 1984 which is like 135 dog years ago. He also calls the Man “Big Brother,” but I’m pretty sure they’re not related.
No rollicks. I need a rollicks. Dogs need to know the time too!
[EDITOR: That’s Rolex. And no, you don’t need a Rolex.]
No capers. The only capers I’ve heard of around these parts are the ones on the Food Network that Annie watches all the times. I think she’s planning on introducing some into one of the Man’s meals. Maybe he’ll gag!
No funny business. If funny were a business, I’d be rich! I’m hilarious! I’ve got all the jokes. Here’s one:
A guy is driving around Kansas and he sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog For Sale.”
He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a Labrador retriever sitting there. (I’m a Labrador retriever!)
[EDITOR: We know.]
“You talk?” he asks.
“Yep,” the Lab replies.
“So, what’s your story?”
The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running.
“But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
“Ten dollars,” the guy says.
“Ten dollars? This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”
“Because he’s a liar. He never did any of that stuff.”
No hanky-panky. I think I know that one!
Put your left foot in
Your left foot out
Your left foot in
And shake it all about
You do the hanky-panky
And turn yourself around
[EDITOR: Just stop.]
No chicanery. I wish they canned chickens. That sounds delicious.
[EDITOR: They do. And no, you can’t have any.]
No escapades. I hear they put on a pretty good figure skating show, but the Man and Annie have never taken me there. Oh, escapades! Oops! I haven’t escaped in months— like two-and-a-half years if you count time like a dog. I make a good prisoner.
No skullduggery. If only I had some skulls to bury, I’d find a way. Winter is hard on a dog’s digging habit.
No rigmarole. The Man loves rigmarole. Just ask him! Wait… We are talking food here aren’t we? Some sort of casserole?
No deviltry. Let the devil try to get me to do something bad. Just let him. I come up with my own ideas, thank you very much.
No larks. If there were any birds around here, you would know about it. The pigeons are gone. The Man finally put plastic bird spikes up where they were living and using his roof for a toilet. He called them squatters. Or squawkers. Something like that. I don’t think they squawk though. They sound like spooky.
No antics. There is an attic somewhere close by though.
No frolics. OK. Maybe I’ve frolicked in the snow once or twice.
No rapscallionism. I just made that one up. I doubt scallions can rap though.
No roguishness. I’ve been told my picture should be in the Rogue’s Gallery. Been called a rogue too. Pretty sure it’s my dashing good looks.
No nonsense. That’s me now at age 11.
[EDITOR: You’re just over a year-and-a-half old.You were caught very recently playing with your frozen doo-doo in the yard. You’ve been caught frequently doing that, may I remind you.]
I’ve grown old and wise. Though I do “jump around” once in a while, I’m no longer into the razzle-dazzle or naughtiness anymore. I no longer go looking for trouble. (It finds me.)
Case resides with “the Man,” HTF columnist Brian Miller, and his wife “Annie” in Eveleth, MN. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. His blog page on Facebook is The Lost Puppy Case.