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Fo Shizzle P-Dog!

Issue Date: Friday, Sept. 12, 2003

I was born in the Great White North. Just call me Nanook.


It’s more like… I was born in the Very Polite and Stylishly-Old-World-North of Connecticut.

I was not there for very long. My dad got transferred and we moved to Florida when I was about 6 months old. At the age of 2 and a half we moved to Georgia, at the age of 12 we moved to Texas.

I’m not saying I am a gypsy, nomad or wanderer. I just moved around a bit growing up.

We went on trips several times a year as well. We used to go along with my father on business trips when my sister and I were out of school and we usually took a week long family vacation during the warm months of summer as well.

Those long driving trips I recall with fond memories and wistfulness.

I think that is the source of my propensity for travel.

My parents moved to Colorado in 1992 when I was just a wee babe in college. My sister and I were both enrolled at the same college in East Texas so we weren’t too worried about being left to our own devices.

I was a sophomore (not even 19) and my sister was going to graduate in May of that year. We figured that we could take care of each other, and we could always call my folks if we needed anything.

The thing I was looking forward to after their move was the road trip up to see them. They stayed in Colorado for the better part of a decade so I got the chance many a time.

Their beautiful home was 999 miles exactly from my front door in East Texas. I usually went through Oklahoma and up through Kansas. At Salinas, Kansas I would hang a lefty on I-70, set my cruise control, crawl in the back of my truck and take a nap.

There was really nothing to endanger my safety as long as I jury-rigged the steering wheel to remain straight for EIGHTEEN FRILLION FORESAKEN MILES OF NOTHINGNESS! JesusGod ya’ll. That place is barren.

Well, I take that back.

There is one thing.

The first time I drove up to see my parents I started seeing the billboards as soon as I turned onto 1-70. They fairly screamed at me to witness biological horrors and freaks of nature.

“Come poke an angry, venomous snake with a stick!”
“Come pull the finger of a giant toothless redneck!”
“Come one, come all!”
“Come throw rocks at angry raccoons in the bright, harsh light of day! Do we care that raccoons are nocturnal!? NOOOOOOOOOO!”
“Come look through our flea-market quality gift shop items that will clean out your wallet but still leave you feeling slightly greasy and empty on the inside.”

I had to go.

Those billboards were genius!

The best one was, “World’s Largest Prairie Dog! 8,000 pounds!**” That is immense ya’ll! That is one friggin HUGE prairie dog. I couldn’t help but wonder about it’s dietary habits and the smell of such a large rodent.

[**Of course this one is the only real billboard. A redneck won’t stand still for you to pull his finger, even a giant, and toothless one.]

I saw a building about 87 miles up the road. [I am not kidding when I say that Kansas is barren.] I was hoping that the building was one of two things. I was hoping that it was 1) a gas station because the banana peels I put in the flux-capasitator were not cutting it or 2) that it was Prairie Dog Town*, the attraction that put their stamp on the world with the record for the most billboards in one square mile (see examples above).

[*If you click on that link you are treated to the sight of a two headed calf and the stuffed remains of what appear to be a deer’s ass… with googly eyes.
Sorry for the tangent.]

Anywho, I waited the hour-long drive that it took to get to the actual building and pulled off the highway to check out the attraction.

The parking lot was huge, dusty and packed. A tram pulled up and I got on. The young woman giving our interesting facts was yelling things politely into a bullhorn as her co-worker drove.

We are very proud of our prairie dogs here at Prairie Dog Town. Our population is seven hundred and thir…[bump-bump]… seven hundred and twenty nine prairie dogs.

Yes, I am kidding. No, they didn’t run over a poor, helpless prairie dog.

They ran over TWO!


There wasn’t a tram. The parking lot was packed, dusty and very large.

I walked up to the building that looked like a run down Cracker Barrel with rickets or something and opened the door.

They had a gift shop. Cow pies shellacked, stuffed rodents playing bagpipes, gift boxed wooden plaques with witty sayings like “Don’t let old age get you down, it’s too hard to get back up!” Ba-dum-chhh. Oh the hilarity.

I paid my four dollars to go through a door marked “Exhibits” and walked past a glass-enclosed box filled with rattle snakes. Whee. Pissed and within arms length.

I walked through the entrance to the true prairie dog town and squinted as my eyes got used to the glaring sun again.

Everywhere I looked I saw hard packed earth with no grass, chicken wire enclosures, prairie dogs scurrying and deformed animals baking in the hot sun.

A six-legged calf with two shriveled up useless little legs behind his left foreleg. A couple of bleary eyed raccoons out in the hot sun. Coons, in the sun. Hello… Nocturnal animals you cruel bastards.

There was a solitary wolf in a chicken wire enclosure. Wolves are social animals, and that poor thing was all alone. Well, of course he had all the frillion little smarmy prairie dogs running around under foot. It broke my heart.

I know, I know. This started off pretty funny…

You: No it didn’t.

Me: Oh hush.

I wanted to kick that ugly lady that took my money in her last tooth.

I was guilty; I gave them money to look.

Before I went back inside I noticed the 8,000-pound prairie dog. [Because I’m Captain Obvious!]

Oh, those people were Clever with a capital C! Along the walkway back to the building was a large two story concrete prairie dog worn down by the constant source of grit in the air. He sorta looked sad as he hunkered there watching over his kingdom … OF CRAP!

On the walls when you walk back inside the “Gift Shop” were freaks that had passed on to a less cruel afterlife (hopefully) and the proprietors had stuffed their carcasses to lend to the ambiance of their shack.

I told Mister about this place last night over dinner. We were talking about other places we would like to live and Kansas came up and was negated immediately.

He is now on a mission to see Prairie Dog Town.

He sent me this link on Prairie Dog Fishing. Sounds like fun. Heh.

I love this picture.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

The Graphic Below Courtesy of Papernapkin.

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