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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Taken for a ride while taking care of dog?


December 08. 2013 4:19PM

Last week brought me temporary custody of the walking sack of cement, also known as the hound with big feet and no legs. It belongs to one of the kids. I wouldn't say this dog is a burden, but other family members sure do find interesting excuses to pass the leash.

The latest was from a would-be sitter who got into a car accident while bringing hound to doggy daycare. The driver was fine, but the hound may have suffered from post-traumatic whine. At least it kept me up most of the night.

The lady of the house, quick to take the dog's side, suggested it could have been stressed by the accident and that when I asked it to roll over so I could get into my own bed, it thought another crash was coming.

Anyway, the hound had me up at 1 a.m. for a walkabout. The lady of the house took the 4 a.m. shift. I was back on the case at 6, and 7.

When we compared notes later, the lady was still defending the hound but had concluded that it had been playing me for a sucker.

I don't mean to complain, you understand. Complaining is clearly not a good thing in these United States. Just ask the rabbi who got booted off his frequent flyer status. The news story said the rabbi complained too much about his airline. Reminds me of that old book series. On Tuesday, the rabbi complained.

Can you imagine if we had something in your subscription agreement that said you couldn't complain about the newspaper?

I am complaining about one thing, however. The new TV ad for the Dodge Charger automobile. It emerges from a cloud of dust as a voice announces that no kid ever had a poster of a Passat on his bedroom wall.

That's just unfair. When I was a kid, they didn't make the Passat. And the pinup I did have was much better looking than a car anyway.

I do like the new cars, although they have an odd ignition system. According to the dashboard instructions that come on whenever I get behind the wheel, I need to lower the self-esteem of the brake. They don't say how so I do this by telling the brake it is fat, useless, and a real waste of material.

Why on earth they want me to "depress brake to start" is beyond me. But it starts the engine every time.

KNOW ANYONE who worked at the Mt. Washington Cog Railway back in the days of coal trains and overnight stays at the Summit Hotel? Next year will be 50 years since I began working there and, lo and behold, a Cog reunion is planned for next September. I would be happy to pass along contact information.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or via Twitter at @deucecrew.

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