, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20151023_145820He’s a “dog,” but he’s not a dog, and he views the Thoma domicile from between a chair and our TV cabinet in the living room. We call him Dexter.

If I remember correctly, Jennifer discovered him in the corner of a nearby resale shop a few years back and decided to bring him home.

We can’t have pets because both Jennifer and our youngest son Harrison are incredibly allergic to animals. Certainly the kids would love to have a pet, but because of this, it just isn’t possible.

Personally, as someone who grew up owning all kinds of different pets – from birds, fish, cats, and hamsters to ferrets, iguanas, Miniature Schnauzers, and Alaskan Malamutes – I don’t really miss pet ownership in the least. Nowadays, I wear nothing but black pretty much all of the time, and so the absence of animal hair in our house is highly prized. I should add that when you wear all black, there’s nothing worse than making a home visit where the family pet is allowed on the furniture. I often leave the place looking as though I just rolled on the floor at a petting zoo or suffered an inappropriate advance from a Yeti. As a pastor, to be covered in animal hair isn’t very presentable at the next shut-in visitation – unless that next visit is with a blind man. I suppose the bigger concern in my case is that I have to make sure that none of the Yeti hair makes it into my car where it may later come into contact with Jennifer or Harrison, and so I keep one of those sticky lint rollers at the ready in the glove box. Yes, I’ve been seen standing roller-ing myself fervently in a blizzard, Yetis winking and waving from the front porch.

20151023_061041Anyway, before I shift gears and return to our good friend Dexter, please accept this humble bit of information as it pertains to your local pastor or priest: There are a total of three arch enemies to a clergyman in black – pet hair, the Devil, and powdered doughnuts – and in that order. Apart from these, life is cake (chocolate, of course, not any sort of white cake).

Even though Dexter is a piece of oak carved and painted to look like a Dalmatian, he is very much a part of the family. He meets a tiny void, to be sure. To exemplify this, it isn’t uncommon to see him decked out in appropriate holiday garb throughout the year. At Halloween he dons spooky décor. At Christmas he can be spotted sporting a holly wreath around his neck.

But I reiterate, Dexter is a “dog,” but he isn’t a dog. He is made to look like a dog. He is made to resemble a dog. But he isn’t a dog. And nothing anyone says, no extraordinary love that anyone holds, and no rhetorical device used to persuade will ever change the fact that Dexter could be anything other than a piece of wood. Of course, if the great Blue Faerie is reading this and is feeling the need to prove me wrong, while you’re at it, would you please consider making Dexter hypoallergenic, able to eat and drink air to survive, and unable to poop or pee, because as much as my kids would love to have a real dog, I’m one of the parents in this house and everyone knows that it is the parents who end up taking care of the pets. I can tell you right now, on my watch, Dexter would starve to death in loneliness. I’m just not around enough.

This brings me to the Dewar’s White Label Blended Scotch Whisky.

Dewar’s Scotch reminds me of Dexter. It is capable of filling a psychological whisky “void,” but I’m afraid that’s about it. And still, it is so strangely adored and served up as the “best” by many. I just can’t figure out why. I think that the only way this could be possible is that the Blue Faerie is indeed real and she has been flying around waving her wand over all of the Dewar’s bottles before they’re shipped out. I guess she must have missed every bottle I’ve ever tried.

The nose of the White Label is little like Windex. The color is off, of course, but the smell is strangely similar. I did sense something fruity, but it was a fruit that had been soaked in Windex. That’s not good, but hey, I guess if you like that kind of stuff.

The palate was a little different. It had a back-of-the-throat sour that was not only harsh, but it made me feel as though I’d just chewed up a prednisone tablet instead of swallowing it whole as the pill bottle instructed. There was a brief nip of something malty, but I’m sure it was malt mixed with Windex.

The finish jumps right up and shouts, “Ain’t you glad that’s over!” Sure am. May I have a glass of water, please? Or a finger of The Balvenie? Or at least an honest glass of Windex for comparison?

Now, who wants what’s left of this bottle? I promise you, my only intention is to use it to clean the windows in our house. In fact, I already tried it on the mirror in our bathroom, and believe it or not, it worked pretty well.