Canonize This

February 21, 2003

Saint Valentine’s Day is behind us. Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up soon. Saint Patrick’s Day has been referred to as the day when everyone’s Irish, and Saint Valentine’s Day is showing signs of being as big a holiday as Halloween. And since Halloween is a day when it’s permissible to walk around in sexy lingerie and eat candy, soon Saint Valentine’s Day will be a day when jilted or forlorn loves can walk around with plastic knives protruding from their chests with fake blood streaming all over the place. Then there’s Saint Patrick, who is a saint because he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Studying fossil records has led to the discovery that claiming to have driven snakes out of Ireland is kind of like claiming that you’ve driven three-toed sloths out of Antarctica.

Admittedly, he did some other good things, and since the Catholic Church was nice enough to reinstate Saint Christopher even after he’d been discovered to have been six different people, I’m happy to let them slide on Saint Patrick.

But I digress. What’s interesting about these two days is that on them everyone’s basically an honorary Catholic. The Catholic church’s current troubles aside, it has given the world one good thing: saints.

Even if you’ve never been a Catholic, there’s something tempting about the idea of a person or group of people looking out for you if you’ve got a headache (St.Denis), operating a lighthouse (St.Venerius of Milan), or growing daffodils (St.Narcissus). Of course Catholics believe in avoiding temptation, so I think I’ll avoid the temptation to recommend adding to the calendar Saint Dymphna’s Day (May 15th), when everyone can go crazy, Saint Genesius’s Day (August 25th) when everyone can tell jokes, or Saint Vitus’s Day (June 15th), when everyone can sleep late and then go dancing.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

In Mississippi, a guy 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 black mutt just sitting there.

"You talk?" he asks.

"Yep," the mutt replies.

"So, what’s your story?"

The mutt looks up and says, "Well, I discovered my gift of talking pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time 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 eight years running.

The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in.

I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, 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.

The owner says, "Ten dollars."

The guy says, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him, so cheap?"

The owner replies, "He’s just a big liar. He didn’t do any of that stuff"

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