Training Cookie – The Finalists For Who Will Train…

It has been just over a month since I got Cookie, my dog, from a Tennessee rescue organization for golden retrievers. Cookie is just over a year old and very puppy-ish in her behavior.  Peeing at times out of both joy and anxiety is normal I am told, but she also has a crippling fear of cars and especially trucks and emergency vehicles.  This fear has become somewhat problematic as it looks half the time like I am dragging her to lethal injection when trying to get her to the park. At this point when she even sees the leash she runs to her bed. In the grand scheme of things she is a good dog and it could be a lot worse considering she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park (an almost guaranteed path to doggy stripping), but the time has come to get serious about this her training and mental well being, despite the increased forearm strength I am gaining from pulling her around the East 50s. But instead of going with some amateur dog training entrepreneur who will simply try to give her treats to induce good behavior (she is so scared outside that she won’t even take a treat) I am going to elite trainers who have made heroes and champions over the last few decades. So here are the finalists to train Cookie and their pitch to win over Cookie – feel free to vote in the comments section below:

1) Tony “Duke” Evers – The man trained two heavyweight champions – Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa.  Proved to be a voice of reason when Apollo was not taking Rocky seriously and provided emotion and passion when Rocky needed it.  His advice to Cookie: “NOW THIS IS IT! I NEED YOU TO WALK TO THE PARK!! ALL YOUR LOVE, ALL YOUR PEE, ALL YOUR POOP! EVERYTHING YOU GOT!”


2) Mr. Miyagi – Turned a lanky wuss into a local Karate champion, so given Cookie’s fears this may be a good approach for her. Plus he works for bonsai trees, so he is in my income bracket.  His advice to Cookie: “Car-uh no-uh hit-uh you. Sniff-uh the pavement-uh. No look-uh at-uh truck.”


3) The Janitor in Rudy – A man who has seen hard times and has regrets may be a good trainer for her since he may see the possibility of redemption in Cookie. His motivation for Cookie: “You’re 3 foot nothing, 40 and nothing, you don’t have a spec of courage in you. But you are the dog of J-L Cauvin and in this life you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself (forceful, proud clap).”


4) Johnny from Dirty Dancing – A man with great physical abilities and a history of getting young girls to do what he wants may be the right combination for Cookie to respond to.  He was able to teach Baby to dance well despite a nose so large that it  threw off her balance so maybe he can give Cookie more physical confidence.  Johnny’s advice, however, was to fu*k Cookie, which I am pretty sure is not legal.

5) Coach Cuzo from Best of the Best – he is fat and it is hard to believe he ever competed in kickboxing, but his Darth Vader-esque voice was enough to coach and inspire the US kickboxing team. His advice to Cookie in a baritone of confidence: “Walk.”

6) Rocky Balboa – a champion and a trainer to up and coming fighter Adonis Creed (who for some dumb reason goes by “Donnie” instead of Adonis), but his greatest work was turning an HIV positive hillbilly with a mullet into a heavyweight champion. His advice for Cookie was: “You know, like, you think that these like trucks are your enemy, but you maybe have, like a different enemy, like maybe, it’s you that’s your biggest enemy – ALRIGGHT COOOOKAY!”

7) Full Metal Jacket Drill Sergeant – my preferred choice because other than Cookie’s adorable face she really could use the Private Pyle treatment. And since Cookie cannot fire a rifle this would be a much safer training environment for the drill sergeant. His technique for Cookie is as follows: “Holy sh*t Corporal Cookie – you look like every mutt had its way with you in Kentucky. You are scared of trucks you fu*king moron, but you should have been worried about that train that every mangy mutt ran on you in your hometown. You disgust me – DID I SAY YOU COULD LICK YOUR ASS?!”

So those are your finalists to train Cookie.  Leave your vote in the comments if you feel so inspired.  Here is a picture of Cookie in her usual state of anxiety outside:

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Essential J-L Reader

The Movies That Explain America

I have a joke about the Rocky films (which has been added to recently) that they can tell us about Race and American History because Rocky is always fighting and defeating  whoever white people fear.  Here is the proof:

1976 & 1979 – post Civil Rights Movement, Rocky defeats an articulate black man

1982 – Rocky defeats an angry urban black male

1985 – Rocky defeats a Communist

1990 – Rocky defeats a redneck (perhaps prescient of Timothy McVeigh and David Koresh)

2006 – Rocky loses to a black man, but with dignity (sort of the foreshadowing of John McCain’s “hey white people we gave it a good try, but you can’t keep darkies down forever”)

My joke was that Rocky will eventually have to fight a gay Arab (with perhaps a Mexican trainer) to continue this trend.

However, the Rocky series also demonstrates an important lesson about gender relations.  When Rocky met his wife Adrian, she was an autistic pet store employee, but thanks to fame and wealth she was able to speak and look prettier and tell Rocky what to do – it really tells you what is possible when a woman gets a taste of money.  When she told Rocky “YOU CAN’T WIN!” in Rocky IV, his response should have been, “Ohhhh, look who can talk all of a sudden – you couldn’t even look me in the eye in ’76, but now you live in a big mansion and you are talking all this sh*t!”

Well, Rocky now has some important additions to my list of  movies that explain what this country is all about (and I honestly believe should be shown in schools).  Let’s welcome the Class of 2010:

1) The Distinguished Gentleman– Every year this movie becomes more and more relevant.  I honestly believe it is Eddie Murphy’s best movie and unquestionably his most meaningful (sorry Pluto Nash).  How is this movie not holding a more honored place (maybe because it is a re-make)?  Congress has now become an even bigger joke than it was in this film that is around 15 years old.  Money has become too powerful and we need term limits (for example – politicians that often have made major legacies by helping lots of people, Roosevelt, Kennedy – and even Spitzer, at least as Attorney General of NY,  were independently wealthy).  Money corrupts the process and the only way to curtail that is to eliminate some of the incentive for powerful interests to set up office in Congress.  The quote from TDG that best represents our government:

Jeff Johnson: “With all this money coming from both sides, how does anything ever get done?”

Lobbyist: “It doesn’t.  That’s the beauty of the system.”

2) Wall-E– Though I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda more in 2008, the story of a panda doing kung fu does not have quite the impact of Wall E.  Watching Wall-E and then seeing the greatest innovations in America being, in a nutshell, “Look at the new and awesome ways we have developed for you to get all you want without getting off of your ass” is only a few steps away from living on floating chairs.

3) Inside Job– In comedy it is very popular to bash traditional religion, but no one (sans George Carlin who did it exceedingly well) ever truly attacks the most harmful and invidious faith based ideology in America – capitalism.  This documentary, and my favorite movie of the year so far (that’s right Inception – you are #2) basically shows that the American dream has simply become the “you cannot understand God’s will” of the priesthood that is corporate America.  Unchecked capitalism for the last 30 years (ushered in by Reagan, but guided by two Bushes and a Clinton) has helped bring America down from its pedestal.  But don’t tell Americans that.  The American dream no longer exists.  it is now more like the American lottery or the American delusion.  Corporate America has bought our government and the trajectory of our economy is an ever-widening equality gap. It is a scary and depressing film if you really see what it’s about: that greed runs this country and that too many people are too stupid or too scared to see it.

So there you have it: Rocky, The Distinguished Gentleman, Wall-E and Inside Job.  A round of applause for the Classof 2010.  Now you can skip History class.


Birmingham Part D

Last night was an interesting night at The Stardome.   It was a chatty crowd, which can often spell doom for a comedy show.  And for part of the show I felt doomed.  In a room of 425 patrons it takes a lot of people to make it feel like you are killing, but only a few chatty tables to ruin it.  But I got through the set and thought I did fairly well.  However I did not want to sell merchadise after the show.  I had a great set and crowd on Thursday and sold a big donut.

When you are trying to sell merchandise after a show and people are avoiding you you feel like an ugly prostitute: sacrificing your dignity and people still aren’t interested in what you are selling.  I think that is why I feel bad for some of the ugly whores on the HBO series Cathouse when they don’t get picked for a “party,”it’s like insult to injurious STDs.

So I was not going to sell CDs/DVDs during the headliner’s set some 15 year old kid came up to me and said, “You were really good.” And like Adrian saying to Rocky in Rocky II, “WIN!!!!!” I decided to swallow my pride and stand with some CD/DVDs.

One of the first people out said to me “That crowd was stupid and talked to much.  Everyone who paid attention thought you were great.”  That felt good, and then a miracle happened – I started selling stuff.  8 in total – not quite Platinum, but the most I’ve ever sold after a show (and bringing me 7 away from the magic number of 15 sold).  I also received several R-rated compliments, which made me feel less like a comedian and more like a man walking by an all-female construction crew (possible porn plot?).

So I am hoping tonight’s show is better, which at the rate this week has been going would mean bigger laughs, more CD/DVDs sold and probably autographing cleavage.  Woo hoo!