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Mouser's View

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Month

September 2015

DIRECTV is the ticket

Saw a cute post on Facebook about how to win the “war on drugs.”

Step 1: Legalize drugs.

Step 2: Require all drugs be purchased through Comcast customer service.

Good one.

Hence the growth of satellite TV and fiber-to-the-home service provided the phone companies. People always threaten to quit when they get their monthly bills, but they usually stay because they don’t want to miss “Monday Night Football,” any dust-up between Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump or marathons of “The Facts of Life.” (Somebody tell the Logo brass they slept in the same room but weren’t gay.)

You can also get every NFL game, live, in an expensive package.

The home I rule has DIRECTV, which has superior customer service. Three years ago, my personal assistant smelled something. It was the DVR was overheating. A replacement was in place from El Segundo in less than 48 hours.

Apparently, that’s about the length of time it takes to get Comcast on the phone.

Not everybody can enjoy DIRECTV. A clear line of sight between the satellite dish and the Southern sky is necessary.

Cable fans say satellite pictures go out when it rains. A grain of truth. When it’s raining hard, the picture will freeze for maybe 15 minutes until the worst of the storm passes.

When cable goes out, it’s for 15 hours, or maybe 15 days.

I would be an excellent spokescat. DIRECTV, please send the contract to my personal assistant.

This mouser has a title

Bearing the name Mouser, I am expected to be chief rodent killer at the house I rule from. I only know of mice by scholarly study; sometimes I stun, kill and play with crunchy roaches, like all cats in the South.

London is a bit cool for most bugs, but it breeds healthy rats. At the prime minister’s residence at #10 Downing Street, a cat carries an official title — Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.

Unofficially, that title goes back centuries, and for a while Great Britain had no chief rodent-catcher. Nobody noticed, until …

A reporter did a stand-up with #10 Downing Street in the background, a cliche of British television. A few rats chose the same time to mill around on the steps of the official residence. An official spokesman said there were no plans to bring in a mouser, then turned around the next day and said there was a “pro-cat faction” at #10 Downing, driving speculation.

(Rats on live TV are a political consultant’s definition of “bad optics.”)

In 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron and his family went to a shelter and anointed Larry, a domestic shorthair. But even cats can become embroiled in politics.

The British press (idiotic, endearing and impressive at the same time) reported in 2012 that Larry had been deposed in favor of Freya, a tabby associated with George Osborne, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. Officially, the arrangement was described as job sharing.

When Freya departed in 2014, accused of bullying Osborne’s sissy dog (this is Britain, after all), Larry was returned to full command.

Larry would no sooner blog than Queen Elizabeth would, but check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChiefMouserToTheCabinet

Cecil’s pals are eating well

Humans sometimes don’t act in their best interests. Such was the case in Botswana two years ago, when hunting of big game was banned.

Animal rights activists were ecstatic. The lions and elephants celebrated in their own way.

Writes Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times: “Lions have been coming out of the surrounding bush … to snatch goats and donkeys from the heart of [the Sankuyo village] on the edge of one of Africa’s great inland deltas. Elephants, too, are becoming frequent, unwelcome visitors, gobbling up the beans, maize and watermelons that took farmers months to grow.”

Who could have seen that coming? Uh, the villagers who sold guide services to hunters, mainly wealthy Americans, some of whom practice dentistry. That money is gone, and it didn’t take my cousins the big cats much time to figure out time-tested conservation practices had been abandoned in the “Wild Kingdom” (sponsored by Mutual of Omaha, “the people who pay.”)

Mr. Onishi again: “Government officials and conservationists in most African countries staunchly support trophy hunting, including Zambia, which is going back to hunting after a short-lived suspension.”

Zambia’s minister of tourism, Jean Kapata, has a message for the outraged Cecil the Lion crowd: “Zambia has always hunted from time immemorial. Zambia is a sovereign nation, and therefore people should respect the rules we have in our country.”

And a parting shot: “In Africa, a human being is more important than an animal. I don’t know about the Western world.”

A reincarnation of the original “Wild Kingdom” still runs on my favorite channel, Animal Planet. The host of the original series, Marlin Perkins, passed away in 1986 at 81.

A link to Mr. Onishi’s story: http://tinyurl.com/nuevxmp

And to a recent Mouser’s View that discussed Cecil costumes available for Halloween: http://tinyurl.com/q4f9tn7

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