Gurney's Inn
January 24, 2007

Low Tidings

Despondent Dolphins Stranded

About two dozen dolphins were holed up in a shallow creek in East Hampton without enough food to survive. The dolphins have resisted repeated attempts by volunteers to leave Northwest Creek. "These guys weigh 300 pounds. It's difficult to get them to go where they don't want to go," said Renee Bennett, one of many locals who have offered to help.

The dolphins are said to be despondent that head coach Nick Saban left to become head football coach at The University of Alabama. "They are really upset," Bennett said. "A couple of the guys told me they never want to go back to Miami."

Onlookers, many of whom carried footballs and glossy pictures of the dolphins, were hoping to get autographs. Many were perplexed the dolphins chose the small creek to gather. "I would've thought they would hang out at Nick and Toni's," one said. Left tackle Bubba "Roundhouse" Taylor said he wished people would leave the dolphins alone. "I mean, we ain't botherin' no one. We got no gripes except we want people to protect our privacy. One little kid called me 'Shamu.' What up wit dat, man?"

Barbaro Injured

The star-crossed Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has been injured again. Barbaro, who shattered his right hind leg during the running of the Preakness two weeks after the derby, survived months of rehabilitation, spending most of his day hanging from a support strap to keep his weight off his leg.

But his left hind hoof was stricken with laminitis, an often fatal and extremely painful disease, a month later. Much of the hoof was surgically removed by chief surgeon Dean Richardson. The colt had been steadily improving until two weeks ago, when the laminitis flared up again and the hoof, which had partially regenerated, had to be operated on again — Richardson removed a significant amount of infected tissue.

Once again the horse perked up, until last Saturday. "We found him in his strap, but his head appeared to be missing, and he was in some discomfort." Richardson and a surgical team immediately transplanted the head of a healthy horse onto Barbaro.

"He's eating his feed, his ears — well, the ears are perked — and he's walking well," Richardson said. The surgeon would give no time table for a full recovery. "We're back to square one," he lamented. The head donor, he offered, "is not doing very well."

Birthday Gift A failure

Once again I have disappointed my wife Karen, who made it official she did not like her present. This is the third consecutive year she has expressed displeasure, though I thought I had a real winner this time.

First of all, I should point out her birthday is Christmas Eve. By the time I had finished Christmas shopping, I couldn't really think of any other cool things to get her.

The night before, I got up in the middle of the night and used her bathroom. Longtime readers will remember one of our secrets to a successful marriage is we have separate bathrooms, just as we have our own phones, our own computers, and our own vehicles. Normally, she doesn't like when I use her bathroom, ever since the night I peed in her bidet by mistake. Anyhow, I noticed her toilet seat — the screws had rusted and there was some discoloring around them.

The next day I went down to the hardware store and brought her a new one, with stainless steel fixtures that matched the toilet handle, the faucet, the shower knobs, etc. The way I figured it, women like stuff that matches their other stuff. I wrapped it up, put a bow on it and waited to see the elation on her face when she opened it . . . I'm still waiting.

I don't want to say Karen is ungrateful, I just think it is extremely difficult to please her. I mean, last year I bought her probably the most technically advanced gadget god ever made — a gismo that may represent the very apex of modern man's achievements — and she didn't appreciate it. You're thinking iPod? Blackberry? Even better. How about this — you walk in a room and clap your hands and the lights go on! Or the television goes on. Wow! They call it The Clapper! It's a technological breakthrough.

Not even a thank you.

Two years ago, because Karen loves orchids and exotic plants, I combed the fine floral boutiques across this great land of ours to find her something that she would grow and treasure for life. I presented it to her with a flourish on her birthday, but she let the thing die within a month. That's why I'll never get her another Chia Pet.

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