Are you being dogged by your friends and family plan?

Here in the Pond, it can be annoying when dogs come up to our banks and slurp our water. They come within inches of sucking us up into their grubby pink mouths and we have to swim furiously in the other direction.

This is our tsunami.

But our general antipathy towards these dampened pooches is not the reason we have sympathy for Michael Vick.

Everyone has their dark side, those things that you can only share with your friends. Going to clubs and competing to see who can sleep with the ugliest member of the opposite sex, for example. (Isn’t it interesting how dogs, on the other hand, don’t seem to care about looks at all. They just seem to care about whether it’s a dog.)

So Michael Vick had a predilection for canine mutilation. And his friends seemed to enjoy it too.

Then he got caught. And those close friends distanced themselves from him faster than a drugged-up Lindsay in a Mercedes.

Still, Michael could count on his family. After all, although he was somewhat estranged from his father, he paid the rent on his father’s apartment and slipped him a few hundred dollars every couple of weeks.

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution, firm believers in Southern hospitality, popped down to see Michael Vick’s father, a man who goes by the name of Michael Boddie.

Boddie, as any father would, especially a father who is being bankrolled by his son, expressed his support for Vick’s terrible plight.

He told the Journalist that dogfighting was 100% Vick’s thing. ” I wish people would stop sugarcoating it,” he said.

He went on to explain that Vick had held several dogfighting sessions in his Dad’s garage.

And that Dad had helped nurse some of the dogs back to health.

He also revealed that he was going to nurse his son back to health.

By writing a book, a “damaging” book, detailing all he knows about the Vick bulls.

It’s as if George Herbert Walker Bush had decided to publish a book about his son’s cocaine habit.

Boddie explained that he is speaking out ” because he’s been hurt by his son and wife’s failure over the years to correct what he considers inaccurate media reports that Vick grew up without his father present.”

“I’ve been drug through the mud,” was his view.

In Michael Boddie’s apartment hang pictures of his son. These pictures were presumably bought with money that came from his son. Oh, and talking of money, Boddie did admit that he’d asked Vick for $1 million so that he could live comfortably for the rest of his life.

He didn’t get it.

So, like the fighting dog that he is, he decided to go in for a little mud-drugging of his own.

Mankind is strange.

Why couldn’t Michael Boddie be more like Larry Richette? Richette is the judge’s son from Philadelphia who was accused of hitting his mother during a domestic tiff. When TV news reporters came to his door, he asked them whether their cameras were on.

Then he opened his bathrobe and showed them his willy.

” That’s what I think of TV news,” he told them.

I think what he meant to say was that the motivations of news people were flaccid.

Rather like the motivations of Michael Vick’s nearest and most expensive.

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