“The Call of the Wild”

Like most of you, I imagine, I read “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London years ago. I remembered the short book to be about a sweet dog who returned to the wild and lived happily ever after. This week, while riding the Beast, a.k.a. my Cardio Strider, I decided to listen to the audible version of the book. How could I have forgotten the cruel abuse this dog endured?

Buck was a one hundred and forty-pound St. Bernard and Scotch Collie mix who lived on a nice estate in California. A worker there stole the dog away from his owners who loved him and sold him to be used as a dog to pull sleighs in Alaska. Buck knew nothing about what was expected of him but he finally learned through many beatings by multiple owners. He eventually ended up in the Yukon area of Canada where the Klondike gold rush was taking place.

Again Buck learned cruel lessons from both the dogs he was forced to work with and from various men who owned him for a time. Finally, mercifully, he was rescued by John Thornton, an experienced frontiersman, who had a heart and a fierce love for Buck. They traveled the frozen country-side for a few years until Thornton was murdered by Native Americans. Buck was furious and savagely attacked the people until many of the Yeehat tribe were dead. Buck then followed his primordial instinct which had been calling him for some time, and he joined a wolf pack to live out his life in the wilderness and his wolf heritage.

The author, Jack London, published this animal fiction tale in 1903. He realistically gave this magnificent dog human traits and thoughts that were easy to accept as authentic. “The Call of the Wild” has been adapted into over one dozen films and remains an all-time favorite.

The Accidental Tourist

Monday Book Review

“The Accidental Tourist” by Anne Tyler

This is an old book that I borrowed from a friend. It was published in 1985 and made into a movie with A List actors. It’s a New York Times bestseller, so it has to be good, right? Actually it was a pretty good read.

It is about a quirky family that sticks together a little too closely after they reach adulthood. That dynamic affects their relationships with others, especially their spouses. I would have preferred a different outcome for one particular couple, but then it would not have had the surprise ending.

Anne Tyler is a prolific and entertaining writer. I’ll give her 3.5 stars for “The Accidental Tourist.”

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Special Drink

Just when I think I’ve heard it all . . . I hear there is more ridiculous stuff to learn. Sourtoe Cocktail has an unbelievable ingredient: a human toe. I kid you not!

You won’t find the Sourtoe everywhere, but if you are near Dawson City, Canada drop into the Sourdough Saloon and order one up. It will come with a mummified human toe and one ounce of your choice in alcohol. Apparently, people from all over the world stop in the Yukon territory to obtain the drink, a certificate of proof and bragging rights.

Paying the extra eight Canadian dollars for the toe is surely the easy part. While you leave the toe behind it must touch your lips to receive the certificate. To date over 91,000 have qualified.

“You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch this gnarly toe,” states the special bartender. If you should accidentally swallow the toe count on paying a fine of about $1,900! The toe supply comes from frostbite, gout or accidental amputation and each is utilized for about four years before it starts to wear down.

Bottoms up!

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Photo by Bing