The other day i observed that i was having to adjust to the lack of an opposable thumb.  Didn’t mean that as some kind of shrill complaint, as there certainly are compensations.  Looking back on it now, i can’t imagine how i got along all those years without inch and a quarter long retractable claws and the ability to sprint 500 yards at 40 MPH.

Still, there are definitely adjustments.  I went down yesterday to my dentist to get him acquainted with the new dentition.  Probably should have mentioned the change in my appearance to his receptionist on the phone beforehand, but she’s ok now.  We talked her down….well, he did.  I hung back.

But then, when we went in and i sat in his chair and opened wide, there was this long pause, and then he said, “Look, Matte, you’ve been a good customer for over twenty years, and i really appreciate all the jellies, but i’m sorry, i just don’t have it in me to stick my hand in there.”

And hey, i could understand that and i bear him no ill will although i’ll admit to being taken aback and yes, a little hurt when he offered to refer me to his veterinarian.

Just had an idea.  The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in San Francisco, and i would get great personal satisfaction from performing some service to help the city.  For example, i’m thinking i could help enforce the leash laws in our parks.  The only expense to the city would be putting up signs “Off-Leash Dogs Will Be Eaten”.

And speaking of that sort of thing, my grocery bills are already plunging.  I’ve discovered that if i amble over to Buena Vista Park in the middle of the night, it’s like a smorgasbord – mostly fat, slow, stupid, and never had to run for its life….easy pickings, tender and well marbled.  This is another way in which i can give back to my beloved city because, let’s face it, the ones i’m picking really shouldn’t be breeding.  I see myself as doing my part to advance natural selection.  The Claws of Darwin…or, for the religious, the Jaws of God.

My culinary preferences sure have changed:  potatoes are just tasteless, i don’t like anything sweet, and chocolate is disgusting.  On the other hand, any meat is better than ever, but venison!  Oh, my goodness, it’s by far my favorite now, especially when it’s freshly chased and has that delicious adrenaline flavor.

And speaking of venison, my friend Kurt is a bow hunter, and i’m trying to talk him into taking me along with him, arguing that we’d make a good team.  I mean, i’d let him take his shot, and then if he missed, i’d take a crack at chasing it down for us.

We could share the meat, and besides, a big plus for both of us is that we are almost complete opposites in the parts we think of as best.  To me, nothing is finer than the raw heart and liver while they’re still warm, but i can’t even talk him into tasting them.

But back to volunteering.  A wonderful idea for a place to volunteer just struck me:  our petting zoo.  I could give the little kids rides on my back.  Ohhhh, i just love that delighted squealing.  No no, don’t worry.  Please let me reassure everyone:  I am eager to improve our image, not get us all tarred as pouncing pedophages.

Ginkgo bilobaAnd sorry to change the subject, but taking pics is harder than it used to be, so here’s a row of old ginkgos on 22nd Street west of Valencia that i took before the reassignment.

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