Breaking News:

“Going to Cancún,” Mrs. Cruz reportedly said. It’s been mentioned that Mrs. Ted Cruz invited others to join the Cruz family at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed many times.

The very name “Ritz” amuses me.

It’s the cheap huckster’s label that promises ostentatious luxury and glamour. It was invented by Charlie Ritz in 1916 to promote his perfume. There’s one born every minute.

But why not Cancún? The temperature in Cancún was above 80 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, while it was 20 degrees in Houston. What’s the problem?

The problem is that Old Ted actually went there while the people who voted for him were melting snow to drink, and burning their grandmother’s furniture.


Let me remind you that those folks weren’t burning grandma’s armoire to “keep warm.” They were burning it to keep from dying.

The real story here is not about Ted Cruz; we all know about him. It’s common news in Washington that Ted Cruz is not on many “beloved” lists, and we’re glad he’s not our senator.

The real story here is about “Snowflake,” the poor poodle who fell onto the “No Fly” list and remained home alone.

For all of you who don’t have time to study newspaper history, here’s something for you.

Alfred Harmsworth (1865–1922), a British newspaper magnate — but it’s also attributed to New York Sun editor John B. Bogart (1848–1921) — wrote, “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. When a man bites a dog, that’s news.”

The headlines this week should read: TED CRUZ BITES DOG


Here’s a warmer story.

Three days into the great ice storm of 1998, She and I were sharing all the blankets in the house with Polo, an aging sheepdog, and Louie Louie, a miniature schnauzer. Polo was our second Old English Sheepdog, with two more to come. Louie Louie our second schnauzer. We are clearly dog people.

Polo was J.P. Devine’s Old English Sheep dog. Photo courtesy of J.P. Devine

When day three ended, so did our patience with eternal darkness, a blank TV screen and cold tuna and beans.

When one couple, our best friends, untouched by the storm, offered to put us up for a night or two, we grabbed the offer and took our dogs with us.

Our friends, who had no dogs, let us sleep in their living room, but restricted Polo and Louie Louie to the small shoe and coat room.

Our spoiled boys didn’t buy that; they broke out and joined me on the white couch.


Uncomfortable with the situation, we checked into a local hotel whose management welcomed our dogs.

Bad news. The place smelled of cigarette smoke, so we moved to another room and then another hotel and then another.

After 10 days, and running out of suitable hotels, my neighbor — a Republican, no less — said his part of the grid was working and he could run a line down to our house.

Eleven days later, the Devines, including Polo and Louie Louie, who never left our side, were safely home again.

It’s 2021. Restricted by COVID’s touch, we’re unable to be moving around to hotels, and we are no longer able to crate up two dogs. We have a cockatiel now, Ms. Kramer.

Just in case: do they sell travel cages at Walmart, for birds? Do you think? Just asking.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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