Frequently Asked Questions

I don't understand the point of Sparky the Dog.

It's just a web site with some stuff on it. Stop trying to figure everything out.

Do you really think that Steve Miller is the most unjustly neglected of the 70's rock stars? Cause the dude is a doofus and his fans are heschers.

Listen to that greatest hits album with the horse on the cover. Every song is a hit. People can complain all they want about "pompatus" and the taxes/facts is/Texas rhyme but those people are dicks. You hear me Dave Berry? You're a genital. Ogden Nash is considered a national treasure for coming up with poems like this one:

"Further Reflections on Parsley"

Is gharsley.

Steve Miller is a national treasure with a voice of honey.

What's it like to go through life without a sense of smell?

First of all, you tend to be neglectful of your cleanliness because it's easy to forget that armpits smell when, as far as you're concerned, they don't. Second, you eat lots of spicy food to compensate for the relative blandness of the typical repast, which leads to gastrointestinal problems including acid reflux disease, esophogitis, and other fun things. Third, you're at a constant risk of death by fire. For instance, I was once driving a tractor and noticed that it was very dusty in the cab. A few minutes later I looked down and realized the console was on fire; the dust had been smoke. Natural gas leaks kill dozens of anosmics every year.

Can you taste?

Boy. Good question. I'll never get sick of answering that one. Of course I can taste. I have a tongue with perfectly functional taste buds. I know salty, sweet, bitter, and sour better than you can imagine. My sense of taste is actually enhanced by my disability. What you want to know is can I appreciate flavor. The answer is pretty much no. Oregano and basil are just pretty plants as far as I'm concerned. I can't tell most beers apart. (Strangely, I can tell olive oil from canola.) Most of the pleasure an anosmiac derives from food comes from the texture and non-smell-related things. Mint and hot peppers are yummy. Think of it this way, anosmiacs enjoy their food in black and white while you get it in color. We get some subtleties that you miss and you get to complain when there's too much paprika in the pepper steak.

Why can't you smell?

That actually is a good question. I don't know the answer. My brother couldn't smell either so I'm going to assume it's genetic. Unfortunately, every time I tell a doctor about my handicap, he or she looks at his or her watch and says, "And why should I give a damn?" Seems that among the disciples of Hippocrates, anosmia isn't considered a real disorder even though it can be a symptom of some pretty serious neurological business including Kallmann's syndrome (which features the added bonus of hypogonadism. For those of you who are curious, the answer is no), Sjögren's syndrome, and my favorite, Schizophrenia.

Where can I learn more about anosmia?

The site of the Anosmia Foundation.
The web site of some guy named Max.

Is it true that Matt Shupe wrote a charter statement for STD?

Yes. Here it is:

To understand the true purpose and vision of Sparky the Dog Records, one must first become familiar with the nature of its namesake. Belonging to a lesbian stripper for the first part of his life, Sparky the dog was witness to many fascinating scenes and circumstances. Some might say that Sparky had a fractured home life, but it's unlikely that you would hear this from Sparky himself. Like all dogs, Sparky doesn't speak English or Latin or any other form of human language.

Later in life, Sparky was adopted by the Hills and he moved to the country. For a dog this was the equivalent of learning that you have won the lottery, been elected King, and inherited the Playboy mansion. Liberated from his life in the city, Sparky was now free to endlessly bark at tractors, chase farm cats, bark at sheep and goats, spend lazy afternoons in the shade, bark at falling leaves, dig up field mice, bark at farm trucks, and run and bark.

Given such a rich and diverse background, Sparky had become somewhat an expert on the human animal. Indeed, being a dog, he had been afforded unique glimpses of the human. If your pet pig dies or your lover leaves you to join a traveling masochist troupe you don't turn to your psychologist or your mommy!! No, you turn to your faithful canine friend. Your dog will understand. He won't question your judgment or motives. He won't betray your confidence. He will wait expectantly at your feet, hanging on your every word. He'll hear you out. He'll empathize with you. He'll pay you full attention, gazing back lovingly at the half-eaten sandwich in your hand until you've gotten your worries out in the open.

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