Pine Nuts: Today’s news with a Twain twist

I’m not a numbers person, but sometimes numbers add up in such a way as to make an impression, and now that I’m slightly older than Smokey Bear, I figure I’d better start doing something socially redeemable before it’s too late. With 33 years now of presenting Mark Twain, and 15 years of radio before that, and 21 years now as a columnist, I would have 69 years of interrelated experience to draw upon were I to produce a podcast before I pop-off. So with those numbers looming in my head, here we go with episode one …

(To listen to the audio try:

Dateline Guam, where Boonie Dogs have taken over this Island Paradise.

Yes, Guam has 30,000 stray dogs, one dog to every six people, and one dog catcher.

His name is Nicholas, and Nicholas tries to capture them all, from stately Mastiffs, to graceful Greyhounds to contemptable little curs, and yet they keep multiplying faster than Nicholas can possibly keep up with his single cage, baited with Vienna sausage.

You cannot drive across Guam today without ten dogs chasing your car. When one posse tires out another picks up the slack, and you might have as many as twenty or so on your bumper when you arrive at your destination. It has been reported that one particularly aggressive Boonie Dog climbed up the side of a three-story building to attack a pet cat who had been thumbing his nose at said Boonie Dog, and that was one sorry cat.

But enough of Guam, what’s happening in Switzerland? Good news. A Swiss company has figured a way to capture CO2 out of thin air, and fire it into the ground with a powerful hose, where over time it turns to stone. Don’t ask me how. From what I can gather, they are able to trap co2 from the atmosphere and zap it with something to convert it to a fizzy cocktail, which would knock a good-sized man sideways were he to drink it. No, this fizzy drink is then fired deep into the ground with a powerful gun, where it hardens into a harmless boulder, and our atmosphere is finally free of CO2.

Well, let us wish the Swiss luck. Still, I might like to try a glass of that fizzy cocktail someday before they shoot it into the ground. Such a cocktail might just turn me into a handsome statue that could be placed at the entrance of our mountain village with a plaque that reads, “Here stands that lucky stiff, who tasted that CO2 cocktail mixed in Switzerland and it turned him to immortal stone, to stand forever at our village gate as a symbol of Climate Crisis Activism. Interesting, isn’t it, that he has his thumb touching his nose with his four fingers extended into the air. All who gaze upon this petrified image should be moved to remove their hats and cover their hearts. Those who shed a tear will be provided an embroidered handkerchief by the attendant at hand, for a small fee.”

Well, that is all the news worth reporting for today. Please join us next week for Today’s News with a Twain Twist — it’s free, and worth it. Meanwhile, should a spasm of virtue and generosity seize you, kindly send a small donation to that magnanimous Tahoe charity, Sierra Community House, for which we thank you in advance …

Onward and upward! Your friend at the lake,


Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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