Thursday, July 7, 2016

Beagles and Beef Sticks

Once more it's time for America's most literate beagles - Daisy and Baxter to take over the Broken Pawn to talk about matters of vital importance (importance to beagles, that is).

Hi Baxter! Hi Daisy! It’s time for another blog for our readers! So many people liked our post about our staycation that Hank decided we needed to hurry up and write another post. But then I hurt my back! Owww. The vet gave you some pain pills and muscle relaxers and told you to take it easy for a few weeks. Kathy and Hank still wanted to take me on walks so Kathy fixed up a wagon that they could pull me around in. Nobody fixed up a wagon for me. I had to walk alongside but I don’t mind too much because I love to walk and I get to eat even more garbage off the streets because you can’t reach it from the wagon. I’m almost all better now but Kathy and Hank still take me in the wagon for some of my walks because my back isn’t all healed. Owww. You’re all better Baxter but the vet can’t cure you of being lazy so you just pretend your back still hurts so you can get pulled in a wagon instead of walking. Shhh Daisy! Hee…Hee…Hee…

Let’s stop talking about my bad back and get on to the topic of our post, Daisy! YES! Let’s! It was so exciting. We had our annual beef stick taste test on July 3rd. Ever since all the convenience stores in town raised their beef stick prices Hank and Kathy give us Simms brand beef stick treats from the Aldi supermarket. We love Aldi beef stick treats but we also miss our friends at the convenience stores and eating their premium beef stick treats. So once a year we sample the beef stick treats at all the local convenience stores and judge them. This is the fifth year of the annual Daisy and Baxter convenience store awards. We judge the convenience stores on the price and quality of the beef sticks… The friendliness of the convenience store clerks and the quality of the coffee or soda that Hank gets… And any extra amenities like crushed ice and restrooms should the need arise.

Vince sure looked Spiffy at the Jiffy!
Nothing can look nicer than these Jack Links beef sticks! YUM!!

Our first stop was to the Jiffy convenience store at 5am, Baxter. That’s right Daisy. Even though my back was hurting I pushed through the pain and walked two whole blocks before Hank put me in my wagon for the rest of the trip. Last year the Jiffy had dry Jack Links beef sticks and coffee that got Hank sick. He said it was like drinking battery acid! We weren’t expecting much better this year and it was no surprise that Vince was still working at the Jiffy. There was a surprise, Daisy. Vince had a uniform – a Phillips 66 shirt. Phillips 66 is the brand of gas the Jiffy sells. The parking lot was spotless. That’s not especially a good thing Baxter. It is not good, Daisy. We like to scrounge for garbage and old food the Jiffy customers leave in the parking lot. Hank was in the Jiffy for a few minutes and came out with a cup of coffee and 2 Jack Links beef sticks! He paid $2.46 just like last year - $1.29 for the beef sticks and $1.09 for the coffee. The beef sticks were the best ever! Big and long and meaty! They were the best beef sticks I've ever had, Daisy! YUM!! They weren’t dry like last year. They were very moist and tender without being watery. I’m giving the Jiffy 4 paws. I’m giving Jiffy 4 paws also, Baxter. The coffee was so good that Hank drank it all before we finished walking home. You and Kathy and Hank walked home. I walked a little but my back hurt (Owwww) and got to ride home in my wagon the rest of the way.

Jiffy – 4 paws 

The Food & Gas Mart has tiny Slim Jims and the world's nastiest clerk.
The picture in the middle made the nasty clerk go nuts!

At 9am we took our regular morning walk to the duck pond, Daisy. I walked a few blocks and then Hank pulled me in the wagon. Going to the duck pond is so much fun, Baxter. Hank takes pictures of the animals and Kathy gives bread to all the birds. YUM!! I love bread when that’s all there is to eat. Kathy gives us a little bit of bread too. Normally when we leave the duck pond Hank and Kathy give us Simms beef stick treats from the Aldi but today we didn’t get any treats. I was so sad. I was sad too until we made a left turn and headed to the Food and Gas Mart for more beef stick treats. The Food and Gas Mart is where the Kum & Go used to be. They sell gasoline, liquor, beer, cigarettes, snacks… AND beef stick treats!!! YUM!!! I love beef stick treats. Hank went in to get us some beef stick treats but he didn’t come out for a long time. The Food and Gas Mart only had tiny Slim Jim’s just like last year. But when Hank took a picture of the Slim Jim display the convenience store clerk went nuts! He told Hank that he had to delete the picture of the Slim Jim display! Hank tried to explain that he was an award-winning journalist researching the state of beef stick treats in convenience stores. But the clerk insisted Hank delete the picture. Hank told the clerk he if he didn’t want the money for the beef stick treats that was fine but he wasn’t going to delete the picture. That made the clerk even madder. Finally the clerk took the $1.07 for the three tiny Slim Jim treats and told Hank to keep out of his store. Then Hank asked the clerk for a receipt! That got the clerk even madder. Hank thinks the clerk got mad because they have so much drug paraphernalia in the store. I think the clerk didn’t want anyone to know he was charging tax on the beef stick treats. Hank then gave us the three Slim Jim treats. They were small and greasy and hardly worth the wait. I’d rather have had the Simms beef stick treats from the Aldi. Me too. I’m not giving the Food and Gas Mart any paws. What a nasty store. I’m not giving them any paws either, Daisy. The clerk even came out of the store to stare at us. Hank just pointed his camera at the nasty clerk and he ran back inside like a vampire. Hee..Hee...Hee

Food & Gas Mart - ZERO paws 

The Casey's lot is tastefully decorated with food posters.
And decorated inside with Old Wisconsin beef sticks! YUM!!

At noon we went for our normal walk past the apartment buildings where Spike the big dog used to live. We hadn’t seen Spike for a while. Hank asked Spike’s owner who said Spike ran away and the Animal Rescue League got him. We thought for sure he was a goner. But Kathy called the Animal Rescue League and they told her they found Spike a new home. That was nice. I’m not running away! I like my home just fine. Me too! Anyway instead of stopping at the apartment building for our Simms beef stick treats, we went an extra two blocks to the Casey’s for Old Wisconsin Beef Stick treats. YUM!! I love Old Wisconsin Beef Stick treats! YUM!! It was worth having Hank pull me all the way to Casey’s. I would have walked but my back started hurting (Owww). Sure, Baxter. It wasn’t very hot so we didn’t need to get a cup of ice water. Hank had to wait in line behind three people buying beer and cigarettes but then he came out with our Old Wisconsin beef stick treats. The Old Wisconsin beef sticks were tasty but since they have more water than Jack Links beef sticks they weren’t nearly as filling. I liked the Old Wisconsin beef sticks and I also thought they were a cut below the Jack Links treats we got from the Jiffy. I’m giving the Casey’s thee paws. I’m giving Casey’s four paws since if we needed a cup of crushed ice I’m sure they would have had one for us.

Casey's – 3 1/2 paws 

The Liquor Depot had more tiny Slim Jim beef sticks...
...but at least we didn't have to wait too long to eat them!

Our last stop on our beef stick journey was our 3pm walk when we stopped at The Liquor Depot to see what they had in the way of beef stick treats. The Liquor Depot is just a few blocks away on the street where we live. Occasionally Hank and Kathy get lottery tickets and then they get some Slim Jim beef stick treats for us. Slim Jims are small and greasy but since we’re beagles we love them anyway and always think we are going to get some premium beef stick treats when we stop there. The Liquor Depot is next door to Ecklor’s laundromat. There are always a lot of people washing their clothes and getting liquor and cigarettes at The Depot while they are waiting. Everyone in town except Hank and Kathy drink lots of beer and liquor and smoke lots of cigarettes so The Liquor Depot is usually pretty busy. We were lucky this day because Hank was back in less than a minute. But when he came out… He had the same 3 for a dollar Slim Jims that the nasty Food & Gas Mart had. I was so sad. The tiny Slim Jims were just as tiny and just as greasy as the ones we had at 9am. I don’t mind tiny Slim Jims, Daisy. When that’s all there is to eat they are my favorites! YUM!! I suppose they’re better than nothing and we didn’t have to wait very long. I’ll give The Liquor Depot one paw. I like that the Liquor Depot is so close so I’ll give them two paws. The only thing I didn’t like about my walk was that I had to walk almost the whole way. Oh you poor Baxter. I guess that means you're all better now.

Liquor Depot – 1 1/2 paws 

Well, that’s the end of our Daisy and Baxter beef stick awards for this year, Baxter. It was the closest race ever! And the tastiest! YUM!! Vince and the Jiffy won by half a paw over the Casey’s because of superior beef stick quality and coffee that Hank could drink. Congratulations to Vince and the Jiffy for being the 2016 Daisy and Baxter beef stick convenience store award winner! I hope next year the Liquor Depot and the Food and Gas Mart will take a lesson from Jiffy and Casey’s and lose the Slim Jims in favor of premium beef stick treats. I don’t think we’ll ever find out if the Food and Gas Mart gets premium beef sticks, Daisy. Why’s that, Baxter? Don’t you remember? The nasty clerk told Hank to keep out of his store. That’s all right Baxter. We’ll send Kathy in next year and maybe the Food and Gas Mart will read this and get Jack Links beef sticks just like the Jiffy does. OH BOY!! I can’t wait till next year! I love beef sticks! YUM!!