BIG BO LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW (FOR HIS TAIL WAGS EVER SO)
Chad Plentz loves two things in life: God and his recently deceased pit bull, Big Bo. But when nearly a dozen local churches denied Plentz what he calls his “God-given right” to a memorial service for Big Bo on their hallowed grounds, the 27-year-old Lakewood resident began rethinking his views on both religion and pit bull tributes.
Plentz went online, searching for more information on churches, religions, and pit bulls.
And after a few simple mouse-clicks, he was divinely inspired by what he discovered.
“Not only could I start my own church – I could start my own religion, too,” says the part-time custom-tattoo artist, who explains that his specialty lies in creating plain crosses, crucifixes, Celtic crosses, pit bulls, and “pretty much any design that looks like a cross, pit bull, or lowercase ‘t’.”
Plentz admits that his reasons for opening a new church are twofold: He feels as if Christianity in Northeast Florida has “gone lame” over the years. And Plentz wanted to make sure that he, and the rest of world, would never forget Big Bo.
On May 25, 2015, Big Bo Church officially opened, the only church of its kind – with a four-legged savior – in Duval County.
While Plentz has yet to secure a location, he’s certain that once others hear the gospel of “Bigboianity,” many will join “the pack.”
“All are welcome to come to our church and worship Big Bo,” says the-now-Pastor Plentz, sitting in his lawn chair, penciling out notes for his Big Bo Bible.
“Imagine the New Testament. Now close your eyes and visualize a bunch of pit bulls running around everywhere in each chapter and verse. That’s Bigboianity.”
Plentz says that he hopes to have the finished work published as an eBook some time next year.
“The truth is eternal and each day I find great comfort in the scriptures that I’m rewriting and improving up,” he says, citing Effhezians 3:19:2015: “May you experience the love of Big Bo, who is a good boy, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from Big Bo. Now c’mon, Big Bo, get!”
CROSSING THE PARTY LINE
In their opposition to marriage equality, some noted Republicans have made headlines comparing homosexuality to bestiality. So when several collegiate conservatives in Northeast Florida were arrested for trying to import wild animals – specifically, their party’s political mascot – suspicions about what the kids were up to abounded.
“There are two things every young Republican loves,” says Tad Astor, interim president of the Young Men’s Coastal Association of Republicans (YMCA-R). “Atlas Shrugged is required reading, but Bachelor Party is required viewing,” Astor says of the Ayn Rand and Tom Hanks works, respectively. “Most members can recite [Bachelor Party] line for line.”
Members of YMCA-R were reportedly planning an event in which the entertainment was inspired by a famous bestiality-tinged scene from the 1984 film. According to the invitations sent only to YMCA-R members, guests of the themed party were to be treated to a performance from “Mercedes Thatcher: provocateur of the only Elephant Show in the Western Hemisphere.”
“Honestly, I’d be shocked if we, I mean they, were the first ones to do something like [the elephant show],” says Astor.
The implicated party planners are out on bail and are awaiting school discipline, though it’s reported their parents have weighed the suspension of all platinum credit card privileges.
Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, which encourages relationship-building between farmers and consumers, and increased knowledge of where food comes from, Flagler college student and startup founder Shawn Eisenberg developed his newest iPhone application. Tender operates in much the same way as the application from which it playfully takes its name, but instead of swiping through pictures of handsome man-meat, users of Tender are able to select premium cuts of Angus beef, New York strip, and T-bones.
“I’m really busy, so I don’t have a lot of time to go to a farm and meet a whole bunch of cows I may not like,” said cofounder Josh Holcomb as he demonstrated the benefits of the app from the One Spark pitch deck in April.
“Now I know if I’m going to have a pleasurable experience, before I ever put anything in my mouth.”
IN DOXIE LAND I’LL MAKE MY STAND
A Northeast Florida couple has put a fun and furry spin on Civil War reenactments, giving newbies and military buffs alike the chance to experience a new way to enjoy this American historical “tail.”
Their names are Mike and Karen Warren and they’ve conscripted their two dachshunds into becoming adorable soldiers in the frontlines of reenacting some of the bloodiest battles ever waged on American soil.
“One night we were watching that fantastic Commemorative Edition of Ken Burns’ The Civil War, enjoying the director’s commentary yet again,” explains Mike, as he gives Folio Weekly a tour of various photos of Civil War interest and dachshunds in the living room of their Ortega home. “While we were viewing disc four, both of the dogs were staring at the TV screen as if they were hypnotized. And that’s when Karen and I knew.”
The Warrens acknowledge that they’ve always been fascinated by the war between the Union and the Confederacy that occurred between 1861-’65, “or at least until Glory came out,” says Karen, citing the 1989 film starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick (who sported convincing period-piece facial hair on his pasty-white visage).
But their love for all things concerning the War Between the States kicked into high gear when their two adopted rescue dachshunds seemed mesmerized by Burns’ award-winning documentary series.
“That was the turning point,” says Mike. “From then on, we went from being mere military-doxie buffs to founding a whole new way of honoring those brave men and women, while also forcing our two little wiener dogs into wearing clothes and play war for Mommy and Daddy.”
As if on cue, the “Blue and the Gray” come scampering into the living room.
Dressed in the traditional uniforms of the Union and Confederate military, Union General Winfield Doubleday and Confederate Cavalry Commander Beauregard Mosby wander slowly around the room until they both lie down on opposite sides of the carpet. “Look at them,” whispers Karen, “It’s just like brother against brother.”
“I tell you what, while dachshunds might be known for their playfulness and lively spirit, they’re remarkably adept at tactical field combat maneuvering and guerilla-style military strategy,” offers Mike.
Despite their zeal for the always-active local community of Civil War reenactment events, the Warrens are disappointed that their doxie soldiers have been consistently denied enlistment in mock battles as far afield as Olustee and McGirts Creek.
“Like everything else in life, it comes down to who you know,” says a visibly frustrated Karen. “So our dogs don’t have fancy, elaborate costumes, so they can’t carry muskets and don’t like the sound of fireworks, let alone cannons … should those minor shortcomings keep them from enjoying their Constitutional right to run around and ‘play dead’ with a few hundred humans?”
While Commander Mosby furiously chewed at the miniature belt keeping his wool breeches in place, General Doubleday stared vacantly at the shoe molding and carpet. Doubleday then began frantically jerking his head to seemingly loosen the small cap securely strapped into place and emblazoned with the three-star insignia denoting the highest military ranking.
“At ease, soldiers!” barked Mike, as the dogs stared dejectedly at each other. “Now let me show you their pinpoint accuracy in reenacting the Skirmish at Cottonmouth Creek by having them run down the hallway to the guest bathroom.”