02/26/2009 By Shawn Burns

"Was that a goat?"

Was it? The car hit something, and Patrick Warburton wants to know. Because it is just so outrageous that you can be driving down the road on your way to a Florida airport with something to do, like save a planeload of Gator fans from being incinerated by a bomb in a trunk, when all of a sudden this goddamned goat comes out of nowhere. You strike it, or it strikes you. You aren’t quite sure. But you see in the rearview that the goat is fine; your car is less so; your equilibrium remains, but only as a facade now. And instead of being able to scream at the top of your lungs "I don’t like the fact that I am so very nervous and anxious about the world and that we’ve just hit a goat! I’m barely holding it together!" all you can do is utter: "Was that a goat?"

Come on, Puddy. You know it was a goat. Just admit that you are suddenly very aware of how little control over your environment you have. The goat is a message.


Sometimes Emily just wants to sing Ace of Base at the top of her lungs. When we were in New York she karaoke’d the hell out of "The Sign". She’s a Capricorn. Capricorns are "independent" (read: stubborn). They accomplish what they want to accomplish and sometimes you are in the way.

The Universe is a Capricorn. And you, Patrick Warburton? Sometimes you are in the way.


I was up too late one night last week. I was up too late because I had to listen to music I had just downloaded from iTunes. I have never spent so much money on music before. Some people spend a lot on music, regularly; I am not one of them. But I couldn’t stop listening and buying. I had been thinking about the music all day, ever since Sweetney had offered up a couple of songs on Blip. One was called "No Children", from an album called Tallahassee that is about a couple who move to Florida and they are so very nervous and anxious about the world and are barely holding it all together.

The other song she offered, by the same group, was a cover of "The Sign"."

Over and over and over and over. I listened to the music over and over.

The Universe is a Capricorn; the band is The Mountain Goats.


The music was like a gift. Well, yes, I paid for it, but still it was like flowers on Valentine’s Day when you never get flowers on Valentine’s Day. The Universe is a Capricorn, but just because she hits your car and leaves you a bit bewildered doesn’t mean that you aren’t better off for it. You are aware of things.


I saw this Tweet from Heather Spohr while I was listening to the music: "They changed the diagnosis from pneumonia to RSV. So her illness is more serious, but she is stable. Phew." Tracking back through Twitter I found this one: "If my sad little hospitalized baby doesn’t make you want to donate to my March of Dimes team you are made of" and then it abruptly cut off. Clicking through to the picture I was punched in the face, my car was hit, and I was enlightened. "stone. Or poo." That’s what I would be made of.

Was that a goat?

Suddenly my Dionysian gluttony, my musical insomnia, was put into a little bit of perspective. I was so happy to have this music. I had no regrets about spending the money on it.

But if I could do that much just because it made me happy, could I not do a little bit more, to help someone? To help someone I know?

I’m not suggesting that I applied some rule of charity to my conduct. I don’t give programmatically. Sometimes I am inspired to charity, or to gifts, or to whatever. Sometimes I am not. I have no rule about it.

Was that a goat?

It was a goat. The Universe is a Capricorn. "The Sign" playing over and over again; another song about a couple self-destructing in Florida, where, Puddy will tell you, goats just hit your car while you are on your way to the airport to be about your business of saving Gator fans, a couple with no children and the consequences of that fact on their relationship, alternating with "The Sign" in my ears.

My wallet was still next to my laptop. It was easy to click through to Heather’s March of Dimes Team Page and offer up just a little bit more than I had spent on myself.


Heather is raising money for a walk on April 25th (although you’d think they’d call it a "march", right?) She is just over $300 shy of her goal. You don’t have to donate money to her, to the March of Dimes, to anyone at all.

But if the Universe hits your car while you are driving to a Florida airport to save some Gator fans maybe you can do more than just ask: "Was that a goat?"