Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Shame of The Domesticated Human

The Shame of The Domesticated Human

Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.
― Jerry Seinfeld

Let me begin by saying that I freaking love animals. Well, almost all animals. I’m not a huge fan of the hyena or the wolverine because they are just huge assholes.

That’s a scientific fact.

Seriously, look at these jackasses!

Seriously, look at these jackasses!

I’ll start over. I love all non-douchebag animals.

Now that we have that established…

I especially love dogs. I have a dog who is so awesome, it’s like if Jesus Christ and Spiderman had a dog baby. Yeah, that’s how god-damned off the hook my dog is.

However, I do sit and ponder at times, as I watch him go at his donkus like it’s his last meal, why we think it’s OK to have these beasts live INSIDE our houses and skulk among us.

(I know you may be wondering if this profound thought occurred to me after the inhalation of some organic substance but the answer is no. I don’t need weed to think like this. At least not this time.)

Most of us generally try to minimize the invasion of outside elements inside our cozy little human dens. We freak out and go all Charles Manson on spiders, flies, mice, rats, whatever living thing was not expressly invited into our Pottery Barn lives.

But, for some reason, we find it completely acceptable to have filthy canines and felines take over our entire home, shed skin and hair all over the place, upchuck anything from cat turds to hairballs to chicken bones on our new area rugs (a wipeable surface isn’t even open for discussion), and practically shoot fleas and ticks at you like one of those t-shirt guns.

Then they top it all off by mining their buttholes with their tongues and proceed to lick you all over the face.

They are totally flipping us off, you know that, right? They are all a pack of hairy grifters pulling the best scam ever.

It really is like we are in some sort of sado-masochistic relationship where we have not established a safe word.

They stink up our houses, lay around all day, don’t pay any rent, demand to be watered AND fed and crap all over our lawns.

It’s like your annoying unemployed brother-in-law has come for an extended visit.

But I don’t have opposable thumbs, dude….be reasonable! You cannot resist me! Now what’s for dinner? And, while you’re up, go get me another beer.

But, damn it, they are so soft and cute!!!

The entire human race has been glammered.  Like vampire glammered.

You will believe the fact that I poop in a box is adorable.

Has anyone even looked into other species to bring into our homes for….whatever the hell it is they do for us?

(Yeah, I know…love, companionship, acceptance. All the stuff we are supposed to get from other humans and don’t. Which is why the divorce rate is so high.)

For your consideration: the naked mole rat. Now here is an animal that can use a little love and acceptance.

Happy little mole rat eating a tuber.

Happy little mole rat eating a tuber.

Just think of the fun little outfits you could dress him in. And, this guy could really use a sweater.

Not so much?

OK, how about a sloth? From what I read in Us Magazine last time I was at the gynecologist, they are all the rage right now.

Yeah, baby. Let’s put on a little R&B, pour a snifter of Courvoisier and……..sorry! I nodded off!

Though, personally, owning one of the seven deadly sins feels a little risky.

OK, so now that I have googled as many weird animals as I can to avoid work, I suppose dogs and cats do have a bit of a case. They’ve learned to adapt to us and we’ve not only adapted to them, we worship them like deities.

What’s that you say, man’s best friend? You need me to express your anal glands?

My pleasure!

On Becoming A Mid-Life Orphan

On Becoming A Mid-Life Orphan

If all goes as it should, we all end up being orphaned at some point in our lives. If we don’t, our parents have outlived us and that either means you have died a tragic and early death, or you are the offspring of vampires. And everyone knows vampires can’t procreate so…..

Just because we may see the total logic in this sequence of events doesn’t mean it isn’t a huge mind-fuck.

Whether you have a healthy or therapist-inducing relationship with your parents (I suspect the latter is much more rampant….and interesting), no matter what age we are, we rely on having our parents on earth and kicking.

They are a touchstone to where we are in relation to death and the natural pecking order.

They are also the keepers of our personal history in a way that siblings and friends are not.

Having just entered orphan-hood myself, I’m still navigating the sans parents world. I suspect I will settle into it. Right now, however, I can’t stop the loop of a cockney accent asking for another bowl of porridge that keeps running through my head.

I think I’ve been watching way too much PBS.

This transition was made even stranger this past week when I was in Minnesota for my mother’s memorial service. After the very touching and lovely tribute, my sisters and I decided we’d check out our childhood house.

I had not been back since I was 10 years old.

The real shocker was that not a whole lot had changed. The house was still there, well-kept, familiar and much smaller than I remember.

As we stood around outside the house, no doubt looking like the most inept and best dressed thieves ever, a nice, young Midwestern man came out to start to mow our….his….lawn.

We let him know that we were not some sort of middle-aged organized crime ring (though I may have to start one of those) but that we had grown up in his house. Like all Midwesterners, he was exceptionally friendly and warm.

But here’s the crazy kicker. He asked us what our last name was and when we told him, he smiled widely and told us he had something for us.

He ran into his garage and came back moments later with a tarnished brass door knocker with the name “A.J. Barnett, MD” inscribed on the face.

We were the original owners of the house and this knocker hung on our front door, identifying the town doctor and intimidating every boy who came to take my sisters out on a date. And, 40 years later, it was kept and passed on from owner to owner until this nice father could give it back to us.

I couldn’t help but picture my parents hanging that knocker on the door of their new home, my Mom pregnant with me, her sixth (yes, I said SIXTH!!!) child, my father thinking about opening the doors of his new private practice in this rural outpost.

They would live in that house for over a decade, struggle with raising a hoard of kids, mend broken bones and broken hearts, struggle with starting and keeping a medical practice going, make lasting friendships and build many memories for us.

They were very much like me….except the six kids. I’m not insane after all!

 What the hell, Irish Catholics? Keep it zipped up why don’t ya!!

As I walked around my old back yard and watched my kids standing by the river that I played endless hours in, my new status of orphan didn’t feel so bad after all.

Man, I loved that sweater! I was pretty fond of that dog too.

Though I still have a real hankering for porridge.