Saturday, August 21, 2004

This bloated dog wants a morsel of weirdness

My dog Russell once spoiled Christmas Eve dinner by eating heaping platter of Smithfield ham. He passed on his trademark effervescent greeting when we came home from church, preferring to lie on the kitchen floor and pant shallowly. Occasionally he paused to lick subatomic ham particles off the linoleum, but otherwise he stayed put.

We stood over Russel in a circle, too angry to pat him and reassure his obvious discomfort. One of us pointed out that even for a ninety pound Irish Setter, his belly was stretched way past the size of a Christmas ham. He looked like the rarest of all dog breeds, the red Biafran Setter. The mystery came to a sudden close when my sister shouted from the bathroom, “For god’s sake, he drank the TOILET as a chaser!”

My dad was disgusted at Russell’s gluttony, but we all knew he was planning to do the same thing with a toilet bowl’s worth of eggnog. We stood in the kitchen, grumbling and eating cold turkey sandwiches for Christmas Eve supper when a small clump of meat fell to the floor. Russell, lying satiated like a python in a daycare center, craned his head to hone in on the errant meat. His paws scrabbled feebly on the linoleum, but he was too full to get up. He had eaten an entire ham, drank a toilet and ruined Christmas and here he was killing himself for that one stray morsel.

That’s passion.

Me, I go for the strange, just as passionately. I’ve got a large tattoo, love the new Blonde Redhead record, and will definitely be voting Bush out of office this fall. And it all bores the shit out of me.

How do you know what you like, what you really believe in, if you don’t keep testing it?

How do you know a good record if you don’t hear some real stinkers?

I’ve spent my whole life loathing political conservatism at a knee-jerk level. Sure, I read more mainstream news more often than most people. But I don’t actually have anything other than a gut reaction.

That’s why I went to the Young Republicans meeting right before going to see Sonic Youth the other night. For real.


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