Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Breeding Contempt

We spend our early years fighting to stay awake for fear we’re going to miss something and the rest of our lives looking for ways to get us to bed earlier to avoid as much as possible. So, the inability to sleep for an adult goes against all sense and reason. Sure, there are those moments in time when we have important deadlines to meet, serious agendas to ponder, and the ongoing plot twists/cliffhangers of Desperate Housewives or Lost that will occasionally keep us awake at night. However, just lying there in bed with nothing to do but stare at the ceiling is frustrating.

I had a recent bout of insomnia and went to see my doctor. He asked me the usual questions: Do you drink a lot of caffeine before bed? Are you worried about something? Are you going to bed at the same time every night? Will you be paying in cash today? Ultimately, he gave me a prescription for a sleep aid and told me it was something to help turn my mind off – apparently sleep aids aren’t designed to put you to sleep but enable you to put yourself in a mental state on par with most politicians. I thought the lack of concentration I was experiencing from sleepless nights had already gotten me to that point.

Nevertheless, while in my weakened state, which my sons could sense like coyotes sniffing out a wounded rabbit, they came to me begging for a dog. Although I was able to withstand their pleadings, my lovely wife caved. She didn’t necessarily get to the point of ultimately saying they could have a dog, but she told them that we would start exploring our options. The irony of this – as if you don’t already see it – is such a statement is the human equivalent of rolling over!

We went to the local pet store in the mall – first mistake, I know – to check out the different breeds and their personalities. And that’s the problem: we’re talking breeds, as in PURE breeds. They wanted $2500 for a Chihuahua and $3600 for a Corgi! For that kind of pound-for-pound price point, I’m hoping to get something that I can ride and run errands. In fact, a single Chihuahua cost more than what my wife and I paid for our first cars COMBINED! And we didn’t have to worry about our cars chewing on the furniture or needing to be potty trained (although my wife’s first car had a master cylinder that leaked like an excited puppy’s bladder).

What happened to the days when dogs were allowed to roam the countryside without a leash and seek out romantic interludes of their own choosing? In the ensuing months you would see a little boy or girl in front of the grocery store with a box that said “Puppees 4 sale”, and they would cost twenty bucks apiece. For some reason, though, society has deemed “free love” for dogs as inhumane – looks like the 60’s were just a big, fat waste of time for our canine friends. Aren’t we going backward as a society by handpicking dogs’ mates and making them selectively breed? Oh yeah, that sure has worked out well for British royalty!

Quite honestly, I don’t believe I have the strength to fight society on this one. I’m afraid I might take a sleep aid and wake up shaved and neutered. At least I’d still have a political career ahead of me!

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