[Note: I rewrote sections of this because it was more stupid than usual, but such are the stupid things we do.]
I don’t know what it is about our society, but it seems somebody somewhere is always doing something stupid. Whether it is by design, by chance, or out of our penchant for convenience, there is never a shortage of the ridiculous. Some of it we create and some of it is created for us, but either way as Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” That is even truer today. Maybe, it is because, in today’s world, we have more opportunities to face stupidity, or maybe, we are just smarter today and can better identify stupid when we see it.
One of the stupidest things I have seen lately was a isign in a local PETCO store. First, I must explain, I am an animal lover (for the most part), but I have this unique ability to recognize animals are not human. Yes, I am one of those rare throwbacks who believe people are people and animals are animals. I am one of those horrible people who thinks there is nothing wrong with giving a dog or cat a biscuit or bone from the table. My wife and I make sure our pets are up to date on necessary shots and go to the vet when they are truly ill, but I do not buy into bi-annual doggy dental cleanings, doggy colonoscopies, or doggy birthing rooms, and the same goes for cats, hamsters, rabbits and pigs. For heaven’s sake, five minutes after a dog gets his teeth cleaned it is sniffing and licking anything nasty that comes within sniffing distance of its nose and tongue. Therefore, are doggy dental cleanings really worth the effort? Probably not, yet, such are the stupid things we do!
I have yet to see the value in flossing for my dog, but my wife insists dogs should have good manners, so we took our six month old, sweet as sin, hell on four legs, lab mix to PETCO for obedience training. While waiting for the instructor, I noticed a sign outlining guidelines for pet adoptions. I could not believe what I read! In addition to screening individuals for pet compatibility, anyone wishing to adopt a pet was subject to a polygraph and required to release their tax records for the past seven years to prove they were financially stable and could provide a good home for the adopted pet. The adopting family had to agree to a criminal and psychiatric background check as well as an on-site home inspection and evaluation. It was also recommended the new pet be provided private space with a written schedule for when human/pet interaction was permissible. In a side note, there was a recommendation, though not required, the private space be a separate room with its own pooh facilities. I told my wife the guidelines went way too far, but she calmly assured me the guidelines were intended to match the pet with caring adults. She said the requirements and suggestions were not a personal conspiracy against me or others like me. I was not sure how to take “others like me,” but I accepted her explanation. Besides, it was obvious the whole thing was written by a liberal. I could even accept that, but when I read the last guideline that said pet counseling may be required, I fell to the floor laughing.
Pet counseling! I could see Simon, our lab mix, reclining on a shrink’s sofa, one paw lying across his eyes, the other holding a cigarette from which he took an occasional long draw. A female shrink sat across from him, legs crossed, an old time yellow legal pad and pencil in hand, asking questions. “Tell me about your parents,” she said.
Simon took a long draw on the cigarette and thought for a moment. “I only knew my mama for a few short weeks,” he said. “I didn’t know my daddy at all.”
“How do you feel about that?” she asked.
“Haven’t really given it much thought,” Simon said.
“You ever feel depressed because of it?” the shrink asked.
“Nothing that a little licking can’t cheer up,” Simon replied.
“Have you ever thought licking might be a sign of a deeper issue?” the female shrink asked.
“No mam, when it comes to licking, I like it, so I do it.” Simon said and ground the cigarette into a cat shaped ashtray. “If it feels good, I pretty much do it without much thought.”
I believe Simon has life figured out better than any of us. If it itches, scratch it; if it smells, sniff it; if it feels good, lick it, but whatever you do, don’t over think it. I am most likely over thinking this pet counseling business, but in my opinion, pet counseling is one of the coolest stupid things people do. It is up there with paying a professional pooper scooper to clean your backyard. It’s true, some folks pay to have someone come to their house once a week and pick up dog and cat pooh. In fact, pooper scoopers have their own organization, the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists. It’s true – look it up! Can you think of anything stupider? I am not talking about the guy who makes money picking up pet pooh; I admire him for his ingenuity. I am talking about the nitwits who pay him, but such are the stupid things we do!
©ack Linton, February 28, 2017