What is wrong with my stupid dog that he simply will not grasp the concept of his own mortality? I am seriously running out of patience here. Housebreaking wasn’t too much of a struggle, and teaching Bongoes how to catch the frisbee in his mouth actually turned out to be easier than I even thought, but on this thing I seem to have run into a total roadblock. Every day, for two hours a day, I’ve been taking Bongoes by the ears, leaning in real close, and telling him point blank that he is going to die someday, that the life he knows will cease to be at a fixed moment in time, that his lifespan is a short one in human terms and all that he sees, tastes, and touches will be gone forever and ever. All I ask is that he give me a little nod when he finally understands this, but all he does upon receiving this incredibly simple but incredibly important information is immediately look around for his chew stick. My neighbor Shelley, who has an unusually large head but is otherwise normal, says she had the same problem when trying to point out the necessity of a finite existence to Mr. Chipsie, but at least Mr. Chipsie eventually got with the damn program and displayed some basic comprehension of his inevitable last end. I checked out Jamie Farr’s How to Raise a Smiling Whippet from the library, and in it he recommends all the usual things: taking the dog to a cemetery, reading to him from Nietzsche…none of that worked, so I tried setting a freshly killed harp seal in front of him and giving him the speech again. That damn seal may as well have been the September 1987 issue of Tiger Beat for all the relevance it seemed to have for Bongoes. Seriously, I just don’t know if I could endure having to raise one of those pets who thinks he’s going to bury us all. Does this silly animal realize what could happen if he passes on without setting his affairs in order? What’s it going to take for him to accept his ultimate destiny and live out the rest of his days accordingly? I have enough on my mind with putting together this arson job on the summer house. (I don’t just want it to burn, I want it to burn big, you know what I’m saying? I went bankrupt buying it, and I won’t accept one of those weak-kneed suburban charrings that leaves the place half standing and only technically uninhabitable. I want to make the claims agent cry out, “Holy crap, a spectacle like this could only have been set in motion by the hand of the Creator himself!”)
Yeah, you’re right, I’m getting too worked up over things. Let me focus here, focus. Did I ask for the rib spreader yet? No? Where were we? We never finished the incision? I don’t even remember having the scalpel in my hand. You know what else, there’s no actual patient here, just the table. Okay, tell you what, we’re going to back up now, retrace our steps, and collect ourselves. This is not happening again so soon after the last one.