Man’s Best Liability

The other day, I was visiting a friend of mine.  He’s got a little 6-year-old boy, no different than any kid you’ve seen 10,000 times before on Facebook, honestly, or circulating on the random smartphone at any given point in time. Just ask those dicks at the NSA. Eventually, after adults being adults inside and kids being screamy and banging shit around outside, it came time for all of us to sit down for dinner and, when it happened, the little boy suddenly became unruly.  He was still playing, you see.  Not only did he flat out refuse to come in, but made a scene as to the innocently idiotic/idiosyncratic/primarily just idiotic reasons as to why (“But when…NOOOO…NO, I c—but, but NOOOOAAWWWWWUUHHHHH” was by far the best and most intelligible).  The whole thing reminded me of that story about Stevie Nicks stumbling into a Hollywood party and announcing she’d give anyone $1,000 to go into the bathroom to blow a straw full of cocaine up her ass.  And nobody would.

“But, I’m Stevie—seriously? No one’s gonna…really? No one’s gonna…NOOOO…but, but I c—NOOOOAAWWWWWUUHHHHH!”

You’ve probably never heard that one before.  A friend of a guy I work with happened to be there.

This was before Snapchat.

But the young child had toys to be playing with, you see, and other miscellaneous more important things to be doing. So, after several minutes of trying to nice-talk him in, out came the tired adult threats: “If you don’t come inside right now, you’re not getting any Fudg-EE-O’s for dessert!” And BAM—the child came quickly, like wild-oats-sowing Johnny Mormon at a Bangkok brothel. Lovin’ them Fudg-EE-O’s, apparently. And in that moment, after his hands had filthed up the sliding glass door and his shoes streaked the floor, and, upon sitting down across from me, an unexpected sneeze blew over his plate (and the table), and everyone laughed, and a snot oozed quickly out of his nose and into his mashed potatoes (which no one saw but me), and everyone continued to laugh, the whole thing like a Eugene Field poem, I had a moment myself. Of reflection. About my own childhood.

I grew up in the South.  Far from a Eugene Field poem, my own youth.  More like a Charles Bukowksi novel, I like to think. Or an issue of Fangoria magazine.

Turns out the people where I came from didn’t say things like, “Get inside right now or you’re not getting any Fudg-EE-O’s for dessert!” They said, “Sean, if you don’t get in this house, I’m gonna show everybody them pictures of you fuckin’ the dog!”

Sean van Hoeffenstroog, poor guy.  While he spent the rest of his adolescence trying to live down his older sister’s threat, and no one I knew ever did see the pictures, it somehow seemed beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that fucking the dog was something the guy had been guilty of during his pre-teen years.

You just kind of had to know him.

I can remember the first time I ever heard the term ‘dog fucking’.  It wasn’t then, by the way.  It was a few years before, at my own house.  My sister was in the front yard, telling a story to her friends of a guy who said he was going to show off pictures of his wife fucking the dog (just because, apparently), and I was playing with my Tonka trucks listening, thinking, ‘Dog fucking?  Is that like dancing?’

Oh, how times have changed.

(Not really.)

(You just kind of have to know me.)

Did you know that, today, if you punch the words ‘would I get pregnant if’ into an internet search engine, the most common response that comes back is: ‘I fucked a dog’?  I kid you not.

Fantasies are probably a lot more common, though, because why?  Dogs lick, they love.  They don’t do anything to hurt you. So, intrigued by those findings, I did a little more research, and it turns out the three most popular periods for dog fucking in world history were: Today.  About 5,000 thousand years ago in Central America.  And 1934.

Why 1934, you may ask?  Well, I’ll answer that with a song.  Goes a little something like this, low-fi, on a scratchy old Victrola:

Times have changed
And we’ve often rewound the clock
Since the Puritans got a shock
When they landed on Plymouth Rock.
If today
Any shock they should try to stem
‘Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock,
Plymouth Rock would land on them.

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking.
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.

‘Anything Goes’, Cole Porter, 1934.

On the subject of dog fucking, I needed a job once.  Things had gotten pretty lean for me here in Eugene not long after getting my degree, and I happened to find myself, once again in life, as a viable commodity in the modern-day American slave trade, otherwise known as the temporary employment industry.  Labor Ready.  Apparently, there’s like no easier place to find a job in town than this one.  It’s that stand-outside-at-five-in-the-morning-and-get-picked-out-of-two-tiers-like-a-hooker-in-a-Bangkok-brothel place. You know it.

I went in, brought them all my personal information, and as the lady is going over it—faxing it to a CIA server farm in Langley, or whatever she does—I was administered a test at the counter.  “Just a formality,” she says.  She gave me a book with about 75 questions in it with a keypad to punch my answers into.  And so I did.  I slid it back to her when I was done, and the next thing I know the computer makes this sound.  Kind of like a <beep-boop-BLORRRNNNGGG>.  And the lady goes, like she doesn’t even give that much of a shit, “Oooh, yeah.  There were some discrepancies in your answers.  I’m sorry.  We can’t hire you.”

And I was like, “What?  This is Labor Ready.  And I’m Ready for your Labor.”

And she just goes, “I’m sorry.”

I said, “Well, can I just come back in, like, a week and take it again?”

And she goes, “No.  In fact, we’re not allowed to hire you for an entire year.”

And I’m like, “A year?  Wh—what?  Okay.  But…can I…discrepancies?  Can you…tell me…?”

And she’s like, “Yeah, I’m sorry, I can’t give out any further information.  Here’s all your stuff back.  Have a nice day.”  And so I leave, because I have to, because now I’m scared the security camera is going to start rotating in my direction, or the holographic Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is going to appear and try to put me in a sleeper hold.  But he won’t be able to because he’s only a holograph, and he won’t realize it.  But I will.  And he’ll just keep trying—stomping around and playing up to the crowd.  And the lady won’t even care, because she doesn’t make enough money to.

And then it’ll just start to get awkward.

I realized when I got outside what I’d done wrong.  They asked me a question to the tune of: If someone started any trouble with you, presented you with any sort of physical violence, would you respond in a similar manner? And I said, ‘Maybe.’  Self-defense?  Hello?  But they don’t care.  Jab a pencil into the face of the guy swinging a circular saw at you—“Hey, that’s $1.75 for the pencil!”  They don’t care.  “Plus $50 for the Purple Power to clean it all up.  Do you have $51.75 for what you did to that guy’s face? Because that’s on you.”  That’s a lot of Purple Power, actually.

I really don’t see how honest people can technically ‘pass’ those tests.  You see them all over, if you’re looking for a low level corporate job.  It’s to weed out the psychopaths, I guess.  It’s like—perfect example: first they ask you, ‘Would you fuck a dog?’  And you say, of course, ‘No.’  Then they ask you, ‘Say you’re at a bar one night.  The dog comes in dressed in appealing bar clothes and starts to come on to you.  Would you fuck it?’  You say, ‘No.  No.’

Then they ask you, ‘Say you’re the President of the United States.  The dog comes into the Oval Office wearing nothing but a thong and a tiara and asks you to fuck it.  Would you fuck it?’  And you say, ‘Well, yeah!  If I’m President of the United States!  Of course I would!’

And that’s when they got you.

I mean, wouldn’t you?  President of the United States?  Hello?

I could scare up $130,000 to cover that one up.  No problem.