'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
FIGHTING LIKE CATS AND DOGS
According to conventional wisdom, there are two topics you should never discuss in polite society: religion and politics. The thinking behind this unwritten rule is the fact that people have such strongly-held opinions about these topics. Any discussion that touches on religion or politics is sure to evoke anger, acrimony, and inflamed emotions—traits not welcomed in polite society.
So naturally, virtually every program on cable television these days is centered around religion and/or politics. This is because, except for the fellowship and good sportsmanship always on display during NBA games, we no longer live in a polite society.
There is another topic which also evokes anger, acrimony, and inflamed emotions. In the many years that I have written this weekly column I have taken great pains to avoid this volatile subject. My wife has counseled me never to raise the issue, as it would, in her words, “Cause half of your 12 loyal readers to write nasty protest letters to the newspaper.”
Well, I don’t care. Recently I learned of a ghastly situation, and I simply must speak my mind. It may cause an uproar in the Naugatuck Valley, as six people angrily reach for pencil and paper, but it must be done. So here goes: dogs are great pets, and cats are awful!
There, I said it, and I’m glad.
Now, for the remaining six of you who are still reading, let me explain. My daughter has a boyfriend. For discussion purposes and to protect his privacy, let’s just call him “Jon Ericson, a junior at the University of Connecticut,” or “Jon” for short.
Anyway, “Jon” has a pet cat. For discussion purposes and to protect his privacy, let’s just call the cat “Rocky,” or “Rocky” for short. “Rocky” does not demonstrate any interest in or affection toward “Jon”—as cats are wont to do. “Jon,” however, does demonstrate interest in and affection toward my daughter—as 20-year-old college juniors are wont to do, especially when they are dating a gorgeous young lady who got her good looks from her gorgeous mother. (Man, am I looking for Brownie points, or what?)
So “Rocky,” despite never once acknowledging that “Jon” even exists, suddenly has become insanely jealous of my daughter. Whenever my daughter visits “Jon’s” house, “Rocky” shows his displeasure by peeing on my daughter’s coat or shoes, or sometimes even on my daughter herself.
If instead of a cat, “Jon” had a dog for a pet, this would never happen. A dog surely would welcome my daughter into the family, and demonstrate a great deal of interest in and affection toward her. (Possibly causing “Jon” to become jealous.) Whenever my daughter came over to visit, a pet dog would become so excited and joyful upon seeing her, he probably would pee on her coat or shoes, or maybe even on my daughter herself.
But the big difference is a dog would do that by accident—the result of joy and excitement. On the other hand, when the cat does it, it is the result of a cold and calculated plot based on pure selfishness.
And that’s the main problem. Cats are basically selfish, not to mention aloof and scheming and arrogant. In other words, cats are a lot like people.
Dogs are different. Dogs are loving and loyal and always trying to please others. In other words, dogs are a lot like…dogs. Which is why dogs make such good pets while cats make such lousy pets.
Now that I’ve completely alienated all the “cat people” out there—and you know who you are because your homes smell funny—I might as well break all the taboos of polite society. I might as well offend everyone and cause all 12 readers to angrily reach for pencil and paper. I might as well discuss my views of religion and politics.
OK, Here goes: Because the world of politics unfortunately attracts a lot of politicians, I have only one thing to say: “God help us!”
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