Archive for December 9th, 2008

December 9, 2008

Why Dogs Don’t Play Charades

“They used a crouton there.”

Eddie Izzard was giving away trade secrets about a magazine shot of him. I thought he was referring to a grommet or stud on his jeans but he pointed to his hand extending from the sleeve of a blue blazer. Apparently a ring of some sort. I awoke abruptly to something that sounded like a handful of change rolling in the dryer. (Yeah it was a dream. Like I actually know Eddie Izzard.)

The sound became clearer. Dog. Plastic.

In front of the open refrigerator my little beagle cleaned a container of what was, moments before, an entire store-bought “Southwest” style meatloaf. Her tags beat the inside of the container, making the coin sound.

“What the heck are you doing, Butthead!?” It’s a term of endearment, I swear.

She ran outside, partly due to my tone and partly because nature also screamed, something to the effect of: “Cumin and cheese, butthead!”

I headed to my son’s room to tell him he’d left the fridge open. When I opened the door, a pungent haze wafted out.

“Heh, that’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . awesome.”

He thought it was pretty hysterical. So did I.

I went back to bed, but was soon back at his door. Two things occurred to me: the dog might be getting munchies from hanging out in his room, and considering the whole chicken I stopped her from choking on a few days ago, she’s figured out how to open the fridge.

His response: “Did you know that we’re the only ones whose brains can conceive of stuff we haven’t seen? You know, make up stories outside of ourselves?”

“You mean ‘imagination’?”

He stared at me for a moment.

“Yeah, that’s it.”

He continued the metaphysics/evolution lecture he’d started when he got home from work a few hours earlier.

I reminisced privately about the simpler times in my youth when we would muse extendedly about the universe being the nucleus of a cell in some giant dude’s fingernail. We could save the world, if they only knew.

“So that’s why dogs don’t play charades?” I think the haze from his room was getting to me.

More staring. Probably because instead of “play charades”, all that came out of my mouth was “hee hee hee hee” like that dog that sniggers and floats for his liver snaps.

I tried and failed again, just “hee hee”. Third time’s a charm.

“Well,” he considered thoughtfully, “they couldn’t do the numbers, I guess. No fingers.” Not even a THC-induced smile.

He then pointed out that the best proof God doesn’t exist is that 99.9% of the universe is deadly to mankind.

According to his clock, it was 3:40. I irritated him by insisting I had to get back to bed. When I got there, my clock said 1:25.

So now I know why dogs don’t play charades. They have no imagination, or if they do, they’re too busy devising ways to get to that cheesy meatloaf in the fridge to worry about getting you to say “War and Peace.”