Grumpy’s Going to the Dogs Bigtime


I’m sure you’ve received an e-mail from someone where male characteristics/behavior is compared to that of a dog. For example, this list appeared on the Website for the John Mark Ministries.

Dogs spend all day sprawled on the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.

They can hear a package of food opening half a block away, but don’t hear you when you’re in the same room.

They can look dumb and lovable all at the same time.

They growl when they are not happy.

When you want to play, they want to play.

When you want to be alone, they want to play.

They leave their toys everywhere.

They do disgusting things with their mouths and then try to give you a kiss.

They go right for your crotch as soon as they meet you.

Conclusion: Dogs are tiny men in little fur coats.

As I grow older I see, without a doubt, that I am really going to the dogs.  My friends, current scientific data confirms this very notion. For example, take a look at this little gem from LiveScience.

“A male dog will whine and beg in deference to a stronger dog, but will lower its voice into a guttural growl if it thinks it has a fighting chance. Men unconsciously do a similar thing, scientists say.”

As confirmation, I know for a fact that I’m into whining. For every year I age there appears to be more and more to whine about. I’ve known my voice to rise to the level where I’m sure I sound like a screaming little girl. Even my almost-adult kids often say, “Stop whining, dad!” Of course, that’s when I lower my voice like James Earl Jones and scowl, “Watch how you talk to your father!”

Grrrrrr!

I tried this voice thingy thing with my daughter’s dog Pumba (You know the farting character in the lion King). Pumba is Pit Bull in Cock-a-poo clothing. We have staring contests that drag on for minutes. (My youngest son says I have too much time on my hands) but Pumba usually concedes when I bulge my eyes out and growl gutturally.

Anyway, if Pumba is up to his usual no good, I lower my voice to the depths of my throat and speak slowly and authoritatively to him. Immediately, this pit bull wannabe transforms to a pussy, flipping over on his back in total submission. Unfortunately, this lower voice technique doesn’t work with my wife. I tried it once and all that I got was the “stare of death”.  And no, I’ve never won a staring contest with the Alpha female in my house.

In another less scientific study, employees of fast food restaurants, retail establishments and the like were asked to report on the condition of their public washrooms. Here’s what they came up with.

“. . .the men’s room always had a weird stink. Funky! The women’s room, while generally stench free, did have paper (toilet paper and paper towels –complete pieces or little bits) EVERYWHERE! So men make a weird smell while women go in there and shred paper.”

          Conclusion:  When it comes to bathrooms, men are like dogs and women are like cats.

Well, I certainly concur. The weird smells I emit as I get older give the term “OLD FART” definitive validation. And, in our one bathroom house, I’ve always wondered how the toilet paper disappears so fast. Now I know – we have TWO women in this house.

MEEEEOW!

The evidence for my burgeoning “doggyness” became clearer this very week. You see I constantly scan the newspapers looking for articles that explain why, as I get older, my family thinks I am regressing intellectually; becoming a child-man, as it were. I’m trying to build arguments to counteract their statements like, “You drive so slow, dad.”, “You aren’t logical.”, “Hello, is there anyone in there?” “You forgot it, again!” and “What are you looking for now that you’ve misplaced.” (Duh! Usually it’s my marbles!)

A Toronto Star article appeared with this heading, “NOISE MARS AGING MIND!” Scanning young and old brains with an MRI, while participants attempted memory encoding tasks, caused quite a stir in the scientists.

Why?

While these tests were being conducted only the older participant showed activity in the auditory cortex.

“The researchers believe this shows that older adults are less able to filter out distractions in their surroundings. In this case, the distraction was the MRI machine which makes loud, repeated knocking noises as it scans.” TORONTO STAR, Nov.26, 2008

Eureka! Background noise drives me to distraction and I have the proof.

Last week I was typing up my son’s assignment as he dictated it to me. All was going well until he started scrapping the spoon in the plastic yogurt cup he was holding. My fingers went AWOL and the mistakes mounted. My edginess became heightened to “going postal” proportions. Suddenly, I shouted with James Earl Jones conviction, “Put that friggin’ cup down before I have a nervous breakdown!”

This phenomenon also occurs whilst driving. If the music on the radio is repetitious new style, bass driven crapola, I inevitably lose concentration and make a non life-threatening driving error. Eventually my hand hits the off button like a jack hammer. My son will say, “What’s got you in such a bad mood?” I’d like to say, “Shitty, distracting music!”

I used to be able appear to be listening to my wife while my brain thought of other things. I had this skill down to a science. Now when she talks to me her words distract my thoughts, and the look on my face is a dead giveaway for, “You’re not listening to me, are you!”

I no longer can read while I watch TV, type manuscripts with the radio on, work on intricate tasks without complete silence and walk and chew gum.

But here’s the kicker. I’ll be down in the basement with the task of retrieving item “X”, the washer will clunk, I’ll run in to see what happened, then stand there asking myself, “What did I come down here for in the first place?”

Yes, distracting sounds become memory assassins for me!

But how does this relate to me turning into a dog, you might ask?

Well it goes a way back to when I was young and my dad gave me this tip for training a dog.

“Just clap your hands or make a loud sound and the dog will forget what it’s doing!”

I know this works because when “Pitbull” Pumba barks when he’s outside, I just kick the inside of the aluminum door and presto, he ceases and desists. Usually he turns to me with a look like, “Shit, I just forgot what I was doing, again! FN humans!”

In closing, I’m going to lower my writing to a whisper and cover my monitor with my free hand. I don’t want my wife to get a hold of this information. You see, this data is just too life-altering and explosive.

Why?

Well, before too long, she’ll be clapping her hands together loudly and speaking to me in  a baritone voice while old Grumpy flips over on his back in submission, whines like a little girl, and mumbles,  “Geez, I forgot what I was doing again!”

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