Monday, February 6, 2012

Doggie Style

There was this cerebral palsy kid at the state-operated boarding school for cripples. Sometimes we called him “Doggie Style.” He didn’t mind that nickname. He thought it was cool.

This kid couldn’t feed himself. At mealtimes, the kids who couldn’t feed themselves were assigned to the same table so our adult keepers could double up, feeding one kid with the right hand and one with the left. But one day there was a perfectly good plate of food on the table in front of him and the keepers were busy doing something else. The kid was hungry, so he leaned forward, stuck his face in his food and ate it right off his plate without using his hands.

Doggie style!

Now of course when the other kids saw him do this, we hooted and hollered and gagged. And of course the adult keepers admonished him never to do it again. It was degrading! Be patient and wait for one of the keepers to come!

The kid seemed perplexed by the reaction, but he stopped eating doggie style and waited for someone to feed him in the proper, socially-acceptable way. But there were other times when if the keepers weren’t around to give him a hard time about it, he wasn’t at all ashamed to eat doggie style. I saw him eat an entire bologna sandwich doggie style once. There was no one there to feed him so what the hell. Fuck table manners. And he was quite adept at eating doggie style. He could clean his plate in no time. And we all watched with adolescent fascination, the same way we might watch a guy swallow a bug or put out a lit match with his tongue on a dare.

I don’t know whatever happened him. But if you’re still out there, Doggie Style, I want to say I know now that you were a pioneer. I could learn a lot from you. My life could be a whole lot easier if I could just relax and let myself do it doggie style, like you.

And I hope, Doggie Style, when it’s all said and done, that you will get the last laugh. That is the great reward of being a pioneer. I hope, when need be, you still do it doggie style. Because why not? When a man’s gotta eat, and man’s gotta eat, right? So take charge! Assert your autonomy! Liberate polite society from its stupid hang up about doing it doggie style. A lot of us are counting on you.

I know you probably got thrown out of a lot of public places. You may have even been arrested for doing it doggie style. But I hope you persevered and still keep doing it . I hope you go to great lavish banquets, sit up on the dais in your tux, and do it doggie style. I hope you stick your face in the punch bowl and gulp, like bobbing for apples.

Because a lot of us look to you for hope and inspiration. We know the slings and arrows you suffer will make it easier for others like us to proudly and openly do it doggie style. I can no longer feed myself so well, at least not using my arms. But often I can feed myself easy, if I do it doggie style. I find myself in your situation. There it is right there, delicious food, but no keeper to assist. The food heckles me. I could conquer it easy, lean forward and lick that plate sparkling clean, if I wasn’t afraid of what others might think if they saw me doing it doggie style. So instead I mourn.

But I’m getting better. Sometimes when I’m home alone, I do it doggie style. And I find it quite satisfying. Someday soon, I hope, I’ll come out of the closet.