People Should Have Tails       

Personally, I am very much a dog person. Other people are cat persons, hamster persons, there have been rumors of emu persons, but that goes outside the realm of my personal curiosity comfort zone. In my world, dogs are the bomb! During a particularly long episode of depression, my eyes fell upon my Lab, chasing her tail amid the pizza boxes, dirty clothes, and cassettes of Simon and Garfunkle, Pink Floyd, and The Smiths.

Every dog does it, even the “stubby butt” breeds like Rotties, and Cocker Spaniels. They just try to hide it by merely walking in circles before they lay down. At one point, my sweet Lab, Jammer, managed to twist her body in such a way it defied the laws of spinal integrity, and in fact, caught her tail. Her K9s clamped on this rear mounted appendage, and she once again realized they shared the same nerve systems.

Despite the wet blanket effect of my depression, I had to chuckle as Jammer’s eyes went wide as Winnebago’s, and with a whimper, she took off down the hall, tail tucked. “Dumb dog.”

As often as people present themselves with the same intellectual capacities as animals, people should have tails too. It would bring about a whole new era of communication among the masses. After all, that’s how many animals communicate with us.

Perhaps this idea is born of the frustration associated with living life at a disadvantage due to my inability to hide even the simplest of feelings. It’s like trying to bluff my way through a world championship poker series as a guest on Barbra Walters. I don’t need luck, everyone else needs tails. “I’m so happy to see you.” takes on new meaning with a tail wagging so hard it includes your butt. Tail between the legs for fear, or hurt, and a steady, slightly lowered tail for, “I’m about to chew on your neck!”, aka Back Off!

Perhaps its my inner child I refuse to let grow up, or take his ball and go home, who keeps feeding this notion it’s not fair. And for everyone of you thinking “Nobody said life was fair.”, my daddy can beat up your daddy, so you better take it back.


But maybe life really shouldn’t be fair. For one, the entire sports industry as we know it would collapse. Billions of already unstable sports fans would be left for want of a testosterone gland therapy. Middle aged, ex-high school ball players would be left congregating at memorial tailgate parties around empty stadiums., chanting the now half hearted argument “Tastes great.” “Less filling”.

How could I demand fair, with images of these sad little painted faces smudging themselves on locked arena doors, filling my heart? Besides, the closest thing we have to fair in this world is golf. Everyone has the same big headed sticks, the same little white ball, and the same 18 holes. Considering that they are doing research on treating insomniacs with televised golf, it gives me further reason to rethink this whole concept of fair. Perhaps defining it as equal is unfair (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

I think the concept of opportunity better applies to the application of fair. Nobody ever said life was fair, but everyone says you have to try. Fair should mean you are given the opportunity to try.


Often times it feels as if bon voyage best describes my opportunity ship, the S.S. CouldaWouldaShoulda. She has a sister ship, S.S. WishItWasMea, but they won’t let me on the dock let alone the deck. It seems the older I get, the more “realistic” my view becomes of how often the majestic CouldaWouldShoulda will grace my port with her golden bow, and gleaming white sails of promise.

The days of racing toward the ticket counter in hope of meeting the ever changing criteria for boarding are in many ways behind me. Whether wisdom or foolishness, depends on the individual your asking. And whether they truly mean what they’re saying or not, depends on the activity of their tail. Oh wait, people don’t have tails, which brings me back to my original point, they should. Maybe not everyone, but there are certain groups that should receive tails as a matter of federal mandate.

Politicians and lawyers come screaming to the forefront, though you may want a lawyer without a tail when it comes to court appearances. Politician tails should be implanted with same security measures as house arrest anklets, and calibrated regularly to insure accuracy. I’m not sure if puberty should incorporate tails, it seems teens have enough trouble controlling the appendages they were born with.

Not to mention the physical harm factor. If the tail of my 60 pound lab was enough to bruise shins and clear the coffee table, I don’t think I want to be within striking distance of a tail equipped 14 year old girl that just got a call from “the cutest boy ever!”.

Fact is, there seems to be considerable drawbacks to people having tails, excluding of course, politicians. So what am I left with now, having to concede that the good Lord truly does know what He’s doing? It would appear to be the first of all rules, the mother of all social conduct, the foundation of every civilization, and the first one forgotten when people get an emotional booboo. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Why is it that the most important lessons we learn are from the time of our life that is the first to be forgotten as we get older? I have always been an advocate of the principles pointing to the fact that God truly does have a sense of humor, but that borders on ornery.

It is probably covered under the Lord works in mysterious ways clause. The idea is simple enough in concept, I don’t hit you, you don’t hit me. Judge Mills Lane, Judge Judy, Joe Brown, the list goes on, and on, and on (insert echo here) they will all endorse this fact whole heartedly. What I find so ironic, is that the only civil servant turned TV icon that flat out states their version of the golden rule at the conclusion of every show is Jerry Springer. So in that time honored tradition, let me just say “.. and please, try to be good to each other.”
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I'm not sure how to feel about that..

Copyright Stephen Surgener - 2006

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