10 Best
06.01.2012, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Dogs doing lists #16: Digested Reads

  1. Dogs marching the Children’s Crusade into a steaming vat of bookbinding glue and nodding with approval as the resultant glop is distributed as nutriment to the urchins laboring in a Dickensian workhouse.
  2. Dogs riding atop noted literary critic Harold Bloom across the tundra of the ice planet Hoth and happening upon a wayward graduate student suffering from hypothermia, conveniently enough at the precise moment the rotund Bloom keels over, having submitted to the inhospitable cold with a final, plaintive, blank-eyed bleat; and, in a moment of desperation, slicing Bloom’s corpse open at the stomach to find the chewed visages of William Shakespeare and Sigmund Freud seeping out from what proves in fact to be a cavernous chamber containing untold thousands of Western Civilization’s treasures, the precious and the forgotten, the gold and the stone—the Sistine Chapel, Keat’s grave, an aging Thomas Pynchon, the H.M.S Titanic, Yale University, the aura of election, Byron’s mistresses, and so on—and dragging the half-frozen graduate student in through the wound, urging, “This may smell bad, kid, but it will keep you warm.”
  3. Dogs distributing strike-anywhere matches to an addled congregation after persuading it to ingest gasoline-soaked copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and beseeching the increasingly skeptical multitude, now quite nauseated, “BOOK BURNING.”
  4. Dogs skipping hastily to the end of Arguably to find, as the pages fly past, a crude animation of a smiling Christopher Hitchens swigging from a gin bottle and promptly disrobing.
  5. Dogs interrogating Wile E. Coyote at an M.B.A. graduation ceremony, demanding, “Have you learned nothing??” and backing away in horror as he swallows a lit bomb and disappears into plume of dust and smoke, leaving instead a shower of fully intact textbooks raining down into a neat stack, topped with a hand-written placard, admitting: “It is true that I have not.”
  6. Dogs observing the decline and fall of the Roman empire on a spacetime viewer while reading The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and remarking at the simultaneous conclusion of each to the denizens of the early Thirty-sixth Century, “The book was better.”
  7. Dogs wondering how the dead live and acquiring, therefore, Will Self’s How the Dead Live (Bloomsbury, used from £0.01), and judging, in the final analysis: “Deadly.”
  8. Dogs hauling aboard Heidegger’s waterlogged corpse and gasping for breath as Matt Hooper slices open the philosopher’s bloated belly and dislodges sheaf after sheaf of poorly written fascist propaganda, but not the mutilated body of poor little Alex Kintner, and slowly following Chief Brody’s steely gaze out toward the horizon as Paul de Man’s crooked body distends and cackles in the waning moments of sunlight and the audience, culture, history, and Peter Benchley murmur in unison, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
  9. Dogs peering through a galactic microscope to observe the entire scope of human history at a magnification of 1000x, and observing intently Michel Foucault’s unethical liaisons in a public bathhouse, thinking, “That can’t be right,” and adjusting the revolver to achieve merely 100x magnification, at which point the entire 127th MLA Convention is seen surrounding the bathhouse in the style of a gladiatorial arena, cheering Foucault and erupting into paroxysms of glassy-eyed unthinking joy with each individuated failure of human compassion, and shouting at the scene, “No! No! No!” and fiddling with the device until 10x magnification is achieved, and squinting now as the tiny assembly is lost in a sea of vomit emanating forth from the smeared mouth of Bluto Blutarski, clad in a sweatshirt bearing the word COLLEGE, and nodding resolutely and declaring aloud, “Well, all right, then.”
  10. Dogs peering through thick, oversized spectacles at scattered entrails as the universe passes unceremoniously through the very bowels of time, and turning a boggled gaze to an absent camera to narrate, in the last instant, “THE DIGESTED READ, DIGESTED.”

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