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23.12.2011, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Dogs doing lists #15: A Christmas Creature Feature

  1. Dogs depressing a plunger to detonate Goldman Sachs headquarters, snarling, “Merry Christmas, you old Building and Loan.”
  2. Dogs peeling off latex gloves after the unsuccessful body transplant of Frosty the Snowman and ordering the nurses to dispose of the intestinal tract hanging from the overhead operating room lamp, the liver quivering in the corner, the lungs languishing in a dish, the brain wedged hastily into the donor body’s mouth, and other sundry organs splayed all about the place, and turning apologetically to the children, offering, “He’ll be back again some day.”
  3. Dogs standing before an infinite series of mirror reflections to gaze at an infinitely receding series of selves further receding into an infinite series of elves, and pausing to whisper the formula for the Anti-Life Equation before performing an eternally recursive Kevin McAllister hands-to-cheeks shriek.
  4. Dogs fixating after Linus’s narration of the first Christmas (“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown…”) on the slow return of his thumb to his mouth, and marveling, utterly transfixed, as the previously eloquent organ pulls gritty, salty thumb flesh with a contraction of the pharyngeal muscles acting upon the tongue toward the palate and fills the empty auditorium, the assembled Peanuts standing silently by on stage, with two resounding, thumb-stopped, abbreviated slurps.
  5. Dogs offering a pathetic, cracked grin against a planetary chorus of “YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT,” and briefly reflecting on the merits of a life of near-perpetual anxiety and sadness, punctuated routinely by thrashings from fathers, beatings from bullies, and a lifetime of disregard from the Bumpuses, and letting fall into the melting snow a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock before hefting a Stoeger Condor Competition Combo O/U 12 gauge shotgun, and offering, with double-barrels-firmly-in-mouth, a final, “MERRY CHRISTMAS, FUCK YOU,” and pulling the trigger.
  6. Dogs visiting Ebenezer Scrooge on the night before Christmas to explain that he will be visited by three ghosts, each offering various instructions to the effect that wealth hoarding and austerity measures are detrimental to the general economy, and that his attention to these matters shall be documented in a novella intended to bolster on humanitarian grounds the legitimacy of the burgeoning system of bourgeois industrial capitalism.
  7. Dogs awaiting the verdict on the presence of silver and/or gold as Yukon Cornelius plucks his pick axe from the snow and touches it delicately to his tongue, only to find that the prospector has underestimated the effects of the Arctic clime upon metal and oral moisture and that the usually expressive explorer is now indeed frozen to the axe’s sharp point, shouting indecipherable commands with an essentially immobilized mouth; and watching as Hermey, the elf aspiring to dentistry, tugs frantically at the offending instrument despite the pained cries of Cornelius until the tongue flesh gives way to force and sends Hermey tumbling backward, gripping the pick axe, now decorated with a small, quivering, pink chunk of muscle as Cornelius issues torrents of blood and cries tearfully, “GUUUUUB,” puzzling all present (including, suddenly, the Abominable Snowman) for a moment until it occurs to the intrepid party that the disabled Cornelius was in fact indicating the presence of gold, prompting everyone, aside from the currently unconscious Cornelius, to shout with hesitant jubilation: “GOLD!”
  8. Dogs conducting a pair of choruses to alternately chant ‘FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN” and “UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN,” with the added effect of a conductor’s baton that is, in fact, the Elder Wand, thereby actually generating a new infant life with each stroke of the baton/wand and resultant lyric, and conducting this pair of choruses for thousands of years until the Solar System is completely populated by a vast swath of crying infants floating along the massive tidal forces generated by the pressure exchange between the vacuum of space and trillions of miniature exhalations of breath, and 10,000 years later observing a black hole looming on the edge of the starfield and sighing in obvious relief at the prospect of an end to this strange, unending Baroque cycle of life and death, gasping, “THE PRINCE OF PEACE.”
  9. Dogs executing a German expatriate on the streets of 1956 Buenos Aires, and sneering at the bullet-riddled body, “You’ll go down in history.”
  10. Dogs hobbling over to Whitehall on a single crutch to plead for a repeal of the Christmas carol ban, and upon receiving an audience with Oliver Cromwell, begging, “Please, sir, I want some more,” and looking up expectantly as the Lord Protector tears at his face and reveals himself to be Santa Claus merely disguised as Oliver Cromwell by way of a fashionable Oliver Cromwell plaster death mask, which is smashed furiously against the floor as the assembled court chants in unison, “IN PRAISE OF MONARCHY,” and Santa turns and stares into a spacetime viewer and bellows, “AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

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