10 Best
20.12.2012, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Dogs doing lists #36: The Sense of an Ending

  1. Dogs waving toward a series of mushroom clouds blossoming along the horizon, calling out, “So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight,” and heaving a long sigh and staring wistfully at the white glow as the concussion wave roils across the landscape, adding, “I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.”
  2. Dogs lamenting to a thoroughly befuddled audience, “But seas between us braid hae roar’d sin auld lang syne.”
  3. Dogs waking during a recurring nightmare about adolescence in mid-century middle America, shouting, “I WANT AN OFFICIAL RED RYDER CARBINEACTION TWOHUNDREDSHOT RANGE MODEL AIR RIFLE.”
  4. Dogs gazing mutely at you as the present dilates into an awkward, pregnant silence and quickly encompasses everything you’ve ever seen or thought, and balloons out to surround the recent past, and circumscribes, finally, the mid-nineteenth century; and bracing as the looming, contained history rattles for an instant before being expelled in a violent gust all over the unsuspecting face of Charles Dickens.
  5. Dogs starting up from a recliner as the body of Santa Claus falls into a blazing fireplace, shouting, “THERE’S THAT GODDAMNED DRAFT AGAIN.”
  6. Dogs roasting on a spit before the inattentive audience of the televised Christmas special Yule Log.
  7. Dogs cradling the body of a dying universe, cooing, “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do,” and sighing in contentment as the sum of all existence shudders, fades, and blinks out.
  8. Dogs peering at you inquisitively, demanding, “Have I forgotten… what?”
  9. Dogs lowering a stick of dynamite into a cheerfully puffing chimney and asserting with a mischievous grin, “I am the darkness that gets in the cracks of all things.”
  10. Dogs piloting a universe along the fourth dimension into another supercondensed and unsuspecting universe, and observing as the resulting Big Bang gives way to thirteen billion years of Being as we know it, “Sometimes your plans can backfire.”
  11. Dogs gaping at a spacetime viewer alternating between a placid tableau of domestic Christmas bliss and scenes of an impending fiery apocalypse, and demanding of the images in confused corresponding alternation, “It was Christmastime?? It was the end times??”
  12. Dogs wincing as the clanging chimes of doom ring out in triumphant heraldry of the subjugation of the Earth by the Intergalactic Raxx’vian Empire, asking, “Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?”
  13. Dogs observing as the double flash of a nuclear detonation gives way to a rising mushroom cloud, “All is calm. All is bright.”
  14. Dogs heaving a melancholy sigh as the ashes of a nuclear explosion flit and mingle with a few spare snowflakes before drifting noiselessly to the ground.
  15. Dogs explaining to all assembled as the toothless Abominable Snow Monster of the North straggles into Christmastown to place a star delicately atop a tree, “Every year, American culture embarks on a massive project to carefully recreate the Christmases of Baby Boomers’ childhoods.”
  16. Dogs cracking a whip to drive the the Bumpuses’ bloodhounds across the Siberian wastes in pursuit of an escaped political dissident.
  17. Dogs affirming glumly from the confines of a hospital bed, “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes,” and losing consciousness as a doctor murmurs in horror at the possibility of an epidemic, “Christmas is all around us.”
  18. Dogs standing vigil over the grave of Gus Polinski, bandleader of the Kenosha Kickers.
  19. Dogs playing a single kazoo note as the Earth spirals out of its orbit, out of the solar system, and off across the universe.
  20. Dogs begging of a Universal Processing Authority clerk dispensing metered units of continuing existence, “Please, sir, I want some more.”
  21. Dogs plummeting in a noose from the Owl Creek Bridge and splashing miraculously down into the water, swimming to safety under a hail of bullets, and escaping into nearby woods only to realize that there was no miraculous splash landing, no swim in the river, and no escape, and thinking as the noose snaps taut and a thunderous neck crack echoes through the valley, “I’ve lost the sense of an ending.”
  22. Dogs accepting the fundamental reality of your occasional motion while also refusing to acknowledge the fact of your continuing existence.
  23. Dogs scanning your ritual end-of-year mass e-mail and unconsciously mousing over to the delete button.
  24. Dogs asserting that on a long enough timeline, whatever, who cares.
  25. Dogs affirming sternly, “I have forgotten.”
  26. 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 selves, and pausing to gasp in a gesture of infinite self-recognition before performing an eternally recursive Kevin McAllister hands-to-cheeks shriek, only to rather quickly make the surprising discovery that the real terminus of the infinite series of reflected selves, and hence also the real terminus of the mathematical abstraction infinity, was actually achieved at about 200 iterations, give or take a few.
  27. Dogs jumping down from the witness box to thrust an accusing finger in the face of the alleged murderer, shouting, “He’ll be back again some day!”
  28. Dogs placing a gun against your head and narrating, “What happened next was a family controversy for years.”
  29. Dogs insisting to your eyeballs as they bulge absurdly under a Ludovico apparatus, “Auld acquaintance should be forgot, and never brought to mind.”
  30. Dogs calling to a damaged social order teetering precariously on the benevolent whim of one old, petit-bourgeois miser, “God bless us, every one.”

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