At a wedding recently I made a speech where I pondered, in the form of an anecdote, what is really so great about having pets. The response I got to my asking this question astounded me:
“Who the fuck is that?”
“Why is he facing that way?”
On my way out of the reception shortly afterwards I realised that, for all the negativity about my speech, none of it addressed the points I had raised.
“What is he even doing here?”
“What in the shit was he on about?”
“What time is the band starting?”
None of their small-minded and puerile questions even came close to addressing mine: What is so great about owning pets? I even considered the rancorous abuse I received as I attempted to re-enter the wedding reception a sign I’d touched a nerve that needed touching. As I collected my shoes and jacket off the cold concrete of the car-park I was warmed by a sense I’d scored a moral victory.
The next day my head was fuzzy with thoughts, my mouth dry with a sense of injustice and my jacket was covered with an acrid-smelling dampness that I knew represented oppressive silence. There was a similar dampness on my trousers, I’ll let you imagine what hat was.
Hard done by…ness.
What is the point of owning pets? Everybody thinks it from time to time, but clearly no-one wants to hear it spoken out loud, heavily intoxicated, during an unplanned wedding outburst. When you’ve been warned several times already.
We have all had the benefits of owning pets drummed into us through the oppressive paternalism of our upbringing: the provide companionship.
Well what about a plant?
They are cute and soft.
What about a cushion with a smiley face on it?
They provide something to talk about with even your dullest colleagues.
Why don’t we address that in ‘Part Two?’