Shits and giggles
A WHOLE POST ABOUT POOP
This post is dedicated to my friend Carin who lives in another country overseen by another kind of leader and who calls me his ‘pusher’ because I am pushing him to share his wisdom in a blog (see!? You can make entire posts about shit), and to my late dog Jamoka.
Jamoka riding the chickens on the Metaphor-go-Round with Mother Theresa, Startled Pony, and Sisyphus. This is my most brilliant photoshop work to date. Although Mr. Sir says it is the monkey riding on escapegoatback.
” Please, please do not take a course on writing comedy!”
So reads a comment from Gnomus (my most loyal reader and insightful commenter) on None of this is funny, below.
The remark that spurred that post that spurred that comment, explored in the little un-funny rant (again, below and here), from a reviewer of a book I read that spurred scenes from a broken leg-ish life, really pissed me off; it smacked of that human habit of base and broad judgments such as , “he/she/it thinks he/she/it is so _______ (insert perceived positive self-attribute here) ish. ness. Why do we do that? Why is it not ok for others to have positive self-worth? Why is everything which is not serious automatically trying to be funny? I find that trying. Yeah–I tried to explain all that in the post mentioned and below. My friend Mike says every criticism he levels at another is really a self-criticism. Yeah, we mostly all do that. Although, Jamoka didn’t.
I once wrote on my old website that my dog had written a book called, Who moved my poop?. This was when that bestselling self-help book, Who moved my cheese?, was in fashion. It was an allegory, not quite Kafka-esque, about meandering through the maze of life and making choices and inferences and so on. So my dog Jamoka, who was quite brilliant, decided to write his own allegorical, and far more Kafka-esque, in my opinion, guide to life using poop rather than cheese. Jamoka was poking fun at that cheesy book which was all the more funny because of its bestsellerdom. I learned a lot about life from Jamoka and I credit him with all of my insights. He now lives on as part of me and an iteration of his earthly vessel lives on my bureau in a carved wooden box.
Anyway, then Hilary Price, who is a friend (oops! I still owe Hilary and Kerry a wedding gift…), made a cartoon in which Jamoka is signing his book. She drew all the dogs in our building as characters waiting to have their books signed and this includes Jamoka’s long time love, Prima (who in the strip is hugging her copy and looking proudly at her man), as well as Hilary’s own dog and so on. I showed the strip and the ‘book’ to my father who sort of sniffed at it and said, “It’s not funny. I just don’t think it is funny at all” so I got a new father and he went off to find a new daughter of the Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry and societal hurdles and milestones and material accomplishmentary gain variety. No one insults my Jamoka. No one puts baby in a corner.
The most recent iteration of Jamoka’s soul is a small boy currently growing up in Nepal who will in a few years’ time be discovered as the next Dalai Lama but that has not happened yet. I admit to finding comfort in having that box there. I put glass bunnies on top (for him to chase but never catch because when Jamoka got close enough to chased animals to actually catch them he would back off but bark more as if to say “run you pesky woodchuck, you, for I am a big dog”) that my late friend Hans slipped into my overnight bag at one visit. Hans was always slipping things into my bags. Hans was so silly like that. He was hilariously decadently mischievous and fun-loving and bursting with unconditional love for the universe. I like to picture Jamoka now shenaniganing and pooping in another realm with my brother (who would be 46 yesterday, the 19th) and Hans (meandered off last year on June 22). They are probably throwing poop at passing cars and politicians.
Anyway – I noticed that Jamoka would go looking for his own poop on subsequent walks to the same place and would examine it, as dogs will examine all poops. Once Jamoka looked in a place he’d pooped at earlier and seemed to have a sense of urgence as it was no longer there. He looked around frantically and then looked at me beseechingly so I finally directed him to the moved poop and he achieved a level of calm and we resumed our walk. For he had inexplicably pooped in the middle of the trail which I thought somewhat inconsiderate of other people and dogs so while he ran ahead I had taken a stick and moved it to the side of the trail, into the brush.
Mostly Jamoka pooped on hills. No matter where we were he’d find a hill and balance precariously on it and conduct his business. He was a business man. I thought about this a lot. I still do, as you can see. It seemed there might be an important message in this. One time it was snowy and icy, a cold and wintry day. Jamoka climbed a steep hill and assumed the position and then, just when he was about to do business, he started to slide. So he climbed the hill again and resumed the position and again began to slide. This went on cyclically for quite a while with resumings and re-resumings. I tried to reason with him and helpfully point out other suitable locations but he was doggedly focused and determined. Finally he managed to get the job done. Then he ran off laughing and barked at a few squirrels in glee. I thought about this for a long time. It was pretty hilarious. It called to mind long gone philosophy classes and tales from Greek mythology and, of course, the plight of Sisyphus.
A gift, that. Jamoka allegorically and metaphorically explained to me the meaning of life, of existentialism, via excrementialism. (<–it occurs to me Gnomus, that had I not put in that excre bit, you’d have come to that all by yourself in the comments. Apologies.)
Me and Jamoka, as painted by Fran Kidder
This entry was posted on June 20, 2008 at 6:22 am and is filed under Animal Stuff, Communication, Confusion, Life Performance Art, Literary, Philosophy?, Popular Culture, Special People, The meaning of life, Therapy with tags allegories, insecurity, jamoka, kafka, mother theresa, poop, sisyphus, the metaphor-go-round, who moved my cheese, Whom moved my poop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.