g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon Valley-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry and political bile.

btman at grotto11 dot com

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004
02:15 - Simple joys

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This past week I've seen a higher-than-usual level of apocalyptic glooming and dooming on various mailing lists and comment boards and high-def PBS cable channels about the environmental catastrophes we face, the danger our ever-mounting numbers pose to the Earth, and so on.

I feel I can largely pin this on the fact that Earth Day has just been and gone, leaving in its wake a nation-weight of impressionable high school students, mewling out their well-intentioned pronouncements that Humans are the only species that murders its own kind for sport and There are only two kinds of creatures whose numbers grow beyond their environment's ability to support them—humans and viruses (dutifully repeating the mantras of Agent Smith right along with the tracts they receive at on-campus talks about the merits of an Edenic Earth where five of the six billion inhabitants have been—humanely, somehow—culled from it).

It's enough to make a fella ashamed of his species, you know? Homo sapiens: Nature's Folly.

Well, let's say you've got a large and ungainly dog; let's say that at 1:30 in the morning, he develops the urge to go out for a walk. You get dressed, you go downstairs (to his glee), you strap on the leash. You head out to the vacant dirt lot next to the river in its mini-canyon. You do your business, you turn around. Just as you near the sidewalk again, you notice that the dog is limping, taking only a couple of steps at a time before knuckling over on one side and stopping. He holds up his right front paw, bewildered, helpless to move on.

You pick up the paw, turn it over, and immediately find one of those evil little two-pronged thorn seeds, the kind that are clearly designed in a fit of mischief by a vengeful bicycle-tire-hating God. You pluck it out. The dog stands there for a second, wondering what just happened.

"Try that," you say. The dog takes a step or two, then realization dawns: no more pain! And he bounds off in the direction of home, you trotting behind at the length of the retractable leash.

It's moments like that that you realize, you know, humans are a pretty neat invention after all.


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