Friday, 4 September 2009


After recent forays into the world of fiction with Disciple (which met with dizzying critical and popular acclaim – see comments on the previous entry) back to almost normal this week (thereby suggesting that this is somehow a regular, weekly exercise – ha!). Apart from Animal Farm most writing about animals is very bad indeed (think Marley and Me and Paul Auster’s Timbukfrickintu), cutesy and self-indulgent and generally shite, and maybe the only thing more boring than other people’s children is other people’s pets, but special mention today must be given to Guinness The Dog.

On Sunday, after scarfing down far too much barbecued sausage and cachaça (she’s a well taught dog), Guinness The Dog decides to hit the streets and see if there’s any action going down up on the corner. Guinness sees a special friend hanging around outside the bakery. Guinness gives chase. Guinness’s special friend legs it. A taxi comes roiling up the alley. Special friend and Guinness bowl under the taxi. Special friend comes out the other side. Guinness does not. I look under the car - it´s a dry county (ie. no Guinness. Do I have to explain everything?). I hear yelping from the bottom of the alley. I leg it home after Guinness, running down the hill away from the lighthouse, past the bakery where the teenagers stand around in the gloom doing nothing much at all, past the old men and women sitting idly outside their doors, down the steps and up the other steps and into the garden. A big cold moon hanging down, wind draughting up from the ocean, Guinness The Dog’s End Of Days. The remains of the barbecue are still dredging along, and Guinness is in the corner, whining quietly, her taxi-crushed tail all cut to ribbons, her left back paw bruised and beaten, but all in all, after a quick trip to the vet (and don’t drink and drive, kids, unless you have an injured dog in the back and know the back roads where the cops won’t get you), right as rain.

If that wasn’t enough, yesterday I decide to indulge a wounded dog a little and sit her on top of the three meter wall that surrounds the house (it’s not three meters inside the garden, if you get me, because the house is raised up, but three meters to the baked earth below on the outside). I turn my back. I hear a scrabbling of paws. And there goes Guinness The Dog, bouncing off the barbed wire that fronts the wall, flying through the air with a yelp, crumpling onto the hard packed sand an Everest or so below. That’s it, Guinness The Dog, I think. Guinness The Dog já era. Until Guinness The Dog stands up, shakes herself off, gives a small cough and goes off to bother the neighbours’ cats.

So in light of all this, Guinness The Dog having survived two near death (or at least two near broken dog parts) experiences, and lacking a religion to call my own, I’ve decided to pay tribute to what is clearly a dog possessing wisdom greater than our own and start a new religion.

Guinnesstianity.

In good Assembleia De Deus fashion I´m going to build a gigantic alabaster kennel with a gold plated roof and seats for 10,000 devotees in the front yard, and the faithful can come and pray where Guinness takes her sacred dumps. I’ll put a cash machine inside the front door as again following good ol´ADD scriptures getting into doggy heaven doesn’t come cheap. Perhaps there’s still a drop or two of canine blood on the barbed wire or the sand below where we can set up a shrine. Contrary to the teachings of Rome, The Church of Guinness The Dog will welcome homosexuals of all stripes and even women as for all I know Guinness may be a lesbiterian mutt herself, but will keep the hardcore happy by adopting the policies of the Christian Right and teaching that all sex is bad always so don´t do it. I will of course be the high priest of this brave new world, and expect the faithful to keep me and Guinness in fine style and allow me to do pretty much as I wish with their firstborn.

Though being from where I´m from, I´m going to need someone to set up a breakaway sect in a few years, and then we can all go about killing each other for a few decades/centuries. As reasons for an irrevocable split can I suggest something like those of the rebel church will prefer their God to say wouf instead of woof, and will choose to see their God as having whiskers that are long in place of whiskers that verily are not long, and if you like your God with whiskers long then you should do your damnedest not to find yourself of a Saturday night in a bar where people pray to a God short-of-whisker, because the whole issue of whisker length might be enough to have someone put a shotgun to the back of your kneecaps and squeeze the trigger.

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