Sunday, January 29, 2006

My Strange Reaction to Gore

No, I’m not talking about Al Gore, though I do appreciate his work on the Internets and global warming awareness. So here’s what happened.

We ended up NOT taking a mini-road trip this Saturday because we couldn’t haul ourselves out of bed early enough to make a trip anywhere worthwhile (Damn you, three-inch memory foam mattress topper!) So I ended up reading Stephen King’s latest novel CELL, watching a marathon of Animal Cops Houston, and eating everything in the kitchen that wasn’t nailed down. I’m sort of addicted to the Animal Cops-type shows, because who doesn’t like seeing puppies rescued and schmucks arrested? But sometimes these shows really piss me off, because people can be such a-holes to animals. Also, there can be very gory scenes, like the German Shepherd puppy that had the chain link collar embedded in her neck (don’t worry, she’s fine and was adopted by a lovely family). But the sight of that gaping circular wound did something to the backs of my legs from knee to rear that unless you have this condition, well, it just won’t make any sense.

When I see gore, injuries, and blood and guts, it’s like the backs of my legs cave in on themselves while my food exit portal* does the Scooby Doo skedaddle trying to flee the scene. (Which is the biggest reason I never pursued a career in the medical or veterinary fields. You don’t want your ER nurse gagging and collapsing whenever she looks at you.) Anyway, each time they showed a close-up of that poor puppy’s neck, with the pink, raw, watery flesh that actually made the dog appear to be wearing a vagina collar, my legs buckled and I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. (I am so, so sorry for that disturbing analogy, but seriously…if you SAW this dog’s neck!)

And then Animal Cops cut away for a word from their sponsors and the Aaron Neville Red Cross commercial filled my TV screen. Again. So naturally, we sang along in our Aaron Neville vibratos, but with the lyrics from another of his commercials: “The touch. The Feel … Of Cotton. The faaah-bric of ow-er li-hi-ives.”

Hey, I gave to the Red Cross after Katrina hit. But at this point, I suspect that particular commercial is doing more harm than good. In my mind’s eye I see thousands of households reaching for the remote at the first mournful Aaron Neville bars: “Ohh-AHHHHHH-ah-HAAAAAAOoooh-oh-ah.” Click. The sound of a million checkbooks slamming shut across America. Hey Red Cross, if I give you more money, can you please shoot a new commercial? Maybe you can include some footage of Geraldo flipping out at the Super Dome. That ought to scare people into donations.

*While I was writing this, tap-tap-tappetying along, I asked J, “Honey, what are some synonyms for anus?” He replied with a semi-amused, semi-horrified, “Oh no.” It was the same tone a father might use after discovering that his daughter told her daycare provider, “My Dad calls you Jean LaPeen the Sex Machine.” Which actually happened in 1980. Anyway, a minute later we had a few colorful anus synonyms, but none seemed appropriate. Thus the clunkier, more family-friendly “food exit portal.”


  1. Why did I think this would be a political rant on Al Gore?

    I'm totally addicted to those shows too. Once while visiting my in-laws I watched a marathon of Animal Precinct from early in the morning to late at night. I couldn't stop. Although, I don't care for that perky blond on one of them. you know who I mean. She's way too high on the goodness of what she's doing.

  2. Anonymous4:28 PM

    My dad's a vet, and I've heard some pretty gruesome stories. Especially since my parents work with animal control. In fact, I adopted one of my cats when he was a kitten, shortly after being found in a Dumpster! Poor guy. I don't think he ever recoverd from that one, but we love him anyway. (Please pardon the gratuitous linkage, but it felt right to include a visual aide.)

    I don't have the same condition you have, but I'm not too fond of gore, either. Especially when it's my own.

  3. Caryn, that is a gorgeous picture. We take lots of pictures of our dog, but so far, nothing that classy!

  4. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Synonyms for anus! Sounds like things said in my house.

  5. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Oh, dear Lord, Jean LaPeen the Sex Machine.

    I bet your parents were 47 kinds of mortified.

  6. Love your writing-- just went through your archives, and must say I'm hooked. And you're a Wisconsinite too? Bonus!

    (Hey, if you're ever on the hunt for terrific Indian food and find yourself in Madison, check out The Taj on Park Street. A Sag Paneer that rivals the best in Chicago)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the encouraging words-- it's always good to read of other kids with diabetes who are thriving.

    Take care, and I'll look for your novel in '07!

  7. "Animal Cops" is forbidden in our house, not bacuse I won't watch it, but because the 10-year-old can't stand the thought of all that suffering. I'll just betcha HE doesn't grow up to be a doctor.
    Sounds like you made the most of a weekend - good for you!

  8. Anonymous2:55 PM

    Ah, gore. Interesting that it doesn't turn your stomach but rather gets you in the back of the legs. Hmmm.

    My first reaction to the post was -oh god I remember those days when you could lie around, watch tv and read books and make fun of commercials. The Pre-Kid Days. Savor them, lounge in them, even the gore sounded luxurious to me.
    ps - I changed my blog address to so my dissected relatives (no literally dissected, it's only emotional gore) might have a slightly harder time identifying themselves.

  9. Food Exit Portal sounds like something from a Infomercial.

    I guess they wouldn't be able to sell any, though, because everybody's already got one.

  10. I can't watch any of those animal shows. They make me really sad and really pissed off. I'm a huge animal lover and I *might* have been a member of PETA at one time in my life. (That's not something I admit to very often because people always want to debate about it, like caring about animals is the same as being a Communist during the Cold War) Now I give all my husband's money to Black Beauty Ranch. I used to work as a surgical assistant for a vet and I used to get that funny feeling in my knees when I had to work on something particularly gross, like amputating a dogs leg. I quit that job. Too gross. Not like "smelly balls" isn't As for Aaron Neville, I guess you haven't watched any Fisher Price Little People videos recently. He sings the theme songs. Yichhhh!

    And synonyms for anus? Oh, man...where should I start? lol.