Thursday, September 14, 2017

What's In A Name?

The support group
For poorly named animals and pets
Meets each week in New York
Near a Baskin-Robbins
With a C health rating,
Home of the original cone of uncertainty.

Disgruntled home companions,
Some with skills,
Others not so much,
Converge in room 202,
While those with
Species concerns
Gather across the hall in 203.

The 202 clientele features
Several brands of poodle,
Whose high-pitched rants
Shed light on the angst of those
Distressed by being saddled
With tags that read,
Or Precious.
Or - gag -
Cutesy Pie.

“I mean, how insulting,”
Said CP, gnawing at her
Vermillion collar,
And drooling a bit
For no damn reason.

“You know Rodney Dangerfield?
That’s my life.
No respect.
I’m a joke.”

In her excitement
CP coughed up
Part of her lunch.

“Watch the carpet,”
Said the host,
A black lab named Shaft.

A wheezing bulldog
Someone decided
Should answer to Hurricane
Checked out the litter box
And said, “Fuck this.”

Shaft caught wind
Of the pending spray,
And cautioned,
“Outside, Cane boy.”

A couple of tabbys
One gray,
The other orange,
Arrived late.
They were adopted
By a family that really wanted a dog.
Thus, Mutt and Jeff had plenty to share.

“Circle up,”
Shaft suggested.
And after some hemming,
Hawing, and vague heeing,
Chairs were moved
And the evening’s therapy began.

Across the hall,
Things were, as usual,
Out of control.
Nobody wanted
To honor the non-violence clause
In the support group handbook.

Cheetahs, for instance,
Chased prairie dogs,
Totally ignoring
The peaceful
Co-existence mandate.

Meanwhile, a couple of guys,
Who looked like gophers
Dressed as puppets,
Or perhaps rats on stilts,
Demanded their turn
To state their case.

“Basically, it comes down
 to self image,”
Said the taller gopher-rat,
while his shorter companion,
A beer man from way back,
Wondered what was on tap
At The Moose Patio,
Just across the street.

“What time do they close?”
Short boy said
To no one in particular.
He’d come along
for the after party;
Figuring what’s in a name?

Assorted creatures from
All across the globe
Tried to out violin each other,
Asking with horrific expressions
Such queries as
“Would you like
 To be called a laughing hyena?
What’s so fucking funny?”

 Finally, the moderator,
An unobtrusive beetle who
Maintained a stern, serious attitude —
Puffy to the point of rude —
The animal kingdom’s version
Of a grumpy law professor
Who needed a prune in the worst of ways,
Stepped to the podium
With a power point presentation script
And a fresh clicker.

“I’d like to remind everyone
That it can always be worse.
Let’s take a look.”

The unruly group
Gradually came to order
As images of those less fortunate
Tumbled across the screen.

The Mountain Chicken, for instance,
Which is a ditch frog in the Caribbean;

The White Bellied-Go-Away Bird,
An African native which looks
As either Denis Rodman
Or a North Korean does its hair;

A Tassled Wobbegong,
An Australian carpet shark,
Whose name brings to mind
A preppy shoe
One might find
In an REI outlet
Run by Dr. Seuss.

A Boops Boops,
A sunbeam fish that dwells
In the eastern Atlantic;

An Aye-Aye,
A lemur found in Madagascar.

That’s all very well and good,
But I still have my own concerns.”
Said the tall gopher-rat.
“First of all
I object to being called a kat.
I’m not a damn kat.
I’m a mongoose.
That’s insulting.
But to be called a Meerkat.
Well, that’s unacceptable.
A meer cat?
What the fuck does that mean?
Are there merehawks?

The moderator twisted
His head in the pained manner
Of someone
Who has seen
And heard too much
Too many times.
“Our task in this group
Is to accept
What we
Can’t change.
You bleat
This rant every week.
Are we not
Getting through to you.”

The tall meerkat said,
 “Blah, blah, blah.
What do you know about it?
Who put you in charge?
How did you get this job?”

In his best John Houseman-
Paper Chase voice,
The beetle said,
“Perhaps it’s
The name of my kind.”

And what would that be?”

With the angst of a lifetime,
The beetle closed his file
And muttered,
“Colon Rectum.”

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