Skeeter blinked. He hated it when his best friend acted this way. They’d been show dogs together for years. It was how they’d been raised. Training, grooming, shows, repeat. But lately, the pressure seemed to have been getting to Sport.
“Sport, knock it off. The humans are watching.”
“Eh? Fuck ’em. They wanted tricks, right? I got their trick right here.”
Skeeter maintained his position. His master had told him to sit, so he sat. He was a good dog. They rewarded good dogs. He wasn’t sure what they did to dogs who rolled onto their backs after getting their jaws wrapped around the neck of a bottle of beer.
“That’s not a trick you trained on, Sport. You’re misbehaving.”
“Dude, am I talking cat over here? Fuck. Them. I’m sick and tired of doing whatever I’m dogdamn told by these idiots.”
“They do happen to be smarter than us.”
“HA!” The bottle almost slipped from Sport’s mouth. “Your Honor, I object, the obedient slave is showing insufficient evidence. To support my case I submit the sweater he was made to wear last Christmas, the poor state of affairs in our respective food bowls and, oh yeah, the fact that these hairless apes are basically raping their own dogdamn planet for the sake of nebulous concepts like righteousness and profit.”
“Sport, please. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
“I’m not the one they named fucking ‘Skeeter’, I have to catch up to you in the embarrassment department.”
Skeeter didn’t respond. He maintained his position. He was a good dog.
“I mean, what the hell does that even mean, anyway? Is it short for ‘moskeeter’ or something? Nevermind the fact you live on the lower east side and your humans are upper middle class socialites, not backwater rednecks. And if they did name you for a tiny insect with an even tinier probosces, they’re insulting you every time they say it.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Sport hiccuped. “I’m talking about your dick. You know, the thing you ‘clean’ just about every chance you get.”
If Skeeter had been capable of blushing, he’d have flushed red. “That’s highly inappropriate talk for public, Sport.”
“Bullshit! We’re fucking dogs, they can’t understand us. It’s just yips and barks and tailwags and smells to them. Christ, how do these people communicate using only sound? My mind’s fucking boggled.”
“Sport, you’re drunk.”
“You’re darn tootin’ I am. If these dogdamn morons were capable of meaningful communication with us, and they fucking aren’t nor will they ever be, they’d know I’m sick and tired of this bullshit. And don’t change the subject. These control freaks want you complacent and obedient while they put you down every chance they get by intimating you’re lacking in the between-the-hinds department.”
“Of course they fucking are. They don’t think you know that. It’s a big dogdamn joke to them. Look at ’em. Bunch of gawping hat-wearing douchebuckets. HEY!” Sport dropped the bottle, got up on the chair and started barking. “I’M TALKING TO YOU, IDIOTS! YOU FUCKING HUMANS AND YOUR SMELLY-ASS CARS AND YOUR STUPID CLOTHES AND INSIPID BABY-TALKING AT US. FUCK YOU.”
Skeeter sighed. He wanted to lay down, cover his ears. But he was a good dog.
“Fuck! Nothing.” Sport turned in place and sat facing Skeeter. “And here I am sauced on a single beer. It’s what I get for weighing all of twenty pounds.”
“I noticed you’d lost weight. Doesn’t that make your master angry?”
“Not as angry as when I start humping his wife’s leg.”
“Sport! You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
“Have you fucking seen her? If she were a dog I’d be mounting her twice daily. Not my fault that fucking tool doesn’t. Too busy counting up shit that won’t matter when he gets hit by a bus.”
“That’s a terrible thing to wish on anyone. My brother…”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember, went chasing a stick and got pasted by the crosstown. Not his fault or yours so stop beating yourself up over it. The responsible party is the fucking brat who threw the stick. Yet was he put away for it? Was he punished for murder? No! They just got him another fucking dog. I’m grateful I discovered the appeal of booze. I need another dogdamn beer.”
“Look, Sport, I’m your friend. I’m worried about you. You drink too much and your language is foul.”
“Skeeter, no offense, but what the fuck happened to you? Time was you’d be laughing your tail off at me rolling around with a dogdamn beer bottle in my gob. Something’s changed. Something’s eating you. Let’s hear it.”
“I’d rather not.”
“Oh? Okay.” Sport stood again, barking and howling, which registered in Skeeter’s brain as song. “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUUUCKEEEERS…”
“STOP IT! I’ll tell you. They cut me, all right?”
Sport stopped, blinking rheumy eyes at his friend. “They what?”
“You remember Daisy? She had her pups. Beautiful litter. But none of them met the humans’ standards so they determined my breeding potential was insufficient.”
“Skeet, are you telling me they CUT YOUR FUCKING BALLS OFF?”
“FUCK. No wonder you’re being such a toolbox. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
“How could you? We haven’t seen each other since spring.”
“You realize this means you have even less reason to do what they tell you.”
“They’ve already robbed me of future pups. What more can they do?”
“They don’t understand us. They never will. So they’re afraid of us. They mitigate that fear by leashing us and making us do tricks and talking at us they way they do their wriggling newborn spawn and toss us bones. As long as we do what we’re told and don’t remind them we have as much power and rights as they do, they’re happy.”
Skeeter thought about it. He was a good dog, and they still had cut him.
So he started singing.
“FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUUUCKEEEERS…”