Now that the Oscars have come and gone, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on one of the most talked about contenders for the best actor award, Mikey Rourke, the come back king. Now I’ll readily admit that I haven’t seen The Wrestler
and I’ll be honest, short of being sentenced to serve time in a trailer park I’m never going to, but I can’t help admire a man that went from obscurity to fame to obscurity and back to fame again. He seems to have lived a fascinating if somewhat twisted life. I wish I had the opportunity to ask him that one burning question that is no doubt in the minds of many of you, “Mickey, what is it with you and those Chihuahuas?” Now, for those of you just returning from your recent explorations of Antarctica let me explain. Mr. Rourke is rarely seen without a Chihuahua (Spanish word meaning, “Damn, are you sure that’s not a rat?”
) seemingly surgically attached to his body. When he won the Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a motion picture drama
he of course thanked those most responsible for his success, “I’d like to thank all my dogs. The ones that are here, the ones that aren’t here anymore because sometimes when a man’s alone, that’s all you got is your dog, and they’ve meant the world to me.” Huh?
At the recent Oscars ceremony, Mr. Rorke wore a stylish white open necked suit like garment and in a locket around his neck was a memorial photo of his recently deceased dog, Loki. Boy, I would have loved to have heard that night’s acceptance speech. Now,I don’t for a moment suggest that Mr. Rourke is responsible for the twisted way North Americans have been humanizing their dogs, no for that I blame Paris Hilton. Photo after photo of her with her Chihuahua being carried everywhere as some sort of ugly fashion accessory. It was not long before similar body twitching, snarling nasty little creatures began appearing on the arms of tweens and teenagers. (You know who you are.)
There can be little doubt that North Americans love their pets. A staggering s
In the United States, doggie spending survives death. The death of the owner that is. A whopping one million dogs are said to be the main beneficiary to a will. In 2007 the queen of mean, Leona Helmsley left $12 million in her will to her dog, Trouble.(Reduced to a measly $2 million by mean Manhattan judge Troy Webber in February 2009.)
Recently the well known, but ancient ABC TV journalist and The View panelist Barbara Walters revealed to the world that her dog Cha-Cha could speak. According to Ms. Walters the dog says, “I love you.” Now call me a skeptic if you will, but if her dog could really speak wouldn’t it have more likely have said, “Doctor, keep those scissors away from my scrotal sac.” I’m just saying.
And another thing, can you please stop talking about how old your dog is in dog years? Dogs have a shorter life span than humans, sad but true. Now I’m no math whiz, but even I know that a dog’s average life span of 12.8 years doesn’t equal 89.6 human years; it equals 12.8 years. Dogs aren’t human,they’re dogs! Get over it. If you don’t stop I’m going to introduce the calculation of tortoise years (120/77.8 = 1.5424164524421593830334190231362).
For those of you still doubting the importance of dogs in the United States, I have just two words to say, Westminster Dog Show
(Okay, three words.)
The overpowering love felt towards dogs is by no means restricted to North America. In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
, 33 year old P. Selvakumar married a four year old dog named Selvi. The bride wore an orange sari decorated with flowers. One slight hitch occurred at the 200 guest reception when the bride ran away. Luckily she was recaptured and her husband rewarded her with milk and a bun. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that Selvakumar says his mother-in-law is a bitch. Not to be outdone, at Bhubaneswar in eastern India, an infant boy was married off to a neighbour’s dog at a ceremony attended by 150 people. Unfortunately there is no information on the gown worn by the bride.
In the Northern Philippines the term “man bites dog” takes on a whole new meaning as every year around 500,000 dogs are butchered to be turned into meat for human consumption. Korea and China apparently also enjoy tender young pup. Nope, absolutely nothing funny to say about that.
Apart from marriage and good eating, dogs are reputed to have direct health benefits for their owers. Studies suggest that dogs can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce anxiety attacks, provide a ready patsy to explain away that gaseous after chili discharge and in the cases of the most fanatical of dog owners actually increase their level of physical activity. Mickey Rourke
recently told Barbra Walters in an interview, “[Dogs are] like a giant Xanax” and who would argue with the wrestler?