Monday, March 12, 2007

Carnivorous Confessions

Don’t let the title fool you; you’ll see what I mean shortly. I have often desired meat. You might think that desire is a strong word for a foodstuff other than chocolate. To me, desire belongs in novels I would be too embarrassed to read and that U2 song where Bono likes to emphasize the ‘I’ in desire (sing it to yourself and you’ll figure out what part of the song I’m singing about). Truth is, I was at a party just this weekend and when the dessert tray was presented and I was questioned as to why I only had one sugary thing on my plate, I had to answer that if they had just brought out a tray full of little cubes of meat, I would have been much happier.

That all being said, I have to confess that I have experimented in my past. It all started the summer after I left high school. I was watching the house of our good friends while they were away on vacation. Hey, wait a minute, that’s not where this is heading. One of my chores was to look after their dog. The dog got fed twice a day and got to have beef jerky snacks during his mid-day meal. Maybe it was because I hadn’t eaten for several hours or the fact that the jerky looked like it had just been taken out of a bag made for human consumption, but I found myself having desirous urges to taste it. The first day I was able to resist. The next day, I just couldn’t take it any longer. I pulled out a slice of jerky for the dog and another for myself. While the passing years have muted my memories of the first time I crossed over into the realm of non-human meat byproduct K-9 treats, I remember emphatically not liking the flavor to the point that I spent the rest of the day rubbing my tongue with Altoids. My first taste of experimenting had not gone well and it was easy to stick to real meat carved from the cow for the next several years.

I did just fine until Lucy and Ethel were about 1 ½. It’s funny to me that this next ‘incident’ occurred within days of an embarrassing visit to a client of mine. As we were in my client’s back outdoor area, I found myself admiring the most warm and comforting baked smell I may have ever experienced (ok, I’m not counting the fake bake smell they pump out onto Main Street at Disneyland). Everyone laughed rather heartily as my client explained that the aroma I was fawning over was actually the smell of the dog biscuit manufacturer next door. A few days later, we discovered that Ethel was chewing on a dog biscuit I had taken out and forgotten to give our dog. This worked out perfectly for me as I grabbed it from Ethel’s hand (like taking dog biscuits from a baby, I say) and took a bite. My wife was beside herself until I told her that I felt as a good father I should taste exactly what Ethel tasted and would experience whatever side affects she might encounter after eating it. My wife bought it until I continued chewing long after Ethel had attempted to spit it out, which of course is what toddlers do with all food. It wasn’t too bad but I vowed next time I would put a little cream cheese on top of it.

I once again got through the next few years with only the minor tinge of envy as I would watch our dog Mabel gnaw on a rawhide bone. Although I secretly wished for a human version of her bone (the label did say that chewing on a bone is nirvana for dogs and we can all use more nirvana), I knew it was not for me. Then came Friday night out in the garage as I filled up Mabel’s food dispenser with her new dog food. Like all good dog foods, the label promised meat, corn, vegetables and other ingredients meant to increase her sheen, energy, digestion and vitality. Then suddenly, a piece fell onto the floor and as I cursed the fact that it must be a necessity for all dog food to be as greasy as a frying pan in a downtown diner, I realized it was a bright red. Yes, the same bright red of a great cut of meat in my grocer’s freezer. Hmmmm, could this be the meat portion of the dog food?

There was only one way to find out so I bit into it with my left hand extended in anticipation of needing to spit it out. The texture was much softer than I imagined and was a palatable mixture of corn and beef flavor. The first chomp down wasn’t too bad so I figured the second chomp down would require the spit take. I was wrong. It was actually not that bad. I contemplated having a second morsel but then realized it would officially label me as someone who has a problem. I sealed up the dog food, fed Mabel and got into bed vowing to never speak of it again. Then came tonight as I found myself having nothing to blog about and fondly remembering the BBQ joint my office went to for lunch today. My dog has given me weird looks before as I stood at the window watching her chew her bones outside. I think she also knows what I did Friday night but as any good dog should, she’s not letting on.

I am embarrassed about my past eating habits and believe that sharing my experience will help me cope and overcome - at least that’s what female coworker told me after she quit smoking. Everyone at work today kept complimenting me on the body and shine of my hair. I just chalked it up to accidentally using my wife’s shampoo, although it was nice being able to jump higher and digest my lunch easier today. Does that mean I had an overdose of vitamin K-9 complex? Perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree. Why again did I feel the need to share all of this? It was doggone stupid of me!

13 comments:

Abigail S said...

Oh, yeah Michael. You need to get professional help now before it's too late! There's gotta be a good rehab place around somewhere...

Lizza said...

Hahaha! Not such a bad deal: it didn't gross you out and you got nice, shiny hair out of it. But better go the doctor to make sure there aren't any other side effects. And make sure you have all your dog shots updated while you're there.

Ed & Beth said...

Have you seen the Tim Allen version of The Shaggy Dog? Are you growing any extra hair or having the urge to sniff Mabel's rear end? I bet you could google human recipes for her food...

Meloncutter said...

Be very careful my friend. Next thing you know you will be hiking your leg on the corner of your cubicle. Then, after the vigorous humping starts they will have to take you go the vet to get neutered.

Later Y'all

Odat said...

Arf, arf,...good boy...sit...stay...roll over...good boy!!!! Here's a treat!
Peace

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I used to fight over my dog's food too but then he likes chocolates and still maintain it is wrong of my wife to but chocolates for the dog and not the husband.

Okay, I have studied your case in detail and come to two possible conclusions. 1) Maybe you like the taste of horse which I'm told is a major ingredient in pet food. Have you ever said, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse."
2) Do you grow hairier and howl when there's a full moon? Then stay away please.

Awesome Mom said...

Um well when I was a kid I would eat the dry cat food kibbles. They left a bit of a greasy aftertaste but were not too bad. Now you know my deep dark secret lol

you'dneverguess said...

I tried a Milk Bone when I was a kid. I remember thinking that it wasn't bad at all, like a bland biscuit.
I think as long as you're not replacing your meals with dog food, you'll be okay.

Natalie said...

wow that is very disgusting. Then again, I have never had meat or a dog so maybe I just don't understand the temptation.

Jay said...

Oh, so many bad puns! I would rather have meat than chocolate myself,so I get where you're coming from, except maybe for the whole coveting the dog's food part.

I had a puppy named Mabel also.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

omg michael! just don't start humping my leg, okay?

smiles, bee

Violet said...

I've never felt the urge to eat pet food, but a couple of my mum's non-English-reading friends have unintentionally tried minced fish that was meant for cat food, and raved about it to her. Fortunately, I was able to warn her before she ate any of it herself.

goodthomas said...

This was a great post, damned funny stuff.

My human hat is off to you. Wow.