(Pets. Politics. Aztecs. Angst. Just another week in America.)
I heard on the news that there may be as many as 20 million pets in the United States, many of them here illegally. You have to admit that this is getting out of control.
Now, before you start firing off a heated response, let’s be clear. Nobody is anti-animal. In America, all pets are welcome. Well, maybe not those monster Burmese Pythons in Florida. They’ve over-populated so much that they’ve been spotted voting in Palm Beach. And maybe not pet spiders. And ferrets, as a dinner table guest, I can do without. But you get my point. We welcome pets. We always have. And unlike some other countries, we almost never eat them.
Earlier this week, traffic in Tucson ground to a halt as thousands of protestors held rallies and staged marches to protest Arizona’s new border-management initiative, nicknamed Don’t Bark, Don’t Tell. Now, to be fair to the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has borne the brunt of a massive influx of pets, like Chihuahuas, illegally crossing the Mexican border in search of a better life, or to avoid being eaten.
And it’s not just Chihuahuas. There have been numerous sightings of gangs of tattooed coyotes and tiny Mexican Hairless, loping across the border, donning gang colors, and making crude, untoward remarks to hapless coed border collies.
According to my research, performed in-between updates from Florida’s Governor about which political party he was in this week, the Mexican Hairless has been around for over 3,000 years, like the Coffee-Mate in my fridge, and Dick Clark. And never once in all that time did the breed’s agent contact a marketing department to brainstorm for a better name than “Mexican Hairless.”
The official name for the Mexican Hairless is Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced “Show-low-its-queen-tli”), though it’s also known as the Tepeizeuintli (pronounced “Oh, stop it. You’re just making that up”). I have no idea what a queen’s “tli” is, but I promise to research that, too, just as soon as Florida’s Governor switches political affiliations again. Unless he simply gives up and marries Arlen Specter.
But I can share with you this nugget of knowledge from my research about the Xolo, and this is an exact quote: “The hairless Xolo should never be hairy.”
Whew. You gotta admire pure, hard science.
According to that same think tank, you should never treat the Xolo like a human, else it may suffer from Small Dog Syndrome. Okay, look. Here’s an extremely diminutive quadruped, with a tail, no hair, and ears like a bat, that destroys furniture, often runs around in circles, and, occasionally, shuts up. Personally, I’m not likely to confuse that creature with a human. Congressman, maybe. Human? Nah.
Long, long ago, the Xolo were considered sacred by the Aztecs, except when the Aztecs were eating them. So I guess we can’t really blame them when they make a run for the border. In America, at least, they may be able to get a job that American pets don’t want, like wearing silly knitted sweaters, or goose-stepping about at American Kennel Club events. Hollywood starlets might drape them in diamonds and carry them everywhere. They might even aspire to participate in the Kentucky Derby, the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States, if you don’t count Manifest Destiny.
Meanwhile, Arizona is up to its cactus in politically-polarizing pets; mired in this quadruped quandary. Irate citizens across the country are angry at Arizona, and not just because Arizonans mispronounce “Gila monster.” Remember, Arizona also has days in December that can reach 428 thousand degrees Centigrade, and locals will still look you straight in the eye and say, “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.”
It’s heating up politically, as well. Anti-Arizona boycotts are being threatened. And if I know political correctness, get ready for girlcotts, too.