“Henry, watch what you do with the duckie. Do not—I say do not—throw it into the toilet bowl.”
Harry tosses it into the toilet bowl.
Before that we play tug-of-war with the duck, he growling like the Hound of the Baskervilles, finally pulls it out of my hands, shakes it up while twirling like a top, and then triumphantly tosses it up in the air. It falls into the toilet bowl.
“What did I tell you not to do, Henry?”
“Toss the duck into the toilet bowl.”
“And what did you do?”
“I tossed it into the toilet bowl.”
“So go get it, Henry.”
“T-U-F spells tough. I hate that duck, it’s full of all your saliva since birth and now it’ll be full of rank toilet water. It’s time to flush it.”
“You can’t do that! Besides, it won’t do you any good, my duck is an Indestructible Toy. It says so on the package.”
“Fuck the duck,” says Aussie, who just came in. “Why do you bother with it anyway? It’s so old.”
“Because it’s my significant other.”
“A duck is your significant other?”
“What about us, Henry?” I ask. “What about Aussie and me?”
“You’re not the duck.”
“Does it have a name?” I ask Henry politely.
“Fuck is the name,” says Aussie. “Fuck the duck, right? Hee hee hee!”
“Fuck the Duck is drowning,” points out Henry.
I pick Henry’s significant other out of the toilet and wash it in the sink. Then I give it back to Henry, who shakes it violently, sprinkling water all over the bathroom, and takes the wet duck for a cuddle in his crate. I turn to Aussie.
“Aussie, why are you so obnoxious?”
“To a dog with a toy duck for a significant other? Give me a break!”
“You’d be surprised at what strange significant others we choose. Aussie, am I your significant other?”
“You’re other. I don’t know how significant you are.”
“It’s better than dog and master, don’t you think? It has more of a feel of equality between species, Aussie.”
“You mean like between Henry the Chihuahua and Fuck the Duck?”
“Not quite, Aussie. My point is that humans are beginning to better understand that there’s a kind of equality between species. You know, in the Old Testament it’s written that God gave Man dominion over the fish and the birds and the animals and the creepers—”
“Did He mention dogs?”
“Not specifically, Aussie.”
“There you have it.”
“The point is, Aussie, many of us are perceiving the interrelatedness of all species, that no one specie holds dominion over any other. We’re all equally the children of Mother Earth so every specie has a right to its own existence, its own evolutionary journey.”
“Henry should go extinct.”
“What a terrible thing to say, Aussie. Why? Because he’s a chihuahua?”
“No, because he has a duck for a significant other. Do you know what those children will look like?”
“Aussie, Henry can’t have children, and neither, for that matter, can the Indestructible Duck.”
“He’s humping that duck as we speak! If anything comes of it it’ll be the end of civilization as we know it.”
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