Thursday, April 13, 2006

I Don’t Want To Not Dislike Don Henley

I used to like the Eagles, I think. And I have positive moments associated with Don Henley’s music—doing puzzles in the living room or raking leaves in the backyard with my father. But even the most idyllic childhood memories don’t stand a chance against hours and hours of merciless nonstop-rock-blocks blaring from each and every classic rock and easy listening station that’s ever transmitted since 1989.

I was trying to articulate my Henley frustrations to some friends while walking down the street the other night. And because my dislike is so specific (how can “The End Of The Innocence” elicit such rage from an otherwise peaceable person?), I was pretty deep in thought when I misstepped and almost died.

It was a strange, adrenalized moment that went a little something like, “Oh man, I hate Don Henley, but hey I’m stepping on top of something strange, and now it’s compacting underneath my foot so when all of my weight is on it I’m going to slip and now I’m losing my balance and oh damn I’m gonna fall and break my neck all because I stepped on—what am I even stepping on?” when my friend caught my arm, I composed myself, and looked down to see a monstrous pile of dog feces with my footprint in it. Awesome.

Didn’t think much of it. But five minutes of scuffing and scraping later, I got worried.

You see, I’ve read books, so I know how dogs salivate when they hear a bell sound because they think it means food time. But what happens when the dog is—I don’t know—just actively not liking some classic rock, when all of a sudden he steps in something gross and smelly? Will his brain be tricked into thinking it’s being punished for disliking Don Henley?

Does negative association beat over-the-top, immediate self-awareness?

Am I a dog maybe?


Chris S. said...

I think the right word to describe the unconscious association between hate and bad fortune is "Pooplovian."

Not a lover of poop, obviously. A pun involving Pavlov's name. Never mind.