Monday, May 28, 2007

Dog Collars and Dog Shows

Memorial Day weekend is a special time in Chicago. This is the weekend that all the leather men in the world (who couldn't be bothered to haul their asses to Folsom Street) descend on Chicago to basically look down on us "townies" and crown a new Mr. Dead-Cow-Wearer.

Leathermen are like the snotty bitches in the high school cafeteria. They've already drawn up their cliques and are busily excluding those who don't quite fit in. They have their very own little "lifestyle," complete with camouflage tanktops and collars and seem to glory in belonging to a club that the rest of us just can't fit into. They look all rough-and-tuff, until, as one friend of mine put it, "they open their mouths and a purse falls out."

So most of the time, I just put up with it and spend my time at the clubs watching the TV screen that's tuned into Animal Planet. Just can't get enough of those meerkats! And it seemed fitting that this weekend, the dog show in Crunk, England was being broadcast (apparently, it's England's answer to the Westminster Hoity-Toity Inbred Dogfest, where every dog is its own cousin--the Sundance to Westminster's Cannes).

I was struck tonight by the patience these dogs showed. The only time they really seemed joyful was the run around the arena, because that's the only time they get to move. Their eyes sparkle and their little tongues stick out while some creaky old bitch trots them around to show off to the judges. But, God, what a life the rest of the time, I can't help but think. Standing still while folks of dubious credentials run their hands over their ribcage and check to see if their owners have combed the turds out of their behind-fur. And the ones that have the long hair on their legs and belly always look like daybeds with ruffly valances on the bottom. Why not just go to Ikea and leave the poor dogs alone?

It's foreign to me. See, in my neck of the woods, you adopt dogs because you find them and love them and they're good companions. Paying several hundred (or thousand) dollars for an animal with papers so they might win you some competition and a dog-food endorsement, when there are so many worthy animals in need of adoption, is unseemly to me. Especially when the ones that win always have spindly legs and long shaggy hair that gets in their eyes and makes them look like Anne Coulter's twin sister. And then there are always the beautiful ones that don't win (and are always cuter than the ones that do).

So from one mutt to another: Happy Memorial Day, doggie. Keep those teeth sharp--the better to bite the hand that (under)feeds you.


Anonymous Ed said...

Not all of the Leather lovers are Sado-Masochists. As Dr. Sparky found out there are some pretty nice people there. Dirk said that he saw many men on leashes being very obedient to they're Masters. These dogs are really man's best friend. I don't think I would mind being kept on all fours and treated like a bitch. Wait what the Hell am I typing? LOL. Maybe I should sleep it off before commenting next time?

7:49 AM  
Blogger Stephen Rader said...

I did my annual visit to the Leather Mart on Saturday and I did enjoy the all the sights (and smells).

And as much as I enjoyed it, I agree that sometimes some factions of the leather community can come off a bit like those bitchy tech support people at computer companies who ask you a question that Bill Gates would find puzzling and then sigh and mutter to their co-worker about how much they hate you for not being "tech savvy."

But for the most part, real leather men (ones who know that "SSC" means "Safe, Sane and not Consenual" and not "Sally Struthers Cookbook") are extremely intelligent, excellent a communication, respectful of limits and kind, generous people. But just like Christians, the loud, obnoxious few ruin the image for all the rest.

Sounds like you (and to some extent I) handle IML the same way that my father (who sits at a bar every night and drinks 1/5th of scotch) handles New Year's Eve - - he stays at home. When I ask him why, he always says, "I don't do 'Amateur Night'" :)

Have a great holiday!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Ed: Wouldn't know. I'm glad they had fun. I used to, too. I suppose my problem is that I don't go with friends anymore and tend to hang by myself, and it's hard to jump into conversations that people are already having.

Stephen: You're right, and I've been to several IMLs in years past where the guys ARE respectful and nice and lots of fun. I even bought a few items this year (a cap and some boots) from the leather store in Rogers Park, and the workers (one was an old friend of mine) couldn't have been nicer. But those guys already have their own groups and are overpowered by the obnoxious ones who thrust themselves forward. If I'd gone to the events or the Mart with someone as I mentioned, I'd have been better off. Next year, I'll find someone to go with.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Thanks for your comment on my guest Blog, Aaron. Glad you liked it. Brooke said it made her Through Up! (her words)
I hope you find someone to go to IML with next year. I know what it is like to always be alone, believe me.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Maybe next year, I should just smack them around and knock them out of my goddamned way--they seem to beg for that shit.

10:19 PM  

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