Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Prone Comedy, Part 2: Service Animals

I'm trying to train my service dog on my own – with some help of course. It's going well, except for the "Alert" command. He is supposed to raise one paw and press against my leg when I am having an acute episode. He supposed to remind me to sit or lay down so the blood and oxygen return to my head. But instead of raising one paw, he places his paws on either side of my leg while squatting. It probably looks like he's humping my leg.

"Excuse me miss is that a service dog?"


"What is he trained to do?"

"He humps my leg whenever I freak out" End of conversation. No more questions.

But the most effective response to this question is: "I have a mental health disorder, and I need my dog to calm me down" Which is also true, tho not his primary task. But people are afraid of crazy people. They don't even bother to ask what task your dog performs. Once you tell them you're crazy they're already sprinting towards the door. It's great. The whole place empties out. I have the run of the place. I can go back in the kitchen, I can fix myself a meal. I can change the channel – to cartoons of course. Just for me and my dog. People make me nervous anyway.

I have a service dog, but what I really want is a service camel. I don't know what he would do for me, but the conversations could be interesting.

"Excuse me miss! You can't come in here with that camel."

"He's a service camel."

"What is he trained to do?"

"He carries my water."

"Can't you buy a water bottle?"

"I need a lot of water."

What about a service goat? He could knock me over whenever my blood pressure tanks and my brain freezes. That way, instead of standing there looking stupid during a conversation, I can just blame it on the goat. When they me ask what he does, I'll say:

"Whenever I'm about to say something really brilliant, he always cuts me off"

"How does he know what you're about to say?"

(goat butts from behind) "He does, he just does."

The other day I was driving with my dog. In the Diamond Lane. No, that's not the lane reserved for rich people. In California, it's the lane for rich married people. Off limits to me. So, so off-limits to me.

But whatever – I'm driving in the carpool lane, having a conversation with my dog. Dogs are people too. They talk – not with their mouth but with their eyes. And I really get into it. I'm moving my hands, gesticulating, explaining to my dog why my boss is such a bitch. BIAAATCH. And he gets it, he really does. I can tell 'cause his eyes narrow whenever I make a good point, and he starts nodding. Or maybe he's just falling asleep.

But unfortunately the cop that pulls me over doesn't get it. He walks up to my door. His eyes narrow behind his mirrored glasses. I can see myself in his glasses. I look like an idiot.

"Miss, you are driving in the diamond lane without a passenger."

I look hopefully towards the back seat

"Is that your dog back there?"

"Yes! He's a service dog. I, uh, have a mental health condition . . ." This time, it doesn't work. He doesn't clear out. Cop's still standing there.

"I'm, I'm not dangerous. But sometimes I become mildly delusional."

"Is he – a talking service dog?"

"Actually he was trained to perform Cognitive Behavior Therapy on me while driving, so I can figure out which exit to take."

Cop looks interested. His eyebrows go up. Not sure, but I think he's looking at my tits. I keep going.

"But he only speaks Farsi, and I can't understand him. I think he was telling me to get off on Magnolia."

Cop nods. My brain suddenly freezes. I really need my goat right now.

"Ma'am, you'll have to remain in the regular lanes without a human passenger."

I nod, defeated, taking the ticket. Shit. The cop goes back to his car. Now I'm pissed. Tryin' to figure out how I'm going to pay a $500 ticket. I decide it's the dog's fault. I'm not going to buy him any kibble. Or treats. Or take him to the groomer. Or get his anal glands expressed. I'll do it myself. With a curling iron. I treat him like a king, and how does he repay me? By making a fool out of me, going silent as soon as the cop walks up. It's like the two of them know each other or something, like they are ganging up on me. I need to calm down. I need my dog.

Maybe I should buy the dog a booster seat and a Justin Bieber mask. That way, I can drive around hot-boxing with abandon, and blame it on him.

"Excuse me miss. You're driving in the diamond lane without a person."

"I have a service Bieber."

"What is he trained to do?"

"He makes excuses for me"

"Is he working right now?"

"Actually, he just announced his retirement"

The cop gets smaller and smaller until he disappears. I'm driving in the diamond lane. In the back, there's my dog. Next to him, a camel. And a goat. And Justin Bieber. They're all yucking it up together. They're kicking the back of my seat. They're making excuses – excuses that rhyme. Then they each put a single paw on my right shoulder. Just to remind me, I need to go lay down.


  1. Hi darling. I tried to send you this wonderful comment, and then I forgot my google account password. What else is new, and then when I tried to get
    back to it, of course it was gone. I just wanted to say that this was the funniest
    most hysterical writing and encounter you had, and I was literally crying with laughter. LOL. Hey, I know this is your life, but with a sense of humor like that you need to have your own talk show. At least try and get Oprah to interview you. I want to put this on my Facebook (even though I hardly ever put anything of interest to me there) I just wait and let other people put things up, and then I decide if someone will find it interesting, sweet or funny, and let it go at that. When I do decide to put something up I think is interesting, no one responds anyway. But this writing is so funny, sincere, and wonderfully you, I want to share it. I miss you. Phone me up. I still have the same numbers, emails, etc. I Hope Google will finally allow me to publish. If I could only remember the 2,000 passwords that I use everyday in every situation, life would be so much more simpler. Love you, Alexi oh, if you don't know me by that name, try Carol. xoxo

  2. Yeah! My comment was published!

  3. Hi Carol of course you can share this! But as to performing: see earlier post below called Prone Comedy, Part 1. Hopefully I can get some of these symptoms into remission in order to be able to perform. Oprah! That is a goal.