Outsmarting the big brains.
While cleaning the lab at M.I.T. I watched researchers attach a helmet with numerous electrical wires to a comatose man who mumbled in some unknown language. Once firmly attached they flicked the power switch. Instantly the man’s mumbling turned into precisely pronounced English words. “Eureka,” one of the guys shouted. “My universal translator works.” Next they attached it to an ancient woman who appeared to be of Chinese descent. “Not one linguist has been able to recognize her language.” The apparent leader of the scientists said. “If my translation algorithm can convert what she says to English it will be a smashing success.” No sooner had he spoke when the woman’s voice came from the computer speakers in clearly recognizable English. “Why don’t you listen to me?” the woman said. “I’m trying to tell you I have pain in my abdomen.” The researchers’ high fived one another and one danced around a lab table in victory because of their success. They took the helmet off the woman and lay it on the exam table and an orderly wheeled the woman from the room. “I’m buying drinks at Clancy’s,” the boss said. They rushed through the door as if Clancy was about to run out of drinks. I picked the helmet up tried it on. Nothing. Maybe because I spoke English it had no language to translate. I had a brainstorm and went out to my van where Rinny, my German Sheppard, waited for me. I brought him into the lab and secured the helmet to his head. Then I flicked each switch in the order I had watched the scientist do when the woman was attached. Rinny began to bark. I closed the door to the lab so no one would hear. Rinny’s barks came from the computer speakers. I listened intently and soon every bark morphed into a word. I wondered if Rinny was speaking in German because the words coming from the speakers were unintelligible. After a few minutes the words became clear and they were in English. Damn, Rinny was reciting poetry. I look at your face and see that you can't keep up the pace because you're not like me, but it doesn't matter. I can love you anyway, even though your color is pale compared to mine and your hair is sparse, it doesn't matter to me. You can't keep up with me when we walk or run, but I know your love is as strong as mine and I learned this when I kissed you. You stroked my back and then my belly with your calloused hands. Our language is different and so are our eyes and what we see in the sky, but I can tell we think and feel the magic between us, so even though you can't do anything as well as me and are slow at most things, I always look up to you as if you had wings and I try to fill your desires, though I sometimes find it weird when you show off my talents to your so called friends who put their hands all over me as if I belonged to them. They call me baby and other names that I despise like a solar eclipse when not coming from your lips. If I could speak your language, I'd tell on them, but they know we don't communicate through speech. I pray to our creator that in the next world, you and I will speak the same language so I can tell you how your friends were traitors and how inferior you humans are to dogs. “Well, Rinny,” I said. “I love you too and will tell my friends to keep their hands off of you. “First thing I’d like you to do is to stop calling me by that stupid Rinny name. Couldn’t you think of something better?” “How about Duke, or Prince?” “Come on, use your imagination.” “What would you like to be called?” “Mary Jane.” “But that’s a girl’s name.” “Yeah, and I’m gay. Why do you think I’m always humping your leg?” “No way Rinny. You’ve got to be joking.” “Think. Have you ever seen me sniffing female butt?” “Damn, I never noticed, but if you’re queer you’ve got to go.” “Does that mean you don’t love me anymore?” “I loved you as my dog, but knowing your sexual preference is male, I can’t sleep with you, kiss you, or even hold you.” “You’re nothing but a bigot. I take back every nice word I said about you.” I opened a draw and pulled out a scalpel. “This is the end Mary Jane. I can’t have a gay dog.” I grabbed his collar just as two strong arms wrapped around me. I couldn’t move. Laughter filled the room. “I told you he’d fall for it,” the head researcher said to the guy holding me. Another took the helmet off of Rinny and fed him a doggy bone. “Unbelievable. He really thought his dog was talking to him when you spoke into the mic,” the guy holding me answered. “So, you set me up for a joke?” I asked. “No, research to see how gullible people are, and boy are you gullible.” “Take your hands off of my master, or I’ll rip your throat out,” Rinny clearly said. The head researcher didn’t show fear. Only amazement. “How can this be possible? Dogs can’t talk.” “Release him,” Rinny growled and showed his teeth. The guy holding me let go and backed away. “Come on Rinny,” I said. “Let’s leave these idiots to their games.” I opened the lab door and Rinny ran through. “Wait. Don’t go,” the head researcher pled. This is miraculous, a talking dog. How, why? We have to answer those questions.” I laughed as I closed the door. For once I turned the tables on the big brains that saw me as a menial worker. My ventriloquism skills had served me well.