If you're reading this, congratulations, you've made it to 2016. This column might seem dated because I actually wrote this last year, or as I like to call it, Wednesday night. And early Thursday morning. Stupid deadlines.
I always struggle with these end-of-the-year columns. It seems like a real writer would chat about the struggles and triumphs of the year gone by and looking forward with unbridled enthusiasm to the prospects for the coming year. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I even went to the work of perusing the past twelve months worth of my writings to present a "best-of" list from 2015. After exhaustive research, I have come to the conclusion that they're all pretty dumb. Did I mention that I struggled with this column?
Many times, I think that I should write about issues that are confronting today's society. It was in this vein of thought that I recalled something that my son had brought to my attention.
It was at 11:08 the previous night when I had received his text message. Considering the time of day the transmission was sent coupled with the fact that we don't text each other that much, I was kind of concerned.
As I nervously picked up the phone off of my nightstand to see what the emergency was, I was greeted with this all important question: If dogs wore pants, what would those pants look like? I would like to say that this question didn't cause me to lose any sleep but alas, I cannot say that in good conscience.
Accompanied with the question was an illustration of a dog wearing pants that covered all four legs and a dog wearing pants that covered only its rear legs. I believe that my son sent me this knowing that this is the type of thing that will work its way into my brain and won't let go. He's kind of a jerk. He gets that from his mother.
My immediate and obvious response to him that night was that dogs would wear pants that only cover their back legs. They just look better that way. But as I tossed and turned all night long, my mind wandered to the idea that dogs would probably want all their legs covered, not just their hind legs. This was the most idiotic bout of insomnia that I have had in quite some time.
In the morning, as I heated up my strawberry Pop Tarts, I did what most red-blooded Americans do — I checked my Facebook. I discovered that I apparently wasn't the only one that had a sleepless night. There was a genuine, full-fledged internet debate going on about dog pants. The Washington Post, TIME, USA Today and Mother Jones all had links to the graphic that my son had sent me. It had turned into a cyber sensation. This might be why foreigners hate us.
It weighed heavily upon my soul all morning long. At lunchtime, I was sitting with three of my friends and I asked them the question. Since my buddies are smart guys just like me, I figured I'd get a knowledgable response. The one guy said that dogs would definitely prefer pants that covered all four legs. I pointed out the obvious physics problem of how the dogs would keep their pants up in the four-legged configuration. Without blinking, he looked me directly in the eye and serious as could be stated, and I quote, "Oh, suspenders would have to be involved." I possibly hang out with the smartest people in the world.
Even with that thought in mind, I still had not been convinced that four-legged dog pants are the way to go. So that afternoon, I did some research. I observed our two shop dogs, Lambeau and Reyna. I imagined these two canines strutting around in some nice pairs of two-legged pants. Lambeau would look pretty cool in some tan Dockers and Reyna would look nice in a sweet pair of capris. But than I noticed a biological problem in my way of thinking.
With two-legged dog pants, a certain under-the-tail orifice would be covered completely. I don't know if you've ever paid enough attention, but dogs spend a majority of their day sniffing other dog's butts. With orifice-covered, two-legged trousers, a dog's social life would be severely curtailed. I guess suspenders it is.
So now I'll have to re-text my son and tell him of my change of opinion. I should be able to sleep better now.
And as far as end-of-the-year columns go, I'm pretty sure that this won't make the list for the best-of 2016. At least I hope not.
Happy New Year.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.