Pavlov’s Dog

I’ve been playing with the idea of constructing a time machine. It can’t be that hard: a chair to sit in, a couple of large coils, a graphelgrommet for tensile strength, a few doodads to initiate the time-sequencing algorithms and I should be good to go. There’s just one problem: I haven’t learned math yet, so the algorithms are giving me a little trouble. Maybe I should start with something a little less ambitious. Like this thing:


This was given to me at Christmas, although I suspect it was less for my convenience than for someone else’s.

The principle, or so I am told, is that as I eat my kibble more of it drops down into the bowl, until it is empty and either Jay or Em replaces it. The principle is fine – I ain’t got no truck with the principle – but the practice is something else altogether.

You see, what actually happens is that the kibble – being of a certain density and mass and having sharp, rough edges – gets stuck at the adit. It becomes restricted by its own quotient of linear resistance, and therefore – in an unfortunate scientific corollary – cannot escape its confines and fulfill its destiny as my dinner.

This, quite naturally, makes me very frustrated. My habit until just yesterday was to bark at it very loudly, using all sorts of questionable language to try to convince it to release its cargo. This never worked, oddly enough – because either the thing is deaf, or it just doesn’t care to be yelled at. But yesterday I got especially mad – not only at this thingy, but at Em who was watching the whole performance with a big smile on his face. So I took my frustrations out on the tower thingy, giving it a good, hard slap with my forepaw – and wouldn’t you know it – when I did that a whole bunch of my kibble dropped down into the bowl!

I was shocked, but it immediately registered as a possible solution to my problems as I realized that if talking to it doesn’t help then I can always beat it into submission.

Now, Jay says that’s not how things work in life, but I’m pretty jazzed about it. The proof, as they say, is in the kibble, and the extra independence I have earned by slapping the offending instrument will, I think, prove to be most valuable in the future.


About James McDonall

I believe in laughing, especially at yourself, and as often possible. I believe in "live and let live". I believe that communication is the foundation of all our solutions. I believe that listening is more important than speaking, and that speaking should serve the cause of listening. If you like my writing, I'm available for hire. Please send me an Email to discuss your project. View all posts by James McDonall

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