The bloody referendum, a satire

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The bloody referendum, a satire

Art by DINO, published by the Cartoon Movement

Art by DINO, published by the Cartoon Movement

Art by DINO, published by the Cartoon Movement

Art by DINO, published by the Cartoon Movement

Gage Gramlick, Editor-in-chief

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Every four years, I am obligated to unmuzzle my dog. It is part of the deal. I must say, it is quite a pain in the neck, but it is what it is. I’ve found, in my countless years as a career dog master, that momentary benevolence helps to ease the process- a treat to fill her mouth rather than words.

I think dinner is a good treat. Suitable, undoubtedly. See, sometimes I think of my wife as a dog. It really isn’t that far off when you think about it (as we can): she is loyal, fetches my things for me (whatever they may be), and shakes as though a wet mut when I bark. The problem with dogs is that, although painfully faithful, they require the occasional pat on the head, or they tend to wonder. Maintenance really. So, yes, this supper is a treat in all respects of the word.

She paws her soft yellow chardonnay while I give a glance at the maroon menu. We rarely talk, a pro on my list of pros and cons when I was deliberating on our marriage: quiet and obedient. I summon the help with a whistle.

“A steak, bloody of course (prostate health is key) and a salad for the dog. I fear she may be gaining weight.”

It’s said that dogs have absolutely no ability to know when they’ve eaten enough. If there is plenty, they will eat it-  it is simply the way of the canine. But I’ll be damned if I stand by and let her gorge herself into uselessness. It is our responsibility to serve as their fullness, to know for them what is good and good enough.

“Paul,” she says steadily, baring the teeth I’ve filed down. “I’m pregnant, Paul. I’m pregnant.”

The help comes to refill our beverages, but I dismiss him.

“Pregnant?” I chew the word like overcooked steak. “No you’re not. You will not be.”

She is silent for a minute, but then her maw opens for the second time in one night.

“But Paul,” she says. “I am, with twins. And I’m divorcing you.”

This is not ideal. My dog is not a shelter dog, poor and hungry, ready to bite back. My dog is a pure blood, American through and through. This should not be happening.

“We’ve been married nearly 8 years, Paul,” her words sound even, prepared. “I’ve needed to do this for a long time. But the kids, the kids are what pushed me over the edge.”

“Well I want them,” I growl. “They are mine after all and I will have them.”

Her brow furrows.

“But you just said you don’t want kids.”

“No,” I say. “I didn’t. You misheard me.”

“But-” she tries to say as I slam my hand down on the table.

“That will be enough. We are not getting divorced!”

“Paul,” she tilts her head. “This isn’t your decision. I am divorcing you because you have not lived up to your vows. And then I will kill you.”

I take a deep breath.

This is simple then. We will go home and I will beat her into submission, maybe I can fix the other situation in the process. She still may try to divorce me, but sobeit! The money is in my name; she will never be able to afford a lawyer to match my legal army.

I laugh, “Okay. Let’s go home then.”

At this, she stands up, grabs my steak knife and stabs me. I scream, tough steak lodged in my throat. I look to the waiter, who wields a broken wine glass.

“No!” I yelp, as he impales me. At this point, the entire restaurant is attacking me, killing me- a pack of wild dogs unanimous in this bloody referendum.

“We are the watchdogs,” they howl as they finish me off.