Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

The Word “Animal” Does Not Appear In A Grateful Dead Song

There aren’t many rules. Not society’s laws (don’t shoot people in the mall) or fashion’s customs (don’t be white on Labor Day): there are multiplicities of those. I mean rules to live by. You should listen to the Dead, specifically ’73. Avoid powders and pills; and don’t do all your drugs at once. Drive like everyone else is drunk.

And don’t bother animals. Across the board. I’m not a vegan and probably never will be, but terrible as it is to admit: they’re right. You want to be eaten? No, you don’t. Nothing that conceive of being eaten wants to be eaten. That’s why gazelles evolved legs.

See an animal? Stay away from it.

HOWEVER, there are exceptions.

  • You can bother dogs and cats all you want: pretend to throw the ball, laser pointer, whatever; just record it and show me the video.
  • Okay, that’s the rule: you can only bother dogs and cats if I get to watch.
  • Obviously, that rule is for the fun and kicky definition of “bother.”
  • I’m talking about flipping their ears inside-out so they have to do their little neck spasm move to get it back, and then doing it again.
  • Dogs will let you do that move for a while because dogs are good people.
  • A good-faith effort should be made to relocate non-scary spiders found in your living room; all other insects in your home may be destroyed with impunity.
  • Alligators may be wrestled for tourists’ amusement.
  • If you can tip a cow, then go for it.
  • Try tipping a wildebeest, too.
  • Y’know: if you want to throw a flying tackle at any animal while it’s sleeping, then you may.
  • But, I want to see the video.
  • Speaking of cows, you can blow-dry them and make them fluffy, even though I’m sure that bothers them.
  • They look like this:
  • fluffy cows
  • That kind of beauty is worth bothering a cow for.
  • I wish someone would bother me like that every morning, just lead me to a barn and harness me in and glam the shit out of me.
  • You can bother fish superficially, but you have to go to where they live.
  • I figure you’re allowed to poke a perch if there’s a shot a barracuda can eat you, or an eel can swim up your asshole.
  • Horses may be ridden.
  • You may also hitch a wagon to them, but only if you’re really religious.
  • Chickens may be chased if you are training for a prizefight.
  • At any one time, only one (1) documentary team, one (1) post-doc, and one (1) nature journalist may surround a family of gorillas.
  • Marsupials may be lied to, and then later on they’ll find out and be all, “I trusted that guy,” and that will really bother them.
  • You can can make little clicking noises at squirrels until they look at you funny.
  • I don’t know if they’re bothered by it, but I love it so.
  • There is no exception to the rule when it comes to hippos: do not bother hippos in any way.
  • No good has ever come from humans and hippopotamuses coming into contact.
  • Generally, it ends two ways: dead person or captive hippo.
  • Unless you’re Pablo Escobar (who ended up dead, but not from the hippos), who imported a bunch which escaped and now there are hippos in the swamps of Colombia.
  • Good work, Pablo.
  • Returning to my libertarian beliefs when it comes to people getting eaten, if you are a comedian with no material, you can bother lions.
  • Absolutely, go to it.
  • That’s fine.
  • If you make an informed choice to square up with a lion, then I will watch.
  • (Now, if there was surveillance footage of a lion attack on an innocent person, I would never look at that. Walk up to a lion and tell it to suck your dick? I’m getting popcorn and watching you die.)
  • You may also wave a red flag in front of a bull.
  • You’re just not allowed to do the other, cowardly stuff to the bull before hand; drugged and stabbed and dying before being presented to the macho.
  • You wanna be macho, be macho: healthy bull.
  • If you absolutely must bother a bull, then do this:
  • And listen to this Me and My Uncle from 9/26/73 while you’re doing because that’s what I did and I almost threw up I was laughing so hard.
  • Now, you’re saying, that is the textbook definition of bothering an animal, TotD.
  • And yet: I’ll allow it.
  • This isn’t horse racing, which I’d outlaw my first day in the Oval Office, or dogsled racing, which I’d outlaw if Alaska were a a state: you don’t have to crack a whip to get the bull to do anything.
  • He wants to kill you.
  • To me, this implies consent.
  • Plus, the teams are mixed-gender, and parkour is so hot this year, and according to the innertubes the bull is returned to his pasture afterwards.
  • How does he explain that to the cows?
  • “Where the hell have you been?”
  • “Bessie, I have had the oddest day.”
  • TotD is now officially a fan of Bull Leaping and would like to crowdfund a professional league called the North American Bull Leaping Association.
  • Please help me fund NAmBLA by clicking on the Donate Button.
  • Thank you.

*Again I remind you of my demand to be given a Tibetan Sky Funeral.


  1. The word “animals” does not appear in a Grateful Dead song, but the words “Grateful Dead” do appear in an Animals song.

    You can’t explain that.

  2. Horses may not be ridden. We no longer need them to get from Point A to B, or to haul shit. A horse does not want a steel bolt in his mouth or someone on his back. Would you?

  3. hugh.c.mcbride

    March 14, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    “Please help me fund NAmBLA …”

    What is “if not the most ineffective, then surely one of three most ineffective ways to start a fundraising pitch?” Alex?

    Also, Pink Floyd should never have cut the “Fluffy Blow-Dried Cows” track from “Animals” …

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