DO YOU know the way every now and then someone outs themselves in one of those foreign women's magazines? "I was a woman trapped inside a man's body and I'm in tonnes better form since the operation."
But that really has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Nothing at all.
And the newly made-up women are grand. It's their own business, and if they were overrun with hormones, well, that's not their fault, is it?
But the dogs trapped in men's bodies are completely different. Dogs can be trained to fetch and do all sorts of wonderful tricks like give the paw and pee outside, so surely the dog inside can be trained?
I often wonder if animals are human. Some humans are definitely animals. I know several hounds who are dogs trapped in a man's body. There they are dying to let the dog out to savage all and sundry. There's no doubt in my mind but that man is descended from the dog.
It was back in the days when the guards were allowed bate people.
We were moved out of the house due to the fact we were too big for the tiny upstairs over the pub. Our new quarters were out the back, in a sort of a teenage guesthouse, except that we were permanent guests. The view was the back way at the rear of the pub, and sometimes the noise would wake the dead, what with drunks screeching and dogs -- real ones -- howling, steam rising from long pees in winter time, groping agin walls and bangers of cars revving from 0 to 60 in 10 minutes.
This guard, by the name of Jack Cregan, was torturing a man-dog out the back way. I was very good friends with Jack and he used to drink in our pub. I was able to peep out the bedroom window without being seen.
"I hear you're a fine brave man, a bit of a boxer," said Jack to the man-dog who began to whimper like a puppy with his tail caught in the door.
"Will you fight me?" asked Jack.
"Ah no, ah no," said the man-dog. "I wants no trouble."
Jack was from Tipp and he spoke in a soft, slow drawl untouched by his many years in Kerry. He hadn't much interest in ever arresting anyone, but he hated bullies.
"Put 'em up," said Jack. "Sure, aren't you undefeated?" And he did an Ali shuffle more for his own amusement than to frighten the man-dog.
"The wife," said the man-dog, "she was at me. Every time I sits down she thinks of something for me to stand up for."
"Ah, but didn't you teach her a lesson?" said Jack. "Bate her fair and square, didn't you? Well, now this is your next fight. Champ."
Jack hit the man-dog a tap on the nose. The man-dog rolled over and begged for mercy. Jack was only playing him. Like a cat with a mouse, only this mouse was a dog.
I'm fairly certain the man-dog never touched his poor wife ever again.
That was Jack.
He swore me to secrecy. For years I have kept this secret, but heroes should be honoured, even if it is posthumously. I wouldn't condone the gardai taking the law into their own hands, but there were no barring orders in Jack's time. It took months to get the man-dogs into court, and there was no privacy for battered women as there is now.
There was another case in our town and Jack was powerless to help. She had a big family and was trapped with a dog of a husband because of that. He died, from drink. And who says alcohol harms society?
In the years after the man-dog's death, the beaten-up wife began to blossom. She's an old woman now, and one day she did me the great honour of telling me her story. The saddest thing I ever heard was that he thrust himself upon her and she didn't want to make a protest for fear of waking the kids. "But it calmed him a bit," she said.
I made a poem out of the story for her. Here's a line or two, more or less in her own words.
As he wiped himself upon the
She heard lovers laughing in the
And she wept.
Sometimes you see drunks peeing up against lamp posts or up laneways or against cars, in full view of the public. These drunks are marking territory.
There's a grumpy man-dog from our town who hates the Listowel Races which, by the way, start next Sunday and is the best of times.
The reason he hates the races is because everyone is so happy. He barks at people who park in his space outside the newsagents and he only buys the paper because he has to whinge about something he can do nothing about or has no notion of doing anything about. Like the Bundesbank.
YOU sort of always feel he's dying to let out his inner dog and sit in the middle of the road stopping all the race traffic as he licks parts to the south but not in any sort of sexual way. More just to annoy everyone, make the punters late for the first race and put people off their dinner.
Then there's the internet canines who, under the cover of anonymity, send out every kind of vile abuse in the darkest hours when they're bored from self-pleasuring, hating themselves for their cowardice and picking zits.
These are like the lovable pets who lovingly lick the fingerprints off their owner's fingers after a night out worrying and killing sheep. There's a dog in all of us. You just have to fight to muzzle the dog inside.
Come to think of it, I'm really insulting many fine dogs who are truly excellent human beings.
Maybe it's time to open human pounds.