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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Go Robo-Dawgs! Gear 'Em!

True to form, the ubervegheads at PETA have once again plumbed the Catskillian depths of silliness. Those of us in the comedy-blogging business (if you can call this blog a business*) are quite grateful.

PETA take their cue from the recent and sudden death of the University of Georgia's beloved bulldog mascot Uga VII (Pronounced "Ugh-a," unless you're French, in which case it is pronounced "Oooh-Ga." If you're a fan of TV's Land of the Lost, it's pronounced "Ooga Chaka."). While Uga had a face only a mother could love, breathed like an asthmatic in Mexico City, and drooled like a a college freshman at a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition photo shoot, his fighting bulldog spirit was the essence of Georgia's... well, bulldogs.

Anyway, PETA used the demise of this wheezing, slobber-covered, homely but charming canine to call out breeders of pure-blood dogs for their stubborn insistence on continuing to maintain the bulldog population instead of letting it succumb to heartless evolutionary extinction. PETA's press release pointed out that pure-bred bulldogs suffer from numerous health problems, such as hip dysplasia and heart disorders. Of course, chain-smoking, elderly golfers also suffer from these ailments, and you don't see PETA staff driving around courses in electric, green carts, wagging their broccoli-stained fingers at these hobbling, geriatric duffers.

I guess there's only so much time in the day to pick and choose your wacky targets in the radical animal rights movement.

In any case, PETA has proposed a novel solution to the vacancy at the Athens, Georgia campus: Rather than replace Uga with a relative, use a robot. That's right, PETA wants the University of Georgia to replace their beloved living and breathing mascot with a soulless mechanical doppleganger.**

This is a bit like telling a family that's just lost a dear grandfather that they should prop Robby the Robot up in the corner where granpa's rocker use to be and pretend that Robby's exhaust is just pipe smoke. Obviously, Granpa Robby is not the only one producing dubious pipe smoke.

On the other hand, students in the university's mechanical engineering department were so excited by the robot suggestion they immediately cancelled their Halo tournament and began cruising the local junkyards for scrap metal and dog collars.

Now, to be fair, if you're going to go with a robot replacement, there are several valid options. For example, this model is quite popular with children and toy store owners:

It's a bit slow though and prone to getting stuck against walls, shoes, and in mildly thick carpeting.

This next model goes over very well with international students and lads that have trouble getting dates:

And that's just scratching the surface, so to speak. (Scratch... dogs..., you know, like with fleas. Itchy, biting fleas... and the dog scratches them. Of course, metal dogs don't actually scratch because they don't get fleas, and even if they did the fleas would never bother them, unless they had welding equipment or metal saws. Plus, if they scratched, they'd damage their finish. Really, when you think about it, metal dogs aren't even flexible enough to scratch their own... but I digress.)

Unfortunately for the hamburger-phobes at PETA, the downsides of robot dogs are just too obvious. For one, they'd have to follow the rules for robots, codified from the Japanese laws. They'd rust on rainy game days. (I mean, who wants to sit holding an umbrella over a metal dog? Even the male cheerleader with the lowest self-esteem in the squad would pile drive someone for suggesting it.)

They'd be crap as far as personality. You could program them to slobber 10W-40 but there'd be a fire risk. Any recorded heavy-breathing it would only sound like Alec Baldwin making an obscene phone call.

In the end, PETA are nuts for even suggesting such a ridiculous idea.*** Still though, if you built the dog 10 feet tall, gave it razor sharp claws like Wolverine, and designed it to breath fire, well, then you'd have something. It wouldn't be a bulldog, but I'm sure everyone at the University of Georgia could get behind that horrifying hound of death.

They'd certainly not want to be in front of it. (Insert rim-shot here.)

And it would absolutely torch PETA's backup suggestion: a person in a costume. Why on earth would anyone do that?

* Even the IRS hasn't made that mistake, yet.
** For those of you who believe dogs do not have souls, please try and play along for outrage's sake.
*** Fortunately, being vegans, they love nuts like Hank Williams Jr. loves American football.

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