Wed, 10/21/2009 - 13:40
The noon of October 16th saw dozens of pet dogs leave their homes in order to gather in Medan El Tehrir to stage a controversial rally. Bringing together some three hundred well-bred pooches, the peaceful demonstration called for an end to their masters’ unconcerned attitude towards their excrement – the canines demanded that, as in European and North American societies, such deposits should be promptly picked up and removed by their owners.
The event, which lasted 3 hours before its constituents dispersed to nap, snack or copulate with strays eyeing the event curiously, saw dogs of all sizes and furs giving speeches and carrying banners with such statements as “Imagine a Post-Poop World”, “I want poop-free streets!, and “End the accidents!” written underneath an elaborate drawing of a foot stepping into dog feces.
The chief orator and, sources tell us, mastermind behind the movement, is believed to be Winston the bulldog, who gave the opening speech, rousing many communal barks and howls. Below is an extract of Winton’s first words:
The day has come my fellow canines … the day we rise up and demand that we no longer poop without consequence, that we no longer relieve ourselves while our masters think nothing of it. The time has come when we embrace the ways of our foreign brethren, whose masters would indeed be fined by law were they to ignore the matter … The time has come that we demand that what comes out of us on the streets be removed by the very people who cringe in disgust if they step into it.
Winston’s eloquence has been compared to human leaders around the world, with some fellow canines calling it Dogama, or the Obama of the Dogs. Curiously, reports suggest that Winston’s masters often indulge it with alcoholic beverages, resulting in its frequent intoxication while giving speeches. It has been notoriously known to reply to one female dog that demanded it get off the podium because it was drunk by saying, “Madam, I may be drunk today, but you will be a bitch forever.”
Security forces surrounded the largely peaceful rally, with officers armed with chunks of ground beef in case the rally turned violent, and required distracting the dogs.
El Koshary Today was able to talk to some of the dogs involved. Rocky the German Shepherd stated: “I cannot walk around anymore without constantly dodging poop here or there – especially in Zamalek; that place is a poop fest.”
The dogs’ sudden ability to speak human languages has fascinated many, though the vast majority of Cairenes seem to think that if a city like Cairo has managed to continue to survive and grow after decades of increasing pollution and fanaticism, escalating traffic congestion, worsening unemployment, and altogether economic despair, nothing is really too strange to believe.
Indeed, the dogs seem to exhibit not only language, but even cultural identity. One hound we interviewed noted: “Why do our masters keep giving us foreign names? My owners are called Khaled, Mohamed and Malak – why on Earth should they call me Max?” it said, tilting its head to one side while creasing its forehead to express the oddness it perceived. “I would have liked to be called Khamees, or Gomaa,” it added, “that’s when they take me to the park, you see.”
Human critics of the movement noted that if dogs are capable of staging such an event, they should also be capable of cleaning up after themselves. Likewise, the Cats Rights Association (CRA) has looked down in disdain at the canines’ demonstration, with the head of the CRA, Persian Mrs. Fluffington, noting that “those filthy fiends should learn to use a litter box, for goodness’ sake.”
Ultimately, however, the degree of how effective this initiative may turn out remains to be seen. Yet one optimistic social psychologist steeped in the Cairene psyche has affirmed to EKT that, “Although most Cairenes consider the outside of their car window to be a large, welcoming trash can, and although a significant proportion of the population believes that dogs keep angels away, let alone their feces, and, despite the far more significant abundance of horse, donkey and mule droppings in the streets, I can confidently say that Winston and its followers will make some significant headway in their admirable cause.”