Have you ever had one of those moments of solitude where your mind tends to wander? Recently, I pondered reincarnation and wondered what kind of animal I would like to come back as in the next life.
The first creature I considered was the domesticated cat. It would be a spectacular existence provided I could stay indoors. Who wants to hunt their own food? All I have to do is lie around and clean myself occasionally, eat, sleep and I still get to use an indoor bathroom in the form of a litter box which I don’t even have to maintain. Now and then I would chase a string to keep myself and my owner entertained. I would dictate when I want attention and I would hesitate, stretch and stand just out of reach of my loving master simply to mess with his or her mind. I would be sleek, agile, graceful and quick but I decided against being a housecat because I promptly realized I wouldn’t like utilizing the bathroom knowing I could be watched. It’s bad enough I would be naked 24/7 but no privacy when it counts is something I could not tolerate. Sure, there might be a roof on the litter box but I never did like confined places and the last thing anyone needs is a claustrophobic cat.
Therefore, I decided I would like to come back as a lion but not in a zoo because the bathroom problem would still exist with hundreds of bratty kids on a school fieldtrip staring at me as I try to get on with my business. Nope, it’s the wilds of Africa for this Panthera leo. I would roam around the plains of the Serengeti. Wait, check that. I would `strut’ around the plains of the Serengeti knowing I am the king of the jungle. I could find seclusion when nature calls and nobody would mess with me because I’m a lion for crying out loud. Plus, I don’t have to hunt. I know it’s sexist but the lionesses do all the dirty work and I get to eat first. What is even more sexist is that being a big bad lion I also have my choice of the ladies provided of course I am the alpha male. Who cares if I’m naked amidst all the other lions and animals? If I am the alpha male it means many things including an impressive… um… really good… ah… rather large… well… let’s just say I wouldn’t hurry past many mirrors.
Yet I decided against being a lion because of two main reasons. First, lions truly are not the kings of the jungle it is the elephant. Listen, if I’m going to stroll around in the blazing heat with the amazing junk my mama gave me I don’t need the trumpet of a pachyderm to scare the living hell out of me and blow my manly cover.
The second reason I don’t want to be a lion is because I’ve seen lions mating. After the lovin’ have you ever witnessed the lioness and her actions? She always takes a swipe at the male. To be honest I like to cuddle afterwards and believe you me it’s hard enough just getting the opportunity to make love let alone finishing and then having her belt me.
After further rumination I decided upon the tiger. Call me vain but the tiger is without question the most beautiful animal in the world. As an added bonus the tiger is a solitary creature except for perpetuating the species. In other words, after the lovin’ is done, so am I. It’s the perfect bachelor’s life and the real kings of the jungle are tigers not only because they actually live in the jungle but it is a proven scientific fact that tigers can defeat lions by sheer size and strength. Yes, a tiger is the ultimate alpha male. Of all the cats it is the tiger that enjoys the water and I relish lying around in the pool.
However, there is still the problem of hunting my own eats. I guess some sacrifices have to be made but without thumbs I cannot barbeque what I catch so sadly I decided against being a tiger. After all, if I can’t stomach Susi as member of the Homo sapiens how in the world could I dine on raw flesh?
So what have we learned about my cerebral adventure? It seems if I can’t eat raw food or even meander around a nudist colony as a human being then I couldn’t do so as an animal. I know what you’re thinking, how would I be conscious of my food and nudity if I was an animal? The answer is because I already am an animal by definition. I think I’ll just come back as me.
Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author. Visit his website at www.benguyatt.com and follow him on Facebook. He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.