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February 7, 2014 / MissSteele

Look at This Picture of This Insanely Sad Dog! Now, Pass the Mashed Potatoes.

“Aw, geez. Look at this picture! It’s dogs being hauled off for meat in China. So sad,” my aunt said as she shoved her phone into my face while I was busy shoving a questionable bologna sandwich into my mouth.The picture was heart-wrenching, to say the least. Did I want to see their poor, puppy dog eyes being pulled away by a wagon so they could be ground into hamburger steak? No, of course not. Most people don’t. If you do, you are most likely aware by this point in your life that you have some major issues that need to be addressed by a professional because you are the worst kind of person they make.

I’d like to say this was an isolated incident, that my aunt doesn’t thrive upon horrible photos/videos/stories involving the revolting evils of the world, but unfortunately I would be lying. She doesn’t constantly look at things like that because she is fond of imagining the blood-curdling screeches given from wounded seal cubs. It’s just that she can’t help herself from looking. I think she may be a masochist, actually.

If there is a video circling Facebook of a woman drowning puppies in a bucket, she will watch it. And dammit, she will try to make me watch it too. She will be heartbroken from exposing herself to it, she will tear up and stare at her phone in pitiful disbelief that people could be so cruel. But yet, SHE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH IT! And later that day, she’ll read a story about a local shelter that was hosting dog fights, and she will want to show me pictures of it over Sunday dinner.

I would like to preface that I am not naive, I know what people are capable of doing. I am from the internet, after all. I just find it best for my own sanity that I avoid upsetting myself constantly with horrific images so that I do not have to be committed to an insane asylum because I have an ASPCA commercial playing on a constant loop in my head.

"In the arms of the angels..."

“In the arms of the angels…”

For me, the line between “moderately happy” and “devastatingly depressed” is a paper-thin one, so I’d rather not immerse myself in images of baby animals being tortured if I can help it. If I am trying to have a good day, a heartbreaking story about poaching can ruin me. Recently, I saw a photo of a herd of elephants that had been left to die after poachers had killed them for their tusks. Even the little baby ones. I took it hard because elephants are pretty much my favorite animal in the world, and this story made me want to slather some grease on my face, tie a camouflage bandanna around my forehead, and lurk around the jungle in order to exact acts of unforgivable revenge upon the heartless bastards that did that.

image courtesy of

 Look at how cute he is! He’s even giving this guy a hug! LOOK AT IT!  (image courtesy of

See, now I’m getting off topic.

My aunt can’t keep her face out of unspeakable horrors. I think it gets worse all the time. You cannot say anything without her somehow managing to weasel mangled animal carcasses into the conversation. Take for example a conversation that happened last night that began with a simple comment about the Sochi Olympics. The news ran a story about the deplorable ways the government has been treating their citizens in Sochi due to said Olympics, and she yelled out, “THEY ARE TOO BUSY KILLING ALL OF THE STRAY ANIMALS RIGHT NOW!!!”

Of course, she was referring to the news stories about Sochi officials being ordered to kill any stray animal they could get their hands on so those tricky bastards weren’t running free during the Olympics. However, she didn’t stop there. She went on a 10-minute rant about de-clawing cats, followed by another discussion about a slaughter-house video she watched on purpose. It was a hoot. Nothing really livens up a room like a discussion about castrating baby pigs.

I think I may have to install parental controls on her computer and phone before she loses all ability to function.

I’m not saying she’s the only one in the family with a tendency to be a Debby Downer, she’s just by far the craziest about it. My mother doesn’t bury her face into horrifying videos because she can’t look away, she just tells incredibly sad stories that make you want to cry into your green beans at the table. However, she’s tricky about it because you don’t always see it coming. Unlike my aunt who just blurts out gruesome facts like she has a sick form of turrets, my mother will begin a lovely story and end it with a gut-wrenching finale that destroys your entire universe.

One such story would go as follows: “Oh, I read this story today about this guy who owned a horse. He was a blind man, and he adopted the horse from a rescue shelter because it had been malnourished and was in bad shape. He and the horse grew very close, he was the blind man’s only friend because his wife and children had died in a house fire. The same fire that caused him to lose his sight. This horse was a blessing to him, and he began to cherish life again. They were inseparable. Then, one night as they were riding home, a rabid dog came out of nowhere and started trying to attack the man. The horse swooped into action and stomped the dog to death in order to defend his owner. Luckily, both the man and the horse were okay!”

“Aw, that’s a really great story,” one of us would innocently chime in.

“Yeah,” she would sadly say. “The horse ran out in front of a semi-truck and died the next day.”

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Yeah. Mommy just launched a mental torpedo right into your face.

Of course, she didn’t do it on purpose. We all know what it’s like to want to share a heartbreaking story you had the displeasure of coming across that day. The problem with her stories, however, is that you never knew if it was going to be a nice, normal story or one that would make you bawl into your pillow later that night. It sort of became a game of suspense when she would begin a story at dinner. We would all hold our breath and wait for the ending. It got to where if she began a story with, “Aw, I heard a story today about this veteran and his dog…” we would all immediately drop our forks and brace for the worst.

Yes, my family has a pension for sharing tragic stories. However, I must admit that I am no better. The apple doesn’t fall far from the traumatizing tree. For example, my friends and I will be sitting around talking about a Lifetime movie we saw where a woman was brutally murdered so the criminals could steal her baby. My friends will be laughing about how hilarious it was to watch the bad acting during the movie and how the plot was completely over-the-top ridiculous, and I will cut everyone short and say, “That really happened, though.”

Annnnnd everyone will feel like a guilty jackass for laughing and the mood at the table will have completely changed. Not to mention the fact that I read a lot of articles and sometimes they contain some pretty awful information about recalls in China pertaining to food and medication. Let’s just say letting someone know that China raises seafood in sewage ponds is NOT the best topic to bring up while someone is eating a fish sandwich.

What can I say? I come by it honest.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sean Smithson / Feb 7 2014 5:29 pm

    It’s better that you say it than you don’t… Or so I think anyway.

    PS – Elephants are the best. Fucking poachers!

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