Last night, I sought my wife’s opinion on potential female names, for me. “Which do you think suits me best?” I asked: “Rachael; Rebecca; or Rochelle?” Nonplussed, she wondered at my sudden interest in a sex change. I assured her I had no intention of switching sides, but just in case.
As Sophia already knows, and as I again reminded her, I like to plan ahead. I’ve devised contingency strategies for lottery jackpots, manifestations of super powers, alien abductions, poltergeist hauntings, and a host of other unlikely scenarios. The possibility of gender transformation merely represents the latest addition to my list. In light of recent events, it’s by no means the least likely either.
Last week, I watched video of an animal behaviorist playing with lions. They were the wild ones too! Without whip, chair, or any observable protective device, the tee-shirt garbed lunatic wrestled with a pride of the feral beasts. He’d met the animals before, and they supposedly had accepted him as an honorary member of the pride; but still! Seeing him on his back with two or three enormous males draped atop, all I could think was: If this guy accidentally scrapes his arm and a little blood flows, he better hope those lions aren’t hungry. Otherwise, his new nickname’s gonna be ‘stumpy!’
The lion video came to mind again yesterday, a few hours before I debated feminine names with my wife. Having agreed to watch Prometheus’ canine buddy for a couple of hours, I’d herded both dogs into our bedroom to play. I decided to exercise, and began doing planks as they engaged in a spirited tug of war with a squeaky ball. While I rested on elbows and toes with my torso elevated, the combatants moved their battle below my midsection. One of them must’ve pissed off the other, because they started snapping their teeth and banging their mouths together, all whilst trying to seize lone possession of the squeaky.
I’m sure the perpetrator didn’t intend harm. Nonetheless, in the heat of their struggle, a pooch aiming for the squeaky ball instead latched onto one of two squishy globules dangling within range due to loose boxers and the laws of gravity. I saw stars, of course, and nearly had two pancaked mutts on my hands. Most pertinently, as I lay in the fetal position waiting for the pain to subside, the thought occurred: If that’d been a lion instead of a six-pound dog, Sophia’d have to loan me a dress and call me … Rachael; Rebecca; Rochelle?