Sat, Feb 13, 2010 - Page 8 News List

JOHNNY NEIHU'S NEWS WATCH: Dr Johnny Neihu IV jumps the shark

By Punkspleen 龐客脾

Woof woof woof, grrrrr, woof. Woof woof, yelp, grrrr ... [Google’s mongrel-to-English translation starts] ... regular trips to lagoudian (辣狗店) on Linsen N Road.

But I should start at the beginning. My name is Punkspleen. I’m a tugou (土狗)-chihuahua-German shepherd-Labrador mix ... at your service. You may wonder why I’m talking to you instead of my master, Johnny Neihu. I will do my best to satisfy your curiosity. Please excuse my fleas.

The truth is, my master is no longer with us. More on that in a moment. First, let me tell you how I came to be my master’s dog.

My abandoned mother and I used to forage around the edges of Taipei Zoo before new construction for the panda enclosure a few years ago led to strays such as ourselves being rounded up and impounded. I arrived in one piece. My mother was not so lucky: In trying to defend her pup, she bit one of the dognappers and was beaten to death.

Some weeks later at the pound, a stranger walked past, listening to the staff relating this story, before being told I was that very pup. He looked at me for a minute before cursing, then saying: “Miserable punks, the lot of them. Good thing I didn’t catch them hitting a defenseless dog or I really would have vented my ...”

He paused, looked me in the eye, and said: “You’re coming home with me, mutt.”

That was the first time I saw Johnny. The last time was a few days ago. The following is what came before.

My master had been distracted for some time over something called an ECFA and had been calling up people day and night arguing about it.

Then, just over a week ago, Johnny’s mother died. He became very sad and withdrew to his room, speaking only occasionally with his gal, Cathy Pacific. He was so upset that sometimes he forgot to take me out for a walk.

I didn’t see him for a while, but then he emerged from his room and began to talk again, this time calmly and carefully. His behavior changed.

The next afternoon, his granddaughters came over for a visit. He hugged them for so long and so tightly that I wasn’t sure what was happening. He talked with them about school, their boyfriends and their hobbies.

“My darlings,” he said at one point, “I know I’ve never been very impressed by all these hot new dance moves you do. I’ve softened now. I love your energy. But for the love of Matsu, promise me that one day you’ll learn how to tango.

“Oh, and whatever you do, don’t lose your virginity in a gravel truck.”

That evening, Johnny and Cathy had a long conversation in the living room of Neihu Towers.

“Now I know what the ECFA is,” my master said. “It’s not about the economics. It’s about the process: the rush to be accepted by lowlifes with hate in their hearts, the need to have your self-worth tagged to fuckheads who believe in racial superiority even as they spread the infection of a rotting Western philosophy, the desire to lead people who trust you down the road to despair, the compulsion to entrust the fate of everyone and everything that matters to you to some of the nastiest, ugliest, most corrupt pieces of filth that walk this half of the Earth.

“The ECFA has become these people’s accidental commentary on being Taiwanese. Between the lines, it calls us unable to speak and act as equals. It implies all those labels foisted on us by KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] think tanks and Mainlander bigots over the decades: crude, uneducated, dim-witted, unsophisticated, provincial, parochial, cowardly, greedy, pliable, betel nut-addicted, alcoholic yokels, barely a step removed from those pacified savages up in the mountains, being brought back under the arm of the greatest, the only, the last civilization on Earth.

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