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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love my brothers!

Once upon a time my oldest brother, James wondered, "Why do dogs chase cars?" I'm sure others of us have wondered the same thing and have no real answer. James, on the other hand, didn't just drop it. He wanted to know. Now keep in mind, James was a child. In fact, we called him Jimmy at the time. Please don't judge him for it now.

What did Jimmy do? He hid behind a tree and waited for the next car to drive by. He then pretended like he was a dog and chased after it. The poor old lady driving was frightened half out of her mind. I'm surprised she didn't have a heart attack and die. She pulled over, told my parents and poor Jimmy got a talking to like you wouldn't believe. We all grew up hearing that story and how HE COULD HAVE DIED!

The most tragic part of the story? He still has no idea why dogs chase cars.

No, the story doesn't end here. No, no, no. Damian grew up hearing this story and also just HAD TO KNOW why dogs chase cars. Obviously Jimmy didn't find out because he wasn't prepared. Remember how HE COULD HAVE DIED? Well, Damian and our cousin, Justin, were two peas in a pod. Perhaps two hellion peas in a pod. They decided to repeat the experiment, but to learn from Jimmy's mistake. They weren't gonna die. No ways. They put on all their football gear to protect themselves. Then they hid behind a tree and waited for the next car to go by. The poor semi-truck driver had experienced many strange things in his day, but never two young boys chasing after his truck, decked out in football gear. When he pulled over, the boys realized Jimmy's other mistake. He got caught. So they ran out into the field and hid until their poor bellies were too hungry to stay. This worked out well for my parents, because they had a chance to get their laughs and giggles out before the boys came in so they could give them the appropriate talking to for being such naughty boys.

The most tragic part of the entire story? Neither Damian nor Justin can tell you why dogs chase cars.

(If Travis ever repeated the experiment, he was the smartest of all. He probably did it away from home so that he couldn't be traced and thus never got caught. He was the smartest about getting away with craziness like that in our family.)

You can see why this Garfield minus Garfield comic strip (which you should read on a regular basis, btw) made me giggle for far too long:

For the curious out there, the question of why dogs chase cars can be answered via Google. "It certainly is instinct, but what instinct it is is another question. Dogs evolved as pack animals that can attack and bring down prey many times their own size. Predation is more likely to require quiet than barking. Most large animals are herbivores, they are dangerous, and they hate pack animals that can eat them. A large animal making a lot of noise is probably giving a warning. Cars are large, they move, and they make noise, like an angry herbivore. (My dog ignores cars usually, but she never misses a chance to bark at a bus or a large truck.) A dog chasing and barking is more likely trying (instinctively, maybe without completely understanding the action himself) to scare away a threat than looking for lunch. Plus, the dog learns after a few tries that he always succeeds at scaring the car/bus/truck/train away, and he thinks he's good at it."

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