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SATURDAY’S CHILD: Give a dog a bad name


Tony Deyal

SATURDAY’S CHILD: Give a dog a bad name

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Some days you’re the dog, and some days you’re the hydrant. Then there are days when everything is collapsing around you and it is a total mess or “dog’s breakfast”.  
While animal imagery is generally used to describe perfection (the “cat’s pyjamas” or the “bee’s knees”), the British like to use the term “the dog’s bollocks” to mean the absolute apex of excellence.
Then there is a “dog day afternoon”. Answers.com says, “The dog days were the days when the Dog Star, Sirius, rose just before sunrise. Ancient Romans believed that the hot days of late summer were caused by the Dog Star, and thought that dogs went mad during this time (also that wine spoiled, people became hysterical, and seas boiled!).
“Due to the precession, or movement of the universe, Sirius is no longer seen in the same position from Rome, but the expression has stuck. So a dog day afternoon would be the afternoon of one of the very hot, sticky days at the end of summer.”
This was the kind of dog day Hao Xiaomao was having when he loaded his truck with 520 dogs destined for restaurants in north-eastern China.  
As Hao hurtled down the Beijing highway, a dog lover in a passing car spotted him and sent out a message which hit the blogosphere. Within a very short time over 200 animal lovers were on the highway protesting.  
According to the Washington Post, “The mob of dog lovers finally won the [15-hour] stand-off by pooling together more than $17 000 to pay off the truck driver.”  However, it was still a bit of a dog’s breakfast.  
Hao feels that he has been the hydrant. He claims to have lost more than $3 000 in the deal and since he failed to deliver, nobody wants to have any truck with him. Worse, he is befuddled about what seems to be much adog about nothing. “I still don’t understand what was immoral about my shipment. People also eat cow and sheep. What’s the difference?” he asked.
The difference is that we live in a dog-eat-dog and not a man-eat-dog world. If you don’t believe me, ask Jack Warner or Sepp Blatter. In 2002, just before the World Cup in Korea, Sepp Blatter sent a letter urging South Korea to be sensitive to worldwide public opinion about dog meat. Chung Mong-joon, co-chairman of the South Korean organizing committee for the World Cup finals, told Korean reporters, “The recent controversy of the consumption of dog meat is not a FIFA matter.”  
At the time, this led me to speculate about the safety of my Trinidadian compatriot Jack Warner.  
I wrote, “This reaction by the Korean official makes me fearful for the safety of our own FIFA vice-president Austin (Jack) Warner, who will be in Korea for the World Cup. He is well-known for his dogged determination and dog-like support for Mr Blatter. This has placed him in the doghouse of the group now engaged in a dogfight with Blatter and his supporters.”
Those who sought to depose Blatter as Alpha-dog or pack leader in 2002 and those who failed miserably to do so in 2011 need to understand the canine culture that dominates and characterizes FIFA. Blatter as “Top Dog” controls the coffers and can make US$1 million or more available to CONCACAF or any other associated federation without any question of accountability.  
This is nothing to sniff at. FIFA is about money and he who controls the purse strings controls the votes.  The problem with Jack is the same with Jack Russell terriers. According to the experts, they can be very aggressive with other dogs and more than two should never be kept together. In fact, they tend to bite off more than they can chew. They are bred to hunt foxes but sometimes, as in this present case, the fox wins.
Jack has moved from terrier to holy terror in a relatively short time. Now he has barked up the wrong tree and has a tiger by the tail.  
In nine years, Jack has gone from dog’s bollocks to dog’s breakfast. If Jack’s tale has a moral (as if there is any morality in FIFA) it is, “The dog that licks the boots that kick it will inevitably bite the hand that feeds it.”
 

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