the most horrific day of my life was when i had to take my cat, Timmy, to the vet, knowing that the time had come to face euthenasia. He was so ill that i knew i was doing the right thing but getting there, daughter for support, tears streaming, husband at home hiding his head in the sand - it was awful. Then the awful gap in our lives without him.
I have just spent one hour -- one whole hour, give or take one or two minutes -- reading this thread. Almost every word. It began to have a kind of morbid fascination for me, a fascination which had nothing whatever to do with its subject matter, a subject matter that was not being addressed anyway except in the case of dlowan and, to some extent, cavfancier. It just seemed incredible to me that all these otherwise erudite and articulate folk on A2K could so blithely miss Setanta's point.
Does anyone understand yet that he was not talking about dogs? Sheesh! That must be really frustrating, Set.
I knew he meant chickens all along.
I'm glad I don't have any pets...
I suppose I ought to have experienced some form of horror one evening when I went to hop a freight train and misjudged everything essential to the successful hop. When I locked my grip onto the grab iron I was thrown pinwheel fashion onto the gravel bed. I rolled along beside the train, our paths at first parallell, then began to converge. At the last moment, the slope of the gravel turned me away from the track. I rolled onto some grass and lay still. I took stock, wondering if I were hurt. "Oh oh oh," I grunted many times. At last, realizing my back pack had taken all the blows and I remained in perfect health, I got up and walked away, none the worse. At one point I looked back. Someone with a flashlight was searching the vicinity for my broken body. Yes, I ought to have felt inexpressible horror, but, I was much too busy at the time.
That's a story that rings true, edgar.
I was freshman year in high school when I and two friends jumped our bikes and took off one night for a 14-year old's version of a 4-hour reign of terror.
The three of us were pedaling furiously along when a vehicle's headlights lit us up in backlight. I pulled across the road in order to let the pickup by, heard the tires squeal, felt the strike--and evrything went black.
No sound, no sensation.
After a few moments, I tried to move.
I wrenched my head out of the sewage ditch I landed in, to see the occupants of the house running out; my fellow rider, on his back, crying out to the driver of the truck, "Don't move me," and my third compadre, still on his bicycle, staring at the scene, a look of terror in his eyes.
Suffice it to say that had I landed a foot or so in any direction, or had there not been heavy rains recently, I might be typing this from a wheelchair.
The homeowners who witnessed this accident rolled out their garden house and used the pistol attachment to wash the slime from my mouth, nose, and eyes.
My buddy's back felt OK after a few days.
It was years later before I actually realized I had experienced some extremely fortunate circumstances, which made me both grateful and horrified simultaneously.
Later that same year I sneaked in (I was underage for an R movie) to see 'The Exorcist'.
Now that was pure horror.
I am unable to stomache The Exorcist
With all due respect to the dead horse of relevance lying in the middle of the floor here--which i'll not flog--i thought people here might be interested in the following news:
The lil' doggy in question (of which my current dogatar is a portrait) was in the yard with Mr. Bailey (who does not fear thunderstorms) and Lovey, when a thunderstorm rolled by. Lovey spoke calmly to her, and Mr. Bailey simply looked on with his casual, contemptuous regard for all people walking down his street, and Miss Cleo did not run and hide. Lovey says she barked at the thunder . . . mayhap we can hope her particular horror is beginning to end . . .
Indeed, EB, you bad birdie, an' i may well do the doggin' . . .
Yay Miss Cleo, and her calm-talkin' mistress.
A genuine horror story has come to mind. I will fudge a few details to protect someone (not an a2ker, by the way).
Many years back a person I know shot and killed a man whom he thought was too interested in his wife. About a dozen years ago this man's son was killed by a gun. A few years ago at Christmas time we had a gathering in my home. Midway through the festivities we went outside so some of the nicotine slaves could smoke. At the same time some kids up the block exploded several firecrackers.
"He's pointing a gun at us," said the man I'm telling about.
He went inside. Minutes later I discovered him, sitting in the hallway, hugging his grandson much too tightly. In his eyes I saw true horror.
I have a sister, and i was born eleven months to the day after she was. Given the date of her birthday, she was "held back" and did not enter school until the same year as i--and so we went to school together, and walked home together.
There was in this sad little country burg, an older girl (perhaps three or four years) who was loud and brassy, and of a very mean disposition. She delighted in cruelty, and the targets of her spleen were the smaller children. Most feared her, some ignored her (at their physical peril--i now admire their courage), and some few occassionally tried to get on her good side.
On a day of winter on which the warmth had returned, and the streets were bordered with the slushy puddles from the melting ice, this girl approached us as we walked home. She addressed me, and in my thoughtless liddley way (this was the first grade), i was flattered by the notice. She was by no means a stupid hulking bully, of whom examples enough occur in every childhood--she was clever, and devious. She began to wink at me, and then, looking pointedly at my sister, to make a pushing gesture. Being young enough not to consider the likely consequence, and unaware that i was being made a tool, i turned and shoved my sister from the side, which overbalanced her so that she fell into one of the ice-rimmed, dirty, slushy puddles--and was immediately soaked. The evil child began to laugh, and although i know now that she laughed at much at me and my reaction as at my sister's sudden, un-looked-for misfortune, to my credit, i did not care. That nasty little guttersnipe (whom i have hated with passion ever since) had disappeared completely from my horizon, which was now solely focused on my sister. I helped her to her feet, all the while experiencing a violent, physical sense of horror--horror at what i'd done, and what she now suffered. I tried to tell her i was sorry, tried to tell her that i hadn't meant it . . . but she ignored me, not from revenge, but simply because as will any small child in such a circumstance, she was staggering off in the direction at which she was assured of comforting. Certainly my grandmother punished me--but my sense of agonized regret was such that i consented without complaint, and endured without a whimper, and gave it no thought during or after the whipping. My sister and i did not then, and never have discussed the incident.
The lil' coney and the ground squirrel taught me about casual and unintended cruelty. This one taught me about contrived cruelty, and gave me a beginning of a notion of the meaning of evil . . .
No doubt about it, Boss . . .
You know, i can't say why, buy your previous post sparked that recollection . . . an incident i'd not thought about for how many years i could not say . . . this thread is startin' to creep me out . . .
It's alive Igor, it's alive . . .
I've never put some of this stuff online myself. Who knew?
In a vain effort to get back on topic --
I recall that Ernest Hemingway once commented that in his experience people who are unduly concerned about animals usually do not have good warm feelings towards people. Now he did say this in a book called Death in the Afternoon, which is all about how glorious the Spanish bullfight is supposed to be, so perhaps we should take ol' Ernie 'Emorroid, the poo man's Pyle, with a grain of salt here.
I'll go along with that, Boss . . . both Ernie's observation, and yours about Ernie . . . i do think the thread has produced some of what i'd hope for which has great merit--and i don't refer to what i've posted, but to what others have posted about a sense of horror . . .
Hemmingway may have known horror most intimately. Perhaps part of his reason to end his own life.