Most dogs live their lives, use up their heartbeats, go to the Bridge, wait for their parents, then ascend to Happily Ever After, where they will spend eternity with their mom and dad. My problem is, I have never, until now, had a parent I wanted to be with forever. Because of that, I have made good use after I reached the Bridge of the reincarnation clause, which allows a soul to go back with a new body and try to find their match for eternity again. I have been doing this for centuries. I usually don’t talk about my past lives, but this week it was Columbus Day, which caused me to remember my time as Christopher Columbus’ dog.
Daddy Chrissie adopted me in Italy, weeks before he went to Spain, to convince Ferdinand and Isabella to finance his journey to find a shorter way to the far east by traveling west. “Chrissie’s directionally challenged,” his brother Kenny told me. Columbus finally convinced the Spanish sovereign to pay for his travel expenses by promising to bring back Chinese food, specifically General Gao’s chicken, because Ferdinand likes his chicken spicy. Among the firsts that would occur during this time was initiating the practice of “You buy, I’ll fly.”
Daddy Chrissie took me to see his ships. “Aren’t they beautiful? They are called the Taint, the Jock Strap, and Rectal Itch.” I suggested he change the names because if he were lucky enough to find the new world, children would be asked, for centuries, to memorize the Taint, Jock Strap, and Rectal Itch. Daddy Chrissie was reluctant, but when I told him his legacy could be affected, he agreed.
Getting the crew to agree on the perilous journey was difficult. They thought they were going past Africa, but when told they were going west, they rebelled because they wouldn’t be going by the Cape of Good Hope Barbeque, where everyone loved to stop for brisket. Daddy Chrissie tried to tell them of fame and riches they would surely achieve, but the crew was adamant. Finally, he reminded them that, as short Italians, they always got their butts kicked when they played intramural basketball with the natives. He had heard whispers of a team in the west, called the Knicks, who always lost. Inspired by hoop dreams, they agreed.
When we hit the high seas, I realized why I was on board. Daddy Chrissie said he was counting on me to point them in the right direction. I tried to explain I wasn’t a pointer dog, but you know dads don’t listen. It wasn’t hard work. Every morning I got up, looked where the sun was rising, and pointed in the opposite direction.
It must have worked because one morning, I caught a strange scent in the air, which smelled like a buffet. I ran to the bow and barked in joy. “Casino ho!” In front of us was one of the biggest casinos we had ever seen. The men began sailing towards it. We soon docked and were anxiously met by our hosts, who referred to us by a word in their strange tongue. “Pigeons.” The tired, hungry, thirsty seamen attacked the buffet, blackjack tables, and whores.”
Daddy Chrissie did not go with the men. He stood triumphantly at the bow and declared: “I claim this land for Italy, and I call it My Balls!” I told him I was not sure if that was a good idea. He questioned why and I said he wouldn’t want people to remember that he went across the Atlantic to find his balls. He considered the idea and agreed, saying he would call it Hisponala instead. He told me that meant “My Balls” in Spanish. He wanted to call the natives “My Ball Lickers,” but I told him it might be better to call them Indians since we were supposed to be in India, and they did own casinos. He agreed, and we both said the name wouldn’t last forever! Little did we know.
We met with the newly named Indians, and Daddy Chrissie said that he was thrilled to be the first white man to find this new land. “Not the first one,” an Indian said and pointed to a dilapidated casino with Trump on it. “He is from Germany. He came here, bought out the casinos, put his name on them, went bankrupt, and left.” We agreed not to mention him. It’s not like he would keep coming back to do it over and over again. The men all lost their shirts at the gambling tables. Daddy Chrissie said that was okay. The shirts were all infected with smallpox anyway.
When we got back, I was exhausted. I passed on soon after that. But don’t be sad. My adventures were just beginning.