Hunzi is hungry, I can see that. He didn’t finish last night’s din-dins, just picked out the expensive meaty bits and left the chicken-flavoured wheaty bulk crud soaked in delicious meat juices to turn into fly-egg pie. Now he is pecking around hopefully in the general litter on the kitchen floor, staring at me longingly with those strange yellow eyes, while I selfishly wolf down my one meagre slice of toast. For I too am bored with eating, bored with cooking and washing-up, bored with shopping at Morrison’s.
Feeling benevolent towards him despite everything, I open the emergency tin of dogfood and spoon some into his bowl. A rehomed dog, he won’t eat if anyone is nearby, possibly armed with a stick, so I make my excuses and leave. He follows me into the computer room and, with a sigh, assumes the foetal position next to my chair. The tin remains uneaten. Heavily pregnant flies arrive. That’s yet another half-full bowl of perfectly good food specifically intended for canine consumption that I shall have to scrape into the bin. The dog is still hungry. Now I am also emitting frequent sighs, because this is just stupid. Dogs in Africa are starving.
I hear on the radio that a judge has had to order an anorexic woman to be force-fed. Or not, my hearing isn’t so good these days. My former sister-in-law was anorexic. There are few things more infuriating than telling someone who, if they entered the Miss Staedtler Pencils contest would undoubtedly win, that if they don’t eat they’ll die, and they just smile at you beatifically because they KNOW that if they eat they’ll get fat and if they get fat they’ll have to kill themselves and THEN you’d be sorry you told them to eat more.
The judge’s decision sounds compassionate, but judge-meat does not contain compassion, only legal precedent. Food in this case would be a medicament, and there are plenty of good precedents for ordering people to be medicated against their will. Often, it is against the will, too, of the people who supposedly care for them, but are subservient to the higher principle that Christ died on the cross so everyone else should too, even their own children, and not be so silly about calling the doctor over every little thing.
It’s a pity Pontius Pilate didn’t also nail up a sign, saying ‘Don’t try this at home’.