One begins to trust the overhead electric lights will not go out without reason in the middle of one’s speech on parsimony and the inflated value of friendship. And whatever reason is forthcoming may be filed away under a number of categories. Smoke and mirrors. Latex facsimiles of prominent organs. I try to back my way out of the situation by nodding politely and looking those closest to me directly in the eye, but everyone has his own favorite method. If I were to stop and consider each based solely on its merits, or those things that strike us as meritorious simply because they begin with the letter “D” and they have an aura about them like that which besets epileptics just before the fit, I would be here until next Tuesday and the animals wouldn’t get fed. They’d turn to bones and ligaments almost overnight, that’s how high their metabolism is! This suggests they are not animals in the ordinary sense of that term and so therefore can not be considered, at the very least, native to this continent (we will forego, for the moment, consideration of further outliers – planets and stars and galaxies). They must have been delivered from some other continent and whoever did the delivering thought they’d get one over on us by mimicking the body type and various temperaments of our favorite species so closely no one but an expert would be able to tell the difference. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert to recognize something is amiss when the hairs on the back of your arms stand straight up while those on the back of your neck remain in a fairly innocuous position. Which might suggest they are lying flat if you don’t think about it too closely. But you know better than to take such claims at face value because someone once told you claims are the life blood of all knowledge and therefore that which must be spilled before someone else can succeed in tampering with them, before someone manages to dress them up in the semantic equivalent of frills and a material very much like soap, say -- or a mixture equal parts resin and gravel, in its shape and texture -- and then sends them somewhere so far away your only hope of ever seeing them again would be to get in your car and just start driving and vow never to stop again until you had reached a place that hadn’t even been given a name yet. At least not one we’d recognize in the west as possessing the qualities one normally associates with a name. Like the ability to distinguish the person or object it is attached to from any other persons or objects it is not attached to. Or reminding us of a time in the past when we were so caught up in the existence of another, we had begun to believe there might not be any more room left inside for that entity we had, until very recently at any rate, referred to habitually as ourselves.