Killing Cokey

I have a problem. I constantly and unwittingly assign human feelings to animals and inanimate objects. And then I can’t interact with them in normal ways.

I’ve diagnosed myself with Compulsive Anthropomorphization, which is a disease I made up. And it doesn’t sound good, does it?

Here’s an example of how my CA is interfering with my life. I can’t get rid of stuffed animals. Can. Not. I *do* have a few of them stored in the basement, in a plastic bag, and if you remind me about this I will go into a spiral of self-recrimination. GAAAAAAH the suffering! GAAAAAAH the horror!

I’ve referred previously to ways in which my projection of suffering onto animals has gotten me into trouble, particularly when dealing with John, who lives in a world of butterflies and rainbows.

Welp, here’s the latest.

We have a coconut. It’s living in our kitchen. John intends to open it and let the juice out, which we will drink. To do it, he will bore holes into the top of the nut by driving in nails.

I was good with this plan, as a lover of coconut juice, until I noticed that those funny little indentations on the top of the coconut, coupled with the equator-like groove around the middle, make for a very sweet little face. And then I started thinking of our coconut as alive. And THEN I saw some weird red marks on its face.

M: What happened to Cokey?

J: What do you mean?

M: What’s all this red stuff?

J: I don’t know, nothing. It was on there when we got him.

[Five minutes pass.]

J: I didn’t know the coconut had a name.

M: Neither did I. He just told me.

J: Hmm.

M: You’re still going to kill him, aren’t you? You’re going to gouge his eyes out.

J: Yes.

M: Yes? YES?

J: Yes.

M: You’re going to GOUGE his EYES out?

J: I’m not going to gouge his eyes out. I’m just going to clean some of the gunk—

M: Oh, STOP!  I can never win this game with you!*

*I’m referring to the fact that whenever John plays along with the anthropomorphization, it makes it worse for me, because it makes the object even more alive.

[Howling laughter.]

J: Sweetie, what we have in the kitchen is not a person or an animal. It’s a coconut—

M: Don’t dehumanize Cokey! You’re dehumanizing him so you can kill him!

[Wheezing, tears.]

M: It’s a classic technique, you know. Dehumanization. Torturers use it.

J: You’re really making it hard on yourself, Sweetie.

M: It’s my CA. I might need a program.

J: Or maybe we can teach you to sew, and you can start making your own stuffed animals, and then you’ll see that they’re not real.

M: I don’t think so.

J: Why not?

M: Because then they’ll be my BABIES.

Yeah. So that went well.

8 Responses to “Killing Cokey”

  1. Liza says:

    So, does your snake scarf have a name? Snakey?

  2. Melissa H says:

    I DO THIS EXACT SAME THING. I have yet to anthropomorphize any fruit, but it seems likely.

  3. admin says:

    Good to know I’m not alone, Hillman. My new theory is that it is my maternal instinct run amok.

  4. Sour Fishie says:

    If John bores a hole in his head first, at least he’ll be in a state of divine ecstasy while he gets cracked open.

  5. Erin GZ says:

    I’m just trying to figure out the implications of the dehumanization of an anthropomorphized object.

  6. admin says:

    Guys, Cokey’s dead. Sarah, wow. A whole new way of thinking about Cokey’s demise. I can’t . . . I mean, *maybe* it makes it better? A little? And Erin, yes — that’s the philosophical conundrum. It’s something of a head-spinner.

  7. […] guys, Cokey’s dead. I mean, John did the deed, and we drank the […]

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