Indian bars are as sparse as nipple hair on Playboy Playmates. Thus, when some British bucks and I exited the Darjeeling movie theater after watching Harry Potter, and one of them perceived Joey's Pub, we were as animated as if there were alcohol signs out front. One reading, "Save the Planet! It's the only one with beer," and the other: "Warning: The consumption of alcohol may actually cause pregnancy."
Hours and a few beers later, we were somewhat sober. An Indian man paralleling the Simpsons' Apu was not. He careened into the bar, the bartender, the owner, other men at the bar, and me. When the owner and bartender refused him alcohol, Apu hurled his hands over the bar to procure more beer. Four men hefted him out, ejecting him into the street. Apu rhinoceros-roared outside as they locked the door. Fifteen minutes later he drop kicked the door and reeled inside, scuttling behind the bar for another drink. Five men hoisted him out and threatened to call the cops. This was as effective as Lindsay Lohan's singing career. Apu slung one of his shoes, shattering a window. Seven men streamed through the door. The owner snatched a stick as he followed.
Forty minutes later, the British lads and I deemed it safe enough to saunter back to our hostels. As we lodged in different locations in Darjeeling, I parted ways with them after five minutes. I wandered back wondering why men have nipples.
Without warning, nine male dogs converged on me as if I had promised and failed to deliver them each a female dog in heat as hot as Megan Fox. Some attack-stance-crouched with slit eyes, some snarled, all growled. Adrenaline orbited through me, darting into my limbs and making my voice Goliath-like. I stalked ahead until three dogs barred my path like they were protecting their annual sampling of Kibbles 'n Bits. I recalled childhood bear instructions to speak calmly, back away slowly, and wave arms to identify as a human. As these were dogs, I did what I reckoned reasonable: I growled, roared, "Hey... Hey!" and pointed at them as if my finger were a magic wand and I could castrate them with a wrist flick. They roadblocked the street as sufficiently as a passed-out blue whale. I stood stationary, eye-dominating them.
"I am the alpha female!" I howled and paced forward, angling to the left to avoid them as much as possible. They followed, snarling like I was canine-Satan. I contemplated running before rejecting this idea as my belly was weighted down with beer and samosas. After twenty paces I would probably self-sacrifice and lay in the fetal position welcoming the biting pity. I stalked away with feigned assurance.
The next day a dog in the same site licked my hand. I accepted his assent as acknowledgement of my supreme superiority. And recollected watching my friend's mom demonstrate her dog-domination by showing her Labrador flash cards. If the card read, "Sit," he'd sit. "Shake," and he'd shake. She should consider a dog career. Maybe she could open a school and teach dogs how to read. Chimpanzees can read. Dogs should too. Then in future, if I lost my dog I could carry a sign reading, "Lost Dog. Blind in one eye, broken tail, three legged, missing right ear. Answers to 'Lucky,'" and dogs could possibly help.