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Dog Years Ahead

It is the year 2164. Many of the "futuristic" hopes and fears preconceived in the past millennium have materialized. Madonna is still making the pop charts, but she looks dreadful in a leather teddy. Human brains are now cybernetically upgraded at birth in order to wirelessly receive and process The Pipe-a cerebral-direct, superbandwidth information exchange, formally (and archaically) known as the Internet. Human bodies are showing mild signs of degeneration as mankind becomes increasingly more dependent on robotics and artificially-intelligent decisions. And though man now possesses the awesome brainpower of instant, global thought processing, dogs are still what everyone is talking about.

Twenty-something years ago, a group of scientists developed an offbeat technology that allowed verbal communication between the sophisticated "Primates" and domestic Canines. As it turned out, opening the dialogue with a lessor species quickly came to be considered the greatest scientific feat of all time. It was especially impacting because dogs are just so damn cool.

Canines soon began to learn and became literate. They created schools of thought much like those of the ancient Greeks, and started wearing sunglasses. They became lovers of comedy and pranks, performed in plays and supporting Star Wars roles, and found great pleasure in art, intoxication and competition. And more than ever, they loved to pee on things.

Direct communication between the Primates and the Canines breathed all new life into the stereotype "Man's best friend." The trust they had shared in each other's eyes for thousands of years could finally be expressed in words. The relationship grew stronger, and in the course of only six years, the Canines found the right words to convince the Primates of letting them compete in the Olympic Games. (Since the dogs had no money or votes, their only course of action was begging).

The Summer Games of the XXth Olympiad were held in 2152 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The debut "bi-specie" event was the track & field addition of the 2+2 400 Meter Relay. Teams of two Primates and two Canines ran four, 100 meter legs, handing off a baton. All nations chose Greyhounds except the Republic of Antarctica (and having legalized heroine, it was little wonder). Eleven billion worldwide (and moon-colonized) processed the sites and sounds from The Pipe as the German team anchor-dog rocketed across the finish line to take the Gold. The precedent was set, and The Games would be changed forever.

The fascination with dogs has since overcome The Olympics. Every country of the world and two lunar republics send teams to the games, but Primates no longer compete. From overwhelming suggestion, a global forum and an instant opinion poll, the IOC reformed the athletic requirements in only four months to "Canine only;" dogs were faster, more athletic and much more exciting to watch. And with the recent advent of the Puppy Patch, Canines became linked to The Pipe. Primates can now virtually race in the mind and senses of any Canine competitor, spectate from any position, or place bets with anyone in The Pipe.

This year the Summer Olympic Games are being held in Salt Lake City, Utah, host of the 2002 and 2068 Winter Games. A recent discovery of steroids has everyone worried. Oh-scratch that. Everyone just voted, and decided that performance-enhancing drugs will make these Olympic Games more exciting.

Micro is the Greyhound favored to win the long jump. The favorite for the Triple Marathon is the exhaustless Sheepdog from Greenland, Zuato. In dog fighting, the undefeated favorite drawing massive betting is a 210-pound Mastiff named Digger. Digger's so mean that he tore his owner's throat out last summer for reneging on a doggie treat. Tough luck.

The athletes are gearing up for the very popular but disgusting Ingestion Competitions. Everyone loves the "Last Dog to Vomit" event, and the fans are sure to chuckle and shake their heads at the newly added "Garbage Hoover" and "Toilet Quaff" events. Last week, Chaco the Amazing Labrador broke widespread laughter over The Pipe by proclaiming, "After I get a fresh Giardia booster, I'll drink anything!"

Tune in to these Olympic Games, and rejoice that there have been no expensive tickets to buy for over 100 years. Cheer for your favorite dog and place bets as you will; but remember: we are the masters of this domain. Keep it in your thoughts that dogs will always try to get more than they deserve. And if your favorite Canine craps in an inconvenient location, tell him or her to clean it up right away.

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