Roger L. Simon

Confessions of a Bullying Dog-Eater

Ladies and gentlemen, I can no longer keep a secret. Given the temper of our times, I have to get this off my chest.

I have bullied and — to make matters worse — I have eaten dog.

I don’t care if this will open up an investigation at the Washington Post. I have to come clean. These are the facts — to the best of my recollection, of course. (It’s been some time.)

The bullying incident occurred in 1957 when I was a 13-year-old ninth grader at Robert F. Wagner Sr. Junior High School 167 Manhattan. At that time I goaded Ernie Schaub — a fellow student in the rapid advance class – into a fight and beat him up (sort of).

It may be have been more serious than the Romney incident as reported by the Post since, as I recall, Ernie was bloodied up a bit and may have had a broken nose, though I don’t remember any imputation of Ernie being gay — or a “faggot” as we used to say in the “attractive” parlance of the time. In fact, Ernie, like a character out of Grease, wore his hair in a Frankie Avalon dip and affected the attitude of what we then called a “rock.”

Nevertheless, I bullied Ernie, at least for a short time. My mother was called into the principal’s office and I was suspended from school for a few days.

Phew! I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Now — in the spirit of bipartisanship — on to the dog-eating.

This horrifying incident occurred in 1978, when I — then something of a lefty — was on a tour of the People’s Republic of China, gathering background for my novel Peking Duck, published a year later by Simon & Schuster.

I was at a banquet, sampling a number of Chinese dishes, all in similar dark Szechuan sauces, when I asked my interpreter the identity of the morsel I was gobbling.

“Is dog,” he said, in a matter-of-fact manner. Didn’t we eat dog all the time? Well, I didn’t and started to spit it out. But here’s the ugly part. I actually finished chewing and swallowed. I was curious. What was dog like? (Hard to tell, really. The Szechuan peppers were too strong.)

So there you have it — the confessions of a bullying dog-eater. I hope you don’t think too badly of me, but I had to do it. Like the Father of Our Country, I cannot tell a lie — at least not these.

And now what?

I bet you think I’m making fun of the Washington Post for publishing on their front page deliberately distracting reactionary swill that has less than nothing to do with how Mitt Romney would actually perform as president of the United States — a straight out smear, really.

Well, maybe. But I have another, yet deeper intention. I wish to congratulate them.

Many have recently bemoaned a decline in the art of fiction. But it is being saved at the Washington Post. As someone who made his living writing novels for many years, even won a few prizes for them, allow me to say that the author of the Post’s Romney high school profile, Jason Horowitz — like that other Jayson (Blair of the New York Times) — has great potential as a fiction writer.

The novel is not dead. It lives on the front pages of the WaPo and the NYT.


Can we get back to the economy now before we all go over a cliff? (That includes the liberal media and their children. They’re going over too.)