there’s a little bit in one of the books i write about a TV show called DOG COPS. Beyond it having a good season finale, and a character called Mr. Whiskers, nothing much has been said about it.
So here’s the deal with DOG COPS.
in 1999 or so, me and the guys i’d gone to art school with that would end up starting a boutique ad agency/design & animation shop were trying to raise money to make a long short-film. we’d put together a presentation package artifact thing and gone down to SXSW to try and network, promote our work to date (I seem to recall a few of the guys’ various pieces were screening in the festival or in the festivals that happen around the festival? can’t remember exactly. i was still drinking and using then.), most of all we were there to try to get some scratch to make our shit.
(this was SO pre-9/11 when I think about it. We made fake drug vials full of colored tic-tacs and labeled with weird shit like EVERYBODY’S LAUGHING or DON’T TOUCH ME and… and just GAVE THEM TO TOTAL STRANGERS. Amazing we made it to texas with 100 boxes of fake drugs and weird diagrams and pamphlets about knocking down buildings… and then 9/11 saw to it there was no way the movie could get made ((it was about something hitting a very tall building and what happens to someone awaiting rescue when the drugs run out))…)
Anyway so — so I was, at the time, not good at that sort of thing. Selling us, selling myself. Um… being alive in general. And I was drinking and getting high when I could. I can’t… one time down there, I got walking pneumonia literally overnight and the other time I had x on me the whole time and one time… I’m not sure which time this first one was. I think the pneumonia one. I missed the tom waits secret show because I woke up coughing blood. Long story long: not a healthy human. At all. And drunk and or high and smoking a couple packs a day and sick all the time, right? Right.
So we’d find people, real people, adult people with jobs and money and shit, people who were and many still are people in their respective fields, people who found kids like us and gave them opportunities and… and we’d harass them. I’d harass them. Sometimes literally running after them like maniacs down the street, shove a box of fake drugs and weird pamphlets at them, and … and then it was time for me to do the shuck-n-jive about our film i didn’t have it down. had no swagger, no steel, no spirit. and was probably a lil’ wasted. so i’d… so i’d tell them about DOG COPS instead.
THAT patter i had. THAT i could do with the flip of a switch. I would… pretend… we were there to raise money for a show called DOG COPS.
We made no money.
Thank GOD I woke up coughing blood when I did. Who knows how much more damage I would’ve done us all.
And, uh, hey, it got better for me. Because I stopped using, stopped drinking, and started listening to how other people who stopped got better afterwards. Addiction and depression aren’t just shitty outfits you choose to wear; they’re diseases and they can be treated if you treat them like diseases. I got clean, I got sober, I got better. Or at least more better, or better more often.
I don’t cough up blood anymore. And I get to write comic books all day long about DOG COPS.
If I have what you want try to trust what I say has some kernel of truth. Get help if you want help. Thinking you might need help is a big red flag.
Help can save your life.
It saved mine.
Thanks for posting this, Matt.