Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

A Debate about the Forest’s Most Important Animals


by Jason Mallory and Julian Modugno

Originally written and performed for a Deer Bear Wolf event


Hey, Julian! Welcome to our very important essay about the three most important animals in the forest: the deer, the bear, and the wolf! To honor the deer, the bear, and the wolf I want you to channel your most animalistic of desires. I want you to embody all three animals at once! I want you to be the Doctor Dolittle of deers, bears, and wolves! By which I mean I want you to be played by Eddie Murphy at some point in your life. And I want him to wear a fat suit, just like in Big Momma’s House! I want you to be the Big Momma’s House of deers, bears, and wolves.

I know that Martin Lawrence was in Big Momma’s House. I know this, Julian. But I’m just saying I want you to make me feel like you can talk to the animals and that you are comically overweight, and you are a “big momma” who owns a “house.”

And you know what else, Julian? Why did Doctor Dolittle HAVE to be a doctor? It’s not enough for him to be a walking Google Translate for animals, but he has to solve their physical ailments, too? And why doesn’t it work both ways?

If we’re going to send a Doctor Dolittle into the animal kingdom to chit-chat it up with the birds and beasts of the land and treat all their medical problems, I feel like they should return the favor and send some kind of Doctor Barklittle over to carry on conversations with us humans and take a stab at fixing some of our health issues. An eye for an eye, Julian! Tit for tat! You operate on me, I operate on you. That’s the Hippocratic Oath!

At the very least, they should send over the animal equivalent of Eddie Murphy to entertain us. We already know who the animal equivalent of Jeff Foxworthy is—it’s regular Jeff Foxworthy, who as we all know did a great service to the fox kingdom by identifying their fox rednecks, and for this service was knighted by the queen of the foxes and given his new title “Fox-worthy” and made an honorary fox. “It is time for you to return to your own people, Jeff Foxworthy—they need to know who their rednecks are. But never forget your time here in the fox kingdom.”

And another thing—none of these animals have health insurance! I think it’s weird they get a pass just because there’s a supernatural element involved. Just because Doctor Dolittle is the only human who can understand you doesn’t mean you get to skip out on your medical bills. My doctor can understand me fine, but if I turned into a guinea pig with the voice of Chris Rock midway through surgery my doctor would still bill my insurance company.

I got my wisdom teeth taken out two years ago without dental insurance and I just got done paying that shit off. So suddenly the veil of miscommunication has been lifted between man and beast and now cats and dogs and chipmunks get their fucking teeth removed for free?! NOT IN MY AMERICA, JULIAN!

To quote what my dog has been barking this whole time: “Physician, heal thyself!” Or maybe she was barking, “Beggin Strips! Bacon thyself!” You see, dogs don’t know it’s not bacon. But at least one dog knows how broken supernatural talking animal healthcare is in this country. Seems like these freeloading animals are the ones who “do little!”


Jason, for years I’ve called you the Rand Paul of animal welfare and now, I finally feel justified. Seriously, for years people have been like “Why do you call him the Rand Paul of animal welfare?” and I’d have to be like, “Look, I don’t have a specific reason but there’s just something about him and I’ve got to trust my gut.” And trust my gut I did and now here we are.

Look at gay marriage, Jason. For a while, everyone was like “well if we allow gay people to get married, are we gonna allow people to marry horses? Or what about dogs? Or heaven forbid, a ferret?” But then people saw that one news article about those two penguins at that zoo, the two male penguins! And they raised an orphaned baby penguin together even though they were clearly gay penguins and the tides changed! Soon, Americans the world over came out in support of gay marriage. These things have a way of trickling up, Jason. First it was OK for two gay penguins to do their thang, and now look! George Takei and his husband can gaze down from atop their penthouse, knowing that true equality has been achieved, and it all started with penguins!

Healthcare is the same way, Jason. George Takei said it best when he said “Obamacare isn’t working.” I don’t have a source on that but it feels true. So why not switch to Universal Healthcare? Because America needs a guide! America needs to be shown the way! And who better to show them the way than cute talking animals? Think about Americans seventy years ago! They would just walk into a forest and fling a match and laugh from their escape zeppelins as the woodlands below them burnt to a crisp. We didn’t know any better. And then, blammo, one Mr. Smokey T. Bear shows up and he’s like “Uh, guys?” and we’re all like “Oh shit, a talking bear, fuuuuck we’ve been burning his house down for years, ahhh goddamn!” and now America’s forests are safe forever from forest fires, unless you’re in California, which I think is just permanently on fire at this point.

If Smokey the Bear got wheeled into the hospital with third-degree burns all over his body from fighting California’s wildfires, would you ask him to pull out his wallet and present you with two major credit cards? HECK NO, JASON. You’d get that bear into the burn unit and you’d start applying salve with everything you’ve got. Both hands, your feet, heck, slather that salve on your face and just rub your face all over Smokey’s burned body. He needs the salve, Jason. Smokey is a hero.

Humans are a lot like Smokey the Bear, Jason, in that we get into a lot of tough scrapes and 95% of adult Americans can recognize us on site. But unlike Smokey the Bear, most humans can’t afford to have salve rubbed all over them in the case of third-degree burns all over their bodies. That’s why it’s important to let America’s animal leaders take charge in the fight for free healthcare. If that means getting their teeth sawed out for free by Doctor Dolittle, then so be it! For it is as they say in Deuteronomy, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” No wait, that’s not the verse I wanted. Hang on, hold on. God dammit. I know there was a perfect verse in here somewhere. Look, basically, God said “Hey, as you do unto the animals, do unto mankind as well.” And if that means we have to pull some teeth for free from animals so that the next generation’s Jason Mallory can get his wisdom teeth out for free, then so be it. If you wanna argue with God and get turned into a bunch of salt, then that’s your prerogative. And if that means that Doctor Dolittle has to marry that wise-cracking Chris Rock guinea pig and consummate their love to prove a point so that gay marriage can be legalized across this nation so we can move on to the issue of healthcare, then I guess I’m ok with that, I guess.


Hey Julian, it’s me—Jason. The guy who is doing this debate with you. Listen, nobody is trying to take salve away from bears. If anything, I think all bears should constantly be covered in salve. A chicken in every pot and a salve on every bear, I say.

But all this talk of anthropomorphized talking animals has me wondering—if Doctor Dolittle’s magic brain tries to translate the speech of an animal that already has the magical ability to talk, does it cause a feedback loop?

Like, if Smokey the Bear comes up to Doctor Dolittle on the street and says, “Hello, I’m a freeloading bear who doesn’t want to pay for health insurance, but this box of Viagra said I should contact a doctor if I have an erection for longer than 4 hours, and I’ve had a boner for preventing forest fires that’s lasted seventy years I want you to take a look at, and speaking of which—ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES,” does it just sound like “ONLY ONLY ONLY YOU YOU YOU CAN CAN CAN PREVENT PREVENT PREVENT FOREST FOREST FOREST FIRES FIRES FIRES” in Doctor Dolittle’s head as his nose starts bleeding?

Doctor Dolittle should get one of those Magneto helmets so if any anthropomorphized animals start getting chatty his brain won’t go into a meltdown. Next thing you know, Doctor Dolittle is levitating over our nation’s most precious natural forests in a purple cape, commanding all the lesser creatures to burn it, burn it all down as a super-team of Smokey the Bear, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Howard the Duck, and Sonic the Hedgehog desperately try to knock his helmet off so they can make his brain explode merely by yelling at him about their Cialis boners.

But it’ll be too late, Julian. Maybe if the animal kingdom hadn’t racked up such a huge medical debt with Doctor Dolittle, he wouldn’t have had to turn to supervillainy. Maybe if even one of those freeloading beasts had met their premium, Doctor Dolittle wouldn’t have had to lay waste to their habitat in his latest incarnation—DOCTOR DEATHLITTLE. And let me assure you, Julian—their suffering will in no way be little. Especially you, Smokey. WHERE ARE YOUR SALVES NOW?!


Oh boy, here we go again. This old rigamarole of how socialized healthcare will lead to doctors donning super advanced future technology and tyrannically burning America’s woodlands to the ground. Blah blah-di-dah. It’s like I’m watching Fox News over here.

Jason, FACT: Canada has socialized medicine AND it’s like 90% forests. You don’t see them getting burned down by any incarnation of Eddie Murphy. Not Dr. Dolittle, not the Nutty Professor, not even Norbit.

Jason, DOUBLE FACT: How is Doctor Dolittle even flying in your scenario? A Magneto helmet only blocks out telepathic waves; it doesn’t grant one the ability to fly. That is just something Magneto can do because he, um, is floating the iron in his body, or like, his suit is made of metal I guess? The only way Doctor Dolittle would be able to fly is if he talked a bunch of little birds into grasping his supersuit and using their combined wing power to carry the man from forest to forest. On second thought, this is incredible and I concede this point to you.

Jason, Triple FACT: America’s uninsured sassy animals often have to work two jobs just to make ends meet: pulling carriages through Central Park, running on little wheels to power mad scientists’ experiments, disappearing into Richard Gere. Oh sure, you say. Let these animals earn their keep. Let them pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Well they can’t, Jason! Because they don’t wear boots! They’re animals. And even if they did wear boots, how would they pull themselves up? With their thumbs? THEY’RE ANIMALS, JASON. Oh sure, if you’re talking about Dunston from Dunston Checks In or that monkey from Friends, they’ve got thumbs. But what about the Air Buddies, Jason? They can play any sport! Any sport but thumb-wrestling that is! So how do you propose they pull themselves up by their bootstraps? By working two jobs just so they can afford the thumb addition surgery needed to then earn more money to pay for their medical bills!? It’s a cycle of poverty that prevents America’s sassiest animals from living up to their true potential.

Because without America’s sassy animals, who is going to solve the mystery of the ghost pirate’s gold? Who is going to give Raven Symone knowing head nods to steer her towards picking the appropriate prom dress? Who’s going to save John Travolta and Kirstie Alley’s marriage in Look Who’s Talking Now? You, Jason? Are you going to save John Travolta and Kirstie Alley’s marriage in Look Who’s Talking Now because streetwise mutt Rocks and spoiled pedigree poodle Daphne had to sell themselves into medical testing slavery just to make ends meet? I would like to see you try and save that marriage, Jason, with your cold, callous, human mind. GOOD LUCK! That marriage is on the rocks and sometimes you need a canine perspective to remember what it means to be human.

Oh hear me, deers, bears and wolves! I don’t need Dr. Dolittle magic to hear the suffering of you and the rest of your animal kin! It’s time to rise up against the likes of these speciesist monsters trying to keep you down. My grandparents didn’t survive two years in a concentration camp just so I could turn a deaf ear to the plight of the animal kingdom! In fact, my grandparents weren’t even in a concentration camp at all! And so, I pledge to you, various fauna of the world, that I will fight tirelessly for your right to free dental surgery, to affordable heart worm medicine, to cute little doggie pedicures. And this election day, I hope you will go to the polls and make your voices heard– not just to Dr. Dolittle, but to humanity everywhere. And wait, what do you mean? It was Tuesday? Well shit, sorry animals. I guess you’re on your own.


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