Today's blog was written by our friend Grace, who wanted to relay a bizarre event that recently happened to her outside of the realm of the SomethingSoWrong forums. I readily agreed because it was funny and because it was less work for me. All I had to do was wrap it in a Rod Serling-esque narrative.
-RiflemanTwilight Zone Ep. 117AIt's a Doggy Doggy World
Original Air Date: 04/16/2003 Opening Credit Narrative:
You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone! Prologue:Grace, age twenty-two. Occupation: junior account executive, ad agency, in charge of media. This is not just another work day for Grace. She perhaps doesn't know it at the time, but it's an exodus. Somewhere up the road she's looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road, she'll find something else.
Monday, the Seventh of April, I arrived at my place of employ to find something only slightly disturbing sitting in my "IN" box. A white envelope, decorated with paw prints. "What the hell?" I asked myself. The only inscription on the outside of the envelope was the singular word "Grace", which in this case was not a virtue but rather my name. I picked up the piece of stationery and pried the seal open. Inside was an invitation to a party being given by my boss. Not for herself or a co-worker, but rather for her DOG. I'm not joking...she actually sent out an invitation to a party for her puppy. I'd always considered her to be sad and lonely, but I never thought that she could be one of those really sad and lonely people who actually considers a pet to be on par with a person and throw a party for said pet. I knew that I didn't want anything to do with this type of thing--after all, I myself am neither sad nor lonely, but being that my boss holds a rather lofty position in my account, I was obligated to attend this canine hullabaloo. The only positive aspects to this whole thing would be that I wouldn't be wasting an evening as it was a lunch party and I would be getting free food out of it. One should never pass up the opportunity to acquire a free feast.
The invitation had said that attendees should wear "black and white" to the party. I was unsure if this was an attempt to make the affair more formal or not, but being that I was going to have to go to the office, I opted to dress in a white shirt and black pants. Normally, i would avoid this combination like the plague as it reminds me of two things I detest--service industry uniforms and mimes, both of which are chock full o' inherent evil. As I later found out, we were to dress in black and white because that is the color of the honored dog. I suppose I could have been like Robert E. Lee and rebelled, but the whole purpose of going to this canine fete was to kiss ass in the hopes of one day securing a promotion out of this employment morass that I now occupy.
I left the house and headed towards the office, stopping at the local Albertson's to complete my next level of obsequiousness (you might know it as sycophancy--in other words, I was a toady, though my days of singing songs about Tyler are long gone). My mission at Albertson's--choose a birthday present for the honored hound. I perused the pet aisle before settling on Milkbones and Pupperonis, which, despite what the packaging may lead you to believe, are not made of puppies. They're actually made of full-grown dogs. Since I'm not one to be un-festive, I procured a gift bag and tissue paper, though, much to my dismay, they didn't sell either of these things in versions targeted specifically towards dogs. I sauntered up to the checkout line, determined to hide how stupid I felt being at the grocery store at 8:30 in the morning purchasing dog treats and gift supplies like it was some sort of emergency. I could feel the piercing stares of the strangers in line around me. I just knew that they were sizing up my Filipino being and thinking "Crazy Flip". I checked out, avoiding small talk with the cashier before rushing to the office, determined to make it to my cube on time with my doggie presents in tow.
As noon approached, a certain "something" was in the air--a feeling of excitement and anticipation and anxiousness. Was it the collective eagerness of my co-workers to go to this bacchanal? No, actually, it was ragweed irritating everyone's allergies. I decided it was time to gather my co-workers and head out towards my boss' abode. On the ride there, we speculated what her home might be like. We knew that she was single, older and Jewish (we call her Yenta behind her back), but we didn't have a really clear picture of her personal life, except that she regarded her dogs with utmost respect. Would there be piles of puppy poo on the floors? A big Barbra Streisand poster on the wall? Piles of money littering every surface? Who knew?
As I was driving, I had a bit of trouble finding the place, mainly because her directions included lines like "once you get to the third U-turn, joggle to the right and the house should be there." Having no idea how or what to "joggle"--it sounds like something guys might do when they're lonely, I let the intern figure out where we should go. I was also bothered by the phrase "the house should be there". Was there a chance it wouldn't be? Does it move? Is it of the mobile persuasion? In the end, it was there. It wasn't too hard to find after all as it was the one with the front yard covered in oversized black and white bows! How utterly insanely exciting.
After a clamor of cacophonous barking, our boss greeted us the door with her two meticulously-groomed cocker spaniels. One, Noodle, was the birthday girl and the other, Ravioli, was the cohost of the party.
Out of sheer excitement, both dogs jumped on the furniture and our boss asked us to avert our eyes. Apparently, if we looked at the dogs while they were on the furniture, the thrill of such attention would be too overwhelming for their bladders to bear and they would pee on the furniture. Thus, for the rest of the party, anytime the dogs got near the furniture, we had to avert our eyes. This reminded me of a story in some tabloid I read in the grocery check-out line a while back. The essence of the story was the Jennifer Lopez and her swollen head (by which I mean her massive ego and not her boyfriend Ben Affleck's huge cranium) were going to a restaurant for dinner. Her entourage forewarned everyone in the place that they were not to look at Jennifer as she dined. Maybe this was a precaution to prevent J. Lo from peeing all over the restaurant.
ANYWAY... My boss showed use around the house. It was a moderately-sized home large enough for a yenta and her two dogs, each of which has ITS OWN ROOM. In retrospect, I've noticed that in this dispatch, I've been referring to my boss as being single. This was a mistake. No, she's not married, it's just that when someone throws a party for their dog, it goes without saying that their either single. Or gay. Or both. People who are married don't do things like this because there is usually someone else around to filter out their stupid ideas. I began to wonder if the party wasn't actually the dog's idea. Perhaps the pooch had taken a cue from David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz and had begun talking to its master. "Hey, you're going to throw me a birthday party".
As we made our way into the living room to join the others that had already arrived for the party, I noticed something even more disturbing--this party had a theme besides "Black and White Peeing Dogs". This was also a N*Sync party. Everywhere there were N*Sync tablecloths, N*Sync party horns, N*Sync buttons, N*Sync confetti, N*Sync paper plates, N*Sync napkins...Anything that you could purchase with N*Sync on it, it was there. I can only assume that this was chosen as a theme because the dog was turning 11-years-old and what 11-year-old wouldn't want an N*Sync party? But now that I think about it, in dog years, she was actually turning 77, so maybe this should have been a Lawrence Welk-themed party but, I don't believe that the make party supplies for that at one's local Target (pronounced "Tar-zhay")
For lunch, my boss had made 5 lasagnas and 7 pounds of cucumber salad. How strange that a middle-aged single woman would have so much cucumber around the house. Surprisingly, the cake was "in sync" with the N*Sync-theme (sorry), but was rather incongruously decorated with "Lilo and Stitch". Upon closer inspection, I noted that Stitch was covered in black and white frosting to resemble the birthday dog. What message was my boss trying to get across? Was the boss actually an alien? If so, that might explain why it could talk to her and command her to throw a birthday party.
After lunch, my co-workers and I gathered about the kitchen area to witness the dogs open their presents. It was, but what else, a parade of chew toys and bones. When they got to my present, the dogs actually opened the box of Milkbones and started to chow down. I was amazed to watch a dog demonstrate such dexterity without the benefit of opposable thumbs.
I took a look around the house and was amazed or, rather, disturbed to find that there were no photos of any human beings aside from my boss. There were at least forty framed photos in the living room alone of just the dogs, as well as a big bin of dog toys. Two of these chew toys caught my attention (or, as they should be called, "Jew Toys"). One was a big fuzzy dreidel, which played the Dreidel Song ("Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel, I made you out of clay...) and a fuzzy menorah that played "Hava Nagila". It then occurred to me that not only was my boss Jewish, but her dogs probably were too. Perhaps I shouldn't have got them bacon-flavored Milkbones. I was kind of anxious about having inadvertently caused them to violate Parvem Kosher law, but then I realized that they were only 10 or 11 years old, too young to have had their Bat Mitzvah and thus not held to Jewish law.
Well, I wish that was the end of my ordeal. When my boss returned to the office the following day, I found myself having to make small talk with her on the way to a meeting. What else was there to talk about but THE DOGS!!! Yippy-skippy! So to prolong the torment, I had to hear about how much they loved the toys and bones and doggie treats, how excited they were that we could all attend and how dramatically both dogs fought over the toys. Apparently, this wasn't the first time these pups had sparred. In fact, once their canine struggle for dominance had escalated to the point of driving my boss to tears--yes, actual quality weeping. Her last resort--a pet psychologist! Of course! Well, if anything, it seems that this,in addition to quelling their doggy desires to attack on another, also instilled in them a sense of decency and respect. Since, these in a fact are well-mannered pups.
Yesterday morning, there was another ominous white envelope on my desk addressed to Grace. It was from Noddle, the birthday dog!
"A young woman, trapped in a place where dogkind is the equal of mankind. A place where canines bark in Hebrew and have control of their masters. A place called The Twilight Zone."