June 29, 2015


Have you ever felt as if the world were slowly slipping beyond your grasp and that, if allowed to sit quietly in a corner to contemplate it all for about ten minutes, you will quietly go insane?
This is where I am now.  No, not sitting in the corner—just quietly going insane after having come to the conclusion that the world is completely out of control.
I’ll tell you how I know this.
I helped out a friend last weekend in her shop.  This is a business where people come to buy clothing and specialty items. . .for their dogs and cats.
You heard me.
At first, I was mildly amused, when a little old blue-haired lady dashed in and grabbed me by the sleeve as if I were a lifeguard on the Titanic.
“Will you help me, please?  I’m in a terrible hurry,” she said.  “I need a collar for my pussy—she likes blue.”
I looked at her crotch and asked, “How can you tell?” and she left before I could show her a single collar!
Well, it was easy to laugh off…at first.
But then things abruptly got worse.
The next customer to happen by was an older gent who was tethered to an English Bulldog.
“Nigel needs a dress coat,” he declared.
I glanced down at Nigel, who was slobbering so copiously that he looked as if he’d just chewed up a can of shaving cream.
“No, sir.  Nigel needs a raincoat…”
Nigel proceeded to prove this by shaking his head with such alacrity that he coated me, his owner, and the car across the street with more slime than Bill Murray could have ever imagined.
“…and so do I,” I said.
Nigel’s owner, dripping saliva that smelled like something FedEx’d from the bowels of hell, didn’t miss a beat.  “Nigel already has a raincoat.  Now he needs a dress coat, if you please.”
“Ah, a dress coat—of course,” I said, donning a scuba mask and snorkel.  “And would you like spats with that, as well?”
Up strode my friend.  “Good morning, sir.  Is Carson being of help?” she asked, shooting me a withering look.
I jumped in before the old baggage could dry his soggy handlebar mustache enough to reply.  “Oh, yes, Gail.  This gentleman is looking for a dress coat for Ninny, here…”
“That’s Nigel.”
“Of course, Nigel, pardon me.  At any rate, he may be interested in spats to go with it.  Do we have them?”
“Certainly we have spats.  What size?”
“I think a medium would do nicely,” Nigel’s owner said.
Good God!  Not only did we actually have spats for dogs, but this wacko knew his dog’s size!
“And I have a marvelous black camel hair Saville Row dress coat that would look wonderful on him,” Gail gushed.
Remember, we’re talking about a dog here.
So, Gail trotted out a size 20 hand-tailored coat and matching spats for this four-legged professional drooler and dressed him, wrapping a Burberry scarf around Nigel’s not inconsiderable neck for a peak fashion statement.
“What, no trilby?” I asked.
“I’m getting to that,” she whispered, skewering me with a filthy look.  “I’m on a roll.  Just step back, watch and learn.”
I must admit, when Gail got going, trying to stop her would have been as futile as holding a newspaper over your head during a monsoon and expecting to stay dry.  Before the fellow left, not only had he purchased the coat and spats, but he also opted for the trilby, a set of four Florsheim shoes and Yves Saint Laurent monogrammed socks, a trench coat, three pairs of silk jockey shorts, a smoking jacket, a pair of Egyptian cotton pajamas, and some erotic leatherwear for when he’s feeling frisky with the ladies.
Total bill?  $4500.00
He paid it without a blink.
I watched him walk out the door.  “Gail, I’ve been wondering—is this store near an asylum, by any chance?”
I received my third stink eye of the day in reply.
There followed a breeder of Corgis, whose pick of the litter was having a coming-out party and needed a blue taffeta gown with matching heels; a Basset Hound requiring a plaid cummerbund to complete his tuxedo for a New Year’s Eve celebration; and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose owner purchased two original Matisses because the dog house was looking so very drab.  Oh, and let’s not forget the French Poodle that absolutely had to have a hand-carved, solid mahogany Louis XIV dog bed.
And the food!  Cats choose from freeze-dried Komodo Dragon, Minced Mouse Mousse, Chinchilla Sushi, or Passenger Pigeon Pate.  Our little canine friends are offered Steve’s Raw Chateaubriand Diet, Elephant Loin, White Buffalo Brain, and (yum, yum) for those puppies that have been especially good, Braised Suckling Pig.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lunch. Today I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple, which I share with the homeless gentleman down the block.

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