Wednesday, 12 May 2010
You'll recognise the paw-things stand at a show - it's the one with a dog (mannequin) in a life jacket suspended from the roof.
"Aw, mum, look! Can we get a life jacket for Fido?" (There's a thought: when did you last hear of a dog called 'Fido'?)
However, the suspended pooch is also widely commented on by passing humorists (which is almost always the senior male in a group*) to demonstrate their ready wit. Although the witticism - which almost certainly will be one of a limited number of derivations of the same basic comment - is addressed to his party, the humorist will always cast an eye towards me, presumably to assess from my reaction how amazingly witty he's just been.
If I'm feeling chippy (which is generally the case if I've taken a reasonable amount of money, and always the case if the party in question has contributed to it) then I'll respond positively and may even join in with a little easy banter; on a poor day and/or when the party clearly has no intention of buying anything from me I'll just vacantly gaze into the mid-distance and pretend I haven't heard; that way no-one ends up getting hurt.
Of course, each humorist thinks he's the first person to have thought of the line. Be assured he most certainly is not. For the record, here is the line:
"That's the best sort of dog to have -" followed by any one of the following appendages:
"...doesn't cost much to keep",
"...doesn't need feeding",
"...doesn't need walking"
Less frequent (and addressed to me although it's for the benefit of the children in tow) but worth recording here is the rather more challenging:
"I'm going to report you to the RSPCA."
I know it's for the kids (who, of course, never understand it), but there's something vaguely uncomfortable about that one; it rarely gets a response.
So, if you want to see me roaring with laughter at a line which I've heard thousands of times before, here's a tip: spend some money first!
I'm a misery, aren't I.
* Sometimes it's subsequently developed upon by one of the kids, straggling behind after their group has wandered on and not understanding the social nuances of such adult/adult adult/child situations. It's often all I can do not to give them a clip to help them on their way.