Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When You Bark Upon A Chaise.


It’s all over the news: we’ve got a piss-poor economy. Hundreds of thousands are out of work. People are losing their homes left and right, barely scraping by. Some reports link an increase in suicide rates to the economic decline.

But you wouldn’t know it by looking to Disney, a company that has always thrived on painting smiles over anything remotely controversial or tragic or that isn't, like, you know, a spoonful of zip-a-dee-doo-dah. Before Uncle Walt came along, the evil queen feasted on Snow White's heart and was forced to wear hot iron shoes as punishment for her malevolence, and from from the festive nuptials attended by Scuttle and Sebastian, the Little Mermaid is given a knife to kill her beloved prince when he chooses to marry someone else, but instead decides to off herself. Wishing on stars, marrying Prince Charming...where would we be without the silver lining Disney provides to lull us into the mass delusion that everything will always turn out fine, no matter what? Well, maybe not in a recession, that's where. But what's done is done.

Children all over world already whine and plead to visit Disney parks because, you know, they're magical. Now, in a real magic kingdom, I'd argue that you could buy snacks for a family of four without taking out a second mortgage, but don't tell the kids. It's gotten to the point that if parents don't shell out a few thou to take the kids to Anaheim or Orlando at least once in their formative years, they are robbing them of a childhood, ruining their financial future thanks to the hundreds of hours of therapy they'll need, and essentially killing their souls. (Never mind that these kids will be screwed up regardless when their wishes don't come true and they realize their supposed Prince Charming just slipped them a roofie.)

But no, the Mouse House is not content to stop at just your children. Now, in their latest ploy to help the medicine go down, Disney is opening a new luxury resort...

...For pets.

As if it's not already milking American families for all they're worth, Disney is now also trying to convince pet owners that man's best friend will not be their friend anymore unless they put them up at a sumptuous spa for dogs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

That's right. Uncle Walt wants to taint the hopes and dreams of Rover, too. And Fluffy. And Minnie, the pet mouse you named after...well, you know. I guess it wasn't Disney that tried to convince us that all dogs go to heaven, but they're sure trying to convince us that they'd all like a week-long stint at Disney's woof-ready answer to the Four Seasons, which is close enough.

Now Disney already has a long-standing tradition of promoting puppy opulence. Witness Lady and the Tramp feasting on fine Italian anything you can not to witness Beverly Hills Chihuahua...and don't even get me started on the Aristocats. The Shaggy Dog, Up, Oliver & Company, Bolt, Pluto, Max from The Little Mermaid, The Fox & the Hound, 101 Dalmatians...clearly this has been in the works for ages. I'm surprised we didn't see it coming. Now, I can see why they’d be confused, what with Goofy wearing a hat and pants and talking and all. The next logical step is a honeymoon suite with a jacuzzi.

But newsflash, Disney:

Dogs don’t care.

I’ve never understood why owners pamper their pets. Massages, caviar, sweater-vests, and Fiji in the water you honestly think your shih tzu gives a shit? I’ve never seen a dog any happier after a mani-pedi than it is with some other dog’s asshole in its face. As human beings, we sometimes have to charge for that sort of thing, but dogs can easily get such things for free. You know what a dog's idea of lavish is? Two piles of shit to sniff instead of one. Ooh-la-la. Can we all just admit that when it comes to indulgences, dogs don't exactly have the most extravagant taste?

The Best Friends Pet Resort has VIP suites and private outdoor yards. What's "exclusive" in dog world? Do mixed breeds have to bribe the bouncer with a Milkbone to get into the purebred lounge? Will the dog be aware of its elite status? I guess if you can train Paris Hilton to sniff out a VIP suite, you can train anything. But is this really something we as a populace can justify spending money on? I find it truly disturbing that there are people who would rather spend their hard-earned money on an air-conditioned suite for Fido than, say, send it to a single mother of two who was recently laid off from her minimum-wage paying job at a fast food chain. Are we all aware that VIP stands for Very Important Person, and there’s a reason there’s no such acronym for canines? If I remember correctly, it wasn't too long ago that a foreign terrorist group attacked us for being privileged, wasteful fucks with our heads up our asses (not unlike most canines). Wait 'til they get a load of this.

(A dog dressed as a dog? How meta!)

The dogs will also be given ice cream (anus-flavored, I assume, as chocolate kills dogs) and have storybook time. Now, pet owners, I know this is going to be hard for you to take: but your dog cannot understand you. Yes, it has been trained to understand a few simple commands. Sit. Beg. Shake. Good boy. I know every master wants to believe his dog is just the smartest creature ever, but that does not mean it will pick up on the literary nuance in The Great Gatsy or relate to the struggles of African-American women in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

Your dog does not care if you are reading Old Yeller, Where the Wild Things Are, the phone book, Overcoming Hangnails for Dummies, The Iliad, Chicken Soup for the Nazi Soul, or The Vagina Monologues. Even if there is a canine equivalent titled The Sphincter Soliloquies, I guarantee your pup will not be on the edge of its seat following along at every plot turn. I’ll bet your dog doesn’t even bark during Cat in the Hat, because unless you scream the word “Cat!” and make a mewing noise after it, your dog will have no idea what you’re talking about. If you really want to entertain your pet at a level any dog can comprehend, turn on Fox News. That's about your only option.

It has always infuriated how, in movies, millions of people can die in a special effects sequence, but the hero will still always stay behind until he makes sure the dog's okay. If I asked someone to buy me an extended at a place where I would do nothing but be read to and eat ice cream, you’d all call me a spoiled little bitch. So why send a dog? You cannot make a dog unhappy. I dare you to try. You can take away all its fancy toys. You can lock it in a tiny confined space. The dog will still find a way to entertain itself. Short of beating it, starving it, or prying its eyes open and forcing it to watch Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore in its entirety, there is simply no way to ruin a dog’s day. A dog is perfectly happy with any food, any toy, and any amount of storybook time (preferably none). Notice how the dog seems more interested in licking its own genitals than finding out whether Bella will choose Jacob or Edward? This is not a coincidence. Isn't it time we stopped treating man's best friend better than our fellow man?

Of course, Best Friends Pet Resort is an equal-opportunity lodging; Disney doesn't discriminate by species, just against those of us who have common sense or no money. There’s a special “Kitty City” for felines (I guess “Pussytown” was a little risqué). But if you ask me, that sounds like one shitty city - cats want nothing except to be left alone on a sofa to take a nap. There's also a separate park for hamsters, rabbits, and the like. How does that work? Presumably, they’ve already got a wheel at are you going to improve on that? Slap a picture of Mickey Mouse on it? Wouldn't that just make the VIP mice and rats confused? “Hey, I thought we were VIP! How come he gets pants?” Oh yeah, ‘cause he fuckin’ owns the place.

So pet owners, take my advice and steer clear of Disney's Best Friends. It will only give your pets delusions of grandeur. Next thing you know they’ll start an LLC and start charging your friends and neighbors to visit them. Then they’ll rope you into dressing up in costumes and selling churros at $36 a pop. Then they’ll get an agent and hire Johnny Depp to star in the motion picture adaptation of their ride.

Do you think your beloved pets will remember you then? Will they give you VIP status and pay thousands of dollars to have someone read to you? I don’t think so.

Who raised Mickey Mouse? Was it Walt Disney himself? And tell me, where is good old Uncle Walt nowadays?

That’s right. Dead.

So why don’t you go read him a story? He’d appreciate it as much as your dog would. That’s a fantastic new way for people with too much money to waste even more money at a theme park: a VIP park for your dead relatives. So your VIPs can RIP in style.

Okay, I know: now I'm just being ridiculous. I'm probably overreacting. There's nothing wrong with giving your favorite puppy a vacation from all that eating and snoozing and barking at nothing that's undoubtedly been causing him a lot of stress lately. It's perfectly natural to love our pets like they're our kids, why not express that love just as we would to our children? In a totally materialistic fashion.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy four pair of tiny Manolo Blahniks for my pet tarantula.

Dog Fancy forever,


No comments:

Post a Comment