Tags: ball, dogs, Merrill Markoe, Proust
Puppyboy Does the Proust Questionnaire
At the end of the nineteenth century, when Marcel Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confessional album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future President Felix Faure, as was the fad among English families . The one that the young Proust completed was entitled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” and it has been studied and replicated many many times since then.Hoping to put a much needed end to the constant recycling of these questions in various magazines, I asked my dog Puppyboy to answer them.
Q,What is your dream of earthly happiness?
A. Imagine if you will a world in which everyone, everywhere I go, would have the good sense to be fully prepared for my arrival, with appropriate items for throwing (ie: the green ring, the yellow squeezy ball, Stinky Mickey, Filthy Headless Froggy, the purple barbell, the faceless Santa, etc.) And then within this utopian situation, each would take the initiative to get a game going without me having to stare and beg.
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Well, let’s say you throw something for me. And why wouldn’t you? I’ve certainly made it convenient enough as you will see if you look down into your lap. There are already three things down there for you to choose from. I recommend the green plastic ring. So for the sake of argument, let’s say you pick up the green ring and throw it. It’s barely out of your hands before I bring it right back. Unless by some inexplicable fluke one of the other dogs gets to it first, an awkward circumstance that is very painful and humiliating for me since I’m here to tell you not one of them really cares about the game. You can’t even be sure that any of them will return it. Jimmy takes off to the other side of the house and pulls it apart.
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Whereas my reputation is built on consistency. You throw it, you will get it right back only a few seconds later ….that is my guarantee. You will see the truth in this for yourself, as soon as you look down and make the throwing selection that is right for you. By the way, no pressure but just between you and me, you can’t go wrong with the green ring.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I would like to be larger, more charming and a lot more persuasive. If I were twice as big and ten times as adorable, something on the scale of ,say, a baby panda, then people wouldn’t be so cavalier about pretending they haven’t noticed when I pile toys in their laps and stare at them. .
What is your most treasured possession?
That would be the green ring. And the yellow latex squeezy coney. It is shaped like an ice cream cone but has a face that seems to be saying “I taste delicious!” See how its tongue sticks out so it can taste itself? And when I pick it up in my mouth, it makes a loud shrieking noise like a disemboweled rodent .
Though I do love the faceless hedgehog. He’s filthy. He’s damp. He makes our guests shudder with disgust when I place it on their laps. Ah…I’ve had a lot of good times with that one. I still remember when I removed his face . We’d only had that thing two or three minutes. Good times.
But to answer your question: I would have to say the green ring. And the yellow squeezy coney.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My consideration for others. I know that everyone wants to throw something , but not everyone wants to throw the same thing. So I always try to pile a variety of things on them so that they may go with whatever mood strikes them. Unlike so many of today’s dogs, if I bring someone the yellow squeezy coney, and for some unknown reason they decide not to throw it, then I’m right there a second later with the green ring or the headless seal. I provide everyone with access to that critical juncture where preparation meets opportunity. It’s the job of a good host.
What quality do you most like in a man?
The desire to please. Just once I would like not to have to remind people what I expect of them. True, I will always do what I must. But people, can we all just take a little more responsibility for our own actions and not always leave everything up to me?
In what country would you like to live?
A country with no walls or fences where every surface is covered with mouth sized objects of every shape and description.. I fear a world in which everything is bolted down. What would be the point of living in a world without projectiles? A world in which nothing could be thrown?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Well, I have a special instinct for always knowing just where an intended projectile should be dropped to inspire throwing. For instance, when the gardener comes, if he is planting a tree, I might drop the green ring in to the fertilizer. And then, a few minutes later, I will drop The Faceless Santa in to the hole with the hose.
If we are talking about a repairman, I go straight for the box of tools. If someone is asleep, with their back to me, I know to pile the toys behind their neck. And I just keep piling them in a pyramid til they are over come with the desire to throw. I am a genius at this.
What do you really like in other dogs?
I like them to show the proper respect. When we go for a group walk, I always take the lead as befits my station in life. That way each and every member of the group is able to observe me as I pee everywhere first.
If someone comes toward me, no matter what the circumstances, I dominate them right away.. A lot of dogs don’t understand my urgency or why its such a big deal that they understand my power. They stand and bark pointlessly. They hang around hoping for treats or affection. If you ask me, its all bullshit and they are in my way. Which is why I am not asking you to please sit down and pay attention, I am demanding that you do so. Sit. I have something to bring you. You wont be disappointed. In fact, if you look down right now its already in your lap.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Zig Zigler, Master Motivator, author of “See YOU at the top.’ His motto was “Always be closing.’ Mine is “Always be piling stuff in people’s laps and staring at them until they throw it..”
Ah. “Usquequaque exsisto piling effercio in populus tractus tunc astrum procul lemma insquequo they conicio is.”?