My boss, Brad, is a real ball buster; after practically begging him in his office for an hour, he still put me on the dog column desk this week.
I don’t get it. What did I ever do to him? We all know Kofford is the king of dog duty, the master of the canine canon.
So how am I supposed to wax philosophical on man’s best friend when my heart’s just not into it?
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All of us columnists here are told what to write, and most of the time there’s a clear pattern and method to constructing our pieces. Not much thought goes into them; we’re like puppets, really.
But when Brad doesn’t have a lot of time to orchestrate something for a given mood or effect, or “maximum comment potential” — that’s a secret industry term in the online news biz — he’ll just throw out a topic and Bret and I go for it, trying to fill 650 words the best we can.
I usually run out of original thought somewhere around 250 words, so after that there’s probably some degree of plagiarism going on.
Did you really think I could have come up with last week’s column myself? I’m not that deep. See, I already forgot what I wrote about and chances are so did you.
Anyways. Apparently Brad was a bit let down this week when Kofford handed in a column off-topic. Contractually, Bret is required to write one dog column for every three “other” columns, with “other” meaning nondog columns.
People love dogs, Bret loves dogs, so people love Bret. That’s the kind of simple logic we’re into here at the I.V. Press, and it works for us.
(I’m done with my original thoughts for the week. The remainder of this column will be plagiarized.)
With e-mails coming in by the dozens asking for dogs, dogs, and more dogs, Brad turned to me, much to my chagrin.
So here goes:
My dog Katie came down with a doggy virus last week, so I took her to the vet. At 8 years old, her hip dysplasia acts up in the winter, so I used the trip as an opportunity to address that as well.
The vet gave me antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory. It’s worked like magic. End of story.
At this point I’ve completed about 435 words, not enough to end it here. Brad turned this back to me three lines ago.
Hmmmmm. What to do. What to do. (460! We’re getting there!)
Oh yeah, did you see the news story about the bones of a 10,000-year-old domesticated dog being found in southwest Texas in the 1970s? Cool, huh?
Why is it being reported now? I don’t know. I just found it on the AP wire this morning after keywording “dogs.” I guess it took 40 years to figure out why the dog’s bones ended up in a caveman’s crap. Long story short; Encino Man ate his pet.
That’s the thing about dogs. Ten thousand years later, they are still stupid and poor judges of character.
My dog loves me no matter how bad I am. I can forget to feed her, not pet her for days and yell for her to get out of my way, and she still treats me as if the sun sets and rises for me and me only.
I bet I could cut off one of her scrawny legs, cook it, eat it, excrete it, and she’d still look for me to rub and kiss her bloody nub. If you don’t think so, than how do you explain the prehistoric dog story?
Dog column fulfilled in 655 words. Are you happy, Brad?