Mr. Dog (on blogging)

“I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking.”

New Yorker magazine cartoonist Alex Gregory put these ice-cold words in the mouth of a certain pooch. I laughed when I first saw it, good and hard, and ever since it’s been a wry little knife in the ribs — a witty stiletto it remains, but a sharp.

There are dozens of quotes, most not as nasty or flippant as this one, in the “He Said/She Said” section of my, um, my blog thoughtful repository of compelling on-line thoughts and observations.

Too Much Honey on the Bagel, Honey

It’s the silly season for angry men, namely this one. Object of my double-plus un-equanimity this morning? A Wonder brand square bagel. (No wonder I was pre-disposed to out-of-proportion rage: what overwhelming consumer need led to this creation? Who decided it was essential to our civilization’s contentment that we jam a rectangular innovation into a round tradition? And so on. Mumblegrumbleargh…) The Princeling wanted a second honey-coated, microwaved WonderBagel. The Princeling is not ready to do the basting himself. (Allegedly.) I was the nominee and, it’s true, I had been given my instructions.

“Make sure there’s not too much honey, okay Dad?” (Can you do this as well as Mummy, old codger?) I dutifully halved what I would’ve slathered on a dry, whole-wheat brick like this, and humbly presented it to my four-and-a-quarter-foot petit prince. He looked like he was sucking on a sourball. “Too much honey!”

“Just eat it, bud. We gotta go. I had enough with the battle over your clothes this morning.” Whining engines revving. Eyes scanning for Mummy’s second opinion. “Two choices. Eat quietly, or I’ll be glad to eat it myself.” Dad the Stern and Impatient. This-or-that. Simple. Luckily, Just and Compassionate and Eminently More Practical Mummy sailed in just at this moment; otherwise I wouldn’t have a thing to write about on a sun-baked vacation day. A truncated and partly imaginary transcript sort of follows:

Oh, yuck. That IS too much. No princeling of mine…
No fuss. He’s hungry or he isn’t. Simple. By the way, who asked you, beloved?
Honey’s too sweet. Knife. Scrape. End of problem!
Now the whining volume is higher. Thanks. Don’t you have to pack the car?
Such a big deal about honey. Why so stubborn?
Why intercede? Why undercut your parenting partner?
But it’s so easy to solve!
But you make a bigger problem than what you solved! Pickiness. Privilege, and the never-ending negotiations over meals. This is why. Case in point. This is exactly the problem. Paradigm! And so on.

Square bagels are fine for throwing, or at least I was burning to test out that impetuous theory. Didn’t, but I muttered in my head. Fifteen minutes of pressure cooking, introverted flame. Sheesh. Control freak…why contradict me…why argue when I’m right…no surprise the kid can debate…angry over bagels, for cryin ‘ out loud…gotta be mid-life…symbolic of our differences…my father’s frustration…kitchen equality…this bird don’t fly…apologize…for her error?…you’re brooding over bagels, idiot…square ones, too…tough turf to defend…must be other battles…hostile…ten-dollar feelings in a five-cent frame…head-shaking time…maybe there’s a stream of contentiousness I can harness…word power…two dogs converse in a New Yorker cartoon: I used to have a blog, but I’ve decided to go back to pointless, incessant barking…

Good morning. Today’s intransitive WOOF has been brought to you by the new HBO series Desperately Frustrated HouseGuys: The Oedipus Complex is Killin’ Me! and by Wonder Bread — for the modern Little Prince at your house.