Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my version of thurber...

one of my long time favorite books is names thurber's "the thurber carnival"

this book is a collection of short stories, essays, and collections from times past... in particular, my favorite part is called the pet department. here are two excerpts from the pet department:

Q. No one has been able to tell us what kind of dog we have. I am enclosing a sketch of one of his two postures. He only has two. The other one is the same as this except he faces in the opposite direction. - Mrs EUGENIA BLACK

A. I think that what you have is a cast-iron lawn dog. The expressionless eye and the rigid pose are characteristic of metal lawn animals. And that certainly is a cast-iron ear. You could, however, remove all doubt by means of a simple test with a hammer and a cold chisel, or an acetylene torch. If the animal chips, or melts, my diagnosis is correct.


Q. We have a fish with ears and wonder if it is valuable. - JOE WRIGHT

A. I find no trace in the standard fish books of any fish with ears. Very likely the ears do not belong to the fish, but to some mammal. They look to me like a mammal's ears. It would be pretty hard to say what species of mammal, and almost impossible to determine what particular member of that species. They may merely be hysterical ears, in which case they will go away if you can get the fish's mind on something else.

so anyway, nathaniel and i had an email 'transaction' today that reminded me of thurber's pet department. here goes it:

(incidentally, this is called a pee tree)
Q: i have to pee and i want to do it outside. could you write me a permit for a one-time pee out by the old oak tree? my cats also like to pee and poo outside. do they need a permit? will i get fined if i take my dog down to the creek and make her pee and poo right next to the water? what if i give her a bath outside and the water drains into my yard? do i need a permit to do that too? i'm using biodegradable soap!
A: The dog doesn't need a permit because she prefers to poop on the carpet.

Cats that live a majority of their time outside, are deemed permitted to use culverts, leaf piles or mulched areas. Cats living predominantly inside must use a self contained kaolinite filtration system.

Since you, presumably, are human and thus have opposable thumbs unless you have been involved in an unfortunate pruning accident may not use the "old oak tree." You are required to use a water wasting device that will transport your waste to a leaky tank in your backyard which will hopefully make it through your pump tank to the drip lines by your "old oak tree", unless the power wires have been cut. As to whether or not you close the lid when finished, refer to your husband.


  1. Pretty funny! Your emails are a lot more exciting than mine w/ Mr. B!



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