Saturday, 15 February 2014

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Today, while I was in town, I thought I'd have a look around an art gallery that always catches my attention every time I ride past it. Whilst I was parking up my bike, I looked through the window and noticed a nice piece that featured a bulldog on a contemporary vintage velvet chair, asleep and looking rather regal. It wasn't until I opened the door, with the intention of going over to look a little better, that I realised the dog I had assumed to be a statue, was very much alive! He waddled over curiously, sniffed me a bit then proceeded to follow me around the small shop while I looked at the actual art. I kept looking at his jowly face and imagining him giving some intellectual critique on each piece, (all in the voice of Churchill, the dog from the insurance adverts, of course) and giggling to myself.

By this time, the owner of the shop appeared out of nowhere and told me that there was another part through a door in the back, and that the dog would show me the way. So this was a little confusing, and I wasn't sure whether he was joking or not, or indeed whether it was another case of mistranslation on my part, so I stood for a little while looking first at him and then at the dog, not wanting to look totally idiotic for following the animal. But then the dog grunted at me over his shoulder and led me through a door, a passageway and then through two more doors, stopping and looking at me at each one as if gesturing to me to open them. After taking me on a sort of tour of this much larger gallery, he turned and flopped down on a rug in front of the big open fire and waited for me to finish.

The whole thing reminded me a lot of the fabric shop in my home town where I used to go with my mum as they effectively had a cat acting as front of house and leading people up into the back of the shop where there was a greater choice of materials. Also, the cat was a talking cat. I'm not lying. But I am exaggerating. It couldn't actually talk, but it meowed in all the right places and knew what people were saying because it reacted in the correct way. For example, the man who worked up in the shop used to ask the cat if it wanted some milk and it would meow crazily and stand by its milk bowl. This was definitely not a coincidence and I think you'll agree provides conclusive evidence that the cat could definitely understand and interact with humans and basically had the same level of intellect as a small human child. Fact. 

Anyway, the man told me that I could ask anything I wanted and just to come and find him if I needed anything and I kept wondering how inappropriate it would be to ask how much he would be willing to sell his little tour guide bulldog for. Also, I'm not sure I could even get him through customs without at least having to declare him and that seems like a hell of a lot of hassle. 

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