Life indeed works in mysterious ways. Finding myself in need of a little extra cash so I could lay my hands on some particularly fragrant Afghan hash that an ex-roommate of mine happened to be peddling, I was sitting in front of my computer last night, with my trusty hookah pipe at my side, waiting for some exciting idea for a Voice article to materialize. I thought perhaps it would just swim up to the inside of the glass of the monitor, like a brightly coloured fish in an aquarium. Well, after twenty minutes of so of that, I began to become discouraged. Just then, though, my sister phoned to tell me that she had bought a poodle.
I have to confess that, except as a potential source of emergency protein, I have never been particularly fond of poodles. To me, a slobbering black lab-whippet cross is a real dog – something suitably dimwitted and affectionate. As far as I’m concerned, poodles are the inbred aristocrats, the toffee-nosed twits, of the dog world. As a result of this personal prejudice, I suppose my reaction was not as supportive and enthusiastic as I might have wished to project, because she went on to defend her choice of four-legged companion by pointing out to me, for some bizarre reason, that poodles “have completely waterproof fur.” Well, I had to confess that this was new information for me. “And yet we still insist on wearing Gore-Tex”, I couldn’t help saying. “And”, she added, even more bizarrely, “they were originally bred as hunting dogs.”
Naturally, this is not the type of information that any indolent, under-employed freelance writer with writer’s block, a looming deadline and a jones for high quality hashish (not to mention cheap whisky) can afford to pass up. The ideas and images tumbled over themselves inside my free-associating brain. Packs of wild poodles taking down a gazelle on the African Savannah. Eerie, blood-chilling howling emanating in the middle of the night from wrought-iron balconies up and down the streets of Montmartre. Cowboys huddling close to a mesa campfire as the firelight is reflected off the cruel, shining eyes of dozens of savage Fifis and Emanuelles gathered in the shadows, waiting.
In my admittedly stoned state, the whole subject seemed so interesting to me that I even, momentarily, toyed with the idea of actually doing some research on the topic and presenting, for a change of pace, a thoughtful, educational piece to the editor. Then I remembered that research is extremely fucking boring, whereas eating and drinking is fun. So I decided to go to the Kingston Pub and let my sister pick up the tab for chicken wings and beer. Hey, like poodles, we all gotta survive.