2013.09.11 It's not my dog


I was talking to a friend recently about dogs that bite, including dogs that owners say have never bitten anyone—and then they proceed to bite her daughter. You never really know with animals what they are going to do. It’s probably why I am leery of them, never really comfortable with them.

Or it could be residual fear brought on by Jeannie Hessler’s German Shepherd biting me in the butt when I was in fourth or fifth grade.

The dog biting discussion brought on a memory of a dog joke. I think David was the one who brought it up and encouraged the telling of it.

It’s actually a scene from a Pink Panther movie which I first saw as a college freshman at Michigan State University. I’m not sure I had ever seen any Pink Panther movies before, so this one was totally unexpectedly funny.

I remember laughing so hard I slithered to the floor, my back in pain from the laughter, a perfect example of why my high school friends called me Gumby—and, no, I wasn’t drunk or high on drugs. 

I’ve never taken drugs and I think I’ve only ingested two tiny sips of alcohol in my life. Once at a New Year’s Eve party when I was in high school—I tried champagne and immediately disliked it—and once at a family gathering when I tried a sip of beer.

My father was an alcoholic and I knew I didn’t want to go down that road. Total abstinence is a lot easier to follow than starting to drink and discovering you have the gene to wreck your life. It’s one of my quirks...the ability to learn from the mistakes of others. 

But I don’t have the ability to stay on track...I haven’t learned not to digress. So, that joke—remember I mentioned a joke from a movie? I’ve copied the dialogue from a website. I don’t remember it happening exactly this way, but the essence of the joke is the same as what I remember.

If you’ve never watched a Pink Panther movie, you probably won’t find this funny—especially if you’re not familiar with the bumbling French police detective, Inspector Clouseau. He speaks English with a thick French accent and some of his words are exceedingly hard to understand. 

Inspector Clouseau: [gesturing to the hotel's dog] Does your dog bite?

German hotelier: No.

[Clouseau bends down to pet the small dog; it attacks and viciously bites him.]

Inspector Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite!

German hotelier: That is not my dog.

Did you slide off the couch laughing? No?! Maybe try watching it on youtube.

Or continuing in the theme of airlines from my last column, maybe you’ll find this funny.

My brother Mark as a young kid, maybe 8 or 9, was so excited to be taking his first plane ride that he stood in his seat and loudly sang, “Fly the friendly skies of United,” and we were on an American Airlines plane.

My husband, in the column on the next page, writes about “’60s Table Topics: Questions to Start Great Conversations,” a game we “played” at a recent party we attended. But he left out the one that made me laugh because it elicited another airplane memory. 

I think the question was something like, What do you remember about flying in the ’60s? Actually being served meals on the plane was one of the answers which reminded me about the time our family flew to Arizona. 

I had discovered you could request all kinds of special meals such as Kosher, vegetarian and child’s. So, out of curiosity, I requested a Muslim meal for David and a Hindu meal for myself when I bought our tickets. 

Imagine our surprise at meal time when the stewardess came down the aisle holding boxed meals, and, trying to locate the recipients, asked loudly, “Muslim? Muslim? Hindu? Hindu?”

We both wanted to crawl under the seat, but claimed our meals. 

We could have just said, “It’s not my dog.”