Next on our travels, Annette and I decide to peek into Zane & Zara’s, a high-end (read: expensive) little doggie boutique that sells all sorts of cool stuff and caters to the crowd who believes in indulging their pets’ every whim. In other words, most of us – or at least most of the people I know. The store is owned and run by this great couple, John and Russell, and whichever one of them is working when I go in, they’re always smiley and friendly and indulgent.
Which is great, because, umm, I usually go in with The Kone, and he tends to leave the place a bit of a shambles. We’ll go to the back of the store where he picks out a toy, which he then shakes about in order to break its neck, and then as I’m standing in front at the counter to pay for things, Kona sets about ripping the stuffing out of said toy, after which he peeks up on the counter to snuffle at the biscuits and such, in the process knocking things about.
So to recap, as we walk out there’s stuffing and bits of shredded toy all over the place, biscuit crumbs, and things knocked off the counter. Yet somehow they always seem happy to see us. It must be Kona’s and my collective charm and wit, no?
This time, we walk in, and there’s someone behind the counter who I’ve never seen before, a young guy, though I assume he’ll be as friendly as everyone else always is.
Me: My good man……do you carry dog treats For The Cure?
New guy, barely looking up: What?
Sigh! I start over, speaking more slowly.
Me: Dog…..treats……..For….The…Cure. You know, like rawhide in the shape of a pink ribbon perhaps?
NG, unsmiling: No. I can’t imagine why anyone would make anything like that.
Me: Well, they have kitty litter For The Cure, and cat food For The Cure…..
Annette: No shit…..
We wander around, looking for anything Cure-esque, no help from Busy Clerk Guy up front. I feel like explaining to him the concept of how these tiny stores work, where everything is shitloads more expensive than similar stuff online. You see, you’re catering to a crowd of truly crayzee people, who are willing to spend beaucoup bucks indulging their pup’s every whim, even as they embrace a new frugality and spend no money on themselves. Frugal schmugal when it comes to Kona. We’re the people who get dog coats for our kids when it’s cold, who buy them bowls with “Royal Highness” written on them, who are looking into getting a running water fountain kind of thing for baby for Christmas, because he loooooves running water.
We are people who have bonded with our Starbucksian friends over the tragedy of no-petite-scones, and have made them understand that there may come a day when I come in with little money in hand, and may therefore forego my coffee – but I will never forego my boy’s petite scone.
And this is why when we go into our little neighborhood stores to spend a lot of money on silly things, it’s best if you, the store clerk, make an effort to laugh at our stupid jokes, to helpfully point out things that Kona might like, to mayhap act as if you actually like dogs and their besotted owners.
I don’t say any of this of course, though that’s what I’m thinking, as I wind up with an armful of treats and toys for The Kone, and….
Me: Look! Pinkishness!
I point to the pink dog poop bags.
Me, resolutely: Poop Bags For The Cure. I’m getting them.
I plunk all my stuff on the counter, and NG starts ringing them up, after he pulls himself away from his papers and textbook or whatever he’s reading. I can almost hear the petulant voice in his head, thinking, “damn these people and their purchases, taking me away from my studies!”
Then he really starts to get annoying. Because he gets to the Flossie – a long twisty cow part of some sort that looks like your typical variation on rawhide – and picks it up by a corner of the tag, with a look of disgust on his face.
NG: Eeewww……I’m not touching that.
Dude. Seriously? You work in a fricking pet store, where basically every dog treat is some kind of animal part. Most of us, we just tell ourselves that it’s some new form of extruded rawhide, and we don’t worry about it too much. Case in point, this was me and Jennifer the other day at Petsmart.
Me: Ooh, since we’re here, I have to see if they have those treats that Kona likes. See, these – the Twibbles.
Jennifer: What are they made of?
Me: Umm, I’m not sure, I’ve never really checked.
Jennifer, looking at the package: Ah, here we go – they’re tracheas.
Jennifer: Yep, see? What did you think they were?
Me: I don’t know – I guess I thought they were…….twibbles?
This is why we tell ourselves that all these yucky things, the ears, hooves, tendons, what have you, most of which look like rawhide (if you squint and don’t think about it too much), are all just different forms of rawhide that has been twisted and compressed and molded to within an inch of its life. And what is rawhide but a form of leather….glove? Yeah, that’s it. Gloves. We’re essentially just buying gloves for our babies. Nothing the least bit icky about that.
So this is how we get around the grossness of it all, and you standing there refusing to touch Flossie the Tendon is NOT helping maintain this illusion, thank you very much!
Then of course, one last insult, which annoys me primarily because it makes it clear that NG isn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to anything I’m saying.
Me: Okay, whatever you do, don’t tell me the final price on everything!
Me, to Annette: After not spending money on anything for so long, I don’t want to know how much I just spent on His Royal Highness. It’s better this way.
NG: Okay, that’ll be……
And he tells me the total. Bastard.