Monday, December 17, 2012

A Dog Is Not Just For Christmas

One good thing about the world coming to an end this Friday is that we needn’t worry about last-minute Christmas presents.

As conflagrations sweep the globe, or tidal waves, or meteors, or a Christmas single from Jedward, or whatever is going to cause our planet’s destruction, we won’t have to brave the Eldon Square Shopping Centre for the final panic gift roundup. We won’t need wrapping paper, and it doesn’t matter that we can’t find the end of the Sellotape. We could blow our Christmas money on a holiday, except that there’ll be nowhere to go, as the world will have ended. Apparently over in California they’re running out of underground bunkers and earthquake kits. 

I’m really enjoying the apocalyptic theories doing the blog rounds. It’s not just the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st that we should be worried about. It’s also the annoying Korean pop singer Psy, with his even more irritating song “Gangnam Style”. 
Only 30 million to save the world

Apparently he will bring to pass one of the key prophecies of that old con artist Nostradamus, who in 1503 is said to have warned: 

From the calm morning, the end will come, 
When of the dancing horse the number of circles will be 9. 

Now, as anyone who believes Wikipedia knows, the North Koreans refer to their country as Choson – which is loosely translated as “Land of the Morning Calm”. And as 960 million viewers of Psy’s wretched video will have seen, the centerpiece of his ghastly song is the “horse dance”. Apparently on Friday the number of viewers of his You Tube video could reach exactly 1,000,000,000 hits (count up the number of zeros – 9 circles, see?). 

Thus civilisation will end this week, Gangnam Style. That’s why there are panicky messages on YouTube calling for people to push the number of hits beyond a billion a few days early, and thereby save the world. I kid you not. 

As for Christmas spirit in the Gutteridge household, Jo and I have decided that, in the unlikely event that we do wake up on Christmas morning, we ought to have just one gift between us. So we’ve bought ourselves an English Shepherd. Not a man in a cloth cap with an impenetrable Northumbrian accent – that would be beyond bizarre, though quite handy for rounding up Izzy – but a puppy called Boots. On account of the fact that he has white boots. 

Boots's Mum Betty
An English Shepherd is not to be confused with an Old English Sheepdog or a Border collie. It is a rare breed of herding farm dog which disappeared off to North America with the Pilgrim Fathers and never came back. I’d never heard of the species until I met Murphy, my brother-in-law’s dog in L.A. Murphy is beautiful, with a kind, gentle disposition. He clings to your shadow like a limpet, has a great sense of humour and extraordinary intelligence. 

Jo and I dreamed of importing one of these incredible animals back to their homeland, but a lady in Stockton-on-Tees called Jackie beat us to it, and has started to reintroduce the breed to the UK. Last weekend she introduced it to us. We went to see her puppies out of curiosity: “Just to look, definitely no buying”. The moment Jo and Izzy caught sight of their plump little faces, I admitted defeat. 
Betty and her litter

You know how people say that dogs choose you, not the other way around? It’s nonsense, of course: all nine puppies were equally desperate in their attempts to chew through my trouser leg. But then Jo insisted that the one with the little white boots had “looked at her straight in the eyes”, and when he licked Izzy’s cheek, I got out the chequebook. 

I guess a herding dog might be quite useful if we have to live off the land once the ash clouds have cleared. And his sense of humour will keep us entertained in a world without television. Though I suspect our two spaniels and Poncho the cat might not be quite so enthusiastic when they find themselves being constantly rounded up by the new member of the family. 

It’s certainly going to be an eventful, if post-apocalyptic, New Year.


Anonymous said...

DI was ok with the apocalypse until you mentioned a Jedward Christmas single. That would be an end of the world too far! Did you know that Gangnam Style is Psy slinging off at the lifestyles of the residents of a wealthy suburb of Seoul? So there you go. I'm we'll enjoy the song more now that we know it's meaning.

Anonymous said...

Di?? I mean I of course, there was no hand of the Late Princess of Wales in my former comment although I'm sure she would disapprove of Psy's disrespectful song about the wealthy

Jenny said...

I can't believe you don't like Gangnam style. Tom, where have you been? I so thoroughly believe the world is ending, I've decided to take Thursday off work and forget any planning, targets or clients and simply drink my way through to Saturday. P.S. Boots is going to be gorgeous ...

Tom Gutteridge said...

Jenny, I will think of your hangover on Saturday morning!

Sandie said...

boots is so cute!!