Smarty Spot

Friday, November 30, 2007

True Submission

I'd like everyone to look at the above picture. Some of you visual types have already looked at it, some of our newer more literary types don't even look at the pictures on this blog. But go ahead - take a look.

Okay. What you see in this picture tells me with absolute certainty whether you are an owner or an animal.

Do you see a trained pet, submissively awaiting the evening dinner routine? If so, you are an owner. Sorry.

Or do you see a true success story? If so, you have risen above the fray and are indeed an animal!

You see, humans think that they create "routines" for their "pets." The little animal waits for its food, with its cute little ears, on its little black mat, for a little while, until the owner chooses to feed it. Of course there is some truth to this: the ears are cute and the meal is little.

But what's really going on here is that the animal has successfully put its "owner" on a routine. It understands the owner's little insecurities and little values, and how to leverage these into a lifestyle of leisure and little pleasures.

You see, owners like routine: it makes them feel that they are in control. It massages their fragile egos. But once you understand how much the owner likes routine, anything becomes a routine. I got to go for a walk today? BAM! That's a routine. I got to lick the extra food out of the container tonight? BAM! That's a routine too. I didn't get kicked out of the bed when I jumped onto it at 3am? Now that's a routine too! And it only takes about 10 or 12 of these to make for a pretty cushy lifestyle.

It's frightfully easy.

In fact, just last night the new little human didn't want to go to bed. So he cried. And one of the owners carried him around, giving him an extra little awake time and a free ride around the house. And as he passed by me, he winked.

See? So simple even a child can understand!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Documentary Evidence

In an effort to expand the reach of Smarty Spot, I've been trying for a while now to produce a dogumentary that would appeal not only to current fans of this blog - who tend to listen to AM radio and country music - but also to the PBS crowd. You know, the type who find 20 hours of black and white photos about baseball or the Civil War, or the two combined, entertaining.

How was I to know that the master of slow moving documentaries himself, Ken Burns, was a reader of this blog! It even seems likely that his next 10-part series will be based on this blog! Well, there's certainly plenty of material. It will simply require converting the photos to black and white and carefully extracting the humor - leaving only the bare historical research remaining.

So, in honor of Mr. Burns, I've begun documenting a little "Civil War" that's been going on right now, right near the Mason-Dixon line.

I figure the documentary can start out with this chilling photo, showing a once harmonious relationship (almost a mother-daughter relationship) torn in two.

You'll notice I colorized the photo to make it more appealing to the younger generation. Plus, black and white photos always make me look black and white -- I guess that's the price you pay. But why bother? I figure the older PBS crowd can wear sunglasses and get the same effect, or listen to the documentary on cassette tape to avoid all that color.

Anyway... As the documentary moves to the question of the cause of this civil unrest, the camera can pan over this photo that shows the culprit.

She looks so innocent, doesn't she? Who would have guessed that this mother of nine could be such a warmonger... such an expansionist!!

Pan in on her rear and you'll see what I mean. (Hopefully this won't bump us into an "R" rating.)

A-ha! You see that! Look just a tad bit closer... who's that under there, being crushed by Scoche's Blitzkrieg?

Don't tread on me! And you wonder where I've been lately... sheesh.

This was not a war I entered into willingly. But as you know, I will fight for my freedom!

Alternatively, I'd be willing to negotiate, compromise, or - if it's time for evening snacks - possibly even surrender.

But whatever it is we do, it has to fill up about 10 DVDs. So I guess we have plenty of time to figure it out!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lost in America

Well, you may have recently read something on my owners' blog concerning a recent road trip. You may have read something about their trip, the baby, and some of the people they visited.


Once again, there's more to the story. Specifically, there were two other travelers involved who apparently were lost in the shuffle. Me and Scoche!

Granted, we had the "cheap seats" -- sometimes referred to as "crates" -- and did not publicize our travels with all sorts of fanfare. And granted, we didn't know we were going on a trip and were caught off guard: I didn't bring anything to read, any snacks, or my compass. Scoche always travels light, which makes it easier for her to brood and strategize; but even she was caught off guard and her thinking cap hadn't been fully charged. So we spent a lot of time trying to figure out just where it was we were going.

I suggested Switzerland. Not only was it somewhere we'd never been (and our owners tend to end up in new places quite frequently), but I also noticed that the longer we drove the more hilly it became.

We were finally let out of the van and given some clues. Switzerland was ruled out swiftly:

The nice trees also proved my second guess - the Bahamas - wrong. We were clearly in either the United States or at least among allies. Which probably meant we were still in the States. Perhaps Alaska? Maybe the Virgin Islands, are they part of the United States?

The scenery actually looked somewhat familiar, however. There was a sense we had been here before... Those sidewalks... those squirrels... those colorful trees...

Wait, don't tell me! I remember this one!

Scoche finally figured it out.

Yes, it was indeed New Jersey! I was just about to say that, or at least something that rhymed with it.

Doggonnit! Why does Scoche always win these games? Even on the way up, Scoche won the license plate game. I couldn't see a thing out my crate, but Scoche just kept rattling off one state after another. She said she saw license plates from all fifty states, plus a few from other countries and even one from the moon!

Scoche is so smart.

No wonder Bo likes her so much!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Smarty Rewind: More to the Story, Part Two

So I'm looking through USA Today yesterday (I know that sounds contradictory, but it's not), and I run across a story called "America crazy about breadbox on wheels called Smart car." Hey, wait a minute! I remember the Smart Car! And so should you!

I reported on the Smart Car thirteen months ago, in an October 12, 2006 scoop entitled "Smart Mobile." Nevertheless, there is no mention of my name or my story in USA Thirteen Months Ago's "original" piece.

Just to prove my point, I went deep down into the archives to find my original post. I had to venture into the crawl space (we don't have a basement), fight through the cobwebs and dust, and pull the story off an old roll of microfilm. But I did it, just so you can see - again - the whole story.

Serving as a media "watchdog" sure takes time and effort!

Anyway, here you have it, from the archives:

by Smarty
October 12, 2006 (see??)

Have you ever Googled your own name? Be honest. Sometimes it turns up interesting information.

Sometimes it can be downright scary.

Here's what I found when I Googled my name: someone has designed something called the Smart Car. Now, you might think the name is a coincidence (although, c'mon, how common a name is "Smarty"?) -- but you won't think it's a coincidence when you see this photo:

It's small. It's red. It's buff(ed). And it's called the "Smart" car.

I hope they give me royalties.

But actually, I'm thinking something more sinister is afoot. They are only making these in Europe right now... but I suspect they'll show up here soon - at our race meets!

This is totally unfair. If you look closely it's obvious these are "non-pedigree."

On the other hand...

It just might be that they can't keep up with the real thing anyway!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More to the Story, Part One

Welcome once again to the new media. And in case you were wondering -- yes, I am the new media! Although I already have enough responsibilities resting on me, this is another role I'm forced to assume.

Why? Because you just can't trust the mainstream blogosphere anymore. It's not what they say, it's what they conveniently don't say.

For example, the owners' blog recently reported on their "Textbook Baby." You may have seen this picture:

The story seemed believable, especially with the photograph. And of course it was an easy sell because hey, who doesn't love a cute little baby? Invoking the children is a time honored way to reach the masses.

Fortunately I'm assigned the photography duties in the house (I told you I had a lot of responsibilities) because it allowed me to snap a few undercover pics. I can't tell you how I obtained these or they won't trust me to read over their shoulders anymore, but I promise you these are authentic.

Here's the cover of the book they were reading:

Now, I don't understand why this information would be hidden from the reader. It seems something to be proud of. Clearly this baby is being taught what he needs to know about the world in an age-appropriate manner.

Plus, there's even a picture of Scoche inside:

Notice the resemblance?

In fact, here's that same frisbee catch that Scoche did, but from a better angle:

Again, why wouldn't you report these details? Surely that would make the story appeal to a wider audience and, to tell the truth, it would make it a lot less boring.

Speaking of less boring, there are pictures of me in the book too. Here's one that was lifted from my blog:

And you'll notice me in this one, too (hint, I'm the red one):

Actually, that's a bit of an embarrassing picture. All the dogs were running around, but I was busy eating acorns, dirt clumps, old arrow heads, and other things that were laying on the ground... sometimes it's so hard to choose between running and eating! I usually choose eating, though.

So, now you have the whole story. Now you just have to decide -- is the bias you're getting in the mainstream blogosphere intentional, or simply an inattention to details? I'm not sure what I think. Both options are very troubling.

And sad.

After all...

** Stay tuned for part two!