Friday, November 28, 2008

What do Puritans and my dog have in common?

Answer: They both object to Nativity scenes.

Yesterday evening the neighbors set up their garish Nativity scene on their patio and plugged it in to glow its tacky plastic glow all evening. It's one of those molded plastic numbers that light up from inside, which brings new meaning to the Christmas song lyric, "...With their faces all aglow!" They used to put it out front, but the baby Jesus was stolen one year, so now they set it up in back. (Hmph. Serves them right for putting out baby Jesus *before* Christmas!) Last year they set it up around the concrete goose already back there -- you know those ones that you can dress up, that people often have on their front stoops? -- and gave the goose a Santa hat as it gazed upon the baby Jesus. Yeah, I know, it boggles the mind.

Anyway, this was all done while Pippi was indoors and paying more attention to Bullock's pork roast* than anything outside. But when we let outside before bed time, she quickly spied the tacky ensemble, raced over to the neighbor's fence, raised her hackles and barked at it in her "I don't like you one bit -- back off!" bark, which she usually reserves for the poor UPS men, all of whom are terrified of her. (This bark is not to be confused with her "hey you cat/raccoon, get out of my yard!" bark of mild warning or her "squirrel! squirrel! omg, squirrel! must get the squirrel!" Technicolor whine of madness.)

She has since made her peace with the set in the daylight -- thank god, for us and the neighbors (whom I like, despite their lapses in taste) -- but she still occasionally gives it the stink eye when she sees it from the corner of her eye and momentarily mistakes it for a threatening intruder.

I think my dog may be a French Huguenot (well, she *is* a Brittany). Either that or she just has good taste.

*With no kids and no old people this Thanksgiving, we chucked the whole turkey tradition. Who wants turkey when you can have pork??


undine said...

Yes, she has good taste!

Or, if you were living in a Stephen King novel, those figures *would* be on the move, and then where would you be if she didn't keep an eye on them?

Anonymous said...

...but before serving pork, you should consider whether perhaps your dog is Jewish. Or Muslim. You don't want to offend her any further.

My mother would *never* countenance Premature Placing of the Baby Jesus. Shouldn't have the Three Kings/Wise Men out yet, either. They show up a week late. (Of course, my mother would not tolerate the glowing plastic kind, either, but that's a separate issue. Or is it?)

My wife, on the other hand, is a Puritan of the Aggressively Secular kind--she'd be offended by graven images for Ideological reasons, not Aesthetic ones.

Hannah Kilpatrick said...

Poor dog. Intruders in her not-quite-yard. Tacky ones, at that. Mine had a similar reaction when the Samoyed next door (whom he usually adores) had a shave for summer. I'm not sure whether it was a OHNO YOU SMELL LIKE HER BUT YOU LOOK WRONG reaction, or an objection to the poor job the clippers had done, but it involved a lot of hackles and very distressed baying.

Perhaps you should suggest baby Jesus comes over into your yard to play with your dog, to sort out their differences! With any luck, she could chew him up.

Linda C. McCabe said...

Ah, but you can have a compromise. Serve a smoked turkey and it will taste like ham.