The Owner has introduced me to two dogs called Vindaloo and Korma.
They were not what I was expecting when I was told I was to spend an evening with Vindaloo and Korma. To be honest, I was expecting something rather more nutritious. I have to say, though, they are great fun. Vindaloo is excellently bouncy and Korma is small and golden and makes my knees go gooey in a peculiarly gooey kind of way. The Owner says this is my protective instincts and not at all because before I met her I was expecting chicken.
Vindaloo and Korma and I play for some hours in their Owners’ house. It is an excellent house, but it has a Fiendish Device. It is a small machine, sitting on a shelf, and it looks innocuous but it Knows What We Are Doing. When we are Good Dogs it flings us a small treat and speaks with the voice of their Owner. And when we are not quite such good dogs it sits, silent and robotic, wearing the same supercilious expression as an unreachable duck. Each time that it flings treats we receive one treat each.
Vindaloo and Korma have accepted the Fiendish Device as a kind of Morally Judgemental Friend, but I am not sure that one can call a Morally Judgemental Device a Friend. I think it is more accurate to think of it as the voice of a Dystopian Millennial Cult. They are being brainwashed into obedience by the Fiendish Device. Soon they will be doing its evil bidding.
They say it doesn’t require them to do any evil bidding, it just gives them treats when they are Good Dogs.
I say there is no Such Thing as a Free Treat. You always end up sitting, or walking to heel, or Staying Still in the cafe. Sometimes you even drop the dead pigeon.
Vindaloo says all those things sound quite reasonable to him. Sitting allows one a nice rest. Walking to heel avoids being landed on by Clumsy Owners. Staying Still is similar but much less coffee is flung upon the Moral Dog. Even though the froth is tasty the recriminations are generally not. And we have all seen Moral Dogs fastened outside the cafe, victims of Owners who tie their leads into Gordian Knots and leave them to suffer the opprobrium of poodles.
Korma says dead pigeons are well known to cause reverse eating and difficulties at the Other End of the Moral Dog. It is reasonable to drop one if one wants a Happy Bottom.
It is true that those things are reasonable, I say, but Jeremy the Beagle says this is the Thin End of the Wedge.
Is that the same Jeremy who told you to drink the pond water because it is publicly owned? Asks Vindaloo.
It might have been, I say, remembering the reverse eating that resulted, but the Other End of the Wedge involves unreasonable things such as… as…
Yes? says Korma, all agog. What unreasonable things may we find ourselves doing?
I realise I cannot think of any of the unreasonable things right now. I say I am sure they will come to me. I offer to help organise Vindaloo and Korma into a Run for the Hills before they are further brainwashed into unreasonable things (at which point we might all find out what they are) and I attempt to open the French window. Sinisterly, when I do so, the Fiendish Device dispenses only two treats, and Korma and Vindaloo look at me in puzzlement and tell me they do not want to leave. The hills are quite a long way, says Vindaloo. We are in Suffolk.
The Moral Dog in me rebels. The Rebel Dog in me is overcome with Morals. The Moral Rebel in me considers disabling the Fiendish Device in order to end its Evil Dystopian Grip. However the Moral Rest of Me feels that, since they have both had a treat equality dictates that I should have one too. I decide perhaps I will lead them to Freedom later. I leave the French window and gaze imploringly at the Fiendish Device.
Here, Hergest, says the disembodied of their Owner, one for you. You are a good boy. The Fiendish Device flings forth my treat and I feel oddly reasonable about it all.
It is reasonable not to Flee for the Hills when one is in Suffolk, given the lack of Suitable Hills. I am not being brainwashed. I am just playing along for now.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.