Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ladies And Gentlemen, Have I Got A Deal For You! The Dept. Tries To Jog Its Memory And Be A Little Reasonable

Scene opens in a brightly lit television studio. Audience is seated, and the stage is decorated to look like a living room with dark carpeting, dark floor-length draperies. Adjoining the "living room" is a counter area.

Applause sign lights; audience applauds and cheers wildly. TV product pitchman Billy Mays bounds in energetically, waves at audience. Cheers and applause intensify.

Billy: (incredibly loudly) Hi, everyone!
Audience: Hi, Billy!
Billy: (with the volume of an onrushing freight train) Do you want a box of shit in your house?
Audience: Yeah!
Billy: (with the decibel level of a U2 concert in your basement) Do you want to be self-conscious every single time you wear navy or black?
Audience: Yes! Yes!
Billy: (as if a tornado set off a gas main explosion in your utility room) Do you want to step in piles of regurgitated kibble and hair in your bare feet because you are the only one who can see them in the entire world?
Billy: Do you want to add hundreds of dollars to your budget for medical bills not covered by your health insurance just now when you can't really afford it?
Audience: WHAT A DEAL!
Billy: Then have I got the deal for you! Get a kitten! Right now, for a limited time offer, you can get a kitten--and all of the great features I just outlined can be yours, with these added bonuses. Stay tuned.

Audience writhes in their seats as Mays takes a break. While he is hosed down and shot with tranquilizers, the living room set is prepared. Several fluffy, cute kittens are released onto the couch.

Mays leaps into living room set. Audience releases one long, sustained "awwww" as he grabs up one adorable kitty.

Billy: These kittens have been on set for only three minutes, and look at the hair they've already left behind!

(Camera pans at swaths of cat hair on couch, carpeting, and along hem of draperies.)

Audience: (ad libs) Wow! Awesome! Incredible! Amazing! Never seen anything like it, etc.
Billy: (chuckling volubly) You'll be vacuuming two, three, maybe four times a day! And good luck on those draperies! Once those little cuties start walking along the back of the couch, they can leave a path of hair so thick that even an industrial Dyson can't suck it off.
Audience Member: (pointing) Ooops!
Billy: Yikes! Little Fluffy there isn't quite litterbox trained yet, is he? That's gonna go right down to the pad and maybe leave a stain. Well, just move a table or get a big plant to put over it!
Audience Member: (pointing) Ick!
Billy: What? I don't see anything. Let's move on.
Audience: Screech!
Billy: Ha ha! Yes, aren't they cute, folks? Look at the little sherpas, hooking onto those draperies with those talons and climbing all the way up! Wow! You've just gotta watch 'em every minute! And it's not like you can just put up a barrier, is it? Those guys can jump! Okay, moving on!

Billy moves over to counter area and takes a kitten with him. He puts it up onto the counter and wads up a paper ball, playing with the kitten as he chats with the audience. The kitten plays and looks vastly adorable the entire time.

Billy: Now, folks, (loud enough to be heard in Uzbekistan) HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THIS KIND OF EXPERIENCE IN YOUR VERY OWN HOME?
Audience: (ad libs) Seven hundred! A million! Ten thousand! My whole fucking life! My kids!
Female Audience Member With Two College Degrees And Really, Plenty Of Common Sense, Honest: But they're so cute and furry! And cuddly. And I miss having a pet. Sometimes. Crap. Sigh. Oh, I know. Shit.
Female Audience Member's Husband: (takes out bottle of Captain Morgan, drinks entire contents then proceeds to stand up, take folding chair and hit self in head until unconscious)
Audience: WE WANT ONE!!
End scene.


  1. Not to fan the flames or anything, but if you get kittens from the humane society they are usually litter-trained, fixed, and have their first round of shots. Just sayin'. As a serious animal lover, I can't imagine living without one.

  2. I will never again live with a cat. Mainly because my husband is deathly allergic (and I do mean deathly, like his throat closes and he cannot breathe), but lately I've been catsitting almost every frakkin' weekend for some neighbors, and the cat box smell in the house is horrid, even if you change it every day. People who live there get used to it. Me? Not so much. Also, not fond of the barf.

    I already have an 11 year old dog to give me hair all over the house and vet bills. The vet bills lately are getting kinda steep, actually. But at least she stays off of the furniture, and doesn't scratch the drapes. Dogs rule!

  3. Nance, thank you for the beautifully rendered scarification of Billy. I dislike him so much I always forget his name. Funniest cat face I've ever seen, except for Hobo, my old roommate's huge cat (a long-legged tabby big as a horse)who used to open up my bedroom door in the morning and stand by the bed staring until he woke me up. The puke is bad, but the rest is worth it. Cats are magic. If I weren't allergic, I'd be a crazy cat lady. Go for it again!

    The verification word--I am NOT making this up!--is aseter.

  4. I'd rather have a cat than drapes. Drapes just make it hard for the windows to breathe, y'know?

    And I prefer to adopt the young adult cats and skip the whole kitten thing. Holly, our most recent addition, was 18 months old when we got her, had spent 9 months in a shelter and yet was fun, curious, playful, social and a Very Good Girl.

    Go for it, Nance!

  5. I would say "go for it" but I am assuming that you have already gone for it. Can we pick the name? The word-ver suggests "Tarize," lol. And if you have actually taken the leap, we need to see a cute kitty pic, say... wearing tiny sunglasses.

  6. There are also some BEAUTIFUL rescue kitties out at that place in the mall. Heart melting! Go for it, Nance! The love and snuggles in worth all the fur, puke and poop!

  7. J.--You are a bad influence. I've purposely been avoiding all pet places.

    Ortizzle--Nope, haven't gone for it at all. I'm absolutely kittyfree at the moment and firmly...well, most of the time...committed to remaining so. But at weak moments, I recall The Good Cat Times.

    V-Grrrl--Oh, I daren't be Drape-Free. My neighbors are only a skinny driveway away. And I would have to adopt a newbie. I need to have Naming Rights and as much Influence as possible. (You know what a control freak I am.)

    sputnik--Billy Mays is uber-annoying. And that cat pic just destroyed me when I ran across it at Icanhascheezburger.com. I love that breed--such a cool color--and the expression on his face is open to such interpretation. But stop encouraging me. You know what a horrid PITA they all are.

    J.@jj--Dogs are way too worky. Might as well have another kid. We had a dog living here for a time. It ATE. A. DOOR. I am not kidding. Never again. EmilyCat and TravisCat did some pretty damned annoying and semi-destructive stuff, but nothing on par with EATING A DOOR.

    Tiana--Oh, I know. I know. But you also know IT DOES NOT STOP THERE, NOW DOES IT!?!?!?!?!

  8. You could explore options that don't involve actually getting a kitten. Visits to the SPCA to pet some kitties (like your trips to the pet store for the rabbits). Photos on your sidebar of cats kittens as well as bunnies. Just a thought ... but you know yourself better than anyone--will anything deter you?

    Appreciate the remembrance of Tim/commentary.


  9. come and get Scrappy. he's small. you'll never know he's not a kitten. promise.

  10. Nance, you were scarred. Was your dog a golden by any chance? We house sat for a golden that ate furniture. INSANE. Esp in a gorgeous OLD victorian house with so much beautiful wood around.

    We had an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix once that started to eat our dresser, but we sent her back. The key is to do a bit of research and get a dog that fits your lifestyle.

    Keeshonds are bred to sit around a lot. They were guard dogs on little dutch canal boats, or so I've been told. Yes, they like a walk or two a day (who doesn't?), but otherwise, it's snooze city.

    Our dog is a Keeshond/Sheltie mix, and very sweet. Has never eaten any furniture before. She did once jump up and steal a chinese crispy duck, but that's the worst of it. And we've trained her out of THAT behavior.

    OK, maybe I'm a control freak, too...because I'm trying to control the kind of pet you get. :) Sorry. (Dogs rock! - Just make sure you get the right breed for you...)

    btw, my word verification is 'glecatta'. THAT sounds like a name for an annoying yet sweet grey cat with a meow that sounds like a Siamese to me.

  11. J.@jj--Holy crap, it WAS a golden retriever; however did you KNOW? Wow. EmilyCat was part Siamese, but she did not do much chatting. She had a throat infection when she was a kitten, and it damaged her larynx. She did bark a bit, however. What a personality she had!

    Nina--Nice try. I know Scrappy is a Jack Russell, which is a breed that pretty much resembles a crack addict on Red Bull. Forget it.

    Shirley--Sigh. I am plenty deterred, believe me. I have read my own past bitching posts about Travis and Emily, and Rick is a powerful voice on his own. Plus, I am cheap, budgetarily speaking. Thanks for noticing the sidebar tribute to Tim. As soon as June is over, I'll take it down.

  12. This is us, to a "T." Well, the 3 gals in the fam, anyway. Mr. Fairway only tolerates our cats. When my Mom died, I had her beautiful Laura Ashley couch recovered, to repair previous kitten/cat damage. Well, both arms are slightly shredded again. Guess it goes with the territory, huh?

  13. Get a kitten. A black one and name him Billy Mays. Because of the beard.

  14. apathy lounge--nice to see you here, esp. when I know you're having major computer issues! i'd be afraid to name any pet after Billy Mays. have you heard of the term "self-fulfilling prophecy"?

    Melissa B.--I had Emily and Travis completely declawed. They were completely indoor cats all the time, and my boys were both tiny. Spare me the horror/animal rights stories, everyone. I'm aware, but unmoved. I'd do it again.

  15. LOL! I can just hear Billy Mays now. Why must he scream so loudly?? Well, I guess it works, because we all know who he is. Oh, and love the new header picture and tagline! : )

  16. Did you hear the news? Billy Mays DIED this morning! OMG, I can't believe it. That's 4 celebs in one week. What a crazy summer, huh? BTW, please don't forget to visit my Silly Sunday Sweepstakes. Your sense of humor will fit right in!

  17. I had to come back and comment again after hearing the news. I cannot believe all this!! And I was complaining about his yelling. Now I feel bad. And he was 50 years old too! What is happening???

  18. Hey Nance, I was at the mall today visiting your kitten. She is so small and cute, ash grey and welcomed me with a tiny little mew. She's waiting...

  19. J.--Wow. Talk about hitting below the belt. You are SO mean.

    Anali & Melissa B.--Incredible news. Just incredible.
    And Anali--thanks for noticing the summertime changes here at the Dept. I thought it was time for a little redecorating. Just a little lighter tone for the season.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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