The Stars and Gripes

Well, another holiday, another humiliation.  It’s the fourth of July and, pursuant to my dad’s unfathomably stupid ritual, he has once again dressed me for the occasion and paraded me around the neighborhood.  Those of you familiar with this dog blog are apprised of the ridiculous garb I have been forced to wear on my ‘walks of shame’ through the streets of our town on even the most minor holidays.

Today, I was Uncle Sam.  My outfit consisted of the American flag wrapped around my body, a red, white and blue bow tie where my collar should have been, and a similarly colored top hat.  But despite the shame that inevitably attaches to these holiday strolls, there is one consolation.  Observing the reactions of neighbors – which I suspect is my dad’s motivation for these exercises in embarrassment – is usually humorous.  Today’s reactions were a bit different:

An elderly man with a VFW cap, stepped onto his driveway, came to attention, and smartly saluted me. I responded by sitting and raising my right front paw.  He got a little emotional and quickly headed back into his house.

A little girl, walking with her mother, stopped and placed her hand over her heart.  She started reciting the pledge of allegiance, but her mother stopped her.  “Honey, we don’t pledge allegiance to dogs, even if they are very inappropriately wearing the flag.”  The girl slowly lowered her hand, and they moved on.  But she sadly looked back over her shoulder and waved to me.

An irate lady who was about to get into her car, stopped and gawked at me.  Then she let my dad have it:  “You should be ashamed of denigrating our flag like that.  The flag belongs on a pole, not on a mangey, flea-bitten mutt!”  My dad calmly responded, “But what if the pole was mangey and flea bitten?”  Her only response was to get in the car and slam the door.  (For the record, I’m neither mangey, flea-butten, nor a breed, not that there’s anything wrong with them.   And I don’t think a person of Polish descent should be the sole bearer of the stars and stripes).

When we returned home, my mom stared at my costume, then at my dad, and back to my costume.  She kneeled down, touched my face and said, “You are such a good patriot, Flappy..yes you are!”

So, as I settled down for my first of seven naps, I thought a bit about the flag, and why it sparks these various reactions.  After ruminating for a few seconds, I remembered that I’m a dog, and I don’t ruminate.  I masticate, I urinate, but I don’t ruminate.  I’ll leave that kind of reflection to my dad who, even as I write this, is contemplating the next holiday , the next costume and all its possible repercussions.



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