Intro and Chapter One
‘Data Log – Code unicorn a go go – 19th May, 2018
‘For the coming quest, you will need all your courage.’
More Static ********
‘The information that I am about to impart to you is top secret and you repeat it at your own peril.’
EVEN MORE STATIC *********
‘You will find the infamous and revoltingly Repugnant Ralph’s evil lair at the following location: **
Dark Cave (Behind Dark Trees),**
“Errr, yeah? Dude… what the****?!”
Hellooooooo readers. Can I get a high five? No? Maybe later? Ok… moving on!
As I’m sure you have already deduced [figured out], the following tale concerns a quest; a dark wizard by the rather ridiculous name of Repugnant Ralph- and yes, that is awesome alliteration (use of multiple words beginning with the same letter in sequence to create a catchy phrase and/or a pleasant sense that one soundsmore intellectual than one actually is); and at least one character that really needs to WATCH HIS MOUTH! But I’ll get back to that…
Essentially, though, this is a story about friendship, courage and love…just kidding. None of that! No, what this story is actually about is stupidity. And, in particular, the stupidity of our wizard, and the consequences of his somewhat misguided [poorly thought through or ill-advised] attempt at revenge.
With me so far? Good. Not as slow as you look! Where was I? Oh yeah, the story!
Prologue [the part where I- the narrator- reel you in, give you the bait, hook you, and every other fishing analogy you can think of]
Let me set the scene….
In his dark lair, the dark wizard whispered dark words with dark consequences…
Or…not. Depending on your point of view.
For what young boy or girl wouldn’t in their heart of hearts dream of waking to find that their beloved pet had-
Wait. Stop. Rewind! Bad narrator! Ow, I just slapped myself and it hurt. That was stupid. I’ll tell you what else is stupid: Ralph is stupid – sorry Ralph. Nice though…kind of.
Anyway, the point? Oh yeah… dark lair, dark words blah blah blah, fast forward to the important bit.
Like all dark wizards, Ralph had a grievance [he’s hacked-off about something]. A grievance can arise from many things: the weather, a fat day, going into Starbucks for your regular- and perfectly simple- order of a soya Americano with enough room for milk but not so much room you need a magnifying glass in order to even be able to see the tiny amount of brown liquid swishing in the bottom of a cup the size of hollowed-out watermelon; I mean, if I wanted an Expresso I’d have asked for a fricking Expresso! And you just want to take that failed excuse for an Americano and shove right up-
Woah. OK. I’m calm…Breath, two, three…out, two, three… Good huh? My therapist taught me it. We’re working through some stuff.
But that’s not important. This isn’t about me! No, it’s about Ralph. And Mal… and a load of dogs with way too much information…
Wow, I’m not usually this easily distracted. OK, that was a lie. I feel bad now. Sorry.
Anyway…grievances! So, Ralph’s grievance was…not really worth going into actually- lets skip that bit. All you need to know is that he was hacked-off. And when dark wizards get hacked- off, bad things happen…
What, you really want to know? Seriously? Urghhh fine! But this time the tangent [side-story leading away from a main point] is your fault!
So, it all started with this dog, right. He was called Steve. Stupid name for a dog but whatever. Anyway, this dog was Ralph’s childhood companion. In fact, I think it’d be fair to say that Steve the Labrador was Ralph’s one and only friend. Cue the “awwwwwws”, right? But wait, you may want to hear the rest before you decide to give Ralph too much sympathy. I mean, yeah sure, maybe it wasn’t Ralph’sfault that none of the other kids at wizard school liked him. And sure, maybe he couldn’t helpbeing socially challenged and accidentally hexing anyone he didn’t like into steaming piles of excrement [poo].
But people! Let us remember that “it is not our abilities that make us who we truly are. It is our choices”. And yes, before you ask, I did just quote Dumbledore. RIP Albus. RIP.
And the guy [read: most awesome genius] makes a good point. I mean, could Ralph help being more unpopular than that one guy there always is who gets diarreah on an airplane? Of course not! Could he have not reaped revenge on the world at large? Well, duh!
But you don’t know the whole story just yet so hold your judgement a little longer if you are able. You see, what I have to say next may shock you, bring tears to your eyes, and have you jumping up and down with imaginary pompoms shouting “Ralph! You go girl!” or something like that…
So brace yourself because a spoiler is coming- Steve dies!
Stopped crying yet? You didn’t even tear up! Dude, that’s kind of impressive. Say, have you considered a career as a dark wizard?
OK. Just spoken to my editor and he says, and I quote, “You [me] am not recruiting for the dark side, you [me] are trying to tell a story, so get the hell on with it!” Nice guy that Jeffrey…not. OK. Forgot for a moment he’s gunna read this. OK. Going to read this. What a jerk! Total grammar Nazi [Individual associated with the German Nazi Party or general term for someone dictatorial and uncompromising in their views].
Anyway, Steve dies. Boo hoo. Wow that was disrespectful. Sorry, RIP Steve. Tell Albus I love him.
How does this happen, I hear you ask? Surely, every dog has his day? Ha.
But no, old age did not take him. In fact, his death is…a mystery.
Cue the oooooooohs. And oh no ya didns.
But uhhuh. Oh yeh I dids.
OK Jeffrey! I’m getting on with it! I’ll drop the ironic trash talk and possibly offensive accent… Nazi.
So picture this. Everything is fine. Steve and Ralph don’t need anyone else. They have each other. Their days are filled with trips to the park; Ralph teaching Steve new tricks; Steve playing the field, checking out the local Bi-it’s a technical term!
Urghhhh. Fine. One morning when Ralph is just a teen, the pair go out to the park like always. Ralph whistles as he walks along, happy as Larry…whoever Larry is? And then he sees her. Steve, that is. Otherwise this would be about to get really weird. He looks up. The sun hits upon a golden mane of fluff, and the breeze brings with it the charming aroma of fox poo mixed with female dog and it’s the most wonderful thing Steve’s ever smelled.
He must go to her, and he does. Little does he know he will never reach that tempting little…female dog. That he will never get to sample the unique scent of her nether-regions.
He doesn’t see the car coming. But Ralph does. Ralph cries out, but his efforts are in vane [useless/futile]. The car is about to collide with Steve when Ralph can’t look. He faints and wakes to find that the car and his beloved dog are gone. Vanished into thin air. There is no doubt in Ralph’s mind that his beloved is dead. Gone. Smited. And he runs home to his mother in agony.
Later that evening is when he makes the decision. The decision that he will not let this injustice slide. That he will avenge the death of his one and only friend on human-kind at large- and/or the automobile industry. They will pay. They’ll all pay. And it is at that precise moment that Ralph does his first ever evil laugh. And as the Mwahs and the Hahs leave his lips, and his parents look on in not unreasonable trepidation [worry/concern/caution], Ralph realises his dark destiny, and begins to devise his dastardliest [most evil and cunning] plan. And the rest? Is history.
… [Dramatic pause] …
But. You know in those stories where it kind of seems like maybe the villain hasn’t really thought things through? You know, like the whole iconic [well-known/ recognisable] James Bond Shark Tank Dangly Thingumajig where the monologing villain details his entire wicked plan, thus allowing Bond to find the loop-holes in said plan and subsequently [as a result of] escape when the villain suddenly remembers that he has to, like, be at the dentist or something urgently, and unfortunately cannot stay to make sure that said plan actuallyworks and that he will finally be rid of his one true arch-nemesis?
Yeah? Well. Here’s the thing. Villains are, more often than not, kind of, not the sharpest teeth in the jaw, shall we say. Not the top of the intellectual food chain. More dark matter than little grey cells and etc.
OK. OK. Truth is, they tend to be pretty damn thick. And hey, that’s probably a good thing. Makes it easier for the good guys to swoop in and save the day and all that jazz.
And that means that, often, their carefully devised evil plans: the kind that have them cackling and wiggling their fingers together in that gleeful way we all know villains do when they think no one’s watching. Well? Sometimes they suck. Bad.
This was one of those times.
Now. Enough intro to Ralph. Because this story isn’t just about him. And thus, without further ado, let me introduce you to this tale’s hero. The Marvellous. The Magnificent. The Mankily Majestic…Mal.
Wait. That wasn’t right… Anyway. Stay right there. I’ll be back on the other side of the page. Have a cuppa or a break. Chillax and all that shizzle dizzle. See you in frogsborns’ fart.
Chapter One – Animals Are People Too
You know those kids in school that are neither popular nor unpopular? The kind that just sort of drift, not really leaving much of an impression? The brown-eyed, brown-haired, average-height average-Joes that pretty much no one is going to remember twenty or even three years into the future? Well, ladies, gentlemen, and those who prefer not to be thus categorised [put in to defined groups/labelled], and without further ado, let me introduce you to…Malachi Smith.
What do you mean who? Malachi? Goes by Mal? Brown hair? No, not ringing any bells. Children!
Anyway, for future reference he’s that one. In the corner. Chewing the pencil. OK, half the class are chewing pencils, let me make this a bit easier for you?????
OOOH, I know, he’s wearing a red jumper. What/ they’re all wearing red jumpers? That’s the school uniform? Huh, whadda you know, you learn something new every day.
Oh look, the class is finished. OK, Mal is the one shoving his things into this totally lame Spiderman bag. Yep, that’s him. Phew, I feel like what I have to say now is a bit anti-climactic after that build-up. But here it goes. Because, ladies’ gentlemen and those as yet unable or unwilling to specify [say/explain something in a definitive way], Mal the ordinary had a deep, dark secret…
In fact, it was such a deep, dark secret that Mal didn’t even know he was keeping it. Wait, what? Is that a secret or something that just hasn’t happened yet? I always get those two mixed up!
Anyhoo, we’re going to come back to that. But don’t forget, secrets, dark, mysterious etc etc etc. Ha. I love etcs [and so on and so forth] can anyone else hear Deborah Kerr in their head right now? Just me? Ok, walking it off…
Just kidding! If I left, how would I finish telling the story? Damn it Jeffrey that was a rhetorical question!
Fine, fine! Cough-Nazi-cough. You know, the whole cough-hiding-insult thing really doesn’t work so well when you’re writing it down…
Anyway, let’s continue with the story. Mal is walking home, geeky Spiderman bag over his shoulder and all. He’s content, even though he doesn’t have a lot of friends. His one mate at school, Barry, is walking with him, and they’re having a conversation about the new superhero movie in the cinemas at the moment. Something stupid with this flying dude in tights. I meanreally!
Oh look, he’s saying bye. In the house he goes. Kind of a boring house. Just picture every five-year old’s drawing of a red-brick house ever in the whole of history and that is what it looks like. Except real. And three-dimensional. Not many five-year olds can draw in 3D. Wow though, would that be awesome or creepy if they could?
Point! What was the point? Mal, house, key, right. He’s inside now. So I don’t really know why were still out here. Let’s take this inside…
Yep, boring on the inside too. Average sized kitchen with an 80s feel and cream tiles EVERYWHERE. Except the ceiling. And the cupboards, obviously. That would be weird.
Now he’s looking in the cupboard for a snack. He seems to have gone for…fruit. BOOOOOORRRRRIIIINNNGGGG! Oh yeah, that’s another thing I forgot to tell you about Mal. He’s a Vegetarian! But don’t judge him too harshly. As I have already mentioned, there is more to Mal than meets the eye…
Right. I’m bored. House is empty except for our boy here so I’m just gunna skip a few…uhhuh! There it is. The moment that the changes to come are set in motion…
Mal’s mum enters the kitchen with a large Golden Retriever in tow. This Golden Retriever is very significant people, so pay attention to him. I don’t want to say too much yet, but something is going to happen to this retriever that…well…it’s…. different?
Anyway. So his mum comes in and says: “Hey honey I’m home”. Ha, just kidding again. This isn’t ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. She just says: ‘Hi, how was your day” and etc. Mal responds in typical fourteen-year-old fashion (oh yeah, forgot to mention his age; fourteen, again, for those who generally need to be told stuff at least twice) with the word: “boring”.
Conversation ends then for a while as his mum guides Dog. Oh yeah, the dog’s name is dog. Nice and easy to remember although it is going to get confusing in a little while, just so you know. Anyway, Dog is sitting in his basket. Mum unloads some shopping. There is a companionable silence as Mal munches on his apple, staring into space whilst casually stroking Dog’s ears with his free hand. And then it happens. The moment. CAN I GET A DUN DUN DUHHHHHH! Dammit Jeffrey! That was rhetorical too. I know they can’t actually respond; do you think I’m stupid or something?
Just so you know, I just sacked Jeffrey. My new editor is called Deirdre and she’s a figment of my imagination… JJJ
So mum says: “Mal, look at this new dog-food that they were giving out for free outside the superstore today. It says on the tin that it’s made by a world-class magician and that it will make your dog’s coat rainbow-coloured!”
OK, quick pause. There are THREE very important lessons that you must learn form, the preceding [what has gone just before]. Lesson one: never, and I mean NEVER trust any product, treatment or commodity that is being randomly distributed for free. There is ALWAYS a reason and it is VERY RARELY good. Lesson two: NEVER trust something that claims to have been made by a ‘world-renowned magician’. If he’s ‘world-renowned’, firstly, then why isn’t his name on the tin? Or his picture? Nope, just something not right about it. And lesson three: no normal person wants a rainbow-coloured dog and that ought to tell you something. I mean, sure, maybe if you happened to be on your way to a gay rally or a festival for unicorn rights or something and you just happenedto see this dog food that would turn your dog rainbow-coloured and you thought: ‘Hey! Why the hell not?’. But was Mal’s mum on her way to a gay/unicorn rights rally that very evening? No. Was she intending to spend the evening on the couch drowning in a pint-sized glass of Bailey’s- with ice – “it’s a Friday, and it just helps me sleep, OK!” – Yes. Does she have an alcohol problem? Quite possibly. But what isimportant to note is that wanting a rainbow-coloured dog is NOT NORMAL. And so what do you think Mal says? He says: “Whatever dude”, because he’s a teenager and teenagers are definitely, definitely not normal! They also suck at housework, but that’s not really relevant to this story.
So, short story cut shorter, Dog gets the rainbow mix for dinner. Mum looks at the label when there is no discernible [visible/noticeable] change. “Urrrm. It says here it could take all night to set in. Guess we’ll have to just see in the morning.”
By this time, Mal’s Dad is home. Used to his wife’s idiosyncrasies [quirks or abnormalities), and even oddly fond of some of them, he chooses not to comment, and the pair settle down to watch a rerun of the Great British Shake Off. A programme hosted by Alan Titchmarsh that’s all the rage at the moment, in which minor celebrities compete for the title of Best Smoothie-Maker Ever. Think that’s lame? You should see the spin-off, The Great British Stake Off, hosted by David Bowey’s ghost… And I thought ‘Labyrinth’ was terrifying! In it, contestants make stakes every week and drive them into dummies on screen to see who has the best vampire-staking technique. Disturbing? You’re telling me! And the Vampire community was pissed!
And Mal? Well, Mal shuts himself in his room to do his homework. Kicking off his shoes under his computer desk and dialling the speakers on his headphones up to full volume to drown out the sounds of his father’s deep, rumbling voice saying: “I knew he didn’t have what it shakes!”, and his mother’s increasingly lude remarks about said celebrity. Example: “maybe not, but I wouldn’t mind being shaken and not stirred by thosehands!” Ew. Ew. Ew. And even worse? It doesn’t even make any sense.
Anyway. Around ten, Mal stops watching Japanese cartoons and decides to go to bed. Whilst he’s playing this bubble-buster game he’s addicted to on his phone, a low, familiar whining sounds at the door, and Mal, being the big softie that he is, gets out of bed to let Dog in. The animal in question curls up next to him and immediately begins to snore. Soon after, Mal follows him into a peaceful, and dreamless sleep.
“Rise and shine. Hello, world! Wonderful to be seeing you- or not seeing you- this morning. If you wouldn’t mind all walking over to the nearest television. Come on people, rub those sleepy eyes. This is Big Brother speaking! Haha, got ya, didn’t I? In fact, it is I: R-
“[Breaking News! We interrupt this surprise broadcast to bring you news that there is a surprise broadcast! Notorious dark wizard Repugnant Ralph has hijacked every major news network. This is Vera Irritating for TL-]
“Err, hello? This is my hijack-broadcast! Get your own! Can’t stand that woman! Anyhoo, back to me! And as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, my actualname is-
“[It is said that the notoriously nasty Repugnant Ralph is planning to reveal a dastardly plan to reap revenge on human-kind for years of perceived discrimination and subjugation. Experts are, even now, working on finding out just what this plan is and how it will affect our li-]
“What do you mean you have ‘experts working on finding it out’? I’d have already told you idiots if you just stopped interrupting m-
“[Clive Hunkyguns reports from outside the forest that is said to be home to the lair of the notorious Repug-]
“It’s like I’m not even talking. Am I not talking right now? Are my lips not actually moving and I don’t even know it? Hello earth? Hello? And when the hell are you people gunna start getting my name right? It’s not ‘Repugnant Ralph’, it’s R-
“[In the meantime, we must ask everyone to please, stay cal]
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Are you for frigging real you stupid, moronic, cretinous, great big fricking-“
Needless to say, by this point our hero, his parents, and the rest of the world are well on their way to being almost nearly half awake. Which isn’t very awake at all, come to think of it. But I mean, come on, it was nearly three in the morning!
As Mal scratches his eyes, his father yawns, and his mum declares, puffy-eyed, and with an air of defeat, that she’ll put the kettle on, the onscreen battle continues…
“Anyway. Are you all listening now, or do I need to do more hacking-type stuff that’s like so totally impressive? And how did I get all you TVs to turn on at once, I hear you ask? Well…
“Oh no”, moans Mal’s mum, “He’s going to start monologuing, isn’t he? It’s way too early for this. Where’s my baileys?”
“Dark wizards are always the same”, says Mal’s father with a sigh. “Get me a whisky while you’re at it, love?”
“I’m not your woman-slave you know, Derrick!”
“Seriously!” Chirps in Mal, the teenager, who totally doesn’t understand these things, like, at all. “How am I supposed to grow into a functional (working/capable) adult with you two alchies as parents? I mean come on, it’s morning.”
“That’s what hesaid – ha!” Said mum triumphantly.
“Sun’s always over the yard somewhere Mal. You’ll understand when you’re older.”
“Err, excuse me! Is anyone listening to me?”
“Terrific. You normalpeople are all the same! Always mocking me, never listening to my problems!”
“Boys!” Says Mal’s mother. “I think you upset him. Apologise to the nice little dark wizard that has woken us all up at stupid o’clock in the morning to tell us his life’s story like the guy who gets really drunk after a night out and for some reason thinks anyone gives a monkey-nut… You’ve hurt his feelings”.
“Yeah. My feelings hurt.”
“Err, mum, you do realize he can’t actually hear us right. He’s on TV?”
“You Normals are always the same! Thinking that just because someone can’t hear you they can’t get their feelings hurt as a result of your evil, evil words!”.
“OK, I’m confused” says Mal’s Dad. “Can he hear us or is he just really good at guessing what we’re all saying?”
Ralph shrugs. “Bit of both.”
“That I’m awesome! Duh!”
“Who wants a top-up?”
“Silence! This is getting out of hand. Now, if you will all observe as I reap my revenge on human-kind…”
“Yep. Classic bullied kid syndrome.” Says Mal’s Dad wisely. “Bet he never had a friend and now he’s, like, totally dark because of it.”
“Shut up! You know nothing about how hard it was! Humans never understood me! they were always saying I was weird and had a big nose and…and…”
“Yep. Traumatised. See it all the time at work. Where’s that whisky, Sheila?”
“Why are you so mean to me?” Ralph whines.
“Oh no. He’s going to cry, isn’t he? Man, I hate it when they cry.” Mum sighs dramatically.
“Me too. Makes things superawkward!” Dad agrees.
“Will you people just shut up! That’s it. You asked for it. And now you’ll pay. You’ll all pay. Mwhahaha. Mwhahahahaha.”
“Oh God! It’s way too early for evil wizard laugh. My ears hurt!”
“This has been going on a while. You think he’s OK?” Asks Mal.
“Who knows. Maybe he’s had, like, an aneurysm or something?”
“Can you still laugh like that if you’re having an aneurysm?”
“Oh for ——“
“Watch your mouth!” Dad warns, not a fan of foul language. It’s just so unnecessary….
“Sorry. That was rude.”
“Too right it was. But apology accepted. Pray continue”.
“Really, you mean I get to speak now. I don’t know what to say. This is all just so…unexpected.”
“Protracted is what it is.”
“Ralph. Spill”, intones mum, sloshing her baileys authoritatively [with an air of power and majesty].
“Fine. You asked for it. Brace yourselves………Badumdum cha!!!”
“Err, bless you?”
“No you idiots, those were the magic words!”
“The magic words for what.”
“You know what? I don’t even want to tell you now.”
“Well, that’s mature!”
“But I will say this…those magic words are about to change life on this planet as you know it! Mwhahahahah”
“Oh no… not morelaughing.”
“You all suck! I hate you!” Broadcast cuts off. News comes back.
“Technical teams are currently working on finding the lair of the so-called Repugnant Ralph. We are still awaiting to hear confirmation over what what has been christened the Guzunti spell, has actually done, if anything: or if the night’s events were merely meant to induce the kind of panic not seen since Madonna told the world that 94 was not too old to continue getting her kit-off on stage.”
“Right. This has been weird. I’m going to bed.” Says Mal.
“Don’t forget it’s laundry day in the morning.”
“Yeah, screw that.”
“Watch your mouth!”
TV turned-off, Mal heads back down the hall to his room, where he doesn’t bother turning on the lights before falling into bed.
He is almost off to sleep when he feels a warm body pressed up against his back. Just Dog.
And then an arm encircles his waist, and a gruff voice in his ear says: “Ummm. This is nice.”
“Umm, yeah it i-“
So, kids. You know those moments in life where something…unexpected happens, and it takes the brain a little longer than ideal to give the body the correct WTF signals it needs in order to get out of said unexpected, usually undesirable situation?
Well this was like that.
Mal freezes. For about four seconds.
Mal is across the room, switching on the light before he’s even aware of moving. Then he turns toward the bed and stares.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” The man now on his feet at the opposite side of the bed is six feet or more, with blonde, longish hair, and, unfortunately for Mal’s eyes, absolutely butt-naked.
One more time, baby!
“Will you stop doing that?”
Somewhat belated [fancy word for a bit long after the fact] after threescreaming jags, Mal’s parents chose that moment to storm into the room.
“Mal, are you alright, son?”
“Yeh, I’m good. Cheers.”
“Watch your mouth!”
“Dad, that wasn’t swearing it was sarcasm.”
“Mum, tell Dad to stop being a…mum?”
“Why do you look like that?”
“Like you’ve just been gifted a life-time supply of chocolate that won’t even make you fat no matter how much you eat?”
“What? I was just admiring his large-“
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence Mum!”
“-presence. His large presence.”
“Mouth! And his “presence” isn’t thatlarge.”
“Err, guys? Are you not even a little concerned that there’s a strange man in my bedroom?”
“Hey. I’m not strange. That’s mean Mal. Real mean.”
“Err, have we met?”
“Hff. You’d think you’d recognise you number-one snuggle-buddy of THREE YEARS!”
“Mal! Is there something you want to tell us?“ Says his father.
Then a quiet voice: “Mal? It’s me. Dog.”
“Err, dude, you’re not my dog.”
“Sure I am, listen, ruff,….rrrrruuuuuuff.”
“Please, stop barking. You’re not my dog.”
“Want to see me chase my tail?”
“You don’t have a tail.”
“OMG. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENNED TO MY TAIL?!”
“Is this what it feels like to be on drugs? I kind of feel like this must be what it feels like to be on drugs.”
Mal’s father gasps. “The magic words…”, he says, ominously.
“What about them?” Asks Mal?
“Don’t you see? This must be what the magic words did. It all makes perfect sense!”
“That makes no sense. Like, at all.”
“There must have been some kind of activating agent to the spell, though, to make the dogs human?” He ponders, ignoring his son and his super-annoying teenage cynicism [doubt and/or suspicion).
“Damn.” Says his mum, shaking her head as if disappointed with her own idiocy. “I knew dog food that made dogs rainbow-coloured wasn’t actually a real thing.”
“Errr, People? Can we get back to the matter at hand?” Says Mal, complete with the appropriate teenage angst. “Dog is human?!”
“My tail. My lovely, beautiful tail, where art thou?”
“Great, and now he’s gone all Shakespearean. Because thatmakes sense.”
“I really don’t know what the big deal is to be honest.” Says Mal’s father. “I mean, he’s still the same Dog. Just, not actually a dog anymore.”
“Exactly, Mal. We’ll just have to get used to the new him.” Says his mother in a tone that suggested sheat least thought her logic was infallible [without the possibility of being flawed).
“Are you two for real?” Says Mal, irate. “This kind of thing just doesn’t – and shouldn’t – happen! I want my Golden Retriever back!”
“You mean to say” said his father “that you want to, Retrievehim?”
“Oh-pun.” His mother giggles. “Good one, Derrick!”
“Dear God, let me be adopted. Please, please let me be adopted!”
“I’ll bet this has happened all over the world.” Mal’s mother declares excitedly. “Quick, Derrick, turn the news back on.”
Derrick reaches for the remote. The TV comes back on with a faint buzz.
[“Breaking News! Dogs everywhere have transformed into humans! It is believed that a certain free dog food that claimed to turn dogs technicoloured was actually some kind of activating agent-]
“See! Told you.”
“And that the mystery magic words in turn activated this activating agent, and turned the nations’ dog population into…well, part of the regular population…
“Why the hell would anyone want to turn the world’s population of dogs in to people?” Asked Mal.
“Hey!” Sniffs an indignant (righteously affronted] Dog, who until now had been still silently weeping over his lack of tail.
“Well, why not?” says his mother. “I mean, they’re loyal, obedient, affectionate. They’d make better people than people do, if you think about it.”
“Yeah…what she said.” Says Dog. Helpfully. Then resumes “my pppppoor..tttt tail.”
“Is he still going on about that? Man, way to focus on the unimportant.” Says Mal, because he has no feelings.
“Mal, be sensitive, this must be very confusing and traumatic for him. Would you like a cup of tea, love?” Says his mother, patting said former animal on the head.
“Whhhaaaaaaaaaah..oh? Cheers” says Dog.
“Err, before you put the kettle on, could someone, like, get him some underwear or something?” Asks Mal, averting his gaze from the still naked Dog-man on the sofa.
“We are not you slaves Mal!” Says his father.
“Yeah. And you’ve never cared that I was naked before!” Dog adds.
“You had hair then!” Mal responds as though it’s just obvious.
“I have hair now!” Dog points out.
“Fine. I’ll get him a pair of your father’s boxers.”
Ten minutes later.
“Not more”, Mal moans.
[“The Prime Minister has released a statement concerning the strange happenings of the night, in which he also gives vital information on a new government directive on how to cope with what is fast becoming known as the Dogypocolypse.]
“Oh my!” Says Mal’s mother.
[“The statement was released from Downing Street just minutes ago. For those of you who missed the live broadcast, here’s what the Prime Minister had to say:
“Dear Citizens of Britain. As I’m sure many of you are aware, canine companions up and down the country have, to quote musical treasure, Sam Sparrow, ‘grown legs and started walking’-
“And the birds flew out of the sky-yy”-
The Brand-New Department for the Supervision of Malignance and Magic, or BDSM&Mas it is widely known, is already working on finding the culprit who has publicly claimed responsibility for these unprecedented events: the reputedly Repugnant Ralph.”
“OOOOO…alliteration. Boom.” Says Dog.
“You know what alliteration is now?” Mal asks then sees his mother’s glare. “You know what, never mind. Not important.”
[“However, I will be honest. There is no guarantee, at present, that the phenomenon of this evening will be able to be reversed – possibly ever.]
“You have got to be kidding me!” Mal cries, avec melodrama.
[“Who knows what the future might bring. But for now, I must ask each of you to take responsibility for your own canine companion- past-tense- and proceed to teach he/she/Xi ‘How to be Human’. To this effect, The BDSM&Mhas issued a set of guidelines available online at the following address.]
[“In two weeks’ time, centres will open up and down the country that will allow our former pets to be tested on their ability to function as real human beings. In lieu of the need to prepare for this with haste, there will be a national holiday, effective immediately, for all former-canine owners, so that they might best utilise this time.]
“No school. Awesome! OK. This just got a whole lot better for me.” Says Mal.
[“We will keep you updated with developments as and when they arise. In the meantime, I wish you all luck, but now have to get back to my German Shepard, Suzie, who security tells me is currently attempting to defecate on the Chancellors suede shoes.]
[“That was the Prime Minister and you’ve been lis-]
“Quick, Derrick, find the webpage.” Mal’s mum screeches when the newscast ends.
“I’m not your man-slave Sheila.” Derrick says.
She glares at him.
He gets the website up.
“Who the hell wrote this?” Mal asks no one in particular.
“Well…looks like you’ve got a busy day ahead Mal.” Says his Dad cheerfully.
“Yeah, good luck son. We believe in you!” Says his mother.
“Wait. What?” Mal Sputters.
“Would you look at the time! I better get showered.” His Mum squeaks.
“What do you mean? You’re not going to work?!” Mal asks, his voice rising with every syllable. “Didn’t you hear the Prime Minister? It’s a National Holiday. You have to stay and help me with that!” He points over his shoulder at Dog.
“Nu-uh Mal” His mother responds eloquently.
“Yeah Mal! Nu-uh!” Dog repeats.
Mal ignores his pet-man thing because obnoxious. “He said it was a holiday for pet-owners!”
“Yes” says his mother as though explaining something very simple to someone remarkably dense [thick]. “And Dog’s your human now. That makes him yourresponsibility.”
“Mal. I’m hungry. Feed me.” Dog wines.
“Feed yourself, you have legs.”
“Hmphh. I see.” Dog sniffs. “Now I’m human you think you get tttt treat me like ddddirt.”
“See you later Mal.” Says his Dad cheerfully after the world’s quickest shower and change. Like seriously, Superman fast!
“Bye Dog. Or should we call you Human now?” He asks, one foot out of the door.
“Nah, I’m good with Dog. Like J-Lo, I don’t gunna forget where I come from!”
Small uncomfortable silence.
“Ok. You boys have fun!”
Mal slaps himself.
“Owww. That looked like it hurt.” Dog points out the obvious.
“Yeah. It did. Just had to check, you know?”
“Yeah course…” dog whistles. “Soooooo…this is nice…”
“What are you talking about?”
Mal sighs. “I guess we better get going with your…training.”
“Dun dun duhhhhhhhhh.” Says Dog.
“What was that for?”
“I don’t know, it just kind of seemed like a dun dun duhhhhh moment, ya know.”
BDSM&M – Guidelines for the Integration into Humanity of Canines-(past-tense).
Need help integrating your pet into mainstream society? We’ve all been there!
Well, never fear, for BDSM&M is here! With these proven-to-be-effective guidelines for humanness when tested on Artic Monkeys – not to be confused with theArctic Monkeys, obviously, because that would be illegal and wrong and stuff, even if they do deserve it for their crimes against music – you’re pet-previous will be holding business dinners as CEO of his own Ex-Canine dating agency, Dogs for Snogs, in no time…
So without further ado, let the BDSM&M tell you and your pet-prior: How to be Human.
[Disclaimer: nomonkeys,musiciansorotherwise,otheranimalsofany kindorhippyroommateswithhygieneproblemsthatmayormaynotbe calledTrevorbutIreallycan’tconfirmordenythatinformation,were harmedinthemakingofthisarticleandOMGareyoustillrtyingtoreadthis?You’resoweird.]
As I’m sure you are all aware: it is not easy being human. And many of the things that you and I take for granted are, in fact, not as obvious or straight-forward to someone less practiced in the art of humanness.
So, here are a few of the aspects of being human that your ex-petriot may encounter…
Step One: Using the Facilities
Well, folks, we all had to learn once. So to save your best bud embarrassment, it is crucial that you teach them how to use the facilities correctly, cleanly, and, above all, as non-ostentatiously [showily] as possible.
Remember That One Kid in infant school who still wore nappies when they were, like, six? We all remember That One Kid. And if you were That One Kid, then we all remember you! And we always will. Don’t feel bad, though. It’s just life. And you lost at it when you couldn’t use a toilet at an appropriate age.
And that’s why it is so important that you’re there to help your Not-Dog not be That One Kid.
Helpful tip: why not demonstrate? Sure, it might be a little awkward, but hey! Think of it as a bonding exercise!
Dog reading over Mal’s shoulder: “What’s os-ten-tati-ous mean? I don’t get it.”
“It’s when you’re, like…wait. What the hell? You can read now?”
“Humph. Of course I can read Mal! I’m not a total moron you know.”
“You’re an animal!”
“Whatever. I guess we better get to it then…”
“Awesome, let’s go pee-bond.”
“Oh FML!” Mal groans.
“Watch your mouth!” Mal’s mum shouts from somewhere in the back of the house.
Mal to Dog, quietly, “I swear she has super-hearing sometimes.”
“Totally. It’s just like that time that you farted and tried to blame it on me and she just knewyou were lying.”
“What. I’ve never done that!”
“Wow.” Says Dog.
“Just never thought I’d see the day when you would lie to my face like that. I always thought we were stronger than that.” Sniff.
“Can you please stop making this weirder than it is?” Mal begs.
“What’s weird about it?”
“Everything is weird about it! This whole situation is weird!”
“Your face is weird” Dog mumble-coughs.
“What was that?” Mal asks suspiciously.
“Nothing. Oh look at step seven.” Dog tries to distract him.
“Nope. No skipping ahead.”
“Erg. Let’s just get this over with.”
Mal sighed dramatically. This was going to be a long, long day.