The dog is doing his little dance. The little dance he always does whenever he wants more biscuits. He has a limited repertoire. He’s never been to dog training and we were too poor to send him to stage school.
As if, I say, I’m giving you any more biscuits when you’ve just turned up your nose at your dinner. A dinner of well-balanced tasty morsels that a team of canine nutritionists spent the best years of their lives perfecting. You, the same picky pooch who, given half a chance will happily snarf down six-month old roadkill.
Then I realise I’m being sarcastic – to a dog. My dog doesn’t understand English. Even if he could, he’s old and deaf now.
I begin to feel guilty, like maybe I’ve hurt his feelings. So I give him some more biscuits and explain that… I wasn’t laughing at him but with him.
My dog doesn’t do sarcasm but he appreciates irony.
(previously published in Not Expecting Fish anthology, Gatehouse Press, 2007)
Charles Christian is a former barrister and Reuters correspondent who now writes about tech, geek stuff, folklore, pop culture, medieval history, the just plain weird, and anything else he thinks you’ll enjoy.