(wc 1748 YIKES!)
Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “Yuppie.” That calls for a story. . .
There once was a very smart dog named Tuppy. He was a handsome black Labrador Retriever, and started out, as most all dogs do, as a puppy.
Did I tell you he was smart? He was smart enough to attend, on scholarship, the finest canine institution in the world, where he received both his MBA (Master of Barking Administration) and his LLD (Doctor of Legal Licking) in just two years (but it seemed like fourteen years to him).
When he heard that Wall Street had gone to the dogs, he knew that a lucrative position for his unique talents would be open to him, so he set off for New York City. He took the city and the nation by storm, and was often featured on the cover of the most popular magazines, such as “Dog Gone Art,” “Dog Fancy,” “Dog Lover Magazine,” “K-9 Magazine,” and “Modern Dog.”
Tuppy had reached the pinnacle of his profession in Barking and Licking. He was also considered a superior Beggar, in addition to his considerable skills in Borrowing and Stealing. He was the youngest dog ever to break into the man-eat-man business world, and he quickly became known as the “Buppie Puppy,” (Black Urban Professional Puppy). Yes, Tuppy was the archetypal Buppie Puppy.
There was only one thing wrong with his life. He was lonely. As handsome as he was, the females in his pack were intimidated by him. His efforts at being friendly – the standard butt-sniffing greetings – were viewed as snobbish, because he often sneezed after the sniff. (He was allergic to certain dog foods, and he could sense them in a dog’s behind as easily as a cat could smell a 10-day-old fish).
Trotting home one evening after a long day of barking administration, he happened by a small pet store, that was tucked around the corner of a quiet street. He had never noticed it before, even though he marked and passed that way every day. In an effort not to be noticed, he pulled his bandanna up over his ears, and walked into the store. He had learned early in his career that when storekeepers recognized him, they would jack up their prices.
Tuppy was rich, but he was no fool, and could squeeze a nickel ’til the buffalo pooped!
Tuppy spent some time window shopping, and was excited by the different smells that emanated from the store. But when he went inside, what most drew his attention was the huge aquarium that ran the entire length of one of the side walls. Even though Tuppy was a “puppy-of-the-world,” he had never spent much time around fish – thinking they were just for cats – and found their variety of shapes, sizes, and colors fascinating.
Tuppy wondered if he could manage to take care of a fish. He thought maybe he could manage feeding one. He certainly could fend off any stupid cat that came along, but keeping the bowl clean might be a problem. After due consideration, weighing all the pros and cons, he decided that he would “take the plunge,” so to speak, and dipped his head into the water and slurped around to see what he would come up with. Luck was with him that day. The very first fish that was sucked in through his dewlaps was a beautiful, iridescent, and tiny fish, that Tuppy later learned was a female guppy. As soon as he spit her out into the bowl he had purchased for her, he was smitten!
It must have been fate, thought Tuppy! What else should a Buppie Puppy have for a pet than a guppy? And so Buppie Tuppy took his guppy home. When he got to his Park West apartment (it was a rent-controlled studio flat), he set Lola’s bowl down on his supper-time mat, and knelt down to gaze upon his beautiful new companion. Tuppy was mesmerized by the iridescent colors on her fins that changed with the light as she swam around the little bowl. So Buppie Puppy Tuppy began to spend as much of his free time with Lola as possible. Their conversation was limited, of course – foreign language was neither of their strong suits in college, but they each had a smattering of the other’s lingo, and over time they came to understand one another. Slowly, at first, Lola told Tuppy her life story. She had tired of listening to him telling his. Tuppy was equally delighted to bark, lick, and listen – those had been his best subjects.
Turns out that Lola was not just an ordinary Guppy. She was a Yuppie Guppy!
Lola was different from Tuppy in that she was born into an educated and comparatively wealthy family. She attended an interracial school, and swam in the varied currents of the different socioeconomic levels. At first she swam with the in crowd, and she knew all the best places to feed and the prime hiding spots to escape the larger and less civilized fish looking for an easy meal.
Lola began to feel uncomfortable swimming only with the BFIPs (Big Fish in Pond). She moved out of her comfort zone and met some of the scholarship fish, and even a few of the nerd fish. She realized that she also enjoyed their company, and spent the rest of her school years being a social yo-yo. Despite her popularity, she was becoming less happy and quite depressed.
Lola was invited by the director of a large pond to take a job working as his assistant director. Lola knew this was the job for her, and having graduated at the top of her class, she knew she was capable of it. Lola was on her way, and within a very short time, Lola was named the director, after her boss had an unfortunate run-in with an angry catfish. Lola was now truly a young urban professional – a Yuppie Guppy. All went well for a while, and then Lola started to feel closed in, even though she swam in a large pond, she began to feel the glass boundaries of the pond were closing in on her. Because she was seen as an authority, she had few if any true friends. Her work started to slip – she had little control over some of the older and larger guppies, and there was a rather crude and fat-lipped goldfish that was trying to take over. Finally, Lola had enough. She found a job working with younger students in a smaller pond. She had come to believe that her uneasiness and claustrophobia was from the company in the pond and not the size of the pond.
Even so, Lola was not happy. She didn’t know what was wrong, but from the way she was snubbed by every other fish, she knew she had lost her popularity, and was no longer considered a Yuppie Guppy, but was now known as the “Duppie Guppy” – a depressed urban professional guppy. In a deep downward emotional spiral, Lola no longer cared where she swam, and was fishnapped one day by the Big Net – and dropped into another pond and taken away from all she had ever known.
Friendless and alone, Lola just swam around in circles. She ate sparingly when there was food, slept with the local snails (her mother would have died from shame had she known), and floated aimlessly. Sometimes she tried pressing her lips against the glass boundary, like the gouramis in the remedial class would do. She used to wonder, while watching, what doing such a thing did for them. Even after trying it, she still wondered. Of course she also noticed them pressing their lips against each other’s. She had yet to meet a fish she would be willing to try that with. As Lola told her life story to the big black thing that had taken her away from the strange pond, she began to experience strange stirrings in her heart.
Lola found that she rather liked her little glass pond – especially after Big Black Thing put in some pretty rocks at the bottom of her pond. One day Big Black Thing came close to her pond – very close – and said, very slowly, “My name is Tuppy.” Lola did not know at first what he was saying. When Tuppy put his lips together and just blew into the little pond-bowl, she was finally able to understand that Big Black Thing’s name was Tuppy. That was a lot easier to burble than Big Black Thing. Conversation between the two very different species became easier with each passing day.
They discovered that even though they were different, they were also alike in many ways. They both liked little green plants; they liked water, they liked to eat good food, and most importantly they liked each other. Very much. It was not long before Tuppy and Lola were in love. Inter-species dating can be a very tough proposition. Knowing the difficulties in logistics for such a relationship, let alone the social complications, together they made the decision not to marry, but to remain chaste, platonic friends. Such a marriage would have been very difficult on their children. Having children would have been difficult in any case.
Tuppy and Lola’s life together was exactly what each of them needed and more than they ever believed they could have had alone. Lola was delighted one day when she realized how truly happy she was. When Tuppy loped into their apartment that evening, some lovely aquatic plants hanging from his jaws, she raced to the edge of her bowl-pond through which Tuppy always gazed at her. She blew some bubble kisses at Tuppy. “Thank you, Tuppy, for taking me in. I love being with you, and I will be happy to be with you for the rest of our lives together. You are my wonderful, handsome Buppie Puppy, Tuppy, and I am no longer your Duppie Guppy, but I am once again your Yuppie Guppy Lola, Tuppy! I believe that we shall always be
huppyhappy!” Tuppy woofed an agreeable bark, and with a grin, gave the side of the bowl, and himself, a few of his masterful licks.
And so, they lived happily after. Why not? They had a rent-controlled apartment in Central Park West. What’s not to be happy about for a buppie puppy and a yuppie guppy? It was a match made in heaven.
That’s long enough. . .