Despite memories of his disastrous arrival in north Texas for Thanksgiving seventeen months earlier (see my post of January 16, 2012, “Driving Miss Crazy”), my son Jake appeared at the DFW airport the Wednesday before Easter this year for a visit with his mother. Between the former fiasco and the Dallas/Ft. Worth highway system, aka the “Perpetual DFW Construction Project,” (I’m really getting to hate the color orange) it’s a wonder he bothers to come here at all. The only glitch this time, though, was a baggage carousel breakdown that caused some delay.
For an entire week I reveled in the company of my favorite son as we caught up on our various activities, discussed current events, and savored lots of home cooking. Jake dutifully performed several maintenance chores around the house. (He’s so thoughtful; he bought me a bunch of new tools at Home Depot so I could do those chores myself next time.) When not busy with chores he entertained me by playing his guitar which he had brought with him. He also had brought his new electronic “tablet” and his “smart phone” (at his age, technology is fun; for me, not so much). Anyway, this phone has a particularly dubious feature, or app, with hideous propensities. It’s called the ZombieBooth.
We were sitting on the sofa one evening watching some apparently forgettable TV program (most of them are, after all) when Jake handed me his phone with some pictures he had taken. There on the screen was a nice close-up shot of The Mutt in all his cuteness. I beamed with pride, taking pleasure in The Mutt’s portrait and my son’s hankering for a memento of his trip. Then Jake took the phone, pushed some buttons, and handed it back to me.
A-a-a-a-ck!!! Looking out at me was not the charming face of my champagne-colored cockapoo of a moment ago. My favorite dog had become an unearthly freak of nature, a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transformation of nightmarish proportions. See for yourself.
The Mutt The Mutt Zombified
You’d think that defacing my dog was enough but, no. Jake wasn’t done yet. Taking the phone again he set to more tweaking and the results this time were just as ghastly. Another freaky result of modern technology. Jake had applied the same ZombieBooth technique to a picture he’d taken of a plush toy hanging in my TV room: Bugs Bunny, one of my all-time heroes. (At least the others, including Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt, were spared this indignity.)
Bugs Bugs Zombified
Can you imagine Jimmy Stewart striking up a friendship with Harvey if that rabbit had looked like this? As I groaned Jake laughed and sent this grotesque snapshot to a friend, wishing him “Happy Easter.” I haven’t heard yet whether they’re still on speaking terms.
This ZombieBooth business is enough to give air-brushing a bad name.
Just the same, the following incident got me to thinking that it could prove useful. My next door neighbors have a new puppy, a Chihuahua-mix. She is the friendliest—if a bit hyper—little thing. All she wants to do is kiss and play. My dog should be thrilled to have a new playmate, right? Well, not quite. As soon as little Sophie saw him she broke into a giant (for her) Chihuahua smile and ran toward The Mutt in a frenzy of excitement, ready for a good romp. What did my dog do? Turned tail and ran around in circles trying to get away from this fearsome beast who is all of about one-fifth his size. What a wuss! My chicken-dog! No matter where he ran—to the back door (closed), to the backyard gate (closed), into the garage (dead end)—there was no escaping little Sophie. She really, uh, dogged him.
As you might imagine, this whole scene was most embarrassing for me and, I think, even for Jake. (Of course, he could go back to Florida; I’m still here living with the humiliation.)
But here’s where the ZombieBooth app, dubious as it is, comes in. Maybe The Mutt could benefit from a little ZombieBooth facelift after all. With a mug like that he just might turn the tables on Sophie and send her running. Then my “chicken-dog” would have something to crow about.
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