10 Best
28.10.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

Dogs doing lists #11: Camping With the Oldies (Greatest Hits)

  1. Dogs dialing the Aesthetic Phase Sequence on a Semblance Modulator from “Picaresque” to “Camp” and ushering Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band onto a New York City rooftop to pose beside John Lennon, along with Mae West, Judy Garland, Sigmund Freud, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Karl Marx’s beard, painter and known horse genitalia collector Richard Merkin (Dick Merkin?!), Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, the televised image of child actress Shirley Temple, some Hindu gurus, Kim Cattrall as a mannequin, Liza Minelli in Liza Minelli drag, and a dancing bear, and urging all assembled to say “Mark David Chapman” through fixed grins before a blinding bulb flash eclipses the visible universe with a deep, plunging whoosh and sends the scene, in the form of a glossy postcard, circling slowly down into the void.
  2. Dogs taking the stage at Altamont in a chorus girl costume worn by Sharon Tate in Valley of the Dolls and singing Happy Birthday in languid, decidedly sultry fashion to Mister President as suddenly Richard Milhous Nixon is captured mid-skulk by the spotlight, suspiciously making off in a rubber Richard Nixon mask with a door emblazoned, in blood, with the word PIG.
  3. Dogs sketching a courtroom scene in Hell in which the fate of Freddie Mercury’s soul is being decided collectively by Scaramouche, Galileo, Bismallah, et alia in the course of an infernal opera as a jury of demons rises solemnly to render a verdict, in blinking marquee lights, of (wait for it): VERDICT.
  4. 6 November 2012: Dogs repeating eternally, “9! 9! 9!” as the irradiated, burned-out husk of the Earth drifts slowly through the Solar System and collides with the despoiled, cracked shell of a planetoid from the Vega system, and vowing, upon hearing a corresponding chorus of “6! 6! 6!” to never, ever complain again.
  5. Dogs decoupling Maggie Thatcher from a Ludovico apparatus as the queued figures snaking previously under her bloodshot gaze through a Labour Isn’t Working poster spring to life and perform a Busby Berkeley number.
  6. Dogs calling time to a halt inside Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall during the Sex Pistols’ performance of Harold Pinter’s Old Times (a play which, by the by, ultimately hinges on a question of flagrantly flashed knickers) to lecture the camera at leisure in front of a background in which sits, frozen-framed, Joy Division, The Smiths, and you, probably, and you, and you: “I was interested once in the arts, but I can’t remember now which ones they were.” [Old Times alternately may hinge on a premature burial, as in the line, “I remember you dead.” —Ed.] [1]
  7. Dogs injecting a little bit of razzamatazz as a flatmate’s prone body convulses under a pile of magazines and observing—as the browning liquid courses through an artery—the complete and utter transition from a fictive narrative world of text to a documentarian filmic world of the real, and muttering in complete and utter awe at the total realness of all things, “Mother, I can never come home again.”
  8. Dogs strapping on a pair of vintage racing goggles and attempting to climb into a chopped-top jalopy, only to discover Dick Dastardly and Muttley occupying the cabin, and shouting as the bobsled dips into the muddy banks of the Wishkah—thereby inadvertently signalling the start of a cross-continental road rally for the title of World’s Wackiest Racer—“Hey, wait!” and murmuring in a small voice as the now-distant figures recede into the horizon, “I’ve got a new complaint.”
  9. Dogs filling the muzzle of a massive cannon with the remaining coinage of every EU member nation’s former currency on the steps of the Louise Weiss building and pointing the loaded weapon in the direction of China, announcing, “THE EUROPEAN CANNON IS HERE.”
  10. Dogs groaning into a microphone, “They tried to make me go to rehab,” as the universe collectively dons a galactic straw hat and provides backup vocals, singing, “TO REHAB, TO REHAB, TO REHAB,” the force of which heralds the cessation of all organic lifeforms throughout the cosmos, leaving only a lone Lieutenant Commander Data adrift in the USS Enterprise, holding his head in his hands and sighing, “I just don’t understand.”

Footnote: You may imagine that the passage of time for all present has by this point independently, if confusedly, resumed.

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