You remember that bygone, misfit TGIF sitcom Dinosaurs, right? It should stand out because it was performed by people in dinosaur suits instead of people not in dinosaur suits. Hmm? What’s that? No, you’re thinking of Boy Meets World. This is Dinosaurs, a show that I can’t believe actually aired as long as it did, much less on the most mainstream night of TV that ABC ever slapped together. Weird though it was, the show offered some interesting cultural criticism. In one episode, family patriarch Earl became the head of a TV network, for some reason, and made shows so blandly appealing that they began to make viewers incredibly stupid — terrible things like The Happy Colors Show, which featured squares that would flash different shades, or Box Full of Puppies, which featured just that: squirming, yipping baby dogs. It’s hard to argue against the inherent entertainment value.
I experienced the Box Full of Puppies phenomenon this weekend. In a harmonic convergence the likes of which have previously inspired astrologers of yore and The 5th Dimension, I happened to be at my parents’ house while my cousins were watching over not one but nine Border Collie puppies. If you know me at all, you would understand that this amounts to heaven, or at least as close as I’ll ever get in this life. Of course, the puppies instantly reduced me to a googooing idiot who was entertained by their mere raising of single paw. And they raised their paws several times, at least. Total permagrin. I can’t tell if the experience made me stupider or not, but I suppose the new stupid me might not be able to appreciate the lowered intelligence. I guess for the moment we’ll have to assume the Dinosaur writers were not, in fact, prophets, though I think the Pet Channel actually now airs a show that’s not all that unlike Box Full of Puppies.
So I say we should do an experiment. I took some photos of all nine of the puppies — though I was rarely fortunate enough to get all of them in one frame — and I’d like you all to take a look and tell me if you feel stupider.
And if that weren’t enough, the cousins — whose house has always been a sort of dog playground — now own a four-month-old Irish Water Spaniel, who’s equally wonderful and kind of resembles the singing dog from those Nestle’s commercials. (I know, I know — this post is weirdly heavy on puppet references.)
Finally, here’s one of the dog I spent the most time with. He’s not a puppy, but that only means he’s able to fit more love inside him. Also, I have to give him credit: He has years of experience being a Border Collie that the puppies just can’t compete with.
So, stupider yet?