The British are a funny race. Did anyone enquire as to the state of health of Frenchman Gerard de Nerval’s pet lobster as he walked it round Paris? Sentient? Fricasseed? Boiled even? We were content to believe that the Lobster was sufficiently adored rather than thermidored – and ignored the expert advice that it was more likely to be dead than alive based on a Lobster’s reluctance to do more than scuttle sideways on dry land, and then only when frightened to death.
Salvador Dali took his pet anteater for a trip round Paris on the metro – did it jump the barriers? Suffer from Claustrophobia? Get it’s tail caught in the escalator? We will never know – no social media to be outraged in those days.
In Japan, a childless funeral director has been inviting little girls to sit on his pet tortoise for nineteen years – ‘if you stroke it, it might pop its little head out’ – without unleashing the forum furries of #CSA.
Her gloriousness, the Queen, appeared remarkably unperturbed by the sight of one of her bushy eared ‘guards’ma’dors’ lying prone in the baking sun – was he dead or alive? Temporarily indisposed, or needing to be permanently disposed? We don’t know. He wasn’t on a lead, so presumably that’s all right then.
In Camden, a woman was walking her pet Flabrador to the vet for a second visit when it collapsed. Horrified onlookers besieged Facebook – ‘How sick’; ‘how could anybody be so cruel’ [as to take their dog back to the vet!!] They surrounded her and hurled abuse. Eventually she abandoned the corpse, and the police were called – ‘Hello, yes, we think the dog is dead, yes it is just around the corner from Dead Dog Basin‘ ‘You’ll have to do something, we are all traumatised’.
Thank you Daily Mail, but I’d really rather know if the Guardsman is alright.