DEAR POODLE: The last few weeks, I have noticed a strange quality among many of the Animals whom I’ve met on my postprandial perambulations about The Park. Their whiskers appear to be sparkling, in a rather unnatural way. My offspring call me “old-fashioned,” but I don’t understand why one would want to accentuate one’s whiskers in this manner.
What do you think of this new fashion trend? – SPARKLE-FREE AND HAPPY
DEAR SPARKLE-FREE AND HAPPY: This is one of a number of such products that have come on the market recently. Just a few years ago, you might remember, (artificially) coloured toepads were all the rage and many of us spent the Summer of 2006 sporting “peachy keen,” “pansy purple,” and “flamingo pink” toepads.
The product to which you refer is intended for the whiskered set, a group that has never been known to be fashion-forward, so I am amazed that sales of this confection have been so brisk. I am not, personally, offended by the use of sparkle or colour (though I do draw the line at pastel-coloured coats); in fact, I think this fashion trend is a fine one, as long as it’s all done in good fun and not in an attempt to “better” ourselves or, indeed, to hide the very selves that we are. What does offend me is a product (which many of you will know and about which I “otter” write in another column) whose sole application (excuse the pun) is to give one Animal the attributes of another.
As beautiful as this artificial sparkle may render us, however, we should all be mindful of that old Park adage: “The glitter of a thousand whiskers begins with a heart of gold.”
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