It was my dog’s birthday this week. A sentence, and concept, that only exists in places where all the essential needs of a population are pretty much covered. It is very much an idea that lives in a world where people celebrate uninspiring holidays such as ‘International Lefthanders Day’ or get furiously upset at the final episodes of TV shows.
These are the things that only people who don’t have to worry about survival contemplate.
I mean, I haven’t done the research, but I would guess that there are exactly ZERO people running around places where they are desperate for clean drinking water that are worried about their sausage dogs birthday.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my dog. I love animals. I’m an actual vegan. But the very idea of a dog’s birthday is insane to me. It’s just another way that businesses have found to exploit love, and now, in the same way that I have to panic buy a gift for my girlfriend for Valentines day, I’m now expected to schedule in yet another bill to show my toy poodle that I love her.
For this reason, you can imagine my response this week when my girlfriend reminded me that it was our dog’s birthday and that we should spoil her.
The day before the ‘big day’ arrived my girlfriend visited some specialist shop that sold items to pathetic people like us. She promptly called me, detailing all the goods on offer, with an excitement in her voice that I desperately tried not to extinguish.
And by, ‘desperately’, I mean, ‘for about 3 seconds.’
Girlfriend: We could get her a new dog toy?
Me: We could.
Girlfriend: They have DOG PROSECCO!
Me: Oh right.
Girlfriend: THERE’S AN ACTUAL DOG SHIRT THAT SAYS, ‘BIRTHDAY GIRL’ ON IT!
Me: How about you find a shirt with the words, ‘Remember when people used to have real jobs that met a need and capitalism wasn’t spewing out pointless merchandise for a vapid society that knows it’s days are numbered?’
At this point the phone went down and she bought a cupcake for £2.99. A compromise I was quite happy with.
I mean, fucking dog prosecco!? Has there ever been a more apt product for our times? A product that simultaneously shows how successful and utterly failing our society has become. The fact we design a product like this shows that we have elevated ourselves to a point where a large section of society live in relative comfort and no longer have to worry about the basics. But equally, there are actual human beings out there so lonely and devoid of human connection that they’re at a point where they want to share a pretend alcoholic drink with a member of another species.
On the morning of her birthday, before my girlfriend left for work, she instructed me to get up and wish her a happy birthday. Now, as a rational human being with no desire to do this, I flat out refused and stated that I would play no part in this pointless charade. There is no way that I would participate in what is essentially another way of human beings desperately trying to feel alive. Another way of giving this revolving sphere we call Earth meaning.
Fast forward 30 minutes and I found myself sat in front of my canine giving the most half hearted rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ out of some bizarre sense of duty. I then spent the rest of the day putting the word ‘birthday’ in front of all mundane daily tasks like the spineless moron I am. We went on a great ‘birthday walk’, enjoyed ‘birthday breakfast’ and then shared a relaxing afternoon on the couch where we had a ‘birthday cry at how quickly I sell out my beliefs for an easy life.’
I also have a pet tortoise who turns two in August. That gives me just five months to find the perfect gift for an animal that prefers leafy salads to me.
Wish me luck.