I could tell Franny was ready for a serious discussion by the way she braced herself against my chest, leaned into my face, and stared meaningfully into my eyes.
“What is it?” I asked, reluctantly putting aside my book. I ran down a list of possible Franny concerns: Franny food, Franny blanket, Franny toy or chewy, some squirrel outside shrieking in a decibel only she could hear, maybe even that annoying helicopter whupping in the distance, but none seemed to get her tail wagging. “OK, what then?” I couldn’t imagine what she had on her mind. Of course I couldn’t, because it turned out she was having grave doubts about her Buttbook page.
It took a moment (the kind of moment you would have if you were at the zoo and a monkey asked you for a date) but I finally recalled a discussion the Wieners had a couple of years ago concerning Facebook, or, as Franny named it with dead-on Wiener logic, “Buttbook”. Apparently Franny had been paying attention to the National Security Agency eavesdropping scandal, unlike Moi, and was concerned that her Buttbook page may have elicited the attention of the AUTHORITIES (her caps). I started to tell her I never did set up a Buttbook page for her, but then I decided, in the interest of Discovering Wienerness (my hobby since I got Franny) that I’d wait and see where this was going.
She then patiently explained that she was worried that the AUTHORITIES (and here I began to suspect that our Fran was slightly titillated by the idea of all-powerful authorities paying her any attention at all, that she may have envisioned them as muscular and long in the loin, like Fritz)…the AUTHORITIES may have misconstrued some comments she made about Homeland Security.
“Please, tell me more” I encouraged, trying not to smile. She looked at me reproachfully, sensing I was not taking her seriously. I closed my eyes and sighed. She then continued her story. Apparently she had commented to her Buttbook friend Herr Klaus,a German Shepherd mix, that Homeland Security should just fire all the humans and hire Shepherds, that people in lines would be happier and more accustomed to a dog’s nose up their crotch than a stranger’s hand. “And what was wrong with saying that?” I asked, a little impatiently, as my novel was beckoning. She rolled her eyes. It was obvious: Herr Klaus’s father “Zev” was a half German Shepard, half Canaan wild dog, and HE was Buttbook friends with Bashiri, a Palestinian cur that he had taken up with at the border wall in his neighborhood. “So?” I asked, already bored to tears. Franny gave me the Wiener equivalent of a look of superior intelligence.
But the Palestinian girlfriend, she explained carefully, knows Alette, a Papillon that is pedigreed all the way back to the Shah of Iran’s wife’s sister. And SHE Buttbooks with several Salukis, Basenjis and a one-eyed Afghan named Omar who are all owned by a Saudi Prince. AND….she stopped me from interrupting with a paw to my lips… AND, the Saudi Prince’s daughter has a Dachshund named Fatima whose mother Nasira was one of a litter given to Osama Bin Laden’s oldest grandson. And guess who has been missing for a couple of years? They think she was at the Bin Laden compound when the Navy Seals raided it. The word on Buttbook is she bit one of the Seals. In the butt. Which is why it’s such a sensation.
“That would be about right”, I remember muttering. “But, Franny”, I said reassuringly, “the NSA would not have the slightest interest in that even if I had set up a Facebook..Er, Buttbook page for you.” I picked up my book, dismissing the whole wild story. After all, there was no Buttbook page…was there? Mentally castigating myself for even listening to a Dachshund with issues of granduer, I flipped open my IPad and tapped the little f. I scrolled though my list of friends. Nothing, nothing, nothing…and then I saw them: Herr Klaus, Fatima, Omar, Alette, Nadia, Barack, Grisette, Jamaal, Nasira, Al-Shama, Osama, Zoser, Mohammed, Achli, Abira, Hussein, Nasira, Ali, Anonymous(?)…there must have been hundreds of them! Why hadn’t I noticed them before? But then I remembered I had recently become overwhelmed by all the ads, the friends of friends of friends posting a continual onslaught of cute animal videos, Peta updates, petitions for this and that, political outrages, blog posts, Pinterest feeds, photos of everybody’s kids, grandkids…. Christ, it was like the whole world was Facebooking the minutia of their lives…like I didn’t own enough of my own….and I just stopped reading it.
I turned around looking for Franny. She had disappeared. Somewhere in my subconscious I registered the WHUP WHUP WHUP of a helicopter getting a lot louder. I left off searching the living room and went into the kitchen where the dogs usually slept when they weren’t taking over our bed or the couch. Suddenly the sound of the helicopter filled the entire house, the gale from its blades shaking the windows, it’s roar competing with the ear-splitting vocalizations of 6 terrified Wieners. I finally spied Franny quivering in her Franny nest just as the front door crashed in and a wave of men in NSA black poured through. I looked at Franny. She looked at me. She looked almost apologetic. OK, more likely wondering if all the cookies would leave with me. I had another monkey-asked-me-for-a-date moment, and then they hauled me away.