Better Than Xanax or Chocolate Covered Cherries
Let's face it, Valentine's Day is RARELY what it's cut out to be. And for some of us, it can be a cold winter night. While TV commercials hawk overpriced diamond necklaces and local drugstores overflow with boxes of chocolate, the reality of the "Big V" is a general lack of imagination and expensive, overbooked restaurants. And worse, this year the best day for sex falls on a week night. Can you say "past my bedtime?"
But there's hope. this year, the Big Red Holiday overlaps with one of the coolest annual events: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Oh man . . . NEVER has more fun and love been packed into two nights on the USA Network. Big dogs, little dogs, fluffy dogs, and nearly naked dogs. Every breed you could ever dream up will be there. I DARE you -- single or married -- NOT to fall in love with at least one of these tantalizing canine Casanovas. Those lips, those eyes, that FUR! RRRRROOOOWRR!
To prepare yourself for the big event, you can rent the movie "Best in Show" over the weekend. It's a hilarious spoof directed by Christopher Guest (and his usual cast members from "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind"). FUNNY!
Then, grab yourself TWO boxes of bon bons (one for each night), put on your favorite jammies (this is a great excuse to buy those cute pink flannel PJ bottoms covered with red hearts or the blue ones with the puppies on them), and smile, smile, smile.
Don't worry that you don't know anything about dog competitions. The perky voice of the show's long-time host will tell you EVERYTHING you could imagine including "little known facts" about the breeds. Never will you see dogs so focused. The announcers will make you think they LOVE to show off, but the truth is, they're dogs and they like food and their trainers have little pieces of sausage or chicken in their hands. If you've ever seen the deadly stare of a dog near the dinner table, you understand where they get that determination. Dogs are no fools. It's a good thing, too, because the contestants NEED to be distracted by something when the judges examine their teeth and what's under their perfectly poised tails (having your heinie checked out by strangers on national TV has gotta be rough). These dogs are true professionals.
But be prepared to have your heart broken. You can never predict the winner no matter which dog you most admire. I'm still bitter about how the (way over-poofed) Standard Poodle stole, yes STOLE the title from the adorable Cairn Terrier three years ago. But justice returned to the universe the following year when Josh, the enormous black fluffier-than-everyone Newfoundland, savored a well-deserved victory during his gallumphing vicotory lap around the ring (he could have cared less about the trophy).
As awesome as this show is, though, it could use a few "tweaks" that might boost ratings, the most obvious being that the female handlers really need stylists. There's at least ONE woman every year who feels compelled to wear white flats with dark hose and that just looks gross. C'mon ladies, working with dogs does not have to mean "dowdy." Oh My God! I just had a thought. What if we could do a crossover show with next year's "Project Runway" desigers? They're always looking for a tricky challenge. And the potential for matching doggie outfits! Oh my GA-AWD!
But the very BEST part of the dog show is that you don't need a man OR a woman to enjoy it with. You've got a Madison Square Garden FULL of "man's" and "woman"s" best friends to keep you company. And like they say, there's nothing better than a warm dog on a cold February night. Isn't it romantic?