Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Like any true American, I love the Office.  It arrives at gut-busting funniness through the perfect blend of relatable and off-the-wall.  Somehow along the way, these people become friends in a frighteningly real sense.  I care for them.  Watching Jim and Pam's wedding again on Netflix recently, I thought to myself, "only on this show not only do I accept this crazy nonsense, but I love it so much it makes me want to cry."

This is what brings a 30 year old man to tears.

Of course, nothing we do in this world is without consequences, good or bad.  Unintentionally, my dog Winston--who never leaves my side--has been exposed to hours of the Office and has irrevocably absorbed elements of the show.  In particular, the Michael-Toby conflict.

If you know the show, you also know the unexplicable Michael-Toby animosity that ranges between awkward and hilarious.  Winston has watched this behavior, and is mimicking with out neighbor dog: a slightly doopy brown lab named Toby.

Toby isn't neccesarily a bad guy.  He's about a year older than Winston, and much smaller.  He was Winston's best friend.  Nothing delighted him more than running over to Toby's yard to wrestle and play.  He wouldn't even come when called, I literally had to drag him away..

Thing changed slowly.  Winston grew bigger than Toby, and Toby started complaining that Winston played too rough.  Toby responded by passive-aggressively sneaking onto Winston's porch and eating his food whenever he could.  Winston lost a lot of respect for Toby, and felt that sickening disappointment that comes when we realize our heroes are not who we made them out to be.    Watching the Office, Winston suddenly related to Michael Scott as he dealt with his own Toby.  This one.

I actually like Toby.
While I take a more nuanced approach to Toby's, Winston was fed up.  He howled furiously at the door whenever Toby came by.  The days of romping happily with Toby in the sunlight and green grass were gone, forever.  Now, whenever Toby prances by preening like an oversized weiner dog, Winston raises his hackles and barks. 

A shock collar and an electric fence keep Winston in my yard, and Toby knows this.  He will go right up to the line, taunting Winston.  As Michael would say, Toby is the worst.

How Winston saw Toby before

How Winston sees Toby now

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