Why Aren’t You Like the Humans on TV? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human, QUESTION!

Me:        No need to yell.

Stella:    I am not yelling. I simply have a big mouth. Get used to it. Why don’t you act like the humans on that Picture Box you call TV?

Me:        For one thing, those are mostly actors and actresses. And advertising people who are selling stuff. And politicians. And news reporters.

Stella:    Okay, so everybody is putting on a show. Got it. Why can’t you act more like them?

Me:        You like what you see in humans on TV?

Stella:    They smile a lot.

Me:        You want me to smile more. Like this?

Stella:    Ew, no! Stop smiling!

Me:        Aw, you don’t like my smile.

Stella:    It looks phony. I want you to smile like those TV people.

Me:        And you think their smiles are less phony than mine. Okay. What else do the TV humans do that I don’t?

Stella:    They tell jokes all the time and lots of invisible people laugh.

Me:        Those invisible people are either a studio audience or taped laughter.

Stella:    Yes. Exactly. That’s how our house should be. Lots of laughing all the time. Bulldogs are hilarious. You should be hilarious, too.

Me:        That might be too much hilarity.

Stella:    No. Just be funny and get some of those invisible people in here to laugh.

Me:        What else?

Stella:    We can turn the humans on TV off any time we want to.

Me:        So, you want me to…

Stella:    Turn yourself off from time to time.

Me:        Oh, thanks.

Stella:    You have been staying up later and later which means that we have been staying up later and later. Turn off the Picture Box, the big one and the little one you carry around, and turn yourself off. Go to bed so I can turn myself off and go to bed. Then you will be a true TV human. You push that button and turn them off so they all go to sleep.

Me:        Actually, pushing that button just turns the TV off. The people aren’t affected.

Stella:    You mean they keep on moving around inside that dark box, stumbling into each other, and are never allowed to sleep? NO!

Me:        Don’t freak out, Stella! That is not what happens. The TV people are not in the Picture Box, ever.

Stella:    Are you sure? Maybe we should open it up and see.

Me:        Trust me.

Stella:    Like we trust the people on TV? Sure thing.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

High Maintenance Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges! Hello! Bulldogs are told all the time how much more of everything we are – more work, more health issues, more wrinkly, more stubborn, and most importantly, more love. But humans are mistaken. Humans are high maintenance.

Me:        How so?

Stella:    Where are you going?

Me:        How do you know I am going anywhere?

Stella:    Simple. What are you wearing on your top part?

Me:        A blouse with a T-shirt.

Stella:    Why do you need 2 shirts? You only wear 2 shirts when you are going out. What do I wear when I am going out? Nothing! Humans are high maintenance. Dogs are easy.

Me:        I don’t see how my shirts make me high maintenance…

Stella:    And what do you have on your feet?

Me:        Shoes. Just casual shoes.

Stella:    Casual shoes today. Fancy shoes tomorrow. Shoes with heels. Shoes without heels. Black shoes, brown shoes, gray shoes. Those are just the ones I have seen. And what do I have on my feet? Nothing! Low maintenance.

Me:        Hey, I’m just living life.

Stella:    High maintenance human life. We are easy by comparison. Like the way you all eat. What are those metal things you hold in your hands and stab your food with?

Me:        Knives and forks?

Stella:    Why? You have paws, don’t you? And long, long toes on the ends of your arms that you pick stuff up with. You have mouths. Why don’t you eat like us? Then you won’t have to spend so much time and water washing those metal stabby things.

We have water bowls. You have all shapes and sizes of bowls you drink from. Little ones. Big ones. Skinny ones. Get one water bowl and drink all your weird drinks out of it. Low maintenance.

And then there are all these things sitting around that you stare at – the Picture Box, the little box you carry in your hand and talk into, the stuff that Moon the Cat knocks off the piano, the piano…

Me:        Okay, I get it. Humans are high maintenance, maybe even higher than bulldogs.

Stella:    Good, now that we agree, go get me my toys – all of them, not just the new ones – oh, and wipe out my water bowl again. A piece of dust blew into it. And my vitamins, I need my vitamins. Oh, and bring me both kinds of treats, not just the one you got at the healthy place. While you’re at it, straighten out my cushion. I bunched it up too much and be sure to refill my food bowl before bedtime. I like my midnight snacks.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

The Horrifying Inventions of Humans – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I am Illustrious and Noble. They are not.

Snoopey: I heard that!

Tiger:     So did I!

Me:        If I were you, Stella, I’d go light on the comparisons.

Stella:    I am telling the truth and nothing but the truth.

Me:        Well, truth and opinion can get twisted up and truth can sting so…

Stella:    AAAAGGHHH! Don’t look! It’s back!

Me:        What? Where?

Stella:    The Picture Box! Look! No, don’t look!

Me:        It’s just in menu mode for recordings. A bunch of lines – blue, black, and white. Some words. No zombies.

Stella:    It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Take it away!

Me:        Okay, click and click. There! It’s gone. But why does it scare you? It is literally only lines and words.

Stella:    Lines like bars. And words! I can’t read, Lady Human! Are the words evil? What do the words say?

Me:        You don’t have to be afraid. The words aren’t evil. They are listings for shows. They won’t hurt you and the lines are not real bars. They are images on a screen.

Stella:    Horrible. Horrible. Why do humans make horrible things?

Me:        I would have thought that zombies would be scarier.

Stella:    At least zombies look like ugly, hideous humans. Humans I am used to, even ugly ones.

Me:        I still don’t understand why lines and words on a screen cause you to cringe.

Stella:    Can you explain your fears? Why do some things frighten you but are of no matter to others?

Me:        What can I do to help?

Stella:    Simple. Turn the frickin’ Picture Box off.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Movie Dogs, Please! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! It has become harder and harder to take an uninterrupted nap around here. Is that too much to ask? I only sleep 18 hours a day…well, maybe 20, and some of that is at night. I can’t get by on less. I need my beauty sleep.

Me:        You can tell time? And I haven’t noticed any nap disruptions.

Stella:    What about last night when Tall Man was working on one of his silly human projects?

Me:        He works late. He has to finish things when he can. And human projects aren’t silly.

Stella:    All human projects are silly unless they have to do with me. Then there is Miss Sweetie, slinging her chew toys around with all their clunkety clunking.

Me:        She loves those toys and besides, her play calms her down so she can sleep.

Stella:    Then there is you.

Me:        Me? I am keeping you from napping?

Stella:    You and your Picture Box.

Me:        I can turn the sound down.

Stella:    It is not most of the sounds. It is one sound. The sound of dogs.

Me:        I would think that you would like to see more dogs on television.

Stella:    See, yes; hear, no. Permit me to say that having dogs show up at random times in movies is ridiculous.

Me:        Why?

Stella:    Have you ever listened to them?

Me:        Yeah, they’re usually barking.

Stella:    Empty noise. They never know their lines. It’s all “What do we do now?” and “What did he say?” and “I’m hungry. Where are the treats? There were treats at rehearsal.”

Me:        It just sounds like barking to me.

Stella:    The movie people need to get a translator.

Me:        I don’t think there are dog translators. Yet.

Stella:    Well then, the movie dogs need their own queen.

Me:        Director.

Stella:    Directors are higher than queens?

Me:        On movie sets, they are.

Stella:    Very well. If I must, in addition to being queen, I will now be Dog Director. Here is my direction. SHUT UP! I need to sleep. Good night.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Promise Me or I’ll Scream – Conversations with Stella

This is Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Please allow me to begin this conversation with a SCREAM!!! AAAAAGGGHHHHEEEEEEE!!!

Me:        Ow, Stella! What was that? It hurt my ears!

Stella:    WHERE DID YOU GO?

Me:        Stella, stop yelling! I went to the store, that’s all. I was only gone for an hour.

Stella:    Only an hour from hell!

Me:        But there’s nothing wrong. Everything seems fine. Everyone is here. No one is hurt and no one else is screaming. Why are you so upset?

Stella:    The Picture Box! Look at the Picture Box!

Me:        The television? I’m looking. It’s all right.

Stella:    All right? All right? Look at the humans running! Hear them screaming! They are being chased by a…GIANT LIZARD! You never told me that there were GIANT LIZARDS! Why? Why are there such things?

Me:        It’s all right, Stella.

Stella:    No, no it’s not! Why isn’t someone helping those poor humans?

Me:        It is not a news program. It is a movie. It’s entertainment.

Stella:    Humans think that giant lizards chasing and eating people is entertainment? Think again!

Me:        It’s all make-believe, made up stuff. It’s not real.

Stella:    You mean that there never have been any giant lizards?

Me:        Well, actually there were…

Stella:    NO! Horrible!

Me:        Calm down. They haven’t been around for a long, long time.

Stella:    Do you promise me that there are no giant lizards now?

Me:        It depends on your definition of ‘giant’. There are some lizards that are your size.

Stella:    Life is a nightmare.

Me:        No, it isn’t. In all your time on Earth, have you ever seen a lizard anywhere near your size?

Stella:    Hmmm. No. Just little guys like that green talking one that keeps showing up on the Picture Box. He’s okay.

Me:        So admit it. Life is not a nightmare.

Stella:    I will reserve judgment for now.

Me:        What can I do to make this all better for you?

Stella:    I can’t tell the difference between your human make-believe and your human news programs.

Me:        Neither can I.

Stella:    Pledge to me that you will not leave the Picture Box on when you go to the store or anyplace else.

Me:        All right. I pledge that I will not leave the television on when I leave the house. Subject to the following exceptions: I may forget, I may not be able to turn it off, someone else may turn it on, you may turn it on, I may not want to turn it off.

Stella:    That does not sound like a pledge.

Me:        The meaning of the word ‘pledge’ has weakened considerably over the years.

Stella:    So humans no longer make real pledges?

Me:        Of course they do. It all depends on who the person is who is making the pledge. And on who is receiving it.

Stella:    But you still promise that there are no more giant lizards, right?

Me:        Hmmm.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Stella’s Blog – Quick! Hide the Food!

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, here to pass along a warning to all humans who need to eat food.

(Transcriptionist: That would be every human, just as it would be every dog.)

Once again, my transcriptionist has interrupted my blog. How would one of your human Big Barkers on television feel about that, if you interrupted them as much as you interrupt me?

(Transcriptionist: Maybe some Big Barkers on television should be interrupted. It might help them think things through before they bark.)

I will be happy to do that for them sometime, but right now I want to blog. As I was saying before I was interrupted, food is important to all of us and you must warned against leaving your food unguarded. Tiger, Wiggles, and Snoopey will steal it if given half a chance.

(Transcriptionist: Now I must interrupt. The only place that Tiger, Wiggles, or Snoopey would even have the opportunity to steal food is in our house or yard. No one else is in danger of losing anything to them.)

What if they go walking with you or Tall Man? What if a visitor comes in with a big bread and meat chunk in his hand?

(Transcriptionist: A sandwich?)

Is that the thing with delicious meat hiding between two bread pieces that sometimes has grass and slimy but mouth-watering yellow and red goop on the meat and the humans carry it in their hands and shove it into their mouths without sharing?

(Transcriptionist: Not grass – lettuce. Not yellow and red goop – mustard and ketchup. Yes, that is a sandwich and we do not have to share. Some of that stuff may not even be good for a dog.)

I shall be the judge of that.

(Transcriptionist: Nope.)

My warning stands. If you see Tiger, Wiggles, or Snoopey anywhere near your food, humans, HIDE IT FROM THEM IMMEDIATELY! They will snatch it whether you are looking or not. They will not ask permission. Suddenly, it will just be gone and all you will see is lip-licking. Then it will be too late, and you will be sorry that your delicious food ended up in their mouths. They may not say “thank you” either. That is just how rude they are.

 (Transcriptionist: Have you ever snatched human food?

Mwahhh.  I respect human plates. But remember the time that you had your plate on your lap and Snoopey ran and jumped on you and knocked it off and it went all over the floor! That was so funny… rude but funny… okay, just rude. The next time that happens, you can let me clean it up for you. It would be my pleasure.

 Farewell, humans. Thank you for your kind attention to this public service announcement.

 Signed, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.