Saturday, August 2, 2008

When You Think of It That Way . . .

Last night I was enjoying what will be one of the final evenings on my front porch with the friend who's really taught me the most about appreciating a good cigar. It was one of those windless nights after a sweltering day, but it was cool enough to be comfortable. He usually brings along whatever book he's enjoying at the moment. These days, one of the three books I'm reading (always at least that many at once) is The Art of Racing in the Rain, a recommendation I got from the same friend about a month ago when we met for breakfast.

Last night, he brought along Merle's Door, another book centered on dogs (The Art of Racing in the Rain is narrated by a dog). When I asked how he learned of Merle's Door, he replied that he'd read about it in Bark, "my dog magazine."

"Let me get this straight: You don't own a dog, but you subscribe to a dog magazine?"

Without even a blush, he nodded and said, "Yeah."

Then I thought about it for a second. I remembered that there were plenty of months in college and immediately after that I'd not had a girl friend, or even the prospect of a date. Yet, the entire time, my best friend and I made a birthday tradition of giving one another subscriptions to Hugh Hefner's monthly celebration of "the girl next door." I said as much to my friend, and then said, "So, when you think of it that way, I guess if you love dogs there's really nothing odd about subscribing to a dog magazine even when you can't claim the daily companionship of one."

That said though, as my friend is just beginning what promises to be a contentious divorce, I will worry about him if he subscribes to Modern Bride any time soon.