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The Ultimate Question

About two weeks ago, I took a pre-qualification survey from my local market research company that asked me about my pets–how many I had, what I fed them, how old they were, etc. Then, the survey specifically honed in on my dogs. It wanted to know if I fed them dry food and how often they are fed dry food. Seeing as, besides Vienna sausages when they need to take medicine, all they eat is dry food, I easily qualified for the survey.

At the end of the survey, it also said that I may need to bring my dog(s) into the office, which I thought was pretty cool. Alice loves going for a ride and meeting new people.

A week later, I got a reminder e-mail that had highlighted in yellow DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG(S) TO THIS STUDY. Which, honestly, is probably for the best because if I had to bring Nova, too, handling the two of them is hard enough when we’re just going for a walk and meet another dog, let alone to a place with many other animals. I did feel a little sorry for Alice because ZOMGPEOPLEAREHERFAVORITETHING.

Once I got to the research center, I was directed around the corner from the main reception area to a secondary reception area just for people participating in the PET STUDY.

The receptionist gave me another, abbreviated version of the survey I had already taken and informed me that it had been Nova that qualified me for the study. I had to answer the first two questions about myself (age and gender), then answer the rest of the questions about Nova. I glanced at the check-in sheet that she had and it had Nova’s name printed on it. Every other qualified person had their dog’s name printed next to their name on the receptionist’s list.

As she checked in the several people that came in after me, she laughed a little because there were two Rustys, then three Hersheys all in a row.

The questions on the new survey were pretty much a rehash of the ones from before–do you have dogs, do you feed them dry food, how often do you feed them dry food? I filled it out and gave it back to another lady who verified that I did, in fact, have a dog that eats dry food and that I am one of the ones who feeds it to him.

I went back to my seat and opened my book (The Book Thief, if you’re curious). A heavyset woman across from me was telling a lady with perfectly coiffed hair about her two dogs and how she has to feed them two different foods because one’s an adult and one’s a puppy.

Managed to get a few sentences read before a Latino man who looked to be in his mid-forties sat down next to me. A few sentences after that, he turned to me and asked the single most awesome question that could have been asked considering where we were.

“So,” he said completely seriously, “do you have a dog?”

“Yes,” I said, continuing to look into the pages of my book and trying as hard as I could not to laugh.

The voice of the Comic Book Man echoed through my head saying, “Worst. Pickup line. Ever.”

Now, okay, I’ll admit that he probably wasn’t trying to pick me up and he was probably just trying to make conversation, but in a room full of people who obviously have dogs otherwise they would not be in this room, the best he could come up with was “So, do you have a dog?”

That’s the kind of irony that keeps me giggling for days.

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