I have in my possession The Holy Grail. And, like Charlie's golden ticket, it is the kind of thing that one can only discover when one least expects it.
There I was, standing in an obscenely long line at the pharmacy. As my mind wandered, my eye caught sight of something strange. It was a book in the clearance bin. As I could see it, the title read, 'MEN WHO [$5.99] & THE DOGS". I stared, trying to figure out what the price sticker was covering up. Because, of course, my mind started going to all kinds of places.
Ahh, times were so simple back then (two days ago). So simple.
I reached for the book and removed the sticker. And this was what I beheld:
Sweet, sweet Lord. In case there was a question, God exists. God exists, and he is especially fond of me in particular. And by association, he probably likes you, too. But mostly me.
I flipped through this book with tears welling in my eyes, giggling and gasping at every page. I knew from the moment I read the title that this was the perfect gift to give someone. But when I opened the book I realized it wasn't a gift for someone. It was a gift...for the world.
I have been bequeathed a very real, very necessary item. And it would behoove me to share such an item with as many people as possible. Frankly, I can't think of a better way to reach the masses. So I give to you a sampling. If you'd like the entire thing, you'll have to come visit me, or buy it yourself. I highly suggest doing both. Because I'm not giving this bad boy away.
Here we go.
Are you ready?
Wait for it.....
Here we go for real. First picture.
Here is this book at its most basic: Man, sweater. Dog, matching sweater. "And, look, Barkley! Here's all the numbers I got from hot babes who love men that knit dog sweaters! Pages and pages of them!...what do you mean 'this is my mother's number written over and over again?' THAT IS NOT WHY I TAUGHT YOU TO READ."
Another great part about this book is the intro. I have this to say: Is my new dream to own a yarn/wine shop in small town Michigan? YES. ALWAYS.
This dog is such a trooper. Doing tricks in a knitted 'kerchief, and for what? A hand without a treat from a goony-looking man who is most assuredly in Dad jeans? You keep chugging along, lil guy. Don't you give up. Not on my watch.
Nothing like staring into the distance, surveying the land, and contemplating your two-level sweater.
Seriously, how ADORABLE is this picture? How adorable...and yet, how sad?
A) A man with a sleeve tattoo would absolutely knit his own socks, just as assuredly as he would wear one of those 90s hemp sweaters.
B) A man with a sleeve tattoo would rather die than be caught knitting just as assuredly as he would rather die than drive a tan Volvo.
C) I can't decide but how hilarious is it that they very clearly included the sleeve tattoo to try and make the book seem more edgy?
What? WHAT? .....WHAT?!! I can't even...I don't even...This doesn't even....
I'm sorry, but there is no chance in the history of America that this man knit himself this sweater.
I'm sorry, but there is a high probability that THIS man knit himself this sweater. And that last guy's. And every sweater in this book. Twice.
"Ha ha ha...We are laughing and we are very good friends. Good buddies sharing a special moment. Laughing and enjoying our friendship, and someday we'll look back on this with much fondness."
"Dude...why am I on a chair in the middle of the house?"
Really? Does EVERYTHING in your life need to be knitted? How about a knitted food bowl?
Emily: "Huh. This guy's not terrible-looking. I mean, despite the fact that he's wearing the Christmas sweater his great aunt made him--wait. WAIT. WHAT IS THAT DOG WEARING?"....
OH MY GOD. KNITTED. MUSCLE SHIRT. FOR YOUR DOG. When Joe finally adopts Arf Vandelay Vandely Industries, I WILL learn to knit and this WILL be my first project and it WILL be amazing.
Sir, sitting in a Jeep Wrangler with your sunglasses on your head does not make up for the fact that you KNIT YOUR DOG A MUSCLE SHIRT OUT OF MULTICOLORED YARN.
"Come on, man. Pull yourself together. You can do this tonight. You can DO THIS. You're a strong, confident, totally rad Maltese in a sweater. Why WOULDN'T she date you? Come on. Suck it up."
Boy, DO I?! Do I EVER!! (Here comes the picture in 5...4...3...2...)
I remember the time--this was after 'Nam, see--when I would go fishing. Just me and the guys, you know? We'd sit along the lake, them with their dogs, me with little Bubbles...they'd spend their time cursing over lost fish and touching unsanitary worms. But me and Bubbles? Why, we'd just sit and knit, sit and knit. All weekend long. Good thing she was in charge of carrying the extra yarn, or I don't know WHAT we would have done.
If you take away the matching hat and the dog sweater, this isn't such a terrible picture. Just a guy whose sister made him a warm scarf. But you CAN'T take away the hat and dog sweater. YOU CAN'T. And therein lies the majesty of this book.
How much money are you willing to put down that Ted would win the Most High Maintenance Gay Man Ever Award? Because I am willing to put down quite a bit.
At first, you may look at this picture and think, "Well this guy isn't so bad." True, he has that once-nerdy charm about him. But then you remember that the sweater he's wearing doesn't come from Kohl's, but from his own needle-bearing hands. And then you really take a good look at his face and you notice that it has a bit of a creepy come-hither-so-I-can-kill-you look. And that reminds you of the nice man in Grey's Anatomy who turned into a mass murderer and OH MY GOD, MIRANDA BAILEY, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE HE IS ON YOUR FLOOR RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!1
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer but you're still creepy, dude.
"You know what I need? A hat with deadlock-inspired yarn coming out from the top."
"But Gerald! That technique hasn't been invented yet! You'd be CRAZY to try that!"
"You just watch, Francine. It'll be big someday. HUGE."
"That's what she said."
"Touché, Francine. Touché."
Oh, I'm sorry. Were you guys wondering about the matching dog sweater? Well, wonder no more.
Soak it in. Soak it all in.
And finally, here is one of the two authors. I'm curious...what does tongue-in-cheek mean?