I want to be a spiritual Guru, or maybe a Dog Psychotherapist. I reckon I’d be good at that. Not in Ireland of course, they’d feck me out the door as soon as look at me. But there are places I’ve heard of in ancient myths. Places like California where coffee has more adjectives than I’ve had hot dinners and where people have more money than sense. Sorry my Californian friends, not you personally of course … but you know your woman down the road? Yes you do. We’ve all seen her on the telly.
It’s the bulls**t you see. I’d be good at that. All I’d need is a nice pad with a leafy garden, an office that looks homely but with a big oak desk and a fake diploma on the wall from the school of doggy development in Massachusetts. I’d have a comfy waiting room with Oprah on the telly. Lots of cushions and tea in an expensive tea-set served by a charming British man named Clive.
“Come in” I’d say like a spider to the fly and my clients, (mostly slightly older women with too much money and very small dogs is the plan – or perhaps slightly insecure gay men with too much Botox in their face and odd looking hair transplants that clearly cost them thousands) would follow me as I lay the flirtation on thick and I might even adjust my natural Irish accent to add a more Maureen O’ Hara lilt, but with a deeper voice obviously.
“Sure ‘tis yourself, and aren’t you lookin’ like a young Jean Harlow today. What have you done with your hair, it’s to die for?” There’d be small talk a plenty, Clive would discretely throw a sneaky smile in her direction and while she might blush despite her age, I’d pretend not to notice his indiscretion.
Eventually we’d get to Poochy or whatever the little creature is called and I’d listen attentively as the client would tell me all about it. Ah yes, a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, 800 dollars an hour at least. Eventually Id’ leave her to Clive, who would flirt less openly, but he’d know what he was doing and I’d take Poochy to the inner sanctum. Once there, I’d open my top drawer and produce the finest selection of chicken pieces a doggy could dream about. Within minutes, I’d be Poochy’s best friend.
We’d spend a half hour together, Poochy attentively sitting by my side being fed sporadic delicacies while I read the newspapers. Perhaps I might teach the little prince or princess a few tricks to perform on cue for the owner, to demonstrate the bond we had formed once back in our luxurious waiting room.
“Ah sure isn’t she a little treasure?” I’d begin. “Such an intelligent creature” I would tell the proud surrogate parent. “Clearly she lives in a house filled with love.”
Eventually I’d move through stage one of the flannel and put on my serious face and like a fake medium searching for a name in the ether (Someone whose name begins with J is trying to come through…), I would begin to fish for truths to feed back to the patsy…I mean client. “I sense there has been a change at home” or maybe “ Is there someone or something new in her life.” Eventually I would have to offer an early diagnosis (though not definitive – never definitive for we need the client to return). Something like – “She is suffering from post-projective non-sequential traumatic, canine stress disorder.”
“Oh my word.” they might say. “Is it serious?” The disorder may change but the answer is always the same. “It can be my darlin’ (Too-ra- loo- ra-loo-ra) but sure haven’t we caught it in time and together we can work to help her through this.” I’d take her hand to comfort her through the news then step away to my desk to arrange the next appointment. “
Eating out of my hand they’d be, to be sure to be sure to be sure. But wait! I hear you. A fraud you say? Taking advantage of the lonely, needy, less fortunate, rich Californian widows you say? Well let me tell you in plain and simple English, all I’d be doing is synergistically facilitating best of breed quality vectors! There is no Bulls*it with me.
Perhaps I’ve missed my calling. The problem is that all the things that would make me super rich, involve taking advantage of others. If I’d have gone into the priesthood, I’d have wangled my way to at least bishop and I guarantee you it wouldn’t be in some third world despot run, tropical hell hole where I’d have to allow my conscience to dictate that I’d have to actually help people! Oh no. I’d be in some big posh cathedral, having my ring kissed if you pardon the French, being driven around in a limo, meeting other dignitaries and handing out graces.
But you see that’d be no better than my dog whispering. Some people say I should have been an actor but I’d only be a good actor not a great one, not the best, and I am such a competitive fecker that if I wasn’t picking up Oscars every five minutes then I would be a disappointment to myself.
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, a pilot, a lawyer or a scuba diver. I wasn’t quite sure how the job of a scuba diver actually worked but I knew it involved killing sharks with a spear gun and finding buried treasure in sunken wrecks so…Cool!
I flirted with the notion of Law in my teenage years but circumstance prevailed and that never came about, perhaps that’s a good thing, I’m pompous enough as it is. How I ended up where I am today is beyond me. There’s a line in an old Don Mc Clean song (yes Don Mc Clean) that goes,
“I could have been most anything I put my mind to be, but a cowboy’s life’s the only one for me.”
That was really what I wanted to be. Of course being a cowboy when I was seven, was less about any actually work with cattle and more to do with shootin’ injuns on piebald ponies and having gun fights in saloons but to be fair, I might have considered lassoing the odd steer if that counts.
I guess to some extent I’ve always felt like a fraud. I still feel like I should be riding horses way out west in the 1800’s or deep sea diving off the coast of Tobago looking for Doubloons. Instead I have managed to convince a whole variety of people throughout my life that I know what I’m doing. Maybe I am a just a damn fine actor after all? At least with my writing I get to tell the truth – even if I do make up…
Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
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