Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday 28 November 2008

Advent Calendars For Dogs...

..and cats are being sold in a local pet shop, according to a sign outside.

Now, I checked in the dictionary, and Advent is defined as 'the season before the Nativity'. The idea of a calendar to count down the days until the birth of Jesus has already been secularised to a startling extent by Disney and Spice Girl versions and we have reached a stage where a child is likely to feel short-changed if the windows don't contain chocolate, but an advent calendar for pets takes it to a whole new level.

Only the most blindly devoted anthropomorphist could maintain that a dog or cat has any understanding of the concept involved so we must assume that, far from a demonstration of the intelligence of pets, these calendars are a manifestation of the besottedness of owners - unless, of course, you are buying one in a delightfully post-modernist ironic way*.

Counting the days until the arrival of presents rather than the earthly manifestation of Christianity's supreme being did, of course, greatly increase the potential market for advent calendars beyond the actively religious (and the chocolate must have helped) but it has yet to be seen whether manufacturers will beat the credit crunch by tapping into an as yet unexploited market.

*It's one of those irregular verbs; I make a post-modernist ironic purchase, you have more money than sense, he is just a vulgar idiot.

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