Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Brief Tour of My Doghouse

This one’s for the gentlemen. Ladies, you may read it if you like, but please try not to snigger too loudly. Indeed, this may be of some interest to my female readers, as they may get some ideas from it. But today’s post is really aimed at the guys. I want to give my comrades, my amigos in agony, a brief tour of my doghouse in hopes that I might get a small peek into theirs, just to compare notes. So often we only know our own doghouses and never glimpse those of others.

It so happens I’m not officially living in my doghouse right now; I’m just visiting. Perhaps this might explain my dry, dispassionate, almost professorial air. Usually I don’t arrive here of my own volition, you see. I am ordinarily delivered here against my will and thrust bodily through these two-inch thick steel doors into the reception area, only to hear the ominous, metallic clang of those impervious doors as they are emphatically shut behind me. You’ll notice as we enter that I am leaving them ajar, as they do not unlock from the inside. Please take care not to close them after you step through or we’ll be trapped for an indeterminate length of time.

Well, gentlemen, perhaps you’re impressed by the size of my doghouse? You can see from this reception area it’s quite large, isn’t it? I can tell you it’s constructed of the finest quality building materials. It’s virtually earthquake-proof, fire-proof, and flood-proof. My doghouse can withstand an atomic blast, a 50 megaton direct hit. Superman can’t save me from it because the walls are lined with kryptonite. Although you might think this vast rotunda is made of marble — which is itself strong — think again. These walls and the floor upon which you stand are made of a carbon-based substance known as castigite, which is stronger than diamond and harder than the hardest heart. I defy you to find the slightest scratch mark anywhere, although I have broken my nails upon these walls often enough. Knock on these walls anywhere to find a hollow or weak spot. You can’t, can you? And notice, mounted upon these walls at regular intervals, are unlit torches. I assure you that these torches have never been animated by the slightest spark. A single word is inscribed on all of them. You, over there, look closely at one and read what it says, nice and loud, so we all can hear. What was that again? Yes, gentlemen, each of these torches have the same word written upon them: hope — extinguished hope.

Undoubtedly the first thing you noticed as you entered was that portrait you see hanging there. It’s me, of course. Do you recognize the look of bewilderment? Come, come now, gentlemen, that expression is universal. The hands raised defensively and shoulders shrugged questioningly. The incipient signs of mounting terror in the eyes. The word, “What?” forming on the lips. The general attitude of defeat and hopelessness. Don’t pretend you can’t empathize or say you’ve never experienced this. You over there, you’re shaking just looking at it! And all around, in between the cold, never-used torches, are smaller paintings of broken men in various stages of despair, commonly depicted in some form of servitude or supplication. My wife decorated my doghouse herself, gentlemen. What do you think of her handiwork? Is it not complete? Can you not already feel the desolation? And yet we haven’t even passed through the four doors you see surrounding us. Come, let us see what’s behind door number one.

This is the Chamber of Mysteries. Why is it called that? Anyone? Yes, you over there, what was that? Very good, quite right. Because I often don’t know what it was I did. Here is where I frantically search my mind to figure out what the hell got me into the doghouse in the first place. Was it something I said? Or did? Or didn’t do? Was it something that happened years ago that has been exhumed, dusted off, and given new vitality? An ill-considered remark made at a party in 1998? Or, say, not painting the living room as quickly as I said I would in 2002? Tell me, gentlemen, what are your Chambers of Mysteries like? Do yours have medieval torture instruments like mine does? How about this iron maiden? Or the rack? Or the thumb screws? Why they’re here I don’t precisely know; perhaps my wife thinks they’ll help spur my mind and determine my offense without having it plainly spelled out for me. I have spent many, many hours in this chamber, gentlemen.

Proceeding, let’s have a look behind this next door. This is the Room of Serious Reflection. You see, once I have determined my crime, here is where I go to ponder its magnitude, to fully appreciate the unprecedented horror of my folly. Please notice the many mirrors that line the walls. Some are modern and others antique. Note the various sizes and shapes. Several magnify. They are all for me. They have been thoughtfully provided so I can gaze into them and see myself for the depraved, inconsiderate brute that I am. I admonish you not to look into them yourselves, for few have the nerve to do so without losing all self-worth. Indeed, I cannot remain in here for very long myself. Let us go, gentlemen, quickly now. Avert your eyes and leave!

This third door leads to the Cell of Penance and Self-Flagellation. I invariably arrive here shot through and through with guilt, reduced to a loathsome insect of a man, filled with remorse and contrition. Here on this hanger you may see the hair shirt I typically wear, and this is the whip I usually apply to my back until I fall whimpering to my knees. Over here to our left is a wall dominated by a huge blackboard. Let’s read it in unison, shall we? “I will never look at another woman again. I will never look at another woman again,” over and over. And notice this chalk, gentlemen. It is magical chalk — it never wears out. You can write with it forever. I can’t tell you how familiar this chalk feels in my hand.

And last, to end our tour, is the Hall of Discarded Boyfriends. My wife built this one just last year; she thought it would be good for me to review the faces of those who came before. Don’t be put off by the sight of all these mounted human heads, or of the frightening expressions on each of them. Let’s see who they are. Ah, yes. Pedro the Despicable. Felix the Inconsolable. Miguel the Contemptible. Salvador the Ignominious. Hector the Disreputable. Luis the Reprehensible. And so on. You see they seem to go on forever, don’t they? They are the poor, wretched souls who have passed through here before me. God have pity upon them

So, gentlemen, that concludes our sobering little tour — I hope you have found it educational. Please, if you feel courageous enough, invite me to your doghouse sometime. Step this way. Don’t mind the german shepherd at the door, he’s been fed. Thank you for coming. Bye bye now.

27 Comments:

Blogger Chloe said...

I was cringing the whole time. My heart goes out to you, Mr. Schprock.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous LL said...

Such a nice place, your doghouse. As a single man, mine is rather small, and not nearly as impressive as yours. I can only admire the craftmanship. And just when I thought there was some little thing that was overlooked... there it is, glaring at me as if only I'd have looked the first time...
Really, it is my own fault. I should have known better...

2:04 PM  
Blogger boo said...

what did u do this time?

12:34 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Thank you for your sympathy everyone! Mercifully I am not officially in the doghouse right now, but this can change at any instant. ll, there's a lot you can do to get your doghouse ready for when it's really needed. My wife has the entire "This Old Doghouse" series on DVD, which perhaps she can loan you. I'll bet your walls haven't been soundproofed, have they? And is it possible to escape your doghouse if you really try? You've got work to do, my friend.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Paul (rock star wanna be) said...

WOW! I want a dog house like yours. Mine is a cardboard box with my wifes voice blaring over the PA system.

10:07 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"WOW! I want a dog house like yours. Mine is a cardboard box with my wifes voice blaring over the PA system."

You probably haven't been married as long as I have.
Have patience, Paul: as the years pass, so shall your doghouse grow.

(BTW, I'm still laughing!)

1:24 PM  
Anonymous LL said...

Thank you for the offer Schprock, but I don't really spend enough time in there to justify any substantive remodeling just yet. I will keep your DVD offer (LOL!) in mind though, if and when the day comes...

4:49 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

You're lucky to have a doghouse at all Mr. Schprock. I have nowhere to hide. My wife uses the power of silence on me, to the point where I find arguing both sides of the argument just to hear someone else talk. Perhaps you could use a little extra cash and I can rent part of your doghouse. I promise not to let anyone else park in my spot!

8:53 PM  
Blogger fugusashi said...

Awesome!

Oh,no. I read the comments. Am I the only one who found this hysterically funny?

Although, in between gales of laughter, I did feel waves of guilt and remorse.

I'm printing this out for my husband to read.

8:55 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Thank you for the offer Schprock, but I don't really spend enough time in there to justify any substantive remodeling just yet."

That's what I used to think until I found myself living in a pup tent for a week. Prepare against the day, my friend.


"Perhaps you could use a little extra cash and I can rent part of your doghouse."

There are plans underway right now for a new east wing. There'll be plenty of room for everyone then. Schprock's doghouse will be the place to be!


"I'm printing this out for my husband to read."

Let him know I'm setting up a counseling hotline: 1-800-DOGHAUS.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Mrs.T said...

I can't wait for Mr.T to respond to this... :P

So what did ya do wrong? or was this just a tour?

5:48 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"So what did ya do wrong? or was this just a tour?"

Oh, just a tour, and to drop off a few things to make my next stay more comfortable. I'm having cable installed this Wednesday.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

LOL! What does her doghouse look like? Or is she never in it?

9:45 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

My uncle just built a cabin not far from his home. Oh sure, he claims it's for hanging out with the guys when he needs guy time. But I saw the locks on the windows and doors. His wife just realized he had outgrown his former doghouse. This one even has a bathtub, so he can get rid of the fleas!

9:47 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"LOL! What does her doghouse look like? Or is she never in it?"

My wife doesn't have a doghouse. She has a penthouse.


"His wife just realized he had outgrown his former doghouse."

My wife's pretty good about keeping my doghouse the right size and up-to-date. Last summer she wired the place for sound and video. Next summer she's planning some "interesting improvements inspired by the Patriot Act." I wonder what she means?

10:06 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I used to know a guy from South Africa named Gavin. When his wife was displeased with him, he would say, "This be it boys, she's puttin' me in the dogbox." He didn't seem too down ever, so made his was comfortable.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous LL said...

You know Schprock... I was going to take your advice and prepare against the day, but then I realized, no matter what I built, or how well that I accessorized the interior, it would be wrong... So I've decided just to wait and let the future Lady Loser start from scratch so that it'll be done right the first time. No sense wasting resources.

6:15 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"This be it boys, she's puttin' me in the dogbox."

I am going to remember that. That's perfect.



"So I've decided just to wait and let the future Lady Loser start from scratch so that it'll be done right the first time. No sense wasting resources."

Well, OK, but it won't hurt to have a few back issues of "Modern Doghouse" handy to give her something to start with. I like this month's cover story: "Say It with Guilt!"

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Dreadmouse said...

See, I don't have a doghouse.

Have you guys ever wondered where all the dogs go? You get tossed into their houses for a while and they have to go somewhere, right?

I'll tell you where they all go. Dragging a blanket and their favourite bone behind them, they slouch their way to my wife's dogpit, growling softly to themselves as they go.

They wait for me there. Come the day (and it always comes, sooner or later) when I screw up, I get thrown into the pit where I'm immediately savaged by a group of extremely grumpy evicted hounds. I don't have time for guilt; I'm too busy running for my life.

8:56 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

Okay, just when I thought this couldn't be any funnier I read this: Next summer she's planning some "interesting improvements inspired by the Patriot Act." I wonder what she means?
Hilarious!
Dean (my pseudo-husband) has a doghouse that I think has actually shrunken over time. He knows what gets him in the doghouse and almost before he can get there he lays down offerings of chocolates and fine wine. I've realized over the years that it takes more energy to keep a man in the doghouse than to just understand that most of the time they have no idea what the heck they're doing and they're idiotic maneuvers can often be ignored.
BTW- not to knitpick, but there is a substance tougher than diamond and stronger than steel. It too is a form of carbon: carbon nanotubes to be exact. Maybe I'll tell your wife and your next doghouse can be re-enforced with them.

12:53 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Have you guys ever wondered where all the dogs go? You get tossed into their houses for a while and they have to go somewhere, right?"

I think the dogs get my side of the bed!


"BTW- not to knitpick, but there is a substance tougher than diamond and stronger than steel. It too is a form of carbon: carbon nanotubes to be exact. Maybe I'll tell your wife and your next doghouse can be re-enforced with them."

Where's the delete button on this thing? *#$@*&%#!!!!!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I just gotta know - do these come in women's sizes too? Or what about unisex, seeing as how both of us have spent our fair amount of time in the dog house over the years....

Great writing though - you've got me hooked

8:43 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I just gotta know - do these come in women's sizes too?"

That's an interesting question. If a man tries to build a woman a doghouse, won't that very act get him into his doghouse? So how can he build a doghouse if he's trapped in one himself? It's sort of like the sound of one hand clapping, or the tree falling in the forest making a sound if there's no one there to hear it. This is deep.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

But, my dear Schprock, that very statement makes the paternalistic assumption that a man would build it for a woman.

There are plenty of us who have spent our fair share of time out of favor. Not all penthouses are as exquisitely adorned as your Missus', and from time to time, they could use some renovating...done of our own volition and not of a man's...

1:24 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Wait! Are you saying the woman would willingly build her own doghouse?

Deep and deeper still. That is heavy.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I'm saying that Woman, if exiled to a home not normally her own, wants it adorned as though it were indeed her home of homes. Therefore, on those rare occasions when we do need an escape from our regular life and choose the wrong way to go about taking that vacation, we would simply enjoy a well-decorated place to lay our head...and dance in front of the hidden cameras in ways that would make Man come and unlock the doors immediately ;)

5:23 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"...and dance in front of the hidden cameras in ways that would make Man come and unlock the doors immediately ;)"

Or Man might think: while Woman's dancing away in her doghouse, I've got the penthouse to myself! That means I can walk around in my underwear, watch any TV channel I want and stock the refrigerator with beer and bratwurst! Woo hoo!

5:05 AM  

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