Chester, the Dog with Issues, Becomes a Media Star

dogThere are three things a prudent man should never own: a pickup truck, a pole shed and a satellite television receiver.

As any pickup owner can attest, you get these calls.

“Say…. we’re moving this weekend, could we borrow your truck? Oh yeah, we could use an extra hand too.”

And as any pole shed owner can relate, you get these calls.

“Hey, we were moving but the new house isn’t ready, can we store our stuff in your shed?  By the way, are you using your pickup next weekend?”

There is something about both pickups and pole sheds that declare themselves communal property.

The same with satellite television – but I think I am the only one in the world who gets calls like this:

“Hey, is it okay if my dog watches your TV for a couple of weeks?”

“Stan?”

“Yeah.”

“You dropped Chester off at my house, didn’t you?”

“I did, but I thought it would be polite to ask.”

“It’s polite to ask before the fact.”

“Whatever.”

Oh joy, Chester.

That is the name of Stan’s psychotic Pomeranian.  The dog looks like an explosion in a hair salon and has a personality to match. I only characterize him as psychotic, because it best describes his more gentle moments.  His other moments defy description and the only thing that can soothe his savage soul is watching the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

Oddly, there is something about the nice ladies hocking discount jewelry that he find comforting. So whenever Stan needs a dog sitter, he drops Chester off with me and my satellite television.

The thing is once Chester is planted in front of the Home Shopping Network, there is no moving him and God help you if you try to flip the channel.

It is then that he goes berserk.

Turning to PBS once cost me a sofa. TNT took down a bookcase. The price of TBS was an armchair and the butcher’s bill for flicking through the HBO channels was the television itself.

So imagine my surprise when I returned home to discovered Chester in my living room, the television tuned to NEWSHOUR and the house still intact!

He sat mesmerized by Judy Woodruff.  He held his head cocked thoughtfully to one side as he barked out editorials.

Yip! Yip! [snarl] Yip! [grrrr]

I could not understand exactly what he was getting at, but the tone of his barking made a certain sense.

So I called Stan.

“What’s with Chester?” I asked. “Has he had a falling out with The Home Shopping Network?”

“Not at all,” Stan said.

“But the TV is tuned to PBS and my living room is still….”

Stan struggled for words.

“Chester has found his voice,” he said.

***

Apparently he had, for not long after, Lisa Dzerzhinsky-Anderson, my neighbor up the road and producer on our local affiliate of FOX, knocked on my door. I thought she was going to complain about the racket.

“Who has that lovely voice?” she asked.

“You mean the barking?”

“That’s not barking,” she corrected me,”that’s color.”

“Color?”

“Yes, color commentary. It is what makes the banality of television… well…, less banal.”

“Oh, you mean the endless prattle that no one pays attention to?”

“But they do,” she said, “audiences thrive on it and I would like to give the little guy a screen test.”

And like they say, that was that.

Lisa Dzerzhinsky-Anderson signed on as Chester’s agent and soon he had a spot on FOX and Friends.

He was never really an on-air personality – but whenever a panel of pundits began shouting over one another, Chester would add his voice.

It was electric.

Audiences could not get enough of the barking.

You see, Chester’s tone had just the right touch of psychotic indignation to resonate with talk show audiences.

Soon ABC spirited him away from FOX and put him on The View as background.  It was his job to bark over the other voices whenever they commenced to howl.  He could even out-chatter Joy Behar.

Next, he served a short stint at MSNBC on both The Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Joe before jumping ship to CNN. I even caught a segment with Chester on my beloved NEWSHOUR.

Then he was gone…

Soon after, I called Stan. “What happened to Chester?”

“Politics,” he told me.

“Really?” I asked, “I thought Chester was an apolitical barker.”

“He is,” Stan said, “but that was the problem. With the 2020 primaries approaching, the networks insist their color commentary must bark on script.”

“And Chester refuses to do that?”

Stan was indignant. “Chester is all about integrity and creative control,” he snapped.

“So what’s he doing now?”

“Turn to The Home Shopping Network.”

I did and there was Chester yipping ecstatically about cubic zarconia necklaces.

The little fella had his dream job.

***

“By the way,” Stan said, “can I borrow your pickup?”

“Use your own truck.”

“I can’t, the bed is full.”

“So?”

“So I need to move some stuff to your shed.”

“I lost my keys.”

“Not a problem, I have my own.”

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

52 thoughts on “Chester, the Dog with Issues, Becomes a Media Star”

      1. I’ve never seriously considered going on Twitter. The WordPress world takes more than enough time as is, and it sounds as if the commenters are far more benign.

  1. Aside from explaining why a good friend neglected to tell us for year (years!) that he owned a pick up truck, this goes a long way toward explaining the nature of new shows and talk shows. Even Chester had too much integrity for them! Glad he’s back to the HSN…..

  2. We need a news hound that is a BS detector that starts barking whenever a lie is told, and barks with the same passion as a dog taking on a garbage truck. It might change American politics. By the way Greg, I own a pickup truck, a pole barn and a satellite TV and have never suffered your problems! –Curt

  3. A little barking would be a definite improvement on some of the political commentary television shows. Ha ha. Chester can bark in any time he wants. 🙂 And I can relate to both the pick-up and “barn” queries. 🙂

    1. Definition: Political Commentary
      1) The same people shouting over each other about the same things.
      2) A single commentator shouting over themselves about the same thing as other commentators shout over themselves on other channels.

  4. I’m afraid of what category I fall into here. I had a pole barn back in the 90’s for my horses until I upgraded to a Morton building, I don’t let anyone borrow my truck unless they have been completely vetted, and I’d be the last person Stan would leave a yappy dog with because when he came back the dog and his yapper would be gone. 🙂 Thanks for the chuckles.

    1. I had to look up “Morton Building” because I am unfamiliar with the term. It looks a lot like my shed. Of course there are all kinds of these buildings around, some people even live in them. There is a beautiful one on a lake not far away, that is half machine shop and half house. It is nice to have a short commute to work, especially on a cold, windy winter day.

      I saw the first daffodil peeking out of the ground yesterday. There is hope.

  5. I’m older than I realized. I still think of pole barns as wood. I even looked them up, and see I’m behind the times, but it sure seems to me it’s an example of an old term being applied to new techniques. Interesting.

    As for the Home Shopping Network, I’ve never seen it, but I imagine it as the same sort of thing: Lydia Pinkham hawkers gone modern. I am wondering: has Chester considered HGTV? He and Stan could do a Home Improvement takeoff. The only question is, which one would play Wilson?

    1. The Home Shopping Network works because some people want to be sold things. There are certain things, be they radical politics, fringe religion or cubic zarconia jewelry that exist because people love to be convinced. There are so many choices in the world and it is all so confusing, so it is reassuring to know that “this choice” is the right one.

    1. I am not sure why it is, but when I have Chester, I don’t have a truck and when I have a truck, I don’t have Chester. It is one of the great mysteries of life that one prefers to accept rather than think about.

  6. HAHAHAHA!!! This resonated with me on so many levels. First off, my mom loves pomeranians so I’ve been around them my whole life. Your description of the hair salon explosion is perfect, and yes, they are a bit psychotic. Their barking would be PERFECT media commentary, as it is yippy and makes little sense. And I’ve often thought of getting a pick up truck. How nice it would be. But I won’t. Not ever. Because of those calls!

    1. An acquaintance, who writes deep and thoughtful articles about foreign policy, described North Korea as China’s pomeranian. It barks and it yips and it bites and whenever it misbehaves too badly, China jerks its leash.

      You should get a pickup. They are great for trips to the lumber yard and garden store – but if you get one, get an old diesel whose prior owner smoked cigars and spilled a lot of beer. No one will want to borrow it. Unfortunately for me, Stan is the one who gave me that advice, so he has no problem wandering off with my truck.

      One more piece of advice, if you get a truck, make sure you have a backup vehicle (that is not a truck).

    1. Sadly, all news has become FoxSnooze.

      You can’t even watch the Food Network these day without being inundated by faux drama and hysterical hype. This is the last vestige of sanity left on television.

  7. Let me know when he gets the Chester Channel – I’ll switch to Direct TV and tune in . I do hope it’s before 2020 roll into high gear with the elections – we need a voice of reason = Chester might be our best hope.

  8. Enjoyed it Greg. I do have one small complaint which you can pass to Stan. My Boxer and bulldog have maxed out my card on HSN stuff bought from Chester. I’m telling you the dog should be in insurance sales.

    1. I got through to Stan, Chester and HSN. They are now selling insurance. It is really good insurance, printed on bond-watermarked paper and packaged in a delightful faux-vinyl folder. It covers every contingency, but for today only, you can also enjoy the extra-coverage of…

  9. What a delight to read! I don’t watch any of those programs, so I don’t know if this is fact or fiction, but if it’s fact you can indeed say you knew him when… I love this!

    1. Pole shed, pole barn, pole buildings are all the same. They are the metal building you seen in rural areas. The name “pole” comes from the method of construction. Typically, a set of poles are driven into the ground and roof trusses are placed on top of them..The entire structure is then sheathed in sheet metal. My shed has a concrete floor but most shed around here hold farm equipment, so there is no need for a floor.

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