I could just look up this link and share it, but I’d rather make sure it’s always available for me to read, when I click on my “funny” tag. (Don’t things sometimes disappear from the web?) Since Sam is taking some training for starting up his own business, it’s kind of appropriate… he’s seen several of other people’s ideas–here’s another one!
My note at the top says it’s from Barry Smith’s “Irrelativity”.
To my knowledge, there has never been a Far Side [cartoon] depicting grass supplement being put in a dogs food. It would have been a funny one, though, and I’m sure if Larson hadn’t betrayed us all by going into retirement he would have eventually gotten around to doing one like that.
But it’s a good thing he didn’t, because he probably would have been sued by the makers of Barley Dog, The “Original” Barley Grass Supplement for Dogs.
This is an actual, real product which I am holding in my hand at this very moment. And not only does it really exist, it also costs about $8 for a 3 oz. bottle. I shudder to think of the vast fortune in lawn clippings I’ve carelessly bagged up and left by the curb in my lifetime.
But someone out there was not so careless. Dogs eat grass, they thought to themselves. I’ve got lots of grass out back, they continued. And the next thing you know they were explaining to the loan officer at the bank what they intended to do with that fifty grand they had applied for. Either that or the Barley Dog folks had wealthy parents, because as I said, I’m holding a jar of Barley Dog in my hand right now.
“Contrary to popular belief,” the label reads, “a dog grazes on grass not because of an upset stomach, but due to the fact that it’s looking for the same fresh, raw nutrition enjoyed by its healthy and strong ancestors in the wild.”
Funny, my popular belief was that dogs ate grass because they didn’t know any better, kinda the same reason humans eat hot dogs.
Back to the label: “Barley Dog is made from garlic, nutritional yeast (vegetable-derived with a hickory-smoked, bacon-like flavor), brown rice and fresh, powdered barley grass.”
Now, aside from the fact that no self-respecting dog would be fooled by a vegetable based compound that is “bacon-like” in flavor, how do these people KNOW that it is bacon-like in flavor. At one point, some actual human had to eat some Barley Dog and comment on its flavor. For that matter, most all dog foods make some bold claim to their taste, with labels that read things like, “Rich Liver And Onion Flavor” and “Now Even Meatier Tasting.”
Who tastes this stuff? Volunteers? Prisoners? Do they know what it is that they’re tasting, or do they just get handed a fifty dollar bill and told to fill out the questionnaire? (“Distinctly chicken flavored, and it seems to be making its own gravy in my mouth.”) And what about the “Now Even Meatier” claims? This would necessitate someone tasting both the old variety AND the new, meatier tasting version and making a comparison. This would require, at a minimum, TWO FULL BITES of dog food!
Of course, the dog food companies could just be making all that “Improved Liver Flavor” crap up. Who’s gonna call them on it?
The accompanying Barley Dog pamphlet contains some testimonials from satisfied users all over the country. This one is my favorite: “Living in the city, we knew right away that Barley Dog would be perfect for our apartment poodle. She is eight years old, but now has more energy than when she was a puppy.”
Wow, sharing a small apartment with an invigorated poodle. Thanks, Barley Dog!
Certainly this isn’t the last we’ll see of such pooch supplements. Even now, some entrepreneurial soul, determined to come up with the Next Big Thing in puppy supps, is thinking to themselves, “Hmmm. What else, besides grass, do dogs like to eat? It has to be something plentiful. Something readily available. Something that, like my grass clippings, I usually just throw away. Hmmm …”
And then their gaze slowly comes to rest on Fluffy’s litter box.
EDIT: I did Google it, and there’s lots more funny stuff at barrysmith.com, including his regular column, “Irrelativity” for Aspen magazine… I’d better stop using his stuff, at least in complete form like that! ;S