By all reckonings, the process of obtaining a dog's license should be an orderly and routine one; a situation that would still whatever fears of bureaucrats resides within me and others who are somewhat anarchistic deep inside. So I appeared at the registration office, and was served by this lady who appeared to be as old as her records, mad as a hatter, and hard of hearing as well. The events of the interview did not go as smooth as planned, alas.
"Madame, I would like a dog license, if you please."
"Of course. Let me find the hog licenses. I compliment you on your civic-mindedness. Few people think to register their hogs. Oh, here is one."
"But, Madame, I wish a dog license. My dog does eat messily, but I fear that the hog license will not do."
"Oh, I see. The name?" she said.
"Françoise" was my reply.
"And the breed?"
"I do not know."
"Ahhh, a mongrel." I was both confused and upset, and this increased with the next question:
"A dog, or a bitch?"
"My Lord! the choices I am offered are offensive. Since I use make-up artfully, hopefully I am certainly not a dog, And, while I occasionally have my moments, I try to be even-tempered and inoffensive."
"Young lady, we need this information to register your dog Françoise."
"I am Françoise; I am the mistress."
She said, "Oh, I see..... then we need to fill out this form." [She takes out the Mistress's License Form.] Now, let's see, you are female, yes?"
"Yes, I wish it was more self-evident."
"And you wish to be a mistress of: a politician, a man of affairs, a sports figure, or a rock musician?"
"Huh? Does one need a license for that?"
"But of course. The government has an obligation to maintain the proper professional standards. Lately mistresses had been poorly represented in the news, with unsophisticated, uncultured people coming into prominence in that profession, especially in the UK and the USA. This is to maintain proper standards of industrial quality."
"Oh.....I think I see. The choices are so dispiriting. Rock musicians act so boorish, wrecking hotel rooms and using drugs. Sports figures do not engage in witty speech. Politicians are embarassments all around (especially recent ones), and men of affairs are always working. Is it possible to be a mistress of an engineer or a police officer?"
"NO! Those are not approved categories" [Utter shock.]
"Oh, pardon me, Madame." One does not trifle with the bureaucracy with impunity. "I do not have anyone in mind in particular, anyway."
"Oh, one will be assigned to you, pending your approval, of course."
"Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way," I replied.
"Yes, and you must also get the approval of the wife of the man whose mistress you are to be. That is the rule, and it is also to see that standards are maintained. A woman's social standing is compromised if her husband has an unsuitable mistress, one who might be seen in grandstands of motor car races. You must take some instruction to obtain and maintain your license. Oh, yes, you seem to require some instruction in proper dress." [She was appraising my attire, a tee shirt, blue denim mini, and loafers.]
I eventually got her to understand that my status was to be a mistress of a dog. But, curiosity prevailed, so I asked: "So, what other types of licenses do you have?"
She mentioned a few.
So, now I finally got my license, and went back to my place while musing on this surreal encounter.
I did get a nice rhinestone collar for myself on the way home, and am reading the employment magazines looking for a position as a Warlord. Er, Warlady.