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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clever Dog

This plot idea is for a children's book.

The book is narrated by a preternaturally intelligent border collie, a dog so clever that he knows he must act daft in front of humans or he will piss them off. Beneath his tail-wagging, eager, licky, loyal exterior lies a lazy, self-serving and sarcastic genius.

He speaks in English, but there is a canine cast to his slang expressions. For example:

"I felt three-legged" {a bit rough}
"You a cat?" {to another dog: expression of contempt}
"It didn't have a smell" {It was impossible to figure out}
"You prefer Whiskas" {You are stupid}
"Sheep think you're fun" {You're a wimp}
"It was a cat-flap to nowhere"{It turned out not to be a good idea}

The book starts when the young Clever Dog is dumped in a dog rescue by his first owner, whom he has annoyed by getting pork chops out the freezer and defrosting them in the microwave. He attempts to lead an escape but is frustrated when his cell-mates are too dim to follow instructions properly, preferring to sniff each others bottoms when they are supposed to be forming a canine pyramid.

A family turns up to view Clever Dog, who immediately recognises the potential in their loving silly faces. Clever Dog sneaks off as the family argue with the dog rescue staff about what would be a suitable "donation" and, with some fancy paw work. ties himself to the towbar of the family car. The family emerge from the office and argue about who has done this thing to the poor dog. Clever Dog thumps his tail and looks afraid.
"You are frightening the puppy" everyone claims against everyone else.

The chapter ends with the dog travelling to his new home in the front passenger seat with numerous children squashed into the back. He "sniffs" the radio and selects Jazz FM, then settles down to enjoy the music as his new family laughingly suggest that the puppy must like jazz.

A book? This could be a series of books! With movie tie-ins! And merchandising!

But wait! A neuron just fired in my over-stuffed brain and I see that this dog could work with the pure collector. Perhaps in this version, he came down from up north with an impoverished shepherd who had come to London to find work as a tanner. Unable to support his sheepdog, the shepherd abandons him, and Clever Dog must make his own living. A chance encounter with the pure collector leads to a mutually beneficial deal: Clever Dog will persuade all the stupid London dogs that crapping on the street is old-fashioned and uncool. The smart modern dog, he tells them, does his number twos in a specially constructed pull-along truck, situated in the heart of the tanning district.

And so on...

What do you think? Which plot would be best? I'd love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening to me gibber. Woof!



At 10:25 pm, Anonymous alecweston said...

It's genius! Do Clever Dog first, and then the Tanner.

At 2:45 pm, Blogger Gentleman-hobbs said...

Get the dog to piss against the big brother house. The earnings from the publicity will be so good you can do both.

At 2:51 pm, Blogger Kate said...

Brilliant :-) And not just books and movies, think of all the tie-ins, there'll be Clever Dog action figures, a range of dog food, biscuits, collar and lead sets, although of course Clever Dog wouldn't actually wear these.

At 4:57 pm, Anonymous Beki said...

I vote for Clever Dog!

At 11:14 pm, Blogger Gillian said...

Clever dog gets my vote, so is this really you? total change in style. Hugs anyway.

At 10:15 am, Blogger Gillian said...

'Number twos' what would a dog call them?


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