There are full-service pet stores, and then there's Lola and Penelope's in Clayton (7742 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-863-5652), which goes above and beyond the standard dog-washing service to offer its furry clients massages, facials, "pawdicures," psychological consultations, fashion shows, exclusive benders for all pet occasions and boozy "yappy hours" where pet and parent can bond while watching the latest Red Paw Diaries DVD in front of an in-store fireplace.
Unreal quizzed L&P manager Amy Petty about the petrosexual lifestyle.
Unreal: Who are Lola and Penelope?
Amy Petty: Lola and Penelope were the owner's pets when she was growing up. Lola was a cat, Penelope was a dog.
Do you believe in jackalopes?
Jack rabbit-antelope hybrids that roam the New Mexican desert or so legend has it.
No I don't, sorry.
Would you say the majority of your clients are petrosexuals?
A pet who's not afraid to wear jewelry.
Are the pets that get pawdicures done most frequently African American?
We do not discriminate, nor do we distinguish.
Which species has more serious self-esteem issues: cats, dogs or jackalopes?
I'm gonna have to go with the jackalope: It's not sure if it's real or not.
What is the most popular libation among toy poodles during yappy hour?
What are the rules concerning romantic liaisons between pets near the fireplace? Is it something you encourage?
You also have a DVD player near that cozy fireplace. Is there a ban on bestiality porn?
I'm sure there is. We don't have that at Lola & Penelope's.
Maybe on the east side?
Perhaps at Lola & Penelope's East.
Is your pet masseuse a firm believer in happy endings?
All of our happy endings end with a treat.
Stranger Than Fiction
Tracey "T" Proctor is a 46-year-old stay-at-home mom who lives in Springfield. She's also a moderator and "e-mentor" at FictionAlley.org, one of the 'Net's largest Harry Potter fan-fiction sites. Some 85,000 members read, and sometimes contribute, stories that pick up where J.K. Rowling leaves off a large percentage of them rated R. Not surprisingly, Proctor is an expert of sorts on the Internet's buffet of Harry porn.
Unreal: When did you get interested in young Harry?
Tracey "T" Proctor: Right after Goblet of Fire, the book, came out, my best friend kept talking about the stories, and I thought they were just children's books. But my friend said, "Oh no, they're so much more than children's stories." I went to a Scholastic book fair and bought The Sorcerer's Stone and started to read it to my daughter. I was two or three pages into the book when I thought, "I'm not reading this to her, I'm reading it to me."
Do tell about your interest in Harry's erotic side.
I don't really get into the children's aspect of it, but rather the teachers, the adult characters. I read someone once who said, "If she didn't want us fantasizing about her characters, she needs to stop having these handsome men portraying them." And that's the truth: It's very hard not to look at Alan Rickman [Professor Severus Snape] and Jason Isaacs [Lucius Malfoy] and not get erotic thoughts. I have some fan fiction at Fiction Alley. You want to write stories about the characters that J.K. is not writing, about their love lives that you don't see in the book.
Which characters' love lives have you written about?
Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Severus Snape.
Are these homosexual liaisons?
Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not. Sometimes you give them fantasy wives or fantasy women that don't exist in the book. You fantasize about their childhoods, about growing up, who they knew before they were teachers at the school.
Do you think Ron and Hermione are gonna be knockin' da boots anytime soon?
I don't know. Some people who are British tell me that the British don't think that way. I would say, in American novels they would already be doing it! I don't care that they're only seventeen years old. There are a lot of people that write fan fiction about the kids.
Yeah? How much cyberspace has been devoted to Harry's potter?
A lot. I know of one that I just can't even stand to look at; it's called "Pornish Pixies." It's just pure, lay-it-out-on-the-ground Harry Potter porn. There's also stuff related to violence. The bad stuff is usually written about Voldemort and the Death Eaters. They're torturing people for their pleasure. That's how Voldemort gets his jollies: by torturing everybody. Boys and girls he doesn't care.
We Do Declare
New Year's ranks high on Unreal's list of fave fêtes, and yet we couldn't part with our sectional last Saturday night. There we were, a few strokes before midnight, hootin' and hollerin' as Mario Batali Iron Chef'ed his way through a Food Network rerun.
Batali's victory capped a sluggish last eve of the year for Unreal, but 2005 passed faster than a fart.
True, Unreal's name now carries a certain cachet among BBWs (that's Big Beautiful Women to you) worldwide. We also did our best to Support Our Troops. Glory and goodness upon us, though, Unreal fell short of our 2005 goals here and there.
Believe it or not, some say we have a problem with our 'tude.
A few days ago, we learned of Grandmaster Y.K. Kim's new tome, Winning Is a Choice. Kim is a publisher of Martial Arts World Magazine and a motivational speaker based in Orlando, Florida, and his book outlines "the top-10 winning habits" (below, in CAPS) that allow one to "strut down the road to success in 2006."
Uh, maybe. With a little tweaking.
1) SMILE. (Especially at homeless people.)
2) EAT AND DRINK WISELY. (Cut back the Beef Jerky of the Month Club to one subscription. Remember: We is what we eats.)
3) EXERCISE DAILY. (Swilling counts.)
4) FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. (Ridicule counts.)
5) MAKE PREPARATION A HABIT. (Just-doing-it is so '90s.)
6) ACT WITH PASSION. (And not just during foreplay.)
7) COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. (Good for relationships, apparently. Fido is nodding.)
8) SHARE WITH OTHERS. (Lest anyone forget us!)
9) LOVE TO LEARN. (We're with Grandmaster Kim on this one: Lifelong learners are indeed winners.)
10) FIGHT WITHIN YOURSELF. (Especially when seized with the urge to pen a Top 10 resolutions list. Bust out that inner samurai. Peace.)
LOCAL BLOG O' THE WEEK
"Daughter of Opinion"
About the blogger: Jessica is 31, married to a Star Wars geek and has spent a grand to treat her cat's three urinary-tract infections.
Recent Highlight (December 1, 2005): *Ahem* I cleared my throat and casually offered, "My brother is the voice of Scooby Doo."
Jen, Nat and Dee-Dee harkened to this news I had them; they were perfectly poised to start eating right out of the palm of my....
"Whatever" Dee-Dee remarked, breaking the silence of disbelief. "Yeah. Whatever" Jen and Nat chimed in.
"I'm serious, you guys!" I demanded and, realizing I had to present hardcore evidence, blurted, "I'll get him on the phone!"
"You do that" Nat laughed. "Sure... phone him up" Jenny dared.
"Fine" I shrugged and produced my cell phone only to realize that my signal was critically low in the basement that is Trader Vic's. Upon warning the girls that the reception may be a bit broken, I was met with more taunts and teases.
"Ah hah! Her SIGNAL is bad. Riiiiight!"
I held the phone to my ear waiting for my brother to pick up as Jen snapped a picture and smirked, "I'll call this one Face of A Liar."
Moments later, however, my brother was on the line and I handed my cell to Jenny who listened intently and then passed it on to Nat and Dee-Dee...their look of wonderment fueled my hungry ego and quelled my fears that I was not cool enough for these chicks.
Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.