Friend's Best Man

Quiet. The Infiltrator is getting something. Yes, he can see it clearly now: Pet ... psychics ... are ... hilarious ... frauds.

Infiltrator:No, just, like, at parties and at the grocery store and stuff.

PP3: [Pause.]He knows that it pleases you, so he's not embarrassed.

I: So I should keep doing that -- like, little hats and big sunglasses and bow ties?

PP3: [Pause.]He's telling me he's fine with it.

I: I'm thinking of entering him in this dog show. Would he be up for that?

PP3: [Pause.]He'd love it. He's very proud. [Pause.]But he said he doesn't know if he can be perfect. He's not that kind of dog. He's very free-spirited.

Pet Psychic No. 4

Why did Harmon chew up my slippers? (During this pet psychic session, I occasionally hold the phone away from me and make barking and yelping noises.)

Pet Psychic 4: I asked him if he chewed up your slippers, and he either doesn't remember it or is in total denial, 'cause it wasn't a big deal for him.

Infiltrator:[Ruff-ruff!]Well, here's the really weird part -- they were slippers given to me by Grandma! [Woof-woof!]

PP4: That's interesting. I'll talk to him about it. I'll tell him he needs to back off. I'll work with him. I often have clients call me two weeks later and say, "Oh my God, I thought it was stupid when you said this to me, but now I get it."


(Pet Psychic No. 4 recommends some New Age drops you put on your pet's head to "balance out his energy." They cost $17 a bottle. She happens to sell the stuff.)

Pet Psychic No. 5

Why did my dog, Harmon, mess up the carpet and knock over Grandma's vase?

Pet Psychic 5: [Pause.]He's telling me that your feet aren't really grounded on the ground, and you kind of go with the flow. What he's saying is for you to take a bigger stand and do it your way.

Infiltrator:OK, I'm not clear on that at all.

PP5:[Pause.]He wants you to stand up for yourself. Does that makes sense?


PP5:[Pause.]Well maybe it's something coming up.

I:Oh. [Grrrrrrr!]

PP5:I asked Harmon about the vase. He said [this pet psychic also assumes a cartoony dog voice], "Everyone makes mistakes, and I'm included, so I'll try and watch out not to do it again." He didn't do it on purpose, and he apologizes for it. [Pause.]It was actually his tail!

I:He doesn't have a tail! [Yelp! Yelp! Yelp!]

PP5: [Pause.]It was more like his hip. [Pause.]What I'm getting is, he was lying near it, and he stood up, and it knocked over. Do you see what I'm saying? It was a total accident, and he apologizes for it.

I:[Ruff! Ruff!]

Pet Psychic No. 6

Did Harmon get lost or run away? What did he think of the "lost dog" posters I put up with his picture on them?

Pet Psychic 6:He didn't consider himself lost. It was a big adventure for him! [Pause.]He didn't notice the posters that you put up, but he thinks that's really, really sweet, and he wants you to know, thanks very much.

Infiltrator:Can you tell me where he went?

PP6:Um ... [Really long pause.] What he is showing me is just cruising around. He was in somebody's house, like an apartment thing.

I: Really?!

PP6: [Pause.]He was in somebody's house or apartment.

I: Did Harmon like those people better than me?

PP6: [Pause.]They were nice enough. But it was just like a big adventure for him.

I: Uh-huh. And Harmon -- you know, my dog -- was in someone else's apartment?

PP6: He was at someone's house for a while; it was like an apartment. He's showing me going up these stairs and a hall.

I: And how long was Harmon there for?

PP6: Only a few days. [Pause.]I just asked him if that's something he's going to do again, and he said [cartoony dog voice], "No, I've kind of got it out of my system for now."

Pet Psychic No. 7

Can you tell me how Harmon and I spend most of our time together and what our favorite activity is?

Pet Psychic 7:Do you guys sit and hang out together? He's showing me a ball about the size of a softball -- big enough to get his mouth around, but not too small. And it's squishy.

Infiltrator: No! Nothing like that at all!

PP7: Can you get him one of those and use it when you go out? [Pause.]Harmon just told me he really likes those.

I:Right. Actually, we never go out. We only watch movies together.

PP7: That's what he's showing me with the ball thing -- it's lying next to you. And I was about to say watching TV, and that's why I said hanging out together.

I:[Huh?] Oh? Well, what does he like better, animal movies or people movies? And what's his favorite movie?

PP7: [Pause.] Toy Story. [Pause.] 1, not 2. [Pause.]He likes music rather than TV. Do you listen to anything that isn't hard rock?

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