21 Comments

  1. The dog has forgotten what comes next. And is asking a prompter or “script girl” for the next line.

    And the joke is… Well, first that there is a script they are performing from. And then that the dog is smart enough to be relied upon to follow a script, but has gone up on its lines and knows the actors’ polite way of getting past that.

  2. And y’know, it’s not too far from realistic, if you take away the aspect that it is taking place with human language. There is an expected script of behaviors, and a good show dog might get something wrong and look for help.

  3. I think Dana K has the joke, but the execution made it hard to see the joke until I read Dana’s comment. Maybe “What do I do now, Chief?” would be better? Or not.

  4. Yes–my impression of many dog shows is that they’re basically scripted, and the challenge is to see if the dog can follow the script. I got it but didn’t laugh.

  5. “Maybe “What do I do now, Chief?” Or not.”

    I think it would have been better. Dog shows are considered posh events, so if the dog is speaking anyway, a more plebeian comment would have added to the joke…for what it is.

  6. I thought Dana K has it right, but I was wondering whether the word “line” was deliberately ambiguous, inviting a connection to the “leash” (or “lead”, as our British readers might call it) that connects the dog to its owner. I don’t think that this was intended to be the joke, just as a possible subtle undercurrent. Of course, I may (probably) be reading too much into this.

  7. I agree with Kilby. “Line” has so many definitions. My first thought was that the dogs were instructed to get in line and this one got distracted or something. “What’s my line?” would have been clearer.

  8. Dogs in dog shows have impeccable breeding, so “Line” is perfect. I’ve watched enough shows, and have trained guide dogs, so I got it.

  9. Good points from Scott. Plus note in the caption that “Line?!” doesn’t stand alone but follows the ultra-polite “I’m so sorry”.

  10. I was wondering whether the word “line” was deliberately ambiguous, inviting a connection to the “leash” (or “lead”, as our British readers might call it) that connects the dog to its owner.

    I’m not sure how that would fit, as it’s a question to someone. There’s already a leash attached, so the dog can’t be asking for one.

  11. Pointing out the problem with markdown on this site versus HTML. If you have a space before/after one of the symbols, it breaks it. I got the one before the closing mark, but missed the one after the opener.

  12. Pointing out the problem with markdown on this site versus HTML. If you have a space before/after one of the symbols, it breaks it. I got the one before the closing mark, but missed the one after the opener.

    Yes, but there isn’t actually a versus! Enabling Markdown did not involve disabling HTML.

    P.S. I fixed what I think is the one you’re talking about.

  13. I first read “line” as “what’s the line on my next race?” In other words, a repurposed greyhound.

  14. Yes, but there isn’t actually a versus! Enabling Markdown did not involve disabling HTML

    I guess I wasn’t clear, it’s in the choice of which to use. I used HTML for a long time, until I became aware of the markdown option. HTML has its own perils of course.

  15. Well I’ll introduce a digression, re an actor’s polite way of dealing with forgetting his lines.

    It was a story I heard about a touring actor-manager company https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor-manager which did Shakespeare plays, and the a-m was known to sometimes forget his lines.

    When he did he would loudly declaim “Enough! Thine talk doth weary me. To my chamber I shall retire, and thence wake, refreshed”, and sweep off the stage, leaving the other actor(s) looking as if they were the ones who didn’t know what they were doing.

  16. A friend of mine who enjoyed hosting casual or drop-in parties, would sometimes end the evening by quoting from Macbeth, “Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once!” .

  17. I read a story once about a schoolteacher who was asked to sit just offstage with a script and make sure the actors didn’t forget their lines.

    An actor did forget a line. He waited a few seconds but there was nothing from the schoolteacher.

    He whispered “Line?” Still nothing.

    After an awkward pause, he repeated a line from earlier. In a voice the whole theater could hear, the schoolteacher said “Wrong!”

  18. I went to a local theater performance because one of my high school teachers was in it. They had a prompter and didn’t (that I recall) need to ask for the line. She’d fill pauses that were too lengthy.

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