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Y.P.R. & Co.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dear Y.P.R.
I Named the Dog "Indiana"


subject: Your Insight Sought!

Dear Yankee Pot Roast,

Today, I adopted the most adorable puppy from the shelter.

F.A.Q.: Heyyy now, doesn’t everyone consider their puppy/ mewing, puking infant/ genitalia the most adorable?

A: I have evidence. Of the puppy’s cuteness, not my penis’s or infant’s (though, funny tangential story, a lesbian couple bought my sperm a few days ago—fatherhood, here I come!). Here:

And here:

Clearly, its pulchritude is not under dispute. However, its name is. My mother suggested something asinine like “Duke,” which I rebutted with “Ludus” after the Latin infinitive “to play,” also a term in psychology for playful love. I refuse to name my puppy Duke. She’s not so keen on Ludus, which, though in definition a sound choice, does sound lame and also a lot like “lewd” with a superfluous suffix.

I decided that I should recruit the brilliant folks at Y.P.R. to settle this. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to name my adorable puppy. He is male; soon to be androgynous. However, you mustn’t allow my anonymous puppy’s quagmire to divert you from your pursuits of amusing the masses! No pressure. We can keep calling him puppy for a while until I have a flash of insight.


Devin Needler


Your poor, poor pooch! Has he been running around namelessly while we dillydallied all week? We apologize; the October surprises have been hogging our thoughts and feelings.

Still, naming a dog is not to be done rashly. Over the last few days, we’ve weighed the merits and flaws of potential doggy names. Shortly, we will present a list of names we’ve deemed appropriate for your adorable pooch. Many factors were considered: the spirit of Ludus, to play, without the burden of elitist snootery (for which the other dogs would likely tease or bully him); the explosive cultural zeitgeist at the time of the pup’s adoption; the looming emasculation; and, of course, what sounds good to our ears’ gut instincts. Yes, ears have guts.

Before we present our list, we’d like to state that we are humbled and honored to have been given such an important responsibility. We only hope we’ve done you and dog proud. For your consideration:

Mr. Pibb
AwesomeDog ®
B(ea) A(rthur) Baracas

Who could have imagined the art of dog naming could be so delicate? We hope there is one name among the contenders that sings out to you. If not, we can whittle it down or select a single one ourselves. Good luck.

Your dog’s best friend,

* So you can say: This is my pet, Peeve.

Dear Y.P.R.,

1) Zanzibar!


(Oh, deary me!)


I adore it. Its middle name is Zanzibar now. In the time that elapsed after my e-mail, it chicaned a great deal; it jumped over its fenced enclosure and ate things of ours it was not supposed to. So I named him Loki after the Norse god of mischief and chicanery, which also sounds cute in that devious sort of way, and is a name I wouldn’t mind calling out in public without bystanders suspecting I have Tourettes (is there an apostrophe in that? It is a syndrome presumably owned by Tourette, maybe through some arcane intellectual property law. I hate superfluous apostrophes almost as much as I hate America’s heartland and nether-regions, however, and in an event of ambiguity, I will err on the side of omitting them. I would look it up, but I’m late to lunch). Loki Zanzibar Needler. It’s perfect.

2) My dearest friend Emma and I compiled a list in the hair salon before she left to study in Germany for the next year. She had just picked up her Peace Corps application and was looking it over, and from this, “Hobbies and Interests That May Ensure One’s Automatic Rejection from Peace Corps upon Application” was born. My stylist to whom I brought her was amused as we bantered, and gave it his approval for whatever it’s worth.

Hobbies and Interests That May Ensure One’s Automatic Rejection from Peace Corps upon Application

By Emma Cunningham and Devin Needler

Hoarding water
Replacing birth-control packets with placebos
Sabotaging irrigation ducts
Infesting clean crops with maggots and locusts
Substituting drain-solvent for inoculation serums
Recruiting missionaries for my cult
Planting mines
Ethnic cleansing
Contaminating nutritious soil with gasoline
Dousing latex condoms in oil

*     *     *

Until another day!


Tourette syndrome.