Nigel Has Always Been Upper Crust.

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Did Someone Say ‘Pie’? Oh, My.

Fanciful illustration of Nigel as pie by Gimlet Rose. @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

Fanciful illustration of Nigel becoming one with pie by Gimlet Rose. @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

Today we’re serving up freshly baked blueberry pie in our editorial offices. What a delicious way to celebrate. Anything.

Photo by Joe the Cat. Here we are, straight from The Doodle Kitchens, with a pie. This one is Peach. We adapted it from the Blueberry recipe, substituting peaches for blueberries (of course) and a Raspberry vinegar.

Photo by Joe the Cat. Here we are, Sweeney, Dash, and Mr. Cat, straight from The Doodle Kitchens, with a pie. This one is Peach. We adapted it from the Blueberry recipe, substituting peaches for blueberries (of course) and using a Raspberry vinegar.

What recipe did we use? Why our very favorite: Deep Dish Blueberry Pie from that master of theater and kitchen, David Rosengarten. Rosengarten held court on one of the Food Network’s first programs, Taste with David Rosengarten. (It certainly wasn’t Emeril.) With little more than a flat work surface and a few kitchen accessories (the most minimalist of kitchens) he even made toast interesting and appealing. But his Deep Dish Blueberry Pie is extraordinary . . . now that has a place on our plates. And in our previously white beards, in our stomachs, and in our hearts.

Recipe source: Taste with David Rosengarten, TV Food Network, Show TS-1G12, first broadcast April 29, 1998.

David Rosengarten’s Deep Dish Blueberry Pie

(Full disclosure: we’re dogs and cats with paws. We use a Pillsbury pie crust dough and follow the instructions. Below is Rosengarten’s recipe for crust and filling.)

CRUST: 10 ounces all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into 1 inch pieces)
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (cut into 1 inch pieces)
4 tablespoons ice water, if needed

To make the CRUST: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and shortening pieces and mix until the pastry clumps together the size of hazelnuts. Add the water a little at a time until the mixture just holds together. Do not over mix. Remove dough to a floured board. Shape the mass into a disk, wrap with plastic and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out to 1-inch larger than the baking dish.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

The FILLING:

8 cups (or 4 pints) blueberries

1 cup sugar (we sometimes use vanilla sugar if it’s around)

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons blueberry vinegar

5 tablespoons quick, not the slow-cooking, tapioca (this is the brilliant part)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (We throw in a dash or two of cardamon, too. Maybe the same with freshly grated nutmeg. Use your taste buds.)

1 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits

1 Egg, beaten for egg wash; extra sugar to sprinkle on top of crust

To make the FILLING: Combine all ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Transfer mixture to a 9 by 2-inch deep dish pie pan with bottom crust already in it. Dot with the butter.

Assemble your PIE: Top the berries with the other crust. Flute edges, make fancy designs or whatever else you’d like with any crust trimmings. Make slits in the dough to allow steam to escape. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle a bit of sugar. Bake the pie on a parchment-covered sheet pan for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees F and cook an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is browned (use a pie crust shield if you have one). Let cool slightly, serve warm or room temperature. This recipe yields one s’marvelously Gershwin 9-inch pie.

The tapioca absorbs extra fluid, allowing a juicy pie, but not one that’s a virtual flood zone.

We enjoy our pie cold, by the way. And it’s always better the next day. Those flavors like to mingle.

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Baking Up Brownies: Katharine Hepburn’s Easy, One-Pot Recipe.

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Coming to a Kitchen Near You.

Nothing is finer than to be in the kitchen watching Gimlet bake a batch of Katharine Hepburn's brownies. Illustration by Gimlet Rose, @2008, 2015.

Nothing is finer than to be in the kitchen watching Gimlet bake a batch of Katharine Hepburn’s brownies. Illustration by Gimlet Rose, @2008, 2015.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on Aug. 8, 2008. But there’s nothing stale about the content . . . or the brownies!

Chewy. Chocolate. Icons.

My first conundrum: where does the top billing go? To the legendary actress, or the dessert?

You see the winner: Katharine Hepburn. Not only do we share a wire fox terrier connection (George, aka Skippy, in Bringing Up Baby) but I am friends with a certain Miss Hepburn-Davis. The brownies get second billing. That’s not bad, because so did Cary Grant.

Saveur arrives in the mail, and what nabs my attention but a treatise on my favorite dessert: “Brownie Points” by Dana Bowen. It’s a short (and sweet) article on history, methods and chocolate. It all always comes down to chocolate.

She bakes and bakes, assembling one batch of brownies after another, each wonderful in its own right. Eventually, she settles on three recipes that are oo-la-la.

I pounce on “Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies for the above-cited reasons, but also because of the ease of the recipe. I am a wee white dog, after all.

But, I also know that Katharine Hepburn‘s eccentric younger brother lived with her. Dick Hepburn devoted much of his time developing the perfect chocolate sauce. I’m envisioning lots of quality chocolate around the Hepburn family home in Fenwick, a small community in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

I splurged and used Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate for this recipe. Maybe it’s not a splurge, but a good investment. A cheap luxury makes no sense.

What happened in the kitchen?

Photos by Joe the Cat.  I'm enjoying this. I'm substituting fresh Georgia pecans for the walnuts.

Photos by Joe the Cat.
I’m enjoying this. I’m substituting fresh Georgia pecans for the walnuts.

I pull up a chair and set my ingredients out within easy reach. You see one small bowl for the beaten eggs, but no large mixing bowl. That’s because Katharine Hepburn didn’t use one for this recipe.

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I’m enjoying this. I’m substituting fresh Georgia pecans for the walnuts.

 

 

Let's throw it all in the pot and see what happens.

Let’s throw it all in the pot and see what happens.

 

We wait. They bake at 325°F for 40 to 45 minutes.

We wait. They bake at 325°F for 40 to 45 minutes.

 

Sam came in to keep me company. And maybe to lick the batter from the spoon.

Sam came in to keep me company. And maybe to lick the batter from the spoon.

 

A pot of brownies? Must be a neat rainbow. We'll clean this later . . .

A pot of brownies? Must be a neat rainbow. We’ll clean this later . . .

 

Hmmmm. Interesting. They've come out of the oven and have been cooling a while. They're flat. Dense. Concentrated.

Hmmmm. Interesting. They’ve come out of the oven and have been cooling a while. They’re flat. Dense. Concentrated.

Paging Miss Hepburn!

Paging Miss Hepburn!

 

No, I didn't eat the brownies. My doggie dad came into the kitchen to help me clean up. By the way, I'm told the brownies were delicious. You should try making a batch for yourself.

No, I didn’t eat the brownies. My doggie dad came into the kitchen to help me clean up. By the way, I’m told the brownies were delicious. They’re sinfully easy to make. Grab a pot and try baking a batch for yourself.

 

 

KATHARINE HEPBURN’S BROWNIES

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. fine salt

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8″x8″ baking dish with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set the pan aside.

Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the walnuts (pecans), flour, and salt; stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.

We Doff Our Caps: In Celebration of Dogs Wearing Hats.

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Oh, No, we Won’t Shed the Chapeau.

Nigel, Gimlet, Sam, and Chase in the poster for the movie, Dogs Wearing Hats. Design by Gimlet Rose @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

Nigel, Gimlet, Sam, and Chase in the poster Dogs Wearing Hats. Design by Gimlet Rose @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

There are Men Without Hats. Let’s hope the same can never be said of dogs.

The staff at Mr. Doodles Dog wears hats. We like it like that.

Fedoras, berets, Stetsons, fezzes, and Pork pies . . . all of them on Doodle noggins. Inside, outside, fair and foul weather. Feathered, leathered, brimmed, trimmed. Hats galore. We wish there were hat factories and milliners in every city. A hat for every dog, and a dog for every hat. A milliner for every mutt’s fashion taste.

Get yourself a hat. We’d like that.

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‘Because It Is There.’ A Dog’s George Malloryesque View Of Chairs.

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I Sit, Therefore I Am.

Illustration by Gimlet Rose. @2015 Nigel Enterprises. Musical or otherwise, do chairs make the dog, or do dogs make the chair?

Musical or otherwise, do chairs make the dog, or do dogs make the chair? Illustration by Gimlet Rose @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

You can be forgiven for thinking, “The Doodle Dogs write a lot about chairs.” Well, you have me there, as James Thurber might have said. And there, and there, and there. Anywhere there’s a chair. I love them. Most dogs will take a chair if we can get it, if we’re living with sensible humans who acknowledge that dogs not only belong on the furniture but were destined to rule from it.

Mies Van Der Roher’s dog had final approval of all his chair designs. Or so I’ve heard.

Chase Manhattan enjoys playing musical chairs. From his first day with us (three years ago this month) Chase has been doing a regular Goldilocks, trying one then another. No chair has been left unturned in his quest for the right fit. Will his Holy Tail ever find its Holy Grail?

Chase Manhattan all settled in a green chair, pillows, cushions, and toys at the ready. Photo by Joe the Cat.

Chase Manhattan all settled in a green chair, with pillows, cushions, and toys at the ready. Photo by Joe the Cat.

Dogs like chairs because they’re comfortable, elevated, and our humans have occupied them. They’re compact and readily defensible. If the chair sits in front of a window with a good view, all the better. (Sammy enjoys his Wing back sitting next to a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the street. The things poor Sammy has seen as a watch dog: neighbor and Ret. Major DeJohn Mustarde inspecting the yards for HOA violations; striped cats prowling the street for lizards and moles; and a parade of walkers wearing insufficient amounts of clothing. No wonder Sammy is undergoing dog therapy.)

No one’s ever given a good argument against dogs in chairs.

There’s an old story that the Duchess of Windsor tried to keep her pugs from taking their rightful places on her Louis XIV armchairs, but the Duke would have none of it. My kingdom for a dog, and that dog sitting on a chair, he’d mutter. And who could blame him? Why shouldn’t dogs do exactly as they please, when and where it pleases them?

O, I love to sit my can/Wherever I am/If that place is a chair/Then I’m already there!/ I am./Now scram! — A Dog Ditty.

On the Trail with Gimlet as She Tells All in Her New Book, ‘Rats!’

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Paging Gimlet, her Bête Noire and Raison D’être.

Gimlet's latest book chronicles her ratting adventures. Art by Gimlet Rose. @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

Gimlet’s latest book chronicles her life as a wire and ratter extraordinaire. Book cover design by Gimlet Rose. @2015 Nigel Enterprises.

By Gimlet Rose.

Rats! The story of my life.

Terriers are earth dogs, and wire fox terriers are independent terriers. Critical thinkers, we wires (and I am a wee wire), are hunting tacticians, possessing all the wiles and strategies of an Eisenhower on D-Day. We are intent in our mission. Focused. Bred to hunt, catch, and dispatch vermin. (Oh, how I love the dispatching bit!) Our original nemesis is the fox, but they aren’t available to most wires. Foxes are in our wheelhouses, but not in our zip or postal codes.

My life hasn’t been all rats, of course. Don’t get that idea. There have been many walks, car rides, Freudian theory, toys, naps, art history, treats, and books. Plenty of homemade dog stew. Dog beds galore. But the rats . . . rats are my reason to get up in the morning.

I love them. I hate ’em. I love the idea of ’em: the thrill of the chase; the thrill of the catch. Ratting has more suspense than a Hitchcock movie, but even ratting can’t compare to the pure Michelangelo (aka agony and ecstasy) of writing a memoir. There’s tracking down the memories, finding the right words, and then finding better words. And then some. Then comes the illustration, if you’re into that whole art thing, which involves pairing the right art with the right words. Yes, and the sitting, fuming, and whatthewassis in front of the computer (no foolscap for me). No one save Roald Dahl has ever invented a comfortable writing set-up. Thinking terrier thinking of turning all that into a book? Now comes the Finding of the Agent and the Publisher. That takes some doing. They are two elusive breeds. Definitely worth the catch.

Rats! The story of my life. If you’re a thinking dog, you’ll relate.

With Apologies And TastyKakes to Ambrose Bierce.

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Choosing Our Words. Carefully.

devildog copyAn earlier version of this posted on Mr. Doodle’s Dog on April 25, 2004.

We take a word, make hash out of it and serve it up. Not a bad day’s work for a group of wire fox terriers (and a large black cat).

Ever sampled a Drake’s Devil Dog? They’re the poor man’s TastyKake Chocolate Creamie. We all need our aspirations.

Today’s guest word server is Mr. Ambrose Bierce, that legendary American journalist and author of one of the most eerie and provocative Civil War stories, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. His word is Dog.

DOG, n. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship. This Divine Being in some of his smaller and silkier incarnations takes, in the affection of Woman, the place to which there is no human male aspirant. The Dog is a survival — an anachronism. He toils not, neither does he spin, yet Solomon in all his glory never lay upon a door-mat all day long, sun-soaked and fly-fed and fat, while his master worked for the means wherewith to purchase the idle wag of the Solomonic tail, seasoned with a look of tolerant recognition.”

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911.

Editors Note: Deities and anachronisms? Idle and sun-soaked? No one works harder than a dog when it comes to guarding over-priced clapboard shacks and urging layabout masters to exercise. Why, a car ride can take an entire day of lobbying. Most of the time, we do our chores in silence. We’d like to have a good chin wag with Mr. Bierce, if we could find him.

 

 

 

 

Huffing And Puffing Like Magic.

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And Many More

sammyasbirthdaydragon2015Sammy as Red Terrier Dragon. Illustration by Gimlet Rose. © Nigel Enterprises 2015.

Sammy, Alabammy, O, he’s a heckuva dog. Sammy Alabammy, O he’s a heckuva dog. He’s a heckuva, he’s a heckuva, he’s a heckuva dog. — Old Dog Verse.

By Gimlet Rose

Sammy is now 11. He’s spent his day prowling like a barracuda inside the house, when he wasn’t snoozing, or going for a long walk, planning on a pizza dinner, and tearing into chews and new toys. He’s in Heaven. Or would have been, if wire fox terrier rescue people hadn’t stepped in.

Sammy’s more devil dog than wire fox terrier, a sort of furry dragon with that large yap of his. He has the most tremendous set of choppers I’ve ever come across, and that’s saying something. What does he do with a pie hole that size?  Chomp and bark, of course. Mr. Perpetual Motion Tampamanian Devil is always looking for an angle, ever the opportunist, ever the terrier.

Funny, he’s never caught a rat. No interest in ’em. Not his style.

Happy birthday, Sammy, and may you have many, many more. Huffing and puffing and barking all the houses down, blowing and snorting fire and brimstone this way and that, part devil, part dog. All Sammy. He’s a heckuva, he’s a heckuva, he’s a heckuva dog.

The Existential Dog.

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The Hero Takes a Bow. Wow.

Photo illustration by Gimlet Rose. 'Dog' courtesy Jon Klassen and Candlewick Press.

Photo illustration by Gimlet Rose. ‘The Dog’ courtesy Jon Klassen and Candlewick Press.

Oh, the humanity. The unbearable lightness of being of it all. As Jack Benny or my Doggie Dad might have said, “Well.”

There it was, another art masterpiece by Jon Klassen, another wonderful literary construction by Mac Barnett: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Awards too many to mention, even in this day and age. Not to give anything away, but the plot revolves around two boys digging a hole. In the company of a cat. And a dog. A marvelous character, this dog, who went unnamed even as he was the only one of the trio of two boys and dog who realized what was going on. There’s no telling what the cat thought. We’ll consult Joe the Cat about that some other time.

But that dog got it. The boys, Sam and Dave, were clueless, even as the dog gave them clue after clue. They shoveled them away as though they were the dirt beneath their feet. Dumb as rocks, those boys.

But then there was that dog. After I read the book, I knew I had to talk with him. Or her. Klassen and Barnett have been on book tours, done pressers, visited classrooms, and gone viral. What did the actual hero of the piece have to say?

‘The Dog’ and I met at a nearby coffee shop (turns out we inhabit the same literary landscape) and discovered we are both coffeehounds. He (yes) is your typical terrier, body and eyes alert (if a trifle cartoonish), and sporting a rough (but clean) coat. From his first woof, it’s obvious his bark is soft. His bite? Well, sitting down and nipping into a croissant, it’s clear he’s a dog who knows his way around a toothbrush.

‘THE DOG’

I hope you didn’t have any trouble finding your way here. You’re a fellow terrier, so I didn’t think you would. How’s your coffee? I admit I love the smell of coffee grounds in the morning more than anything else. I’m a terrier, after all, and interested in terroir.

INTERVIEWER

Down-to-earth, they used to call it. Now, it’s a mindset or worldview. Very PC, “Puppy Correct.”

‘the dog’

Whatever it is, it came in handy when we were working on Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Jon in particular likes to collaborate during the illustration process. Who else but a terrier knows what it’s like to dig a hole? When Jon would pose me for sketching purposes, I’d always strive for authenticity. Digging requires curiosity, which requires an active mind. That’s a difficult concept for some illustrators to understand, but Jon got it. He knew a terrier was essential to the story. He grasped the terrier mind.

INTERVIEWER

Better than grasping your tail!

‘the dog’

We talked about that. It was important Sam and Dave have a dog as a companion, but that the dog remain somewhat apart. Detached. ‘The Dog’ was not a dog who was particularly obedient. In fact, no words were addressed to him. The character acted as both guide and observer. He is an independent dog. He is his own dog. That becomes important later.

INTERVIEWER

I’d say your character took a page from The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. The premise was George and Gracie at home. Burns would leave the action, go into another room and watch a television set that was broadcasting what was going on with Gracie. Then he’d  turn and speak directly to the viewers. It was “breaking the fourth wall.” Very Burnsian. Shakespearean. Aristophanesen (that a word?). How often is a dog cast as a George Burns or a Greek chorus? All of this in a children’s book about digging a hole. No wonder you won a Caldecott Award.

‘THE DOG’

Some days, it was more about breaking through a wall of dirt. There was a lot of digging. And not only did the boys, Sam and Dave, not talk to me, they didn’t feed me, either. They had animal cookies and chocolate milk.

INTERVIEWER

That’s right. Although there is a bone involved.

‘THE DOG’

Not to give too much away, but my character found that bone. Among other things.

INTERVIEWER

You, ‘The Dog,’ are the book’s central character. Why do you think you were unnamed?

‘THE DOG’

This is purely a guess on my part. But I would say Mac and Jon were interested in the searching for “something spectacular,” manifested by the digging, being the actual discovery. The book doesn’t answer questions so much as present them: “Who am I?” “Where am I?” What makes me happy?” Boys should be named, unless they’re in Tarzan. Dogs tend to be confident and don’t need labels.

INTERVIEWER

Are you pleased with the plot and your character? Would you have done anything differently?

‘THE DOG’

The plot is perfect. It’s straightforward, yet takes so many turns. I’m referring to all those tunnels my character digs, all those things the dog found and the boys overlooked, that weren’t essential to their well-being. The boys discovered what they needed to discover, and so did the dog. This returns to the dog’s independent streak. He needed that bone, and he found a way to get it, by being his own dog. The boys needed to know themselves. I channeled George, the wire fox terrier from Bringing Up Baby while I was digging for that bone. That dog and that movie are classics. A wire fox terrier named Skippy played both George and then Asta in The Thin Man, by the way. He’d make a great interview subject. No, the plot for Sam & Dave was perfect, and the illustrations captured a dog’s way of being. Nothing to change there. The only thing I might have wished for were a few of those animal cookies Sam and Dave had. Dogs get hungry, too.

INTERVIEWER

Any projects you’re working on?

‘THE DOG’

My people are pitching a project to Starbucks, sort of a Samuel Pepys coffeehouse journal done from a dog’s perspective. I hope they bite, because I would probably get a Rewards card out of the deal. Other than that, I’m drinking coffee, and enjoying my work in Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. You know Sam & Dave is marketed as a children’s book, and you described it as one earlier, but it’s not. As J.R.R. Tolkien said, there’s no such thing as writing for children, so how could there be children’s books? This isn’t a dog’s book, either. This is a book about searching and finding what one needs to find. It’s like me finding the right mix of coffee beans and words for a conversation here with you. A dog’s life doesn’t get much better than that. We know enough to live in the moment.

Ahead of the Pack.

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Changing the Way We Look At Things

Russian wire fox terrier in the style of avant-garde artist Lyubov Popova.

Wire fox terrier in the style of Russian avant-garde artist Lyubov (Liubov) Popova. By Gimlet Rose © 2015.

The difference between arf, arf, arf, and art, art, art? No more than a letter.

Some think art revolves around its placement in a home, as in the color of your living room, the size of your wall, or the size of your sofa. Dogs realize there are “arfefacts” about art. It’s all about color, form, placement, and process. In dog terms, art is more concerned with the process of a tri-color wire fox terrier, that dog of geometric form, placing himself upon your comfortable living room sofa. And enjoying himself.

Art is that simple.

Look at the work of Russian avant-garde artist Lyubov (Liubov) Popova. Her collages, paintings, and posters might be categorized as “Architectonic” and “Suprematist.” We deem them lovely. Lively. Even wirey. In that sense, we’d consider them wirry-cow because they surprise and capture. Chase Manhattan sometimes goes by “Bugbear” (another name for wirry-cow, or “worry-cow,” and Sammy likes to “worry” Chase, as in keep after him to play or share chews). Odd how that works, because Chase is not Scottish, although he does surprise. We’ll have to ask him about that.

Back to simplicity.

Like dogs and ankles, art can be whatever grabs you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself about it. The dog sitting on your sofa (the correct place for any dog) needs understanding and appreciation. Just like art. It makes the process of living with a dog, or a piece of art, so much better.

We wonder: why are so many of Popova’s works entitled “Untitled”? Don’t we love titles? Don’t we love a sense of entitlement? Her works cry out for a name, a moniker, a description of their power. Wirry-cow No. 15 with Blocks of Bold Color? Looking At You from the Wall Above Your Sofa? Tri-color Wire Fox Terrier With Back to You But Head Looking Right at You seems an appropriate way to go through life, and Gimlet seems to have captured it. There’s the arfefact, now where’s the sofa?

–Mr. Doodles Dog Op-Ed.

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Just Jostling and Jousting.

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Sitting in Judgment

This is our chair. This is our perspective.

Gimlet and Nigel settled into their pink chair. Illustration by Gimlet Rose. @2015

Gimlet and Nigel settled into their pink chair. Illustration by Gimlet Rose. @2015

Not too long ago, we took stock of our chairs.

All that standing in judgment takes a terrier toll, so this wasn’t a frivolous move on our part. Let others determine where they stand. It’s sitting that settles.

We noted a rescued Thonet of bent birchwood and orange seat ($5 from at a building implosion sale); a George Jetsonian swivel in Kelly green of Goodwill provenance ($20, no less); a mid-century modern armchair of curves and pink Herculon (throwaway); and a pink “Eraser” chair from Conran’s (full price, forgotten).

We love our chairs.

It’s where we do our reading, thinking, resting, and dreaming. It’s a place of naps, laps, and yaps. A couch is for sleeping, but a chair . . . a chair takes you places, to forgotten places, longings, and Dreamland. A chair can also drive as hard as John Wayne in “Red River.” Pull a chair up to a desk and you have instant partners in crime. As Mel Brooks said in “Blazing Saddles,” it’s “work, work, work.” It’s the chair that’s the driving force. Imagine Roald Dahl in his writing shed without his chair. Can’t be done. Nothing would have been written. No Willy Wonka, no James, no Giant Peach, no Gremlins.

No, no, no. We couldn’t have it.

Dahl knew he couldn’t go anywhere without his trusty chair. We know it, too. From one group of four-leggers to another, we at Mr. Doodles Dog send kudos to chairs.