[By the way, as a special treat for those who make it all the way to the end of the post, I’ve included an interview with John Cleese where he explains where the idea for the Cheese Shop Sketch came from.]
A montage of photographs. The cutting from photo to photo is pretty fast. Bongo music is heard. Starting with: a close up of Obama, who wears a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a flag lapel pin; various photos of Obama walking along the pavement, very artily shot from show-off angles; Obama pausing outside a building; Obama looking up at the large sign above it reading “Ye Olde Dog Pound”; another sign below the first reading “Henry Whippet, Purveyor of Fine Dogs to the Gentry and the Poverty Stricken Too”; another sign below this reading “Occupy Wall Street”; close up of Obama looking pleased; shot of Obama entering the shop.
Cut to interior of the dog pound. Bongo music playing as Obama enters. Two men dressed as hippies are awkwardly dancing in the corner to the music of the bongos. The pound itself is large and redolent of the charm and profitability of the pre-Obama age. There are actually no dogs to be seen either on or behind the counter but this is not obvious. Obama approaches the counter and rings a small handbell. Whippet appears.
Whippet: Good morning, sir.
Obama: Good Morning. I was sitting in the public library on K Street just now, skimming through “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky, when suddenly I came over all peckish.
Whippet: Peckish, sir?
Obama: (broad gangsta accent) Yo! I be all hungry!
Whippet: Oh, hungry.
Obama: (normal accent) In a nutshell. So I thought to myself, “a little poached pooch will do the trick”. So I curtailed my Alinskying activites, sallied forth and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some canine comestibles. (smacks his lips)
Whippet: Come again.
Obama: (doing his best Romney impression) I want to buy some dog.
Whippet: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the music!
Obama: (normal voice) Heaven forbid. I am one who delights in all manifestations of the terpsichorean muse.
Obama: I like a nice dance. Or whatever it is those stoned, shuffling hippies are doing. Now my good man, some dog, please.
Whippet: Yes certainly, sir. What would you like?
Obama: Well, how about a little Cocker Spaniel.
Whippet: I’m, afraid we’re fresh out of Cocker Spaniel, sir.
Obama: Oh, never mind. How are you on Mastiff?
Whippet: Never at the end of the week, sir. Always get it fresh first thing on Monday.
Obama: Tish tish. No matter. Well, a nice purse-sized Chihuahua, then, if you please, stout yeoman.
Whippet: Ah well, it’s been on order for two weeks, sir, I was expecting it this morning.
Obama: Yes, it’s not my day, is it? Er, Belgian Tervuren?
Obama: Russell Terrier?
Whippet: Normally, sir, yes, but today the van broke down.
Obama: Ah. Saluki?
Obama: Great Dane? Finnish Spitz?
Obama: Any Norwegian Elkhound?
Obama: Wire Fox Terrier?
Obama: Bluetick Coonhound?
Obama: Shiba Inu?
Obama: Any Entlebucher Mountain Dog?
Obama: Pug, Komondor, Lhasa Apso, Bouvier des Flandres, Siberian Husky, Vizsla, Schipperke, Cesky Terrier, Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Greyhound?
Whippet: Ah! We do have some Greyhound, sir.
Obama: You do! Excellent.
Whippet: It’s running a bit, sir.
Obama: Oh, I like it running.
Whippet: Well as a matter of fact it’s running very fast, sir.
Obama: No matter. No matter. Hand over le chien de la piste de course qui s’apelle Greyhound, s’il vous plaît.
Whippet: I think it’s running faster than you like it, sir.
Obama: (smiling grimly) I don’t care how excrementally fast it’s running. Hand it over with all speed.
Whippet: Yes, sir. (bends below counter and reappears) Oh…
Whippet: An Indonesian’s eaten it.
Obama: Has he?
Whippet: She, sir.
Obama: Irish Setter?
Obama: Australian Shepherd?
Obama: Sussex Spaniel?
Whippet: No, sir.
Obama: You do have some dogs here, do you?
Whippet: Certainly, sir. It’s a dog pound, sir. We’ve got…
Obama: No, no, no, don’t tell me. I’m keen to guess.
Whippet: Fair enough.
Whippet: Yes, sir?
Obama: Splendid. Well, I’ll have some of that then, please.
Whippet: Oh, I’m sorry sir, I thought you were referring to me, Mr Whippet.
Obama: Great Dane?
Obama: Bichon Frise?
Obama: Any Dandie Dinmont Terrier?
Obama: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
Obama: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever?
Whippet: Not today sir, no.
Obama: Well let’s keep it simple, how about Poodle?
Whippet: Well, I’m afraid we don’t get much call for it around these parts.
Obama: Not call for it? It’s the single most popular dog in the world!
Whippet: Not round these parts, sir.
Obama: And pray what is the most popular dog round these parts?
Whippet: Beagle, sir.
Obama: I see.
Whippet: Yes, sir. It’s quite staggeringly popular in the manor, squire.
Obama: Is it.
Whippet: Yes sir, it’s our number-one seller.
Obama: Is it.
Whippet: Yes sir.
Obama: Beagle, eh?
Obama: OK, I’m game. Have you got any, he asked, expecting the answer no?
Whippet: I’ll have a look, sir… nnnnnnooooooooo.
Obama: It’s not much of a dog pound really, is it?
Whippet: Finest in the district, sir.
Obama: And what leads you to that conclusion?
Whippet: Well, it’s so clean.
Obama: Well, it’s certainly uncontaminated by dogs.
Whippet: You haven’t asked me about Labrador Retriever, sir.
Obama: Is it worth it?
Whippet: Could be.
Obama: OK, have you…will you shut those bloody bongos up! (the music stops)
Whippet: (to dancers) Told you so.
Obama: Have you got any Labrador Retriever?
Obama: No, that figures. It was pretty predictable, really. It was an act of purest optimism to pose the question in the first place. Tell me something, do you have any dogs at all?
Whippet: Yes, sir.
Obama: Now I’m going to ask you that question once more, and if you say “no” I’m going to shoot you through the head. Now, do you have any dogs at all?
Obama: (shoots him) What a senseless waste of human life.
Obama puts a cowboy hat on his head. Cut to stock shot of man on horse riding into the sunset. Music swells dramatically.
[Special Thanks to the American Kennel Club list of AKC-registrable breeds.]
[Note: the French bit in the middle Google translates roughly to “the dog of the racetrack whose name is Greyhound, please.”]
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