John Moe’s Pop Song Correspondences
John Moe writes and collects letters to and about some of his favorite musical performers regarding some of their more notable songs.
A Letter to Elvis Presley From His Hound Dog.
BY JOHN MOE
You’ve put me in a no-win situation and I’m more than a little bit upset about it. You treat me like crap, you insult me, but yet I am, unavoidably, a hound dog and thus have no choice but to love you with blind and eternal devotion. And while that is my physiological imperative, it’s not my choice. I give you loyalty and affection, I prostrate myself before you, but, as I understand the whole man-dog dynamic, you’re supposed to love me too. I’m supposed to be your best friend. But instead, you publicly announce that I’m no friend of yours. You sing it at the top of your lungs. While shaking your ass. This relationship is broken, Elvis, and it’s up to you to fix it.
I admit it: I do cry all the time. I think a doctor would call it severe clinical depression, if you ever took me to a doctor, like a responsible owner would. I wake up in the morning and there’s this massive cloud of despair hanging over me. I eat some dog food, lap up water, lick myself a bit, and it’s still there. It never leaves me, Elvis. Wouldn’t you cry all the time? But why am I even telling you this? You’ve probably already crumpled this note into a ball to play crumpled-up-paper basketball with Sonny and Red. They’re letting you win, by the way.
If you could get me on some sort of prescription, I bet I would feel a lot better. Heck, even an exercise program. Hey, you know what? Maybe if you were just nice to me once in a while. How about that? Told me I was a good dog, scratched behind my ears, something. Anything. Show me just the smallest fraction of warmth that you give to your fans and Lisa Marie and Angie Dickinson.
If any of that were to happen then maybe I could fulfill what appears to be the pivotal prerequisite for your friendship, Elvis, namely, the catching of a rabbit. Tell me, is that a Tupelo thing? Judging others by their ability to successfully hunt and obtain wild rodents? Are you transferring some sort of unresolved parental-approval issue to me, your dog? It seems pretty screwed up to me, but whatever. But please know this: there’s nothing I would love more than to chase down a rabbit, taste the fur in my mouth, see the little feet kick, and then snap its neck with one swift shake. But I can’t. I can’t catch a rabbit while dark thoughts echo to my very core. I can’t catch a rabbit when I’m crying all the time. It’s a cycle.
What I’m saying is that you have the power (some would even say the responsibility) to help me. Get me the attention I need, either from a doctor or yourself. Help me catch a rabbit, King, and help me give you the companionship you need. Because even though I think you’re an irresponsible, petty, judgmental, emotional tyrant, you will always be my friend.
Your Hound Dog
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