To the Organizers of the Woofstock Festival for Dogs and My Baby Rufus,
I send you all this email knowing that I do not have long to live. At this moment I am barricaded in the St. Lawrence Market along with a few other survivors. The rioters are breaking down our barricade faster than we can repair it, and a pack of bloodthirsty costumed dogs have taken over the lower level. I saw a Pekingese dressed as a fireman eating what was left of the guy who ran the Pepsi Taste Test Challenge booth.
There were many factors that led to the collapse of Woofstock. Thanks to a number of high-profile events that drew crowds from across the world, this was Woofstock’s biggest year ever. Most notably were the dog fashion show featuring the latest designs by Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and the book signing by Snooki’s dog Gia for the launch of her no-holds-barred memoir about life with the reality TV star entitled Like a Bitch in Heat; The Snooki Story.
Three days of unprecedented, unrelenting heat and humidity took its toll on the crowd’s collective psyche. Refreshment vendors began jacking up the prices of their bottles of water and fresh-squeezed lemonade. It was so bad that I even saw one man go so far as to remove the fur Ewok costume from his Chihuahua; an act of desperation if ever I saw one. I saw one couple screaming at the Pepsi Taste Test Challenge guy, God rest his soul, for refusing to let them taste test twice.
It all culminated this afternoon when a group of volunteers and I were to give out free samples of Cesar brand dog food. It was my job to organize this event. If I had done it better, I may have been able to prevent the whole situation from madly spiraling out of control. I simply, and tragically, did not foresee how crazy people were going to go for these samples.
To keep line wait times at a minimum, my plan was to allow people to simply help themselves to a pile of samples set up on a table. My volunteers were to add fresh stock to the piles and I was to maintain order in the tent.
What I hadn’t counted on was the crowd’s animosity. They were sick of being taken advantage of by the drink vendors, and now felt entitled to get some of their own back by getting as many samples as they could cram into their purses, backpacks, or the adorable little bags that people can strap to their dogs’ backs… not that I’d ever make my princess carry stuff around like that. I asked people to please only take one sample per family, but there was no stopping them. Within ten minutes we had completely run out of samples.
People were furious. Outraged owners shouted that they had a right to free dog-food, and we had no right to withhold it from them. I tried to make them see reason; that Cesars isn’t that great anyway—my princess won’t touch the stuff—but the situation had moved beyond dog food. The crowd was a nameless, faceless, mass of rage and indignation.
They shoved us aside and stormed through the walls of the tent to find more samples. But there was nothing back there. A ringleader (with a German Shepherd dressed as Dora the Explorer) led the angry mob to the Cesar’s truck, which he’d seen parked in an alley earlier in the day. The truck driver must have thought the crowd was some kind of internet flash mob, because he leapt out of his car and immediately began dancing… until he was overtaken and beaten to death by a man with a dog food bowl amusingly shaped like a turtle. His dog, the fireman Pekingese mentioned earlier, joined the action and got its first taste of human blood.
I got as many vendors and volunteers as I could gather and began the process of walling ourselves into the St. Lawrence Market. I knew that the discovery that the truck was empty would only provoke the mob to further violence.
Many owners lost track of their dogs, which began collecting into a pack led by Dora the German Shepherd Explorer. Dogs who had been thoroughly civilized through thousands of years of domestication were hearing the call of the wild and turned on their masters. I saw a Jack Russell Terrier dressed as Captain America rip the throat out of his own master.
The police arrived to stop the mayhem, but were quickly overwhelmed. The only real rioting experience the Toronto police had was beating the crap out of peaceful protestors during G20. They were woefully unprepared to defend themselves against packs of feral, costumed dogs.
By this time we’d built up our barricades inside the St. Lawrence Market. Somewhere in the lower level there was a hole small enough for miniature-sized dogs to squeeze through because we’re now fighting a war on two fronts; trying to hold rioters back at the barricade on the front doors, and trying to keep the blood-thirsty and adorably dressed little monsters at bay in the basement. It is only a matter of time.
To my Papillon Rufus; you are the beautiful, beautiful lady dog you know you are inside. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. One day, sex changes for dogs will be legal and you will be able to live as you’ve always wanted. You’ll just have to remember to take your hormone therapy pills on your own now.
To the organizers of Woofstock Festival for Dogs; I have failed you, I failed those attending the festival, and I have failed all those thousands of costumed dogs. All I ever wanted was to be part of something that brought people joy by treating their dogs as though they were humans.
And now I must go. The rioters are almost through our barricade, and I am going down to the lower levels. The one positive thing about this situation is that I shall die how I always dreamed I would; at the paws of a brindle Cairn Terrier dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.