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Before I begin detailing the harrowing anecdote of how I – a simple gay man from Upstate New York with a taste for karaoke and fleece trophies – came to meet HRH Doug The Pug, please open a new tab on your browser and go to YouTube.com. Once there, please type: “Fantasia Barrino Wins American Idol” into the search bar and click on the video titled: “Fantasia Barrino Wins American Idol.” Please watch the entire video. Cry if you must.
No way am I trying to suggest Social Doug is equivalent to winning Fantasia American Idol, Fantasia is a musical goddess with a red Mercedes, and Doug is a perfect pug loaf with no musical talent that I know of. But what I’m trying to assume is that both of these events—both of these, both of these euphoric examples of glory—are equal in how they affect who I am now as a person and who I hope to become. Plus, the award winning fantasy “I’m Here” is pretty awesome and you should watch it too.
The story begins on a bleak Tuesday afternoon a few months ago. I was writhing the halls of my office when a friend posted a video to my Facebook wall of Doug The Pug dressed in a meticulously decorated Harry Potter costume, claiming, “That’s you.” After watching the video several times, then watching it again, and then sending it to my mom, I proceeded to run around my office showing my colleagues the glory that is Doug. One co-worker in particular, who for the sake of privacy we’ll be back beyonceHe told me he went to college with Malik Doug and met him on a few occasions.
I instantly blacked out.
“I spilled water all over myself as I jumped up from my chair in shock. Does it look like I peed myself? Sure. Did you care? Doug was here.”
After what could have been a year, I regained the realization and started questioning Beyoncé about Doug. He told me that Doug would be in town soon and would do whatever he could to get us.
I stopped again
Fast forward to Tuesday, May 26th. I’m sitting at my desk eating raw and unsalted almonds, because they’re better for your digestion than cashews and better for your waistline than cookies, and I see Doug uploaded a photo on the occasion of his undignified visit to New York City. Now, this is no ordinary photo, as it was taken in Madison Square Park, which is a hop, skip, and about a two minute walk from my office building.
It turned off aga – not kidding. I did not withhold this time. Although I spilled water all over myself when I jumped out of my chair in shock. Does it look like I peed myself? certainly. Did you care? Doug was here, and I won’t miss seeing him. I proceeded to descend 12 flights of stairs because the elevators in my office building run slower than getting a bill through Congress. Exhausted, I burst open doors that probably weren’t meant to be swung open and ran toward the garden.
Here is where things start to get dark. Madison Square Park is a relatively large public space that tourists prefer to use. Also, the Shack Shack located in the park just reopened so this place was busy. How was I supposed to find Doug in this yummy flood of non-Pug (read: people)? Defeated and broken, happiness began to my desk with a metaphorical tail between my literal legs.
Back at my office, I promptly posted my Facebook status detailing my unsuccessful attempt at meeting Doug. The feedback was comforting, but even turning off the e-words (<- that component) wasn't enough to straighten the wound that was Doug's absence in my day.
“who was that?” I thought to myself. I opened the letter and read: “Hey, this is Doug.”
About an hour after I went live, I got a notification on my Instagram from none other than Doug himself. Do you know when you’re watching a music video and things slow down? And just like in the “All Hands On Deck” music video right after Tinashe does her first bit of choreography at high volumes and the camera cuts to dancing in the sand? Everything seemed to slow down to the specified frame rate when I saw his comment. He told me that he was sorry he did wrong to meet me and that he loves me.
Needless to say, I lost my mind and answered in as many words as I could possibly get.
Later that evening, after the events of the day had begun to subside, I transported myself with my drunk from my recently graduated medical school. The med school part has nothing to do with the story, but I’m proud of it. Anyway, while imbibing, I got a text message from a number I didn’t know. “who was that?” I thought to myself as I finished the last of my stir-fry and whiskey. I opened the letter and read: “Hey, this is Doug.”
Now, I’m tempted to expand on the crazy, but I’m fully aware that Pugs can’t text (or comment on Instagram photos for that matter). I needed to see if this was legitimate, and I knew how to do it. Beyoncé had previously told me that he was good friends with Doug and his boyfriend, so I figured if I sent by Beyoncé’s real first name and replied that pin with Beyoncé’s real last name then it must be legitimate.
This is exactly what happened. I felt amazing as Beyoncé looked in the “Single Ladies” music video.
Oh, did I forget to mention that Doug made a cameo in the “Single Ladies” music video? Because he sure did.
The mystery number checked Beyoncé’s last name and claimed it was “returned” and stated he would visit my company’s office the next day. We texted him that night and I was giddy as a high school teacher who finally demolished his least favorite student for selling marijuana from the janitor’s locker. I don’t remember having pug dreams that night when I went to bed, but I’m pretty sure I did.
“Well, this is where things start to get messy.”
I woke up the next day feeling like a spring chicken who wasn’t aware of how close he was to slaughter. Today was mine, and I wanted to meet Doug before sunset that evening. I checked my phone and saw a text message from the mystery number. We had a little chat as I got ready for work and headed to my office. As I sat down at my desk, I received a message that said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, do you think this is Doug the Big?”
Well, this is where things start to get messy. No, I obviously didn’t think I was texting with Doug. He is dog and hock where he pleases and doesn’t know how to operate the phone. I thought I was talking to his owner since the mystery number validated Beyoncé’s real last name. I responded as strongly as a 7, as I would have responded to an 8, but I suffer from clairvoyance and have inherent trust issues, so I went with a 7. Finally, feeling like this was all a joke, I texted Beyoncé asking about his involvement.
This is a photo of me as “real” Beyoncé asking “alias” Beyoncé what the deal is. Notice the bright shadow in my eyes.
He didn’t know what I was talking about. Sure enough, fellow, for privacy we’ll call him michelle, He approached me and announced that everything was a joke. He didn’t know I couldn’t memorize his number and thought for sure that I would have caught the farce before things got to the point where I did. The main issue I had with Michelle’s reasoning was that he: a) knows how crazy I am about dogs with squishy faces, and b) knows very well not to underestimate my commitment to freaks.
So there you are. open. catfished. dogfished. lonliness. desperate. gay. I asked Michelle if he had any idea that I had previously talked Beyoncé into contacting Doug’s real owner and he said, “No.”
sigh. Fates are cruel.
I give in to cruelty
After drowning my embarrassment and shame with iced coffee, which unfortunately had a proof of 0, I reached out to Beyoncé to explain the whole situation. I felt bad, I felt bad, Michelle felt bad, everyone else felt bad. You know who doesn’t feel bad? Another fellow, we’ll call him for privacy Kelly. Kelly, being the prominent citizen and tall guy he is, created a Change.org petition to help me interview Doug. This act of selfless generosity has amassed a fair amount of attention online, and the attention makes me feel so thirsty, so I’m starting to feel better. When I wasn’t thinking much about the actual endgame, I left my desk to grab a nice lunch because eating helps to feel more numb.
I lost my appetite on my way to lunch because of the day’s events.
I did, however, buy a Diet Coke and drink it with a straw as she does it on Real Housewives. As I take a sip, I receive a message from Beyoncé. “Where are you?” He says. “Are you from the office? I just spoke to Doug’s owner and she says we can meet Doug at Madison Square Garden if you’re free.”
I can’t say for sure if I broke the door on my way out of lunch, but I didn’t care. I was about to meet Doug, and this infernal avalanche of disc-related emotional turmoil was about to end. I see that shimmering Beyoncé look is waiting for me in the lobby of my building, and together we helped meet Hag Doug.
It was as glorious as the sun, each fold being more majestic than the last. His owner was so kind and let me hold Doug like the precious baby that he is. He instantly fell asleep in my arms, and at that moment, we were infinite.
Originally posted on Medium.com / Featured image via @JonGraz