06 June 2007
Good Dog, Carl
Author/Illustrator: Alexandra Day
Considered a modern classic, this is the story of a mother who goes out to run some errands and leaves her baby in the care of the dog, Carl. While she is out, Carl and the baby have all kinds of forbidden fun, like sliding down laundry chutes, swimming in the fish tank, and eating junk food. Carl then bathes the baby and puts it back to crib and the mom is none the wiser.
Good natured fun? We'll see who's laughing when Child Protective Services comes knocking at the door. I mean, honestly, who leaves their baby's life in the hands of a rottweiller? I don't care how "good" he is, he doesn't have opposable thumbs!
Alternate (Jaded, Pessimistic) Interpretations of Good Dog, Carl
The Cool Uncle Carl Interpretation: Carl is like the fun uncle who doesn't have to shoulder any of the responsibilities of child-rearing, but gets to come in and spoil the child with his free-wheeling and anti-establishment ways. This curries favor with the child while simultaneously undermining the parents' authority. It all starts innocently enough with laundry chute adventures and junk food... but by the time the baby grows to be a teenager, don't be surprised to find Good Ol' Carl buying the kid cigarettes and beer behind the parents' backs.
The Lady and the Tramp Interpretation: Carl misses being the center of attention. Before the baby came along, he was the apple of this family's eye. Now he is merely a supporting cast member, with the baby taking the lead. Desperate to regain the spotlight, Carl decides that he must eliminate the competition. Left alone, he throws the baby down the laundry chute and into the basement, tries to drown it in the fish tank, and even attempts to poison it with obscene amounts of junk food. Fortunately for the family, Carl does not have the fine-tuned skills of a highly trained assassin (again, no thumbs). His attempts are woefully unsuccessful. Knowing that the mother will be home at any minute, he quickly washes the baby, wiping off any fingerprints and destroying all evidence of wrong-doing. The mother doesn't suspect a thing. Perfect. Now all Carl needs is patience as he plots his next move and waits for the family to turn its back... so he can get rid of that damn baby once and for all.