Now, before I go any further, I must stress that the following can in no way be referred to as displacement activity.
Displacement activity can only exist when the activity in question, displaces another, usually more urgent and useful activity.
So, browsing for doggy birthday stuff on the net, late at night, with small dog's enthusiastic cooperation most certainly does NOT come under the heading of displacement activity.
I found the following among the usual offerings of doggy birthday parties, with pampered pooches in party hats running amock and starting arguments with each other. Much like human parties in my experience but I digress.
I feel that it should come with a disclaimer. It is NOT meant to be amusing. Banish all thoughts of laughing at the poor creature. The dog is obviously traumatised and instead of joining in the general hilarity, the off-screen onlookers (or should that be perpetrators?) should be calling the Humane Society, RSPCA or any other animal welfare organisation to offer it post-traumatic stress counselling. Its party, where it was forced to model some particularly ill-advised birthday presents, represents all the very worst aspects of the 'party experience'.
I feel genuine empathy, as the scenes evoked painful memories of my own 'birthday party horribilis'. 42 years ago but as fresh and distressing as if it was yesterday.
I too was dressed to the nines with, (and I remember this with forensic clarity) shiny new silver shoes with sparkly buckles.
I too was the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons.
I too had to be physically removed, shaken and traumatised, after the fattest boy in my class at school executed a flying leap during a party game (it may have been the Hokey Cokey), which flattened me, and left my little silver sparkly shoes sticking out from under his great bulk, twitching slightly, reminiscent of the ruby slippers after Auntie Em's house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East.
I too remember the resounding laughter of my so-called 'friends' ringing in my ears, as bruised and battered, my dignity in tatters, I was led away even before the ice cream and jelly.
Painful, painful memories.
So, you will understand if the following strikes a very personal chord with me.
Being a sensitive soul, I know you will understand the very palpable distress and refrain from sniggering, smirking, giggling or any other unseemly displays.
I thank you.........