Dear Devo

Re: Whippet


Please excuse the introductory vintage monochrome Children's Television 'catchphrase' that prefaces the main body of this missive, Devo. The outrageous and uncalled for peurility for which I am truly sorry, was prompted by a recent viewing on the 'youtube' channel of Watch With Mother's flagship Thunderbirds precursor 'Bill and Ben', which featured an early 'Willow Farm'-era Peter Gabriel prototype flanked by two invisibly gallowed courtiers sporting scalp coverage not dissimilar to that donned by yourselves in the 'promo' to your excellent Minimoog and Custom 6 oscillator''driven' 'effort'. I apologise once again for this feeble and flippant attempt at humour, which was largely invoked by a Hobgoblin shandy, and will not be repeated elsewhere in this praiseworthy epistle.

My friend and co-angler Ernest Saxtonhouse, as well as being a particularly adept tenk capturer, is also something of a 'face' within the local dog racing community. So taken with your 'New Wave Staple' was he that it is now the aural mascot of his yearling, Geraldine (Racing name - 'Brindle Fly'), and is played over the Fordingbridge & East Dorset Racing Club's public address system at some point during every meeting at which the bitch runs.

Ernest is particularly impressed by your in depth knowledge of the rushing size zero sighthound pastime, viz a vie the quirky 'motorik chant-along' chorus instructions which so accurately acknowledge Geraldine's need to move ahead, go forward, get straight and try to detect at all times the rapid conveyor belted 'lure' that she is so encouraged to chase in order to reward her owner with a win at odds of up to 7-2 on, much to his 'Satisfaction'. Indeed, he has even incorporated the phrases 'whippet good' (followed by the reward of a cow's ear or her favourite Chewdles Bonibix treat biscuit) and 'you must, whippet' (sometimes followed by a mild admonishing snout tap) into a discipline/health regime devised to achieve optimum fitness within the bitch, and get, as you once again correctly observe, the 'whippet into shape' on a permanent basis. The 'line',

'When a problem comes along',

an obvious reference to the 6" high hurdles sometimes obstructing her path in more competitive fixtures, has been particularly integral to her training, and my happy chum would be thrilled to thank you in person for his working pet's radical 'muscling up' and increased dexterity, should the opportunity ever arise.

Worryingly, so grateful and enamoured by the 'alt- rock tour de force' and your 'look' is my pal that last Monday I even had to dissuade him from finishing off a Devo-homaging costume for the bitch which he was mid-way through completing in time for her appearance at this weekend's Lightweight 175 yard Pedigree Sprint. I am somewhat embarrassed to report that the outfit's hat was being fashioned from the lid of an old tube of discarded glue found on his wood-shed floor, so nearly named after you that I recommend that at some point you endorse it commercially for financial gain. Ernest had gone so far as to slightly file down the top of the Evostick cap, (disinfected with Savlon so as to avoid disorientation in the lucrative pet resulting from strong adhesive fume dregs wafting into her muzzle), in order to accurately sculpt, with optimum symmetry, a polymer helmet identical to your own. The drilling by way of a low gauge spectacle adjusting screwdriver of two small apertures at either side of the 'rim', for the purposes of inserting elastic ties intended to be securely tied in a double bow beneath her chin to keep it from falling off whilst pursuing her Scalextric track-like mounted hare fantoccini, was a particularly disconcerting detail.

Furthermore, to complete the obeisant 'wardrobe' he had delineated a template for a bespoke jacket to be cut from a yellow refuse sack. Ernest proudly pointed out the fact that bin bags of this kind served a most pleasing dual purpose. Firstly, their being foremostly designed for the disposal of clinical waste lent the material a durability absent in their flimsier black cousins, which was crucial to the rigours of a flat out dash and minimised the chances of tearing or disintegration. Secondly, their hue and sheen mirrored that of your boiler suits perfectly. The finishing touch to the 'post-punk' livery was to have been a modified guitar strap intended to be fastened around the bitch's midriff and shiny coat, by which I am referring to the aforementioned liner vestment and not her healthy fur. The instrument harness, unused since his grandson's loss of interest in his Squier Telecaster upon being dismayed at encountering six strange wires upon the long bit instead of any coloured 'frets', thus labouring him with the burden of having to learn to play it properly, served as a most satisfactory pseudo belt. Dismayed as to how such an outrageously uniformed contender and indeed the mental state of her handler may be beheld by the stewards as Geraldine was led towards her trap, I tactfully pointed out to my friend that both the bitch's crown protuberance and biodegradable torso garb, which is unlikely to be wind-resistant, could feasibly hinder her aerodynamically in a hurrying situation. I was relieved beyond belief when my compadre heeded my decoy objections and abandoned his ill-advised tailorings.

Given your spotless 'track record' in purveying animal theme song-cum-coaching aids, may I suggest that you perhaps up your sights and call your next song either 'Greyhound', and/or, branching into the potentially more profitable equine market 'Thoroughbred'. These advancements would be a definite step up in the echelons of expeditious creature wagering, and weeeeeee'd all like to see you in the Hit Parade again as soon as possible.

It's not too late!


Derek Philpott

P.S. I must apologise for the second weak 'Flowerpot Men' joke that epilogues the above correspondence contrary to earlier assurances that such japery would not be repeated. The unsolicited 'word-play' was I fear prompted by a second alcoholic beverage featuring substantially less Sprite dilution than was called for

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