What a dog wants 

What a dog needs

My name is Mathilde. I'm a dog. Though it's pronounced the same way, I'm not named after that stupid "Waltzing Matilda" song. If I meet you and you start singing or humming "Waltzing Matilda," so help me Dog, I will eat your face.

My dad is Andisheh Nouraee. He's the guy who normally writes this column. Dad is on vacation this week. He asked me to substitute for him because he says that I need to start earning my keep. That's fair.

One thing I don't get, though. He goes to concerts, art openings and strip clubs for work. What kind of jerk needs a vacation from that?

His job ain't so hard. It's just the same old tired formula week after week. Weird local artist + gratuitous smut + East Atlanta + personal fun tarted up as column-worthy event + stupid captions = column.

I don't know how you people read it each week. I can't even piss on it anymore. I swear, his stuff is so predictable, even a dog could do it.

Gratuitous smut: Just because I'm spayed doesn't mean that I'm any less of a woman. You know that song that goes "I'm a bitch. I'm a lover," etc.? That's totally me.

Dad's not around to tell me no, so I've been going to town on our couch cushions. They were fun, but after a while, it wasn't enough.

That's when I grabbed Dad's car keys off the dresser, pulled a Toonces, and headed over to the Fur Side in East Atlanta.

Humans know the Fur Side as a pet grooming salon and dog wash. We in the canine community, however, know and love Fur Side as one of the premier adult entertainment venues in the city. Where else can you watch sexy sires and bodacious bitches get all lathered up and rinsed down? And for free!

During my visit, I met my dream dog. He's a trim little pit-mix named Vinnie. Vinnie is dark brown, almost black, with a white snout. He's real boyish and sweet, but he's also got a bit of street edge to him that I think makes him sexy. Imagine Brando's character from The Wild Ones crossed with Benji.

Vinnie hardly put up a fuss when his foster mom, Victoria Park, was washing him. Miss Park is the nice lady from Park Pet Supply, which is right next door to Fur Side. She says Vinnie is sweet and that he never, ever gives her trouble. Miss Park rescued Vinnie from a neglectful owner and has since been trying to find him a good home. Miss Park volunteers with a group called Animal Action Rescue (www.animalactionrescue.petfinder.org). They also have a bunch of dogs orphaned by Hurricane Katrina. I think Louisiana accents are sexy.

Anyway, after his wash, and some mutual sniffing, me and Vinnie went next door to the pet store for a snack. Park Pet Supply is to Fur Side what Alluvia is to the Cheetah. Discuss.

Weird Local Artist: Last Saturday at 6 p.m., I committed several health code violations when I stopped by Smith's Olde Bar to check out the premier of That's Just Wrong!

That's Just Wrong! is the latest film by Atlanta director Joe Christ. His previous films include 2000's My Struggle, which, according to Christ's online synopsis, tells the story of "inbred Amish guys in Lancaster County, Pa., who kidnap female tourists, hoping to improve their gene pool," and 1998's short film "Amy Strangled a Small Child," for which a quotation from the synopsis would seem redundant somehow.

Even though his films are often pretty violent and offensive, Mr. Christ is a really nice guy. He let me sit on the couch to watch the movie. My dad would never let me do that.

That's Just Wrong! stars Mr. Christ as a gentle stalker who falls in love with a passive woman named Phaedra. One of the things I like about the movie is that it featured dogs in not one, but two key roles. The film's narrator is a pug named Shitball, played by the brilliant local canine actor Scrapple. Phaedra had a dog, too. She walked it a lot, which I thought was really nice.

Another thing I liked about the movie was how they used raw chicken as a substitute for human flesh in some of the gore scenes. I like chicken.

Recreation Masquerading As Column-Worthy Event: If there's one thing I love more than eating, licking myself, sniffing butts, sleeping, driving with the windows down, belly rubs, and barking at the mailman, it's tennis balls. They're bright and pretty. They bounce. I can squeeze them in my mouth. And best of all, their felt exterior gathers up all sorts of exotic tastes and smells. It's a flavor saver!

No place in the city has more tennis balls just lying around than the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center on Northside Drive. I was there last Saturday afternoon. The facility is being remodeled and has a bunch of pretty, brand-new blue courts.

For a while I watched a handsome couple play a singles match. Balls kept rolling over toward me, but they were all inside the fence, so I couldn't get at 'em. So after a few minutes, I walked over to where an instructor was giving group lessons.

The lessons are called Stroke Clinics and they happen at Bitsy Grant on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. For $12, clinic-goers get tennis instruction and, most importantly, a shopping cart-sized rolling basket full of the most delicious variety tennis balls you've ever laid eyes on -- Penn 4s, Wilson 2s, Wilson 1s, Dunlop Pros, and even a couple Slazengers. I think those are imported.

For more of Mathilde's dad's gallivanting around town, visit andy2000.org.

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