By 1960 the poodle was the most popular breed in America. Many of these poodles were named "Pierre," as if they were expected to eat pâté and bark in French. But the wasp-waisted twentysomethings put on weight and started answering to "Grandma." Accordingly, French poodles now enjoy widespread hostility. The male poodle, freshly brushed and panting with a ribbon in his topknot, endures as a symbol of degenerate lewdness (cf. Frank Zappa, Doug Allen). Here, the "lapdog" recalls the incubi of Puritan demonology.

Vive la résistance!

A brief survey of East 57th Street on a sunny afternoon reveals that the mantle of gleaming canine effeminacy has been passed on to Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos. But the French poodles are still with us: in uncontrolled mongrel profusion, glowering through the byways and back streets, having shaken off the wealth that chained them, assimilated, unkempt, ribbonless, weepy-eyed, they await the moment when, at the signal, they will rise together and seize power.



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