Episodes
Pure bread dog meme described in the episode.
Say My Meme, Jun 22, 2021, The Dog Show

The Dog Show

What do you think of when you hear the words "Dog Show"? Maybe you've seen the Christopher Guest cult classic film "Best in Show," but if not, you might not have much of a reference point for this somewhat obscure subculture. That's why, inspired by the recent return of the Westminster Dog Show, the Say My Meme team went to work describing a handful of Dog Show Memes to let everyone in on the fun – and absurdity – that is the classic dog show.

Episode Transcript

Will Butler:

You're listening to Say My Meme, the podcast that describes the internet's best memes for a blind audience. I'm your co-host, Will Butler, from Be My Eyes, and I'm joined by Caroline Desrosiers from Scribely. You know what I was thinking, Caroline, as we marched into season two of Say My Meme?

Caroline Desrosiers:

What's that?

Will Butler:

This is hard.

Caroline Desrosiers:

I know. You're telling me.

Will Butler:

Well, I don't know, I've sort of rolled up my sleeves a bit to try to help a little bit, because can you share with folks some of the background? This isn't as easy as it seems.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Right. I mean, to distill these memes down to a very short description that not only captures the visual, but also the humor I think is the challenge in this, and to say it in as few words as possible.

Will Butler:

Some of these memes are visually quite complex, and so I think one of the big challenges that we're having is not to over explain upfront. So, if listeners have advice on what's working or what's not working, we'd love to hear from you. If you want to send us an email to hello@saymymeme.com and just let us know how we're doing, because we're constantly trying to get better and trying to deliver the best experience possible, whether you're blind or just getting back to your commute and you're just listening to your memes, we want to make sure that we're delivering the goods. So, send us an email. Caroline, being the masochists we are, we chose kind of a difficult topic this week. Can you tell folks a little bit about what memes we're talking about this week?

Caroline Desrosiers:

It was super difficult, because we get these bright ideas that are inspired by things happening, and we're like, "Oh, yeah, let's totally take on that topic." This week is dog show memes inspired by the recent win at the Westminster dog show. So, we're like, "Yeah, let's do that," and it proved to be much more difficult than we thought it would.

Will Butler:

Yeah. Well, people love dogs, I think, so we were like, "People will love this." Then I realized, this is such an obscure subculture, the Westminster Dog Show, I don't even really know that much about it in terms of why is this the pinnacle of doggyness? Were you able to do any research on that?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I mean, the Westminster Dog Show is all about basically achieving perfection for breeds, right? They have a bunch of different dogs from a bunch of different breeds, and they're organized into different categories, right? So, we have herding dogs or sporting dogs, and they're trying to find the perfect example of the breed in each category. Then once they've found that, they determine who is best in show for the whole competition.

Will Butler:

I think most people have only been introduced by the film, but this is something that people watch around the world, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I mean, a lot of people take this very seriously. I mean, you could just be a dog fan and love to see beautiful dogs on TV, or maybe you're really into the competition. I guess there are a number of different reasons to watch.

Will Butler:

Let's just dive into these dogs show memes. If you don't know anything about dog shows, don't worry, we're going to take you along for the journey and you're going to learn some things about dog shows.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Let's do it.

Will Butler:

Let's do it. Okay. What have we got first?

Caroline Desrosiers:

All right. This first meme, I'm going to coin the term conformance check meme.

Will Butler:

A conformance check. That sounds sinister.

Caroline Desrosiers:

It does. It does. But that's basically what these dog shows are, right? Most of them are conformance shows. So, they're checking how these dogs conform to a breed standard, and they have to do some very thorough checks of these dogs.

Will Butler:

Very thorough.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yes. That involves essentially examining the entire dog. If you catch my drift, they need to examine all sorts of things and areas of the dog's body, including its butt. So, there's this awkward judging moment where they need to look at every dog's butt.

Will Butler:

Oh my god. Okay. What's the meme?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Ultimately, this meme is about going to the doctor, right? But they've used this conformance check in kind of an amazing way. This is a fun one to start off with.

Will Butler:

Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Dog show judge leans into examine the rear end of a fluffy Pomeranian. Punchline: "Nurse, just leave the gown open in back. The doctor will be right in." Me with that same doctor, "I do not approve of this."

Will Butler:

This is one of those big impact text memes, where it's big words on the meme saying, "I do not approve," and the Pomeranian's got a face... what is the Pomeranian's face doing? I'm trying to zoom in on it.

Caroline Desrosiers:

For me, the face is everything, because not only is the judge leaning around back and looking at the dogs' butt, but its got its other hand kind of around its neck, and very gently around its neck, but pushing up its fur around its face at the chin, and the dog is looking at the camera, so it's a very vulnerable moment.

Will Butler:

Yeah, like a piece of meat.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Exactly. I mean, no one likes being examined, and I think this is a funny meme because it's a new way we can relate to dog shows.

Will Butler:

Yeah. Well, and next time the nurse asks you to leave the gown open, you know what type of appointment you're at, and maybe you'll feel like this little Pom.

Caroline Desrosiers:

It's a little ominous after you said they say that and you're just waiting for what comes next.

Will Butler:

All right. What other dog show memes have we got?

Caroline Desrosiers:

All right. This one doesn't require quite as much explanation, because it's essentially a dog show pun meme, right?

Will Butler:

Oh, love a good pun.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yes, exactly. As we've kind of mentioned, only pure bred dogs are allowed at the dog show so that they can judge their conformance. This is a funny meme because the creator has found a way that a dog can actually become a pure bred if they're not one already.

Will Butler:

What's that?

Caroline Desrosiers:

All right. Basically, this is four photos of dogs wearing sliced bread on their faces. The punchline is, "Some fine examples of pure bread dogs."

Will Butler:

Pure bread dogs. I got it. Can we explain to people though what this looks like for these dogs to have this bread on their face? Because that's not a concept I think people can readily wrap their mind around.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I don't know when this trend started on social media and the internet, but it goes back at least to... it's got to be eight years ago at this point, where we heard about the term breading, and this was very popular, and people were essentially taking their pets and like cutting out little holes for the eyes and the snout, and then putting this bread on their face like a mask and taking photos really just to be funny and make their friends laugh. But they're kind of like bread masks is the best way I can explain it.

Will Butler:

I had no idea about this trend. I thought this was just something someone did for this meme.

Caroline Desrosiers:

No. I mean, I remember when I first learned about breading, it was like eight years ago. People were doing it, and my friend did it with a tortilla and her cat. I mean, it expanded from bread.

Will Butler:

How do you explain the effect that these little bread masks on animals have? It's really kind of uncanny. It's a little creepy.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

It's sort of abstractifying their face. It almost kind of makes them look like a Picasso or something like that.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I'd say they've been so precise with cutting these holes around the eyes and the mouth in the exact shape that it does look like the bread is part of their face, you know? I think that that's the surreal effect.

Will Butler:

Yeah. It's the same tint. They find bread pieces of bread that are the same tone as the dogs' fur and skin tone.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. The golden retriever, it's a slice of Wonder Bread, but the crust of the bread is the same color as the golden retriever. So, it's complimentary.

Will Butler:

That's insane. I had no idea about this breading thing. We're going to have to bookmark that for later. All right. What else have we got?

Caroline Desrosiers:

All right. We could not do this episode without talking about the movie Best in Show. Have you seen it?

Will Butler:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. A couple of times. It's been a little while now, but it's one of the best. Christopher Guest, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I call it a cult classic, right?

Will Butler:

Yes, definitely.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. It's basically a mocumentary comedy about American dog shows. So, very unique subject matter they've taken on, but it talks about the aspects of dog shows that are kind of weird, and also the people involved, right? These strong personalities that are owners and handlers and going to these dog shows and kind of made the film about that.

Will Butler:

What scene is this that they're clipping from?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I think this is probably a fan favorite character and also scene where the characters name is Meg Swan, and she's played by Parker Posey, but she's one of the handlers, and her personality extremely intense and anxious about her dog. She's completely losing it at a manager because they've lost their bumblebee dog toy called Busy Bee. So, this is a busy bee scene.

Will Butler:

Busy Bee. I remember Busy Bee. She's the latte lady, right? She's sipping lattes, I think. Yeah.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Yeah. There's an amazing clip that I watched this week about how Meg and Hamilton Swan first met at Starbucks.

Will Butler:

I remember I was drinking when I met you. It was a grande espresso.

Caroline Desrosiers:

That's right. I thought that was really sexy.

Will Butler:

Yeah.

Caroline Desrosiers:

I was drinking cappuccinos.

Will Butler:

I remember. Okay. So, she's freaking out about Busy Bee, and the dog's depressed, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I mean, the dog, I guess it's kind of reacting to its crazy owners or something, and, yeah, is a little depressed and anxious as well. This is actually a gif meme. Right? It's the moment that Meg Swan, she's kind of having an angry Karen moment.

Meg Swan:

... not listening to you. Nurse, she's freaking out.

Speaker 4:

Well, get the Busy Bee. You want your busy Bee? Get the Busy Bee.

Meg Swan:

You get the Busy Bee. I need to trim a whisker.

Caroline Desrosiers:

She's yelling at the hotel manager. As she's yelling, the speech text is appearing next to her, like right above her head. It's a looped GIF where she's continuously yelling at the manager. The text that appears is, "What are you, a wizard? A genius?" And she's saying that because the manager has just suggested that she simply go down to the lobby and buy a new toy at the pet store.

Meg Swan:

Well, you don't know my dog. You obviously don't know my dog.

Speaker 5:

I know your dog.

Speaker 4:

There's a pet store right downstairs. Why don't we go down-

Meg Swan:

A pet store down the stairs?

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Meg Swan:

What are you, a wizard? A genius? Why didn't you tell me that before? Thanks for your help, you stupid hotel manager.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. It's great because the creator of this meme is taking this moment and made it about something broader, which is when someone without crippling anxiety solves your problem after thinking about it for two seconds.

Meg Swan:

Where are you, a wizard? A genius. Why didn't you tell me that before?

Will Butler:

I think for anyone who remembers that movie, she really channels the feeling of, yeah, "Really?" We all know that when you have crippling anxiety you're not thinking totally straight.

Caroline Desrosiers:

You're not thinking straight. Yeah. Definitely a little bit distracted by the anxiety and not seeing these solutions that are very clear.

Will Butler:

We're all looking for our Busy Bee.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Exactly.

Will Butler:

All right. Do we have a couple more?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. All right. This next one actually doesn't really rely on the visual for the joke, really. It's more of a funny observation from someone on Twitter after this recent Westminster Dog Show win. I'll just say that the dog, first of all, very cute, and we'll get to that in a second, but the owner/handler is sparking some controversy.

Will Butler:

Oh.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

This was last week, huh?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah, it was. Yeah. Very good observation by someone on Twitter. The image is just simply the best in show dog and the handler posing together in front of their first place awards. Right?

Will Butler:

Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

So, picture that.

Will Butler:

Yeah.

Caroline Desrosiers:

The tweet is, "Me an hour ago: Yay, a Chinese breed won the Westminster Dog Show. Me now: Wait. This white man named the dog wasabi." Ouch.

Will Butler:

Yeah, not Chinese. Yeah. Well, this is colonialism at its best, I guess, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Yeah.

Will Butler:

There's some deep, uncomfortable politics in dog breeding too. I don't know if we want to go down that dark path, but everyone should know about all that stuff, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Oh, for sure. Yeah. I think that thankfully it's there are a lot of rescue dogs out there, rescue foundations and organizations where you can find a dog that's not a pure bred that is wonderful and perfect in its own way. So, yeah, absolutely. But this one, I mean... yeah.

Will Butler:

In honor of the dog and not the man, let's tell people what this little Wasabi guy looks like.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Wasabi is so cute, and that's why we just had to do this episode. It's a long haired Pekinese breed, and very, very cute. They have flat faces and large eyes, and they're very compact. They're actually in what's called the toy dog category, which I didn't even know about before this week that there are toy dogs. Yeah. But essentially, yeah, Wasabi has this long brushed out hair. To me, it almost looks like eighties glam rock hair or something.

Will Butler:

A blow out, he's got blow out.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Just a complete a complete blowout, covered in fur and very close to the ground. So, it's adorable. But, yeah, I mean, the dog is very cute and definitely deserved the win. This owner did not deserve a win for that name.

Will Butler:

Come on, buddy. All right. Well, do we have one more, maybe?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Okay. This is another gif meme, but it's completely visual. I'll kind of have to paint the picture for you.

Will Butler:

Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

All right. Have you ever heard of dog agility courses?

Will Butler:

I thought that was the main part of the Westminster Dog Show, they run through these little obstacle courses and they have to go up and down and do all these different things?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. I guess the main part is the conformance show. That's how you win best in show.

Will Butler:

Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

But there's also these dog agility competitions where it's basically like a timed obstacle course for dogs.

Will Butler:

Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. They have this kind of course set up with a number of obstacles, like tunnels and hurdles, and this particular meme features an A-frame agility ramp.

Will Butler:

So, that's a triangle that you run up or something?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Exactly. Yeah. It's like a metal ramp that's kind of pitched at the middle that the dog has to climb up and over as part of this course.

Will Butler:

Wild. Okay.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Keep that in your mind, and now imagine acute Bichon frise say just completely stopped in its tracks at the top of this A-frame, and it's happily scanning its adoring crowd, which we can see in the background. It's having a great time, even though the clock is ticking behind it.

Will Butler:

Oh, that's cute.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Yeah.

Will Butler:

So, he's just perched.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah. Yeah. He's perched up there. He's not advancing in this course at this moment. He's just, I guess, enjoying the moment. The text above this gif that's just repeating of this cute little bichon frise is, "When you go upstairs to get something but forget what you're doing."

Will Butler:

Oh, yeah, because there's something about... it's a gif, right?

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

So, he freezes at the top of this ramp.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yes.

Will Butler:

It sort of implies blankness.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

He's like, "Oh."

Caroline Desrosiers:

You're kind of on autopilot, I guess, but you walk into the other room, you know there was a reason you were walking into that room, but then you just stand there kind of frozen, like, "Wait a second."

Will Butler:

What was I doing here?

Caroline Desrosiers:

"Why am I here?" Exactly.

Will Butler:

Do these dogs ever just forget how to run the course?

Caroline Desrosiers:

I mean, I feel like these are the best moments of dog show, because sometimes the dogs are just not up for the agility work. Right?

Will Butler:

Right. Right.

Caroline Desrosiers:

They're not in the moment, and they end up doing hilarious things and not minding at all and just trying to have a good time and play.

Will Butler:

When autopilot goes wrong.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Exactly.

Will Butler:

That's definitely relatable. That's incredible. I learned so much about dog shows today. I had no idea.

Caroline Desrosiers:

I know. There you go. New appreciation.

Will Butler:

Yeah. Well, thank you again, Caroline. This is another wonderful week of memes for everyone. If folks want to follow us on our Instagram, you can see all these memes along with their alt text descriptions, which Caroline so skillfully writes in her other life as a CEO and founder of Scribely. So, join us on Instagram or send us an email.

Caroline Desrosiers:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

Love to hear from y'all. All right, Caroline, I'll see you next week.

Caroline Desrosiers:

See you next week. Thanks, everyone.

Will Butler:

Say My Meme is officially back for season two, and if you want to be a part of Say My Meme, send an email to hello@saymymeme.com.