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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 01.13.04

RICKY BLUE

Hell is other people's pets

Most households knew these past two weeks as the 'holiday season.' But in my house they were known as the 'allergy season.' Not because trees or ragweed are growing in my living room, but because, to paraphrase Jean Paul Sartre: Hell is other people's pets.

My good wife is very allergic to furry animals. And every single one of our friends has one. This makes it a special kind of hell during the Christmas season. Two weeks of visiting leaves her lungs as clogged up as the Champlain Bridge at rush hour.

All through the year we never notice how many of our friends and neighbours have a furry animal in their house. And I am not just referring to their teenager.

I guess it is because for so much of the year we can sit outside. But Christmas is an indoor season. So her air tubes swell up and narrow with asthma because of the effects from the fur from our friends' non-human companions. Indeed, sharing a confined space with an animal can eventually make even a Kirkland palace seem as airless as Saddam's spider hole.

Friends look at me with suspicion when I inform them that entering their house is like landing on the surface of a poisonous planet, a planet of fur covered with toxic animal saliva and dust mites. It is far worse than sitting in a room with a chain smoker.

Second-hand smoke will only kill you twenty years later. Animal fur can kill you right now.

It is surprising that there has never been an Agatha Christie murder mystery using this theme. A woman is confined in a room overnight. Next morning, she is dead. The death is suspicious but it is eventually judged as natural because there is no murder weapon. There are only a few strands of cat fur on the pillow. Not unusual. It is the perfect crime. The neighbours didn't even notice their cat was missing.

Hmmm. "Dear, are your life insurance payments all paid up?"

In order to survive we have to take two cars. So that she can bail out when she can no longer breathe. Then she leaves me at the party to do what I do best: talk too loud and stay too long.

Hey, that's why they call it a party, isn't it?

In an era when victims-rights groups insist on laws banning anything that makes them uncomfortable, I suppose I should be lobbying the government. I should fight for the rights of the Allergics. Hey, that's a good name for a rock band. (Oh my God, I'm channeling Dave Barry.)

But I would never suggest we pass a law restricting people's rights to own animals just because it restricts others' rights to breathe. I simply wish to raise the consciousness of animal owners. And as we all know "raising your consciousness" means making you see things the way I see them.

Pet owners should be made aware that by keeping little Fluffy they really make it impossible for some of their friends to visit them.

Wait a minute. Could that be why they keep their animals in the first place?

Friend: "Honey, Rick can't come over because his wife is allergic to cats."

Friend's Wife: "What a shame. Let's get another cat."

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