Pavlov & The Brown Eyed Girl

Technically speaking, there are four brown eyed girls housed here in the TharpSter compound.  Wifey and Juniorette make up the human part, and our two dogs have the other sets covered.


Just for the record, they all have beautiful eyes.


Pause for a sentimental, heart felt “Aaaahhhh”.


The brown eyes were one of the first enduring features I noticed in Wifey when we met all those years ago.  The chocolate chip cookies weren’t far behind.


It’s because of those eyes that I’ve chosen to use Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl as a ringtone for Wifey on my cell phone.


Take another moment for the sentimentality if you must, but hurry up.  I have whimsical bullshit in the paragraphs ahead for you to read.


Are you done?  Good.


Whenever Wifey  calls, her picture (one I can assure you that she hates) appears on the screen of my iPhone and the first few measures of 1967’s pop rock favorite fills the air with dulcet tones and rhythms which will reside in the heads of anyone around me at the time for at least a few minutes.


Case in point, last year when I was at the ball field watching my son play baseball, I was standing at the fence next to the dugout shooting the bull with the coach of the other team.  Wifey called to tell me something (either the house was on fire or she needed me to pick up a fountain drink for her on the way home).  As I concluded the call, the guy I had been talking to was singing the song.


“Dude,” as I address all people in polite society.  “You singing about my wife?”


That’s one of the finer points of shootin’ the bull with people.  When an opportunity presents itself to put them on the spot, you’re morally obligated to pursue the adventure and milk it for all it’s worth.  I find the same directive also holds true in my other career as a Business Analyst.


One of Pavlov's dogs

Retelling the whole incident of someone singing that song as a result of a phone call reminds me of behavioral conditioning and the work the Ivan Pavlov did with what looks like a garden variety mutt back in the 1890’s.  Big picture, the man figured out how to get a dog to salivate on command.  One really has to wonder if Pavlov ever intended for the dog he used in those experiments to eventually be stuffed and put on display in some museum, but hey, to each his own.


It should be said right here and now that if the decision is ever made to put my dogs on display in a museum as a testament to some of the work I’ve done over my lifetime, I want both dogs to be posed in what I call “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”  I’ve never seen the film, but I’m reminded of that title whenever I see that picture of the two performing the act in my backyard.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


So you’re thinking to yourself, “Good Lord, he’s rambling again.  Why do I keep reading this crap?”


Let me know if you come up with an answer.  In the meantime, I thank you for visiting and look forward to your many returns.


Now let’s get back to Brown Eyed Girl.


Just to recap, we all hear that song when Wifey calls.  When I say “we all”, I include the canine contingent of brown eyed girls here at the compound.  Here’s a really good statistic for you in which I’ve taken license with the actual numbers.  Did you know that the hearing of a dog is about five times better than that of a human?




Well now you do.


Five times may be an exaggeration, but it is definitely better than that of a human.


Consider this when Wifey calls me, which automatically kicks off that song.  Consider the fact that when I put the phone to my ear, Faith and Hope (the dogs) can pretty much hear everything thing Wifey is saying to me on the phone.  Consider that one of the most common times that Wifey calls me is when she’s just a matter of blocks away from the house, and may need help hauling something in.  Just the other day, I had to help her with the new trebuchet.  That bad boy was heavy, but it’s helping with some of the clutter problems we have around the compound.  It’s also helpful with the Hidden Dragons the dogs keep leaving around the yard.


With that in mind, my dear reader, I take you to a call I received from Wifey about an hour ago.  I was on one couch, Hope was on the other, Faith was in her kennel (long story), and Tower Heist was on the DVR.  Just for the record, that was the second movie I’ve seen Matthew Broderick in where a classic Ferrari was used, abused, and water boarded.  What’s your deal with the Italian auto makers Matt?


Anyway, Wifey called.  “Go find the Mucinex D in the kitchen and let me know how often I can take it.”  Yes, she sounded a little congested.  Even more concerning was the fact that I was going to have to get up off of my butt and go read small font on a box of medicine.


The dogs had other concerns though.  Hope perched up on the couch and looked to the door, and Faith started that skull splitting yelp that inspires me to try other things with the trebuchet.  As I started for the kitchen, Hope made a b line for the front door in great anticipation that Wifey was home.


That’s right people.


When Faith and Hope hear the song Brown Eyed Girl, they automatically look for Wifey to come through the door.  How’s that for behavioral conditioning?


But wait.


It gets just a little bit better.


I had left off on the blog with the question about the behavioral conditioning and decided to go find a Youtube of Van Morrison singing the song.  As I was looking for the right one, I played the first few seconds of each one to see if it was the one I was looking for.  Naturally, the dogs perked up a little and started to look to the door.  Lo and behold, Wifey walked in from work just at the right moment.


Enjoy the video y’all.  My first impression is that it’s lip synced like there’s no tomorrow.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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