“I’m so exhausted,” Roper whined to Harry. “I had to come into the office last night, just to get some sleep, you know. Those new kids are so loud and Fluffy is still refusing to let me sell them. She won’t even let me send them to The Beaver Military Academy until they’re older.” He spun lazily in his chair, and watched Harry file papers in the cabinet near his desk.
Harry nodded sympathetically and continued to work.
“And now,” Roper tapped his foot in agitation, “the twins are saying it’s time they go out into the world on their own and Fluffy is all upset about that. I tried to calm her down and said it would be a great idea for them to leave because we wouldn’t have to mess with taking care of them anymore and she thumped me. Right on the snout!” he declared indignantly.
“Where are the twins planning to go, Sir?” Harry inquired, hoping to lead the conversation away from a rant about Fluffy’s abuse.
“Well, it seems that Griff has a school chum who lives in New Vole City. Griff says he wants to go there and be an international play-dachshund. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it’s got his mother pretty unhappy.”
“I think, Sir, that it means he wants to move to the city and party all the time at your expense, Sir.”
“Oh, well. I don’t see why Fluffy’s so mad about that? Sounds like a greatjob to me!” Roper sipped from his mole waters. “What do you think, Harry? Doesn’t that sound like a great job?”
“I don’t think it actually qualifies as a job, Sir,” Harry pointed out, filing the last of the documents. “Perhaps that’s why Fluffy is less than thrilled?”
“She never wants anyone to have any fun,” Roper said sourly. “You get a new log and all you want is for her to help you test it out and she gets all angry and says you never do anything she wants to do. She’s so selfish – it’s no wonder she’s against poor Griff. The poor boy just wants a chance to live a little and there she is, squashing his dreams for a bigger, better log.” He gulped his drink and spun the chair.
“What about Taffy, Sir? What’s her plan, Sir?” Harry tried again to steer the topic to something less volatile.
Roper snorted indelicately. “She says she’s signed some sort of contract with a modeling agency in the city. She’s going to be on the cover of magazines and do television commercials and such. She’ll make tons of money. Says she’ll be wearing the latest fashions and have a team of professionals who follow her around making sure she looks good every minute of the day. Fluffy’s practically packing her bags to go along, she’s so excited over the whole deal. Can you imagine a more frivolous waste of time than spending day after day doing nothing but thinking about your clothes and how you look and having people chase around after you taking care of your every need?” He rolled his eyes. “Really,” he added, “I always thought she was the smart one!”
Harry’s tone was mild. “Of course, Sir. It’s terribly embarrassing. I don’t know how you’ll be able to show your face in the Under Dome in light of her mortifying shallow-ness.”
“Exactly,” Roper replied. “It’s humiliating. At least Griff will be doing something noble and worthwhile.” He shook his head. “Fluffy has her priorities all in a jumble.”
“Indeed, Sir, indeed,” responded Harry sardonically.