To the Gentlemen of the Board of Directors for the Professional Animals-Of-Affairs Guild.
I wish to submit a formal letter of complaint to be kept on the permanent record of my current employer, young Master Zach Parise. While I will not be seeking to terminate my working relationship with him, I feel he has behaved in such an ill manner toward me that he should have a mark placed on his escutcheon, at least for any animals-of-affairs whom he may considering hiring at a future date.
The trouble began when I was sent ahead from Minnesota to ready the New Jersey house for the young master’s arrival to begin the new season. While he was not in my care, Master Zach traded in a vehicle for which he no longer had any use, and the car dealer with whom he made this transaction decided to mark up the resale value of the vehicle on account of Master Zach having graffitied his name on the interior. The proceeds from this exchange will be donated to a worthy charity, with Master Zach matching the amount.
Flush with the joy of this simple philanthropic gesture, Master Zach began seeking out further items in his possession which could be similarly defaced, returned to the original vendor, and resold for charitable fundraising purposes. By the time he arrived in New Jersey, the young master had exhausted his supply of Sharpie markers. All of his luggage, and the contents therein, had been autographed. Foodstuffs he had purchased along his travels — a sandwich crust, the core of an apple, an empty coffee cup — all bore his signature, and he insisted that I find the appropriate tradesman to buy back the goods for marked-up resale. I was run hither and yon, well beyond even the most liberal definition of my job description, trying to locate vendors who would be willing to resell Zach Parise Special Edition take-out menus from local restaurants, Zach Parise Special Edition cellophane wrappers from video game boxes, and even a Zach Parise Special Edition Jordan Parise.
The final straw, though, was when, after every item in the house, bolted down or otherwise, had been signed, packaged up, and distributed to a vendor, Master Zach lit upon me. His eyes glowing with maniacal fervor, he scooped me up off the floor, stripped me of my butler’s uniform, and autographed my shell. So stunned was I that I was unable to register a protest as he dashed out the door and raced to the nearest pet shop, where he demanded that they sell me. At a PET SHOP! My good sirs, I hope you are as shaken as I am at the thought of being considered a pet. I cannot stress how great my humiliation was in that moment.
The situation was resolved thanks to the level-headedness of the pet store’s manager, a kind, wise woman who succeeded at convincing Master Zach that I am not a pet, and, more importantly from her perspective, had not been purchased at that store and consequently was subject to their no-returns policy. I would be lying if I said that Master Zach’s temper did not get the better of him during the exchange, and more than a few tears were shed. But in the cold light of the following morning, he seemed to have regained his senses. He has refused to speak with me about the matter, and I am quite certain most everything about the whole affair is best left unsaid. However, I believe it prudent to have, in writing, a record of these sordid goings-on, for posterity.