Tails magazine presents...

The scariest thing of all

In Just for Fun, PUPPIES! on October 24, 2008 at 8:06 pm

One of the great perks of working at Tails is being privy to an obscene amount of cute animal photos. And Halloween is the season for cute overload—which brings me to another watershed moment in my life brought about solely through my tenure at Tails: Cute Overload. The name pretty much says it all. And the unnerving thing about it is that you never can overload; once you start overloading, you can’t get enough. And the bread and butter of all this cuteness, appropriately enough, is nothing less clichéd than cuddly schmuddly pets in Halloween costumes. Tabby kitty in a felt pumpkin, rascally rodent in a pirate hat, Puggle in a sailor suit … you name it, someone with a cute fetish has done it. But the really scary thing is—not the haunting shadow your Schnauzer casts in his ghoulish goblin wear—but the fact that we, humans, the most fickle of all creatures, can seemingly never satisfy this need to partake of an endless orgy of cuteness.

Which brings us to the inherent contradiction of dressing up for Halloween, for people and their four-legged companions alike, and the distinction between costumes and disguises. Disguises, the friend of escape artists and convicts everywhere, are supposed to hide your identity, while costumes highlight a certain aspect of it, one that you find pleasurable to the point of, dare we say, naughtiness. The thrill of being something other than what you normally appear to be is, of course, the thrill of being what you really are in some way but are prevented from expressing in your day-to-day reality.

The theoretical aside, no matter how spooky the costume, it’s only going to accentuate Sparky’s cuteness, which is to say his utter vulnerability in the face of our identity games. Cuddles’ adorable attempts to wriggle out of her mermaid suit also makes the question of who we see ourselves to be a laughably moot point. We’re cute junkies, no doubt about it, and we don’t even try to hide it.

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