Pets from Hell

Poking around among the grammar blogs yesterday, I ran across several that invited readers to submit their pet peeves. I was horrified, because if there's one thing you never want to keep as a pet, it's a Peeve. I had one myself, once, and it was a big mistake.

This animal is an example of cross-breeding gone terribly wrong. Possessing some of the positive traits normally associated with librarians, but similar in temperament to members of the Badger family, a Peeve isn't the sort of pet you can take out for a stroll on a warm August night. I tried that with mine a few times, but its behavior was so unsuited to even the simplest social situations that I abandoned the idea entirely. One evening, while walking my Peeve on its leash, it spotted a small sign in front of a sidewalk cafĂ©, advertising the daily "Chefs special." Enraged at the lack of an apostrophe, the Peeve lunged at the sign, knocking several diners off their chairs in the process, and proceeded to rip the offending billboard to shreds with its teeth. By the time the tactical squad arrived, several bystanders—they had done nothing but attempt to calm the beast during its rampage—were missing the fingers they had used to point out the Peeve's overreaction.

Needless to say, I'll never again attempt to keep a Peeve. They're interesting to watch in the wild, or maybe during the occasional trip to the zoo, but I don't think they'll ever really be suitable for domestication. It may also be worthwhile to mention, in passing, that certain Peeve species are particularly sensitive to local dialect and inflection. This may result in unanticipated difficulty when the creatures are relocated; they don't adapt well, and may actually become more hostile in the process.


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