Today’s newsletter is a very silly one but one that I hope you’ll nonetheless enjoy. And if you are enjoying the newsletter and want to support it, please consider subscribing. I’m still running my birthday promotion for another few days.
The subscriber-only newsletter earlier this week delved into Spinning Out, Cheer, and the dangers of participating in an aesthetic, female-dominated sport.
As many of you know, I have a beagle mix named Lizzie. You guys know this because ever since I adopted her about seven years ago, I’ve been posting photos of her online semi-constantly in a bid to make her internet famous and get free dog toys and treats. Well, that hasn’t quite worked out; no brand has come a knockin’, asking to sponsor Lizzie in exchange for her posing with its products. But I have managed to turn her into something of a known quantity in a small, yet very influential corner of Twitter—the gymternet.
Gymnastics fans have really embraced Lizzie, often taking her side over mine in disputes. Every time I tweet about something she’s destroyed—my bedsheets, an overnight bag, a travel pillow to name the most recent victims of her anxious chewing—you all claim that she’s innocent of the charges even though she’s guilty beyond a reasonable (or an unreasonable) doubt.
Some of you have even sent me Lizzie-inspired artwork—such as this drawing of Lizzie wearing a shark hat from Sarah. (To be fair, Sarah also did a drawing of me in all my frizzy haired glory.)
Anyway, since you all love Lizzie so much, I figured I’d let you hear directly from the dog’s mouth. Here’s the first Q&A in what I hope becomes an ongoing series of interviews with the second dog of the gymternet. (The first dog is obviously Simone Biles’ Frenchie Lilo.)
[Ed. note: In the interest of clarity, I’ve cut all “woofs” and such sounds from Lizzie’s responses. It’s similar to the courtesy I extend to human interview subjects; I don’t include every “um” and “like” when I quote them.]
Dvora: Most Fridays, you’ve been watching Friday Night Heights with me, featuring one of our favorite gymnastics commentators, Kathy Johnson Clarke. Which college gymnastics team are you rooting for this season?
Lizzie: I’m leaning towards Florida for a few reasons. I love a good comeback story and after missing out on nationals last year, I want to see them storm back and win it all. And can you believe that Amelia Hundley and Rachel Gowey are already seniors? Twenty-one dog years have really flown by, haven’t they?
Another reason I support Florida is because of the Gator Chomp. I totally get the insatiable hunger of the gator. A creature that could always take another bite has my complete respect.
And finally, Sam Marshall promised me treats if I get on board.
Dvora: Um, when did this happen?
Lizzie: That time she came over for lunch and I menaced her as she ate bread. When you went to the bathroom, we discussed terms. I offered my services, explained that I’ve been good luck for you and I could do the same for the Gators this season.
Dvora: When have you ever been good luck for me?
Lizzie: Think of all of the neighbors you met on the street because they stopped to pet me. Do you think they would’ve stopped to talk to you if you were alone?
Lizzie: Truth hurts.
Dvora: I really need to stop listening to Lizzo around you.
Lizzie: [singing] “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.”
Dvora: While you are literally a bitch, you didn’t take a DNA test. As I wrote here, I refuse to have you tested because we don’t have any assurances about how our genetic information will be used by these companies.
Okay, moving on. Who is your favorite gymnast in the NCAA?
Lizzie: Even if Sam wasn’t bribing me, I’d still say Trinity Thomas. She’s simply beautiful.
Dvora: Now it’s time for reader questions. Ed asks, what’s your take on burritos?
Lizzie: What kind of question is that? Is it edible? Yes. Then obviously I’m pro. I’ll even eat the foil the burrito came wrapped up in.
[Ed. note: With my own eyes, I’ve seen her eat paper and foil that had been previously wrapped around something delicious. Lizzie’s MO is eat first, ask questions never.]
Dvora: Friend of the newsletter Luba wants to know who your favorite gymnast is.
Lizzie: That one is easy—Tatiana Nabieva. Her stare down is second to none. It’s what I do to you when you’re eating food and not sharing it with me.
Dvora: Jacob from Twitter asks: My limited gymnastics knowledge means that the one fact I know is that the wolf turn on beam is basically universally despised. Does being a dog mean that Lizzie has a soft spot in her heart for the move (because, you know, wolves are canine) or is she with the majority?
Lizzie: Why did you have to bring up my wolf family? Just because you share DNA with someone doesn’t mean they’re truly family. Anyway, I’m estranged from them. That’s why I have to live with a ridiculous frizzy haired human. (Ed. note: Hey!) But to answer your question, I’m okay with one revolution; that can look nice and smooth. But two, three times around? Looks like they’re trying to chase their tails or they have a weird case of the zoomies.
And what’s with the name “wolf turn”? What’s that about?
Dvora: Is that for your standup act?
Lizzie: I hit the open mics after you go to sleep. I’m going to be dog Seinfeld.
Dvora: Meghan from Twitter would like to know if you identify as Jewish.
Lizzie: Well, I have allergies and anxiety.
Dvora: That doesn’t really answer the question.
Lizzie: I suppose I do identify as Jewish.
Dvora: You’re not getting extra treats for saying that.
Lizzie: Which religion has Treat God?
Dvora: I don’t know that any one of them does.
Lizzie: In that case, I’m an atheist.
Dvora: That’s probably going to lose you some supporters in the gymnastics fandom.
Lizzie: Be that as it may, I cannot believe in a god that doesn’t dispense treats to all of the good dogs on a constant basis.
Dvora: Any final words to the gymternet?
Lizzie: Send treats to [ADDRESS REDACTED].
If you have any questions you’d like Lizzie to answer for next installment in this very silly series, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments.