Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Dog and Pony Show

The expression, "dog and pony show" has really caught on here at the office. When one of the sales guys is getting ready to go out on what is likely to be a small scale sales call (yes, they are ALL important) he usually says that he's "heading out for a little dog and pony show." Just seconds ago someone stopped by my desk to ask about one of the sales guys and I said, "He's out doing a little dog and pony show." It went off without a hitch. He knew exactly what I meant and went back to his desk. Obviously, this phrase works here.

So, where did it come from? A highly reliable source (Wikipedia) notes that it had something to do with actual dog and pony shows that were much like circus acts but not big enough for the big top. But I have a hard time imagining getting excited about watching dogs and ponies. What could they possibly do to get me out of the house on a weekend? Maybe this is what people did before Al Gore invented the Interwebs.

3 comments:

hunnybeemay said...

I think a dog and pony show sounds like fun. I'd go. But that's just me. I tend to enjoy the ridiculous. Reminds me of a show Mike and I saw in the Bahamas. We visited a park where they had different tropical birds and flowers on display and this special arena set up for their "Trained Flamingos".

"Come see the trained flamingos! Our trainer has been working with them for twenty years!!!!"

So we went and it turned out to just be this old guy who chased the birds around, yelling and waving a big stick. Which, ironically, was really entertaining. I took pictures and everything. It was totally awesome and ridiculous.

Steve Martin said...

I have been to a couple of worship services that were basically "dog and pony" shows.

They did have a guy who spun plates on sticks, but the dancing poodles were definitely the hit of the service.

Evan said...

"Dog and pony show" is pretty standard in the military to refer to the staged execution of the most interesting aspects our jobs for the sake of visiting officers.

The premise is of course that it's an informal visit for the officer to see how things are really working, but everyone knows its completely staged. We pretend that we really do dramatic recruiting-commercial quality things day in, day out, and the officers pretend they don't know that we knew they were coming. The old dog and pony show. Nobody needs it, nobody enjoys it, and if we were all honest with ourselves, we'd just stop doing it.