a dog’s breakfast


As a lifelong fancier of dogs and an obsessive eater of breakfast, choosing this piece of slang was a no-brainer. Many of us willingly invite dogs into our homes, to hang out with us as we eat, sleep on a mat in the lounge room or even snuggle up with us under the doona, but it should never be forgotten that at heart, dogs are filthy beasts who love nothing more than getting their snouts into muck. Literally, ‘a dog’s breakfast’ is a reminder of the limitless variety of feculent scum they would merrily gobble given half a chance. But it’s of course a metaphor for random, messy stuff generally, and what things look like when they go horribly wrong. My dad employed slang relentless­ly – at times it was like he was speaking another language. A couple of favourites of his were ‘get yourself outside of that’ when he gave you something to eat or drink, and if I asked where somebody was, he’d say, ‘he went mad, so we shot him’. I like to drop similarly confoundin­g slang around my children – one of my cuter, more well-known favourites relates to leaving someplace quickly: ‘I’m off like a bride’s nightie!’ My drawing doesn’t need much explanatio­n, except to say it’s a literal depiction of what I think a dog would enjoy for breakfast, or any meal, really. It’s based on the gross stuff my own dog Pluto has enthusiast­ically woofed down over the years.

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