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March 23, 2006

Barking doorbell

This story really isn't that funny in itself. The Dutch have a dog tax, and this tax was assessed against a family that the assessor thought had a dog because when he pressed the doorbell, it played the sounds of a dog barking -- it could play 15 different dogs, to be precise.

But here's one thing I find amusing. In the Yahoo/AP version of the story, this is what the man says:

"My wife came home shortly afterward and was able to grab the inspector at the end of our street. After a lot of yipping and yapping, she was finally able to convince him," Bruintjes said.
But in the South African version of the story, this is what he said:
"She was able to catch up with the inspector at the end of the street, and after much toing and froing was able finally to convince him," Bruintjes said.
The other funny thing is that this is almost straight out of Get Smart. In a two-part episode called "The Not-so-Great Escape":
CONTROL agents keep disappearing from the airport, including the Chief. Max appoints himself Acting Chief, refuses Larabee's plea to reopen the CONTROL Deli, and discovers that the agents are being held at a KAOS Prisoner of War Camp. Max goes undercover as Major Kessler to try and free his fellow agents, but he gets caught and becomes a prisoner as well. Max then makes several escape attempts. Despite outrunning Shtarker, none of Max's plans work and the agents are forced to dig a tunnel to freedom. Siegfried, Larabee, and brilliant direction from Don Adams make this one my favorite episode as well.
This is all from memory, but at the end of the first part, Max, disguised as Major Kessler, is chatting with Siegfried at the prison camp (Camp Gitchie-Goomie-Noonie-Wahwah, "somewhere in New Jersey"). Siegfried thinks Kessler reminds him of Max and starts to say so. Max is becoming worried because his fake mustache is coming off. Siegfried says something like this: "Really, if it were not for your eyepiece and that mustache on your glass, I would say . . . On your glass?" Max tries to escape by jumping out the window but is trapped inside a pen. Siegfried tells Shtarker to release the dogs, and you hear the dogs barking.

At this point, the first part ends. At the start of the second part, though, the dogs never come out. Shtarker pulls out a tape recorder playing the barking noise. Siegfried asks Shtarker what happened to the dogs. Shtarker says that they ran away because the food was so bad. Siegfried: "What did you feed them?" Shtarker: "The same thing we served the prisoners." Siegfried yells at Shtarker. How could he have served the dogs what they served the prisoners?

Well, maybe you had to be there.