Today's lesson, dear Pug Life faithful, is about vanity. And I am ashamed to say that the subject of this sermon is none other than your faithful leader. Foolishly, I put my personal vanity before my obedience to God. I disregarded the wise words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said, "Verily, God instructs me to be humble and lowly and not proud." You see, in a moment of weakness, I used Botox. I began to feel self-conscious about my appearance several weeks ago, when I received a less-than-impressive rating on a hot-or-not Web site. My self-image deteriorated further when I failed to receive even a third-place ribbon at Pug-O-Ween, despite an obviously superior costume. Add to those two events the fact that my beard is showing a little more gray lately, and perhaps you can understand why I would undertake this rather drastic cosmetic procedure. I sought the fountain of youth in a bottle of botulinum toxin, and let me tell you, friends, Allah has made it clear to me that my act of vanity was a mistake. I now see that a pug has wrinkles for a reason. Without them, I carry a look of perpetual surprise and astonishment on my face.
I traveled to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth on Sunday to view an exhibition of works by the acclaimed photographer Richard Avedon. His "In the American West" features photos of oilfield workers, miners, drifters, carnies and other decidedly unglamorous humans. Their piercing eyes and haunting stares held the rapt attention of all in attendance -- until I entered the room. My taut brow instantly drew stares. My large eyes, usually minimized somewhat by the folds of loose skin surrounding them, stood out like saucers. As I rounded a corner into the exhibit, a young girl actually screamed in terror. This was my punishment. For the next three to six months, I will pay my penance. Every time I venture out in public. Every time I look in a mirror. Fortunately, this toxin that was injected into my head will wear off, and my rugged yet handsome features will be restored. I just thank Allah I didn't opt for the laser hair removal.