Examples: [Collected via e-mail, 1994]
One evening at [a] party, my wife and I were talking to another couple while we were waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. Eventually, the subject of surprise parties came up since we were at one. I could hardly believe my ears when the lady across the table said something like, "You'll never believe what happened at a surprise party my friend went to in Canada:"
A man decided to throw a suprise party for his fiance. All the guests were hiding downstairs, where her bedroom was, when she came home. She didn't come downstairs immediately, but went straight to the bathroom and got into the shower, so they decided to wait until she got out to surprise her.
After her shower, she came downstairs calling the dog. They turned on the lights and yelled, "Surprise." The man's fiance was standing there completely naked except for some peanut butter spread all over her nipples and crotch.
The wedding was called off. She quit her job and disappeared — nobody knows where she is. When the friend went back to Canada shortly afterwards, the house had a
I work with the son-in-law of the lady whose
This guy's girlfriend is turning 30. He invites friends from both of their work[places] to a surprise birthday party. On the night of the party, the girl is not yet home; all the guests are hiding in the basement of her house. She comes in the front door and looks for her dog, which the boyfriend has downstairs to get the birthday girl to come downstairs. A few minutes of silence pass, then the girl is calling for the dog again. She starts down the basement steps still calling the dog and flips on the lights. She has no clothes on and her breasts and crotch are covered with peanut butter just for the dog. There she stands in front of family and friends.
Her boyfriend has left her, she has not been back to work since. No word on her family.
- The woman featured in the legend is often identified as a
"co-worker,"but some versions describe her as a nurse or a bank clerk (who lives alone or with a female roommate), a soon-to-be-married woman, or a newlywed. Versions in which the woman is said to live alone sometimes mention her particular fondness for her pet dog(s). Teenage girls often show up as the focus of this legend, too, with their school chums or boyfriends finding out their dire secret via the surprise party route.
- Every now and then, a version starring a man in the central role will appear. These are highly unusual, though — almost without exception, the central figure is a girl or woman.
- The surprisers usually hide in either the basement or the living room; in the latter case the woman's secret is most often discovered when the surprisers burst into the kitchen. (A few versions have her being discovered in or just outside her bedroom.)
- The woman calls her dog by name in some versions; the most frequently mentioned names are Lucky, Chief, Kippy, or Skippy. (The last of these names is a double pun, 'Skippy' being the brand name of both dog food and peanut butter in the U.S.)
- The substance the woman smears on herself is nearly always peanut butter, although margarine, whipped cream, marmalade, pate, macaroni, pineapple, and dog food are also mentioned. (An Australian version stars a horse and lump sugar, and another Vegemite.) It is usually spread over the woman's genitalia, but some versions also include the breasts or nipples, or state that the woman is "covered from head to toe."
- The woman is usually described as having disappeared after the embarrassing incident, by quitting her job, calling off her wedding, selling her house, or moving out of town.
In June 1994, the legend about the peanut butter dog suddenly popped up both on the Internet and in the print media, seemingly out of nowhere. Almost all the early versions reported as having occurred in Canada (particularly Ottawa), or being told by persons living in Canada. (Versions set in Ottawa usually describe the woman as a government employee, so perhaps resentment of civil servants was one element of this form.)
Its origins are older though. One of our readers heard it in Burbank, California in 1981. It was also in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1987, in Michigan in 1986, and in Texas in the early 1980s. A non-dog 1984 version from Australia features a horse and lump sugar, with the action taking place down in the paddock.
Another reader recalls the legend being related in the late 1980s as a persistent rumor attached to a girl attending her high school in Cornwall, Ontario (a town only a short drive from Ottawa). In honor of these whispers, the girl was nicknamed "Skippy". Around the same time, stories about a high school boy in Philadelphia caught with peanut butter on his penis awaiting the dog were all the rage.
Possibly the most unusual sighting comes from a woman who attended microbiology classes at the University of Chicago in
An item of interest is an article which appeared in The Guardian a few months after this legend splashed onto the Internet in 1994. It was an interview with
This legend resurfaced in a reworked form in early 1999, this time attributed to a contestant on a Spanish "Candid Camera" type TV program:
The parents of a teenage girl decided to put their daughter's name forward for a surprise game show. She idolised teen-age pop star Ricky Martin, and they arranged for TV cameras to be placed throughout the house. The house was then left empty with Ricky Martin hidden in the wardrobe in the girl's bedroom — all set to give the daughter a wonderful surprise.
However, upon returning home from school and finding the house empty, the daughter made her way down to the kitchen where she opened the fridge and removed a tin of pate — at this stage the live TV audience is wondering, "What the hell is going on?"
She then went back upstairs to her bedroom where she proceeded to remove all her clothes and spread pate all over her triangle of womanhood (at this stage Ricky Martin is still hidden inside the wardrobe, and half of Spain is seeing a young girl stark naked on the bed with pate all over her crotch).
As if the parents were not shocked enough by this, the daughter then calls the family dog, who obediently trots up the stairs and settles down to his favourite meal of "pate on a bed of seaweed". At this stage the order is given to cut the broadcast, leaving a very embarassed set of parents in front of a live studio audience!! Consequently, sales of tinned pate have rocketed.
| Dog and Peanut Butter Video |
(Royal Canadian Air Farce)
Brunvand, Jan Harold. Too Good to Be True. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999. ISBN 0-393-04734-2 (pp. 120-121). Ellis, Bill. "The Peanut Butter and Dog Surprise." FOAFTale News. October 1994 (pp. 8-12). Freedland, Jonathan. "Interview: The Man Who's Glad That You're Sorry Now." The Guardian. 30 July 1994 (p. 27). Roeper, Richard. "Tale of Peanut Butter Spreads Latest Legend." Chicago Sun-Times. 26 July 1994 (p. 11). Wilkes, Jennifer Clarke. "Crunchy or Smooth?" Frank. 7 July 1994 (p. 13).
Also told in:
Flynn, Mike. The Best Book of Bizarre But True Stories Ever. London: Carlton, 1999. ISBN 1-85868-558-3. (p. 299).