Nipper Napping

Nipper Napping

I’ve lived in Moorestown for 12 years now and I’ve always believed it to be America’s number one town. Now that we’ve got Money Magazine on board it’s official.

One of the more charming aspects of our town, at the moment, is the collection of Nipper Dogs sprinkled through town. There are 30 of these five-foot tall, fiberglass replicas of the old RCA Company’s trademark, a fox-terrier with his ear cocked to hear his master’s voice on that great invention, the Victor talking machine.

Each Nipper has his own painted “costume” and persona (forgive the incongruity, please). Everyone seems to have a favorite and I often see “tourists” snapping photos of the Nippers, especially when one of the tots in their company lovingly hugs one of the oversized canines.

So, it was with great dismay that I heard of the disappearance of King Tut Nipper, known as Tupper. The Nipnapping was big news in the Philadelphia area. The story was all over the newspapers and TV. Happily, the pound pooch was found, one day later, in a wooded area of Pennsauken and the whole incident was chalked up as a “prank.” I think that this smacks of spin by the political powers-that-be in Moorestown’s new Democratic regime. Crime detracts from that Number One moniker. Pranks are cute, friendly and oh-so-small-town America.

But I’m not sure we’ve heard the real story yet. I have another theory.
I believe that Tupper ran away. Dogs do that sometimes. Now why would a local celebrity run away from America’s Number One Town.? To Pennsauken? Was he looking for relief from the heat of his sunny location? Was he looking for relief from the paparazzi? Or was he in need of some rest, a la Mariah Carey? All of these were possible. But, I think I see a bigger, more cunning, plan by the King.

In my humble opinion, the King Tut Nipper was distraught and frustrated with his ranking. First of all, there he is, one of the richest, most powerful, most famous figures in history, being called “Tupper.” Tupper is a name for plastic storage containers, not for royalty. Secondly, he’s relegated to a spot blocks from the center of town, far from the shops, businesses, churches and banks (lots of churches and banks) that make up the heart of America’s number one town.. And last, but not least, there’s Greaser Nip, sitting pretty under a big tree in front of the Moorestown Community House, the heart of the town, in many ways.

Greaser Nip looks like a cross between Fonzie and Roy Orbison, pompadour and big, black sunglasses included. He seems to be a favorite amongst the kids and is photographed often. More often than the King, methinks. Greaser is surrounded by quite a few of the “sweeter” Nippers, Gentleman Nipper, Backyard Nipper, Sunny Mae, and appears to have become the unofficial Leader of the Pack. Tupper, on the other hand, sits, without a hint of shade, on the lawn of the Lutheran Home, a long-standing, well-regarded nursing home located in a stately old mansion known as “The Castle.” It’s a beautiful location but it’s not prime time. If the Nips were actresses, Greaser Nip would be Angelina Jolie and Tupper would be Jennifer Aniston. What a fate for Tut. The King of Egypt, gilded and bejeweled, whipped by a 1950s icon in blue jeans and a sleeveless undershirt. It’s a bitter pill, indeed.

So what’s a king to do? Create some buzz, that’s what. Get some ink, that’s what. Get some “face” time on TV, that’s what. And how better to do that than to run off and fake your own abduction? It worked wonders for a young bride from Alabama, after all. Like “The Runaway Bride,” Tupper is currently in seclusion (at the America’s number one pokey?). His “throne” sits empty in front of The Lutheran Home. If my theory is right, there will be some who cry for retribution and compensation, but not me. I love NipTut (my name for the handsome hound). I understand his plight, applaud his ingenuity and eagerly await his reappearance. I’ll be first in line at the book signing.