| Gripples may behave like the family pooch, but a dog he is not. His master, Effluvia Jack -- the man responsible for Old Jack Stout, brewed at the Blackshoe brewery -- calls him a "bloody riot." Residents of nearby Hounslow Heath near London, however, regard Gripples with a mixture of fear and repulsion. "I've seen all kinds of dogs," says local Old Age Pensioner Reginald Rimpton, "but this is ridiculous." So what is Gripples, you might ask? Let's turn to rumor for the explanation, for that is our best reference source.
The popular joke is that Gripples, as displayed on every bottle of Old Jack Stout, is proof positive that an elephant can indeed be mated with a dog. But some still contend that Gripples must be at leat half alien. "It's as if he flew over from the mythical planet Floobot, or something," remarks an anonymous observer. Whatever the case, Gripples has made a mint for Jack who credits the success of his stout to a secret ingredient which oozes from Griples' trunk-like snout. "I won't tell you what it is," explains Jack with a grin, "because I don't bloody well know. But it's addictive in-it? Yet, I wonder if it's 'cause of those warbloids he likes to eat so much."
Only since Gripples' ambrosial effluvia became such a priceless commodity has Jack been known as Effluvia Jack. "I owe my success to Gripples," adds Jack with what could only be a glint of a tear forming in his right eye. "If he hadn't followed me home that day, I don't know where I'd be now. And if that Dr. Dingboit bloke made him, then I thank him." Regrettably, neither Dr. Dingboit nor Lars Blackshoe could be reached for comment.