Dogs don’t speak English. They don’t speak French or German, for that matter, either. And yet I, and many, many others, continue to speak to them as if they understand what it is we are saying in our native tongues. There’s nothing wrong with speaking English (or any other language) to a dog—it is the only way we have to communicate after all—but it does seem a bit silly at times. Especially when one finds themself not only speaking to a dog, but speaking to them as if they are baby humans.
Despite the fact that so many people seem determined to claim otherwise, Haley is not a Training BabyTM. We didn’t get her to find out if we are somehow meant to be parents or to prepare us for parenthood. Still it is a bit disconcerning when I find myself muttering under my breath to the dog at 6 AM, saying things like “Go potty, Haley. Good puppy, go potty outside. Goooooood puppy, go potty outside!” or “Where’s your ball? Where’s you little ball, Haley? Where’d it go?!”
Why do I speak this way? The dog doesn’t speak English; and it certainly isn’t going to pick up—or repeat—any “bad” language we may utter. So why am I not saying things like “Take a shit, dog. Good dog. Take a shit, girl.” Why don’t I tell her to “Cut that shit out, Haley!” or to “stop eating those f#@ing worms!”
I mean, the dog does not speak English, after all.
While driving to brunch this morning, Husband and I notice that we’ve forgotten to restock the music selection in the car. We’re sick of all the CDs we have with us, so I suggest that we try the radio.
Now, we don’t listen to commercial FM radio very much….hardly once a month. So I’m scrolling through the stations; past the easy listening, past the talk radio, past the annoying commercials, and I land on something that sounds like standard pop fare: a dance beat, a fake horn section, and a female vocalist with a bit of edge to her voice. The Husband and I start nodding our heads in time, momentarily distracted from the grinding traffic.
“Hey, this is kind of nice,” I say, surprised to find that I’m getting into a song that sounds like a cross between Brittney Spears and Shania Twain.
“Yeah, I like her voice,” says The Husband. “She reminds me of Shannon McNally.”
We continue to tap along with the beat, enjoying the simple yet catchy tune. Then I notice the lyrics.
There are many reasons I like to vote. The most obvious being that voting is the greatest freedom one enjoys as an American. But it can also be quite amusing as well.
Take for instance the gauntlet one must traverse in order to even get to the poll. It is like the scene in Airplane! when Captain Kramer— played by Robert Stack—is walking through the airport being accosted by folks who want to give him a flower; solicit for Reverend Moon; help Jerry’s Kids; avoid nuclear power; read about Jehovah’s witnesses or pontificate about Jews for Jesus. It can get crazy. People working for specific candidates see this as their last chance to ingrain their candidate’s name in the mind of the voter, and they will holler that name at you up until you cross that magic line where electioneering is prohibited.
But it’s not over yet. Then you have to get past the children. Yes, the children. The children aren’t pushing a candidate, but they are pushing. They are pushing treats. They want your dollar to help raise money for their various and numerous extracurricular activities, and they will use any trick they can to get you to show them the money.
“Doughnuts! Don’t forget to buy some doughnuts to take to your office tomorrow! Mmmmmmm gooooood!”
“You sure look thirsty, mister! Would you like to buy a cold drink before you vote?!”
If you survive the electioneers and the children then you get to vote. And more importantly, you get to watch other people vote. Or at least try.
I love that Sarah and I get to share a portion of our commute together. Whether it be the bus or the subway, it is enjoyable to spend that precious extra time together before going our separate ways to our respective jobs. Sometimes we spend this time talking. Sometimes we read whatever books we may be reading. Sometimes we make out.
We are an affectionate couple. Ok… we are a very affectionate couple. But we aren’t vulgar or obscene. So I was a bit surprised when a woman on the Metro train the other day snidely told us to be “more considerate of the other passengers.”
“Excuse me?” I said looking over Sarah’s shoulder at this harpy sitting behind where we stood.
“You should be more considerate of the other passengers,” she repeated glancing around her as if looking for support.
“All I am doing is showing affection for the woman I love,” I said with a smile on my face, hugging Sarah closer to me.
She mumbled something else about being married and understanding, but continued to cop an attitude and say more stupid things.
“You have a newspaper. Why don’t you read it and mind your own business?” I finally told her.
She rustled her Washington Times and Sarah and I went back to showering each other with affection. A few stops later Ms. Buttinsky slinked off in a huff.
What happens when you combine alcohol, trailer parks, religion, Texans and fire arms? One “friend” shooting another in an argument over who would go to heaven and who would go to hell.