Well, that was an interesting "vacation." My apologies for being absent for over a week. I was in the midst of finals and then a birthday. I hope you can forgive me that my school and a quick family celebration were a good reason to be away. Sadly, fall semester starts next Monday and I have piled on even more classes than I did in the summer term. But, that's my problem, not yours, so let's get back to what we all came here for!
In 1985, an American pop rock band (that almost everyone thought was British) called Mr. Mister released their second album, Welcome to the Real World. This album spawned two #1 songs, "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie." The second song has been playing recently around this house relatively non-stop. Kyrie Eleison is Greek for "Lord, have mercy!" I remember being in elementary school when this song came out and wondering what the hell this rock band was doing praying to a #1 Hit. I guess they figured if Madonna could do it, so could they. As far as misheard song lyrics go, this song has produced some doozies. Shari from Oklahoma thought the lyric went "Carry me, I'm lazy down the road that I must travel" which I think wins the best mondegreen of this song. More commonly, many people thought the lyric was "Carry a laser" which every Imperial stormtrooper has to sing during basic training.
The newest addition to our family is Taukiri, who decided that the her living situation would be vastly better if she followed us home and sat on our driveway looking forlornly at us. After the Sane One had to clean the office that she destroyed last night, I am starting to see why her previous owners decided she might be best pursuing residential opportunities elsewhere. But we are delighted that the sorry fucking bastards who abandoned her didn't claim her, and she's now our little girl. She just passed her follow up visit to the vet this week (no more worms! yay!) and has already gained four pounds, which is miraculous given how much she likes being chased by Pango and Ranga. Taukiri is a Māori word that loosely translates to "Oh, dear!" We felt, given the circumstances, that it was a very appropriate name for her. It was also very close to the word for dog: kuri. Most of the time, we just call her "'Kiri" because it's easier and we have always wanted to find a way to revive a 30 year old song by Mr. Mister.
When we play with the dogs and give them attention, we have many various nicknames and pet phrases for them. Ranga's newest name is "land pig" because he's really not doing well on his diet. All of them are muttlet cutlets even though this Korean would never consider eating dog meat. I think just the fear of that being a possibility keeps them in line, especially when I bring out a bottle of sesame oil and wave it menacingly in front of them. "Peanut Butter Pango, cutest dog as dogs go!" is often uttered by my wife when she comes home and the dogs are all enthusiastically greeting her. It's a sad fact that we have to bribe Pango with peanut butter to do anything that he doesn't want to do. He probably would let you paint his toenails red if he knew that there were two heaping tablespoons of Jif at the end of the ordeal. So it took about a millisecond to incorporate Kyrie Eleison into Kiri's name. For a couple of hours "Kiri's a laser" was being mentioned to furiously happy wags of her tail. This quickly devolved to other things that she could be. She could very easily be a raisin. Raisin turned into racist. Racist turned somehow into waitress. We now have a very diverse group of dogs in our house. We are embarrassed to admit that Ranga is a fierce Trump supporter, confirmed by his love of changing the tv channel from MSNBC to Fox News when we leave the house (true story) and Pango is a whiny liberal snowflake that cries all the time for no reason. And I do mean ALL THE TIME. Now we have a racist waitress to throw in the mix. I'm sure you will be very confused if you come visit us if we say "Come here, racist!" and a very happy dog comes bounding from her slumber on our bed and into the living room.
I think about how something that makes no sense and is silly has become very commonplace in our life. It's the equivalent to the necktie. It serves no purpose, is kind of stupid, yet men and some women are slaves to this article of clothing. Although, if I didn't want to wear silk that instantly gets stained by salad dressings, I should have followed a more blue collar occupational path. There are many other things that don't necessarily make sense or have become distorted from the original meaning and message. It's like the children's game "telephone" where you have to repeat what you heard and it goes down the line until the last person repeats something completely different from what originally was said. I think that we have all been contributors and victims of this behavior. Sometimes it is harmless and innocuous. Other times, it has far more sinister results. We live in an age where "media" is under a full assault from many directions. We have a leader who has openly called the Fourth Estate "the enemy of the people" We have news channels that do a remarkably poor job of editing and we have one particularly popular "news" channel that has forsaken any sense of journalistic integrity and has become a mouthpiece for the most corrupt and incompetent administration of all time. I can't tell you what channel it is, but I can give you this hint: it's fucking Fox.
Much of what is seen and read today has very little connection with the actual facts or reality from where it originated. It's fun and silly when it comes to our puppy. It's nowhere near amusing when it comes to real issues like climate change, immigration, collusion, tariffs, and the space force. The goal of any civic minded person is to strive to be as accurate as possible when communicating about issues. Jingoistic fallacies and populist catch-phrases are not constructive content in policy discussions. I get it, facts are boring. Things don't necessarily sound great or interesting. Pango's real name is Conrad Smith. But that doesn't sound great when you're at a dog park and you're yelling "Get the ball, Conrad Smith!" So expediency plays a role in a suitable alternative. What does not make a suitable alternative is when the adjustment is motivated by advancing a false agenda. It also doesn't help when the listener attaches nefarious intent to everything, either. Just because Kiri is racist doesn't mean she hates black people. We honestly don't know what people group she hates, because she's been nice to everyone so far. We just know it's coming. I think she may be racist to Gypsies. And wherever she may be waitressing when that awful day comes, I hope that it's all caught on cellphone and that the restaurant fires our adorable little girl. She's only what she is because her parents are idiots who enjoy 80s music far too much and changing the truth into insanity. Hey, maybe we have a shot at replacing Laura Ingraham, it sounds like we are impeccably qualified!