Thursday, March 06, 2008

Spell it Out

Driving home from a long business trip the other night, my wife called to inform me that the family dog had escaped from the backyard. “Escaped” is probably too strong a word as that evokes Hollywood images of someone who was wrongly convicted fashioning a shovel out of a toothbrush and digging his way to freedom to prove his innocence by catching the real killer or a prisoner of war outsmarting the Nazis by timing the spotlight passes and making it under the wire undetected. While there may be times when our two sons may see us as evil prison wardens who punish on a whim, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t go so far as to equate us with Hitler’s minions. With that said, though, the predicament in question here was the result of a gate left open – by whom I’m not allowed to say – and a very curious dog with enough Terrier blood in her to follow a scent.

Arriving home, I immediately began walking through the neighborhood in the hopes of finding our stray, bearing her on my shoulders, and returning home to a hero’s welcome. Ha! I roamed through the neighborhood calling the dog by name in a loud but caring voice, of course. Although I was feeling a little downtrodden by the thought that I may never see our dog again, I felt an immediate wave of relief that we gave her a normal name – Lola. I couldn’t imagine myself wandering about the neighborhood in the dark of the night and calling out “Here Mrs. Finkeltoots” or “Sir Stinksalot, where are you?” I agreed right then and there that had we done something like that, I would have abandoned my search immediately and said to myself, “Well, it was a good run while it lasted. The kids can’t say we never let them have a dog.”

Although we ultimately found Lola at a friend’s house, this experience caused me to think in bigger terms.

I admit that it’s rather childish of me to feel I would have been embarrassed going around looking for a dog with a silly name; nevertheless, had I found myself calling out for Mrs. Finkletoots, and my neighbor laughed at me, I could have saved face a little bit by explaining it was a dog and the kids had named her. However, has anyone stopped to think that the Democratic Party, in the presidential nomination process, has the potential of making us the laughing stock of North America, if not the world? It’s all in the names.

Should the young, sharp politico from Chicago gain the nomination and win the general election, he’s going to spend the first two years in office interrupting every press conference with, “Okay, for the last time, I don’t care how you pronounce my name. Just make sure you spell it correctly. Now, can we discuss my economic stimulus plan?”

As an alternative, the other candidate shares the same first name with 40% of high school cheerleaders. At State dinners, she’ll be forced to make it clear in her opening comments that she and the other “Ovalettes” will not be performing a half-time show. Might I add, the German Chancellor and the French Prime Minister will both breathe a sigh of relief.
Inasmuch as the presidential election involves humans (for the most part), and only adults are allowed to vote, how do we explain this to Mrs. Canada and Señor Mexico, our neighbors?

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