Collie

Collie: (n) a sheepdog of a breed originating in Scotland

I was eleven years old before I realized they were not supposed to stink.

I’m talking about dogs.

Up to that point, I knew one dog–and this dog stunk. Ironically, her name was “Queenie.” Any pomp and circumstance associated with that name were purely accidental. She stunk. I could tell very time I drew near.

And near I drew.

Queenie was my Grandpa George’s animal. She was his favorite beast, person and thing.

Queenie felt great security in her job, and so pursued no personal hygiene. Half the day she wandered through the woods, living the life of a wild dog, to come
home to the little A-frame house as night was falling, to spend time with my grandpa.

I had jobs to do with Queenie. I kept praying that my grandpa would get old enough that he would become forgetful, and therefore fail to remember to ask me to do the job.

It was a two-parter.

Because Queenie was a collie, she had long fur which might have been lovely had it not been matted with dirt and grime, and filled with little stickers (which my grandpa referred to as “nettles”).

Grandpa wanted me to sit there during the visit, with Queenie’s snout lying in my lap, stinking up the room, and remove these little thistles from her fur. That was the first part.

The second part was that Queenie was a wild-type dog, and did not know how to get all the poop out of her butt with each bowel movement. So dangling from her backside were little sprinkles of dried turds, which Grandpa allowed me to remove by snipping them off with a small pair of scissors.

I will give Queenie one kudo: she never objected to any of the processes. Matter of fact, it reached a point that whenever I came into the room, she came over and laid her head on my knee, awaiting the treatment.

She smelled like everything bad that no one should ever inhale.

Her nettles always yanked out little pieces of hair, and the clippings from the back end–well, fortunately, time has healed me of the vision (as long as I don’t talk about it).

That is my experience with a collie. So you can see why, under no circumstances whatsoever, could I enjoy watching “Lassie.”

 

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Ant

dictionary with letter A

Ant: (n.) a small insect, often with a stinger, which usually lives in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens.

I don’t know whether there’s any creature on this planet that has such a diverse range of public perception.

After all, the ant is the symbol of vigilance in our childhood tales, especially when competing with the lethargic and procrastinating grasshopper.

Rumor has it that with great persistence, they can actually move rubber tree plants.

We greatly applaud their colony for its efficiency, wondering why the “hill” in Washington, D.C., can’t pick up some pointers.

Yet we also get really upset when they show up at picnics. They are known to frighten children because of their occasional bad tempers, allegedly leading to stings.

So how it is possible to be considered such a diligent fellow, and then closed out from being welcomed by the picnic crowd?

There’s only one explanation.

They’re black.

Yes. It’s a race issue.

I’m not trying to play the “race tentacle” here, but it seems to me that if the ant were white–aside from being almost invisible, as most white creatures are–he (or it) would be more accepted.

This theory could be easily tested by allowing a black ant and a red ant to arrive at a picnic at the same time. Would we treat the red ant better? Or just move it to the side and let it build a casino?

These are questions that plague my thoughts.

Because if we’re trying to get rid of ants because they’re annoying and interfere with the hygiene of our food at outdoor meals, that is a legitimate concern.

But if there is any color discrimination here, I think we should get to the bottom of it.

(Even though I think an ant has a thorax and not a bottom…)

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Anal

dictionary with letter A

Anal: (n) a stage in Freudian psychosis denoting infantile psychosis as seen by a preoccupation with the anus. 2. Anal-retentive: obsessively preoccupied with details.

Perusing this particular definition, I was struck with a notion.

Even though words do have specific meanings, they gradually assimilate into the culture based upon whether we choose to view a thought as positive or negative.

Freud, with his usual obsession for body parts, was quick to point out that “anal,” from his perspective, had something to do with the ass.

Yet in our society, when we refer to somebody as anal, we are connoting an attention to detail–or if we find that attitude unacceptable, we make reference to someone being “picky.”

But I think if you blend the definitions, it’s quite fun, isn’t it?

Because after all, people who don’t take care of their own bum, cleaning it and maintaining its hygiene, will eventually be considered nasty.

Likewise, without a little bit of fussiness about maintaining order and the dignity of things, we will disappoint those around us and convince them quite quickly by exposing the hole in our ass.

  • What is too much attention to detail?
  • What is being picky?

I think three things are necessary to be considered solvent and of sound mind:

1. I don’t make my problems your problems.

Even though we like to help one another through difficulty, the specific dilemma needs to be complex enough to warrant intervention.

2. Generally speaking, I am a person of good cheer.

After all, to be around efficiency which is grouchy makes you soon forget the quality of the work and only remember the cranky.

3. I’m improving.

In other words, we can get by with being inefficient once or twice, but after that, it becomes an annoying vice.

So there is a certain amount of attention to the caboose necessary to maintain a good train.

And as human beings, without being obnoxious … we can still strive toward adequacy.

 

 

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