Most days I can ignore stories like the Rick Santorum thing. I read, I judge, I move on. In this matter, it shows how unqualified I am to be a blogger; I simply run out of patience with discussing it endlessly. If I can’t vote for the guy or his opponent, what’s the point? I have my own religious right-wing congressman to worry about.
So I was slow getting to the transcript of the Santorum interview. I was struck not by Santorum’s pinheadedness, but by the responses of the unidentified AP reporter:
AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?
Oooh, don’t gross me out! "Without being too gory or graphic?" Why not say, "Please, don’t give me any good quotes. Keep it nice and bland for the ol’ AP, ’cause we can’t print it anyway, and I certainly don’t want a good story to tell my colleagues over beers on Friday, you know?"
SANTORUM: …In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —
AP: I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.
Hmm. "Sort of freaking me out" to hear the phrase "man on dog"? For a minute there, I thought we’d found the Catholic girl who worked briefly at our college paper, an outstanding beauty preserving her Grace Kelly-ish self for her future husband. You might think we didn’t like her because she was a Catholic and would likely have freaked out over any "man on dog" conversations, but that wasn’t it. It was because she was utterly offended by the idea of a deadline. She simply couldn’t believe that her news-reporting professor expected her to write a story and turn it in by the bell (the class was 90 minutes long for just this purpose). Why, at the women’s college she’d recently transferred from, they had three days to do their assignments! We took one look at her and figured: Public relations professional in the making.
It took a bit of Googling to find the byline on the original story — not her.
Anyway, once again, Richard Cohen had the best Santorum column. He’s betting 1.000 for the week.
I’ll show you man on dog. Buster’s lying at my feet. He really is enormous — 100 pounds at least, and at the moment, 100 pounds of panting anxiety. His owner, Alan, whom we will call for the sake of clarity the Other Alan, takes him everywhere, and while this makes him excellent company in a variety of situations, he is a little freaked over the separation. And Spriggy, who’s also a bundle of nerves to have this interloper in the house. Visiting Spriggy, for a dog, is like visiting a crank addict on a five-day binge — he just never leaves you alone. The boys have already had two snarling spats, and I’m really hoping those are over with.
"Where does he sleep?" I asked the Other Alan.
"Wherever he wants," he replied. He already jumped onto Kate’s bed and gave her stuffed animals the once-over, so now I have another nervous soul under my roof. I told her, on the way home from picking him up, all about retrievers, how soft their mouths are, how they naturally pick up things on the floor but never chew them, how the worst we’ll see this weekend might be a drooly shoe or two. So what does Buster do in the first 15 minutes? Find one of Spriggy’s toys — a tennis ball on a rope — and instantly chew the ball into fragments.
I will say this: I have never seen that kid’s room so clean. You talk about picked up? "Take these shoes and put them in your room," I said. "In my closet," she said. "With the door closed."
Kids learn lessons everywhere. I hope this one sticks.
Must go measure kibble into bowls. Have a swell weekend, OK?