This week’s edition of the Grosse Pointe News carries this headline, in 72-point type at the top of Page One:
Nobel laureates opine
I’m sorry I can’t tell you much about the story — I let my subscription lapse, and wouldn’t you know the first missed copy would be one with “opine” out front — but I assume they’re referring to the gathering Jack Lessenberry talks about in this column. He mentions his disgust that neither of the Detroit dailies saw fit to cover this event, although I guess only the most foolish optimist would point out, “But if they had, they wouldn’t have used ‘opine’ in the headline.”
So I won’t.
I used to work with an opiner, that is, a woman who used “opine” instead of “said” in her copy. She was also fond of “averred,” “demurred” and, on one memorable occasion, “ejaculated.” (All over her copy!) I think I’ve talked about her here before, so I’ll spare you my personal opining on the practice. There are editors who claim no word other than “said” will do, and I agree that 99 percent of the time it’s the only choice, although I reserve the right to use “asked” and “added” where it seems appropriate. Like “said,” both are pretty invisible in copy, and in some cases even more so; I’m picky enough to be bothered by reading, “‘At what cost are we willing to continue this war?’ she said.”
At least, that’s my opine-ion. As I am known to aver.
This weekend was one for computer maintenance. I did a big backup to the big LaCie, then beefed up the blogroll here at NN.C, a chore I’ve been putting off forever. I started putting in all my bookmarks, then realized I only visit about one-third of them on a regular basis. So I made that the new criteria for the blogroll — I have to visit regularly. Some I visit less regularly — Laura Lippman’s main site is only updated monthly, but it’s always worth visiting, particularly this month’s update, “Waiting for Lippman.” Ashley Morris, regular commenter here, is getting a lot of traffic as he emerges as the Rudepundit of post-Katrina New Orleans. But the ones I’m visiting are the ones I include. Suggestions for new ones welcome. And read nothing into the order; the server randomly scrambles them with each page reload.
Another housekeeping detail: If something important happens on “The Sopranos” this week, I don’t want to hear about it. We’re having a new floor installed in our family/TV room, and we’ll be getting only non-premium, non-digital cable on our primitive 13-inch bedroom TV, so not a word. I’ll catch up via On Demand later and we can all have a nice chat, but this week? Mum’s the word.
I guess I should add, if blogging gets intermittent in the following week, don’t call 911. I’ll have my hands full keeping the house from falling into full disaster-area status, and the dog out of the polyurethane.
On to the bloggage:
Everyone who goes to Paris remarks on the dogs in restaurants; every establishment seems to have a house pooch, who loafs around the joint while customers fail to freak out over the germs. My sole objection to having dogs in restaurants here is that they’d be American dogs — some overbred, others undertrained, still others wearing Burberry raincoats. Having watched the incredible bad karma spread by a single shithead who decided to bring his macho pit bull onto the playground at Foster Park in Fort Wayne one afternoon — and then put the dog down the slide, wheee, and no I’m not kidding — I kind of lost my trust in my fellow dog owner. (If I’d had a gun, I would have confronted him. If I’d had a cell phone, I would have called the police. Since I had neither, but did have a three-year-old, I opted instead to just leave.)
But even if dogs were allowed in restaurants here, I’d hate for it to be because of these people, examined in the Sunday NYT:
Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.
But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.
“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. “And now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”
Oh, I only wish it were April Fool’s Day:
One 30-year-old woman, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she does not see a psychotherapist but suffers from anxiety and abandonment issues and learned about emotional-needs dogs from a television show. She ordered a dog vest over the Internet with the words “service dog in training” for one of the several dogs she lives with, even though none are trained as service animals. “Having my dogs with me makes me feel less hostile,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.
“I can fine people or have them put in jail if they don’t let me in a restaurant with my dogs, because they are violating my rights,” she insisted.
It’s a good thing she wasn’t identified, because otherwise she’d be risking about a million pieces of hate mail pointing out exactly why she has abandonment issues. Would you trust this woman to bring a well-trained, well-behaved dog into a restaurant? You think Foofie would like quietly at the feet of her mistress and wait until it was time to go? I don’t. If Foofie starts coming into restaurants, I’m going to start carrying mace.
For Foofie if he comes near my entree. And then, for Foofie’s owner. Put this in your emotional support pipe and smoke it, babe.