Good doggie.

I don’t understand newspapers anymore. Oh, I get the gist, but it’s this making-it-up-as-we-go stuff that sometimes escapes me. Everyone has a dream of how journalism will work in the age when you no longer buy ink by the barrel, and the dreams will differ. Some people see a world in which investigative reporting contains hotlinks to the various public databases that offered the information; others see dog pictures. To be sure, the internet means you can have both, but it all adds up to a lot of confusion for dinosaurs like me.

By the way, I should say: I love that dog picture. That’s one that belongs in the newspaper.

Lameness continues today. Alan said if we want any family-vacation time we have to take it in July, because he has a maternity leave coming up on his staff in August, which means he’ll be chained to the grindstone. So now I have to hustle and figure out how we can enjoy a few days in fabulous New York City sooner rather than later. This trip has been in the discussion stage for a while, but I’ve been dragging my feet, waiting for the airlines to get their act together. Ha! And now we’ll be arriving just in time for TerrorFest 07. Ah, no worries. I’m a Brit at heart on this subject, and nothing but nothing will stop me from dragging my kid through the nation’s greatest city. I don’t care if there are car bombs on every corner.

I wonder what we might be missing here. This is the 40th anniversary of Detroit’s personal When Everything Changed moment, and the collective recollection of the ’67 riots has already begun. In the writing class I took this spring, the instructor asked if anyone had a story to tell about “the riots, or the uprising, whatever.” Interesting how “uprising” is now a preferred alternative for civil unrest, although even honkies here acknowledge that police brutality was a leading cause of our own personal Troubles. (Note, in that link, the reference to the “Big Four,” four-man jump-out squads of cops that patrolled black neighborhoods, with a license to hassle.) It was well before my time, though, and I’ll leave the recollections to those who were here.

(Amusingly, one of the best riot stories anyone in that class told was that of a young man who lived, as a toddler, through the 1984 World Series riot. He sat on his mom’s lap while the crowd rocked their car menacingly. It was one of his earliest memories, and guess what the takeaway message was? Baseball must be a very important game, if it makes people act like this. Gotta love it. He talked a lot about this photo, the iconic image of that crazy October.)

So, instead, have a load of bloggage:

Irony of ironies: Michael Moore and General Motors have common ground on the issue of health care.

A typically absorbing WashPost read on a family of fierce competitors. In this case, competing with coonhounds.

And for the parents in the house, one of the best comment threads — and most-linked, I’m sure — ever: Tell us how your kids embarrassed you. Some great stories, many involving little kids and the stories they tell about their genitalia. Loudly, and in public.

I’m outta here. Back in a bit.

Posted at 9:18 am in Current events, Media, Popculch |

27 responses to “Good doggie.”

  1. 4dbirds said on July 2, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Well yes, my kids have made me feel like crawling under a rock numerous times but the toppers:

    1. When son #1 (10) told my very elderly aunt and uncle that old people were dead people. (never knew where that one came from)

    2. When son #2 (6) upon meeting my boss’s wife screamed “YOU’RE FAT!!”.

    3. When son #3 (6) was suspended from first grade for throwing a chair at the principal.

    I also have a daughter who has managed not to embarrass us too much. My three sons are now adults and very well-mannered.

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  2. nancy said on July 2, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I liked the story about the little kid who, when told by the kindergarten teacher that she couldn’t have fresh, sharp crayons, said, “You are fucking kidding me.”

    Can’t top that.

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  3. Jim said on July 2, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Nancy, when you get to New York, I hope you’ll stop by Fort Totten in Queens and say hello to a former newspaper reporter from Fort Wayne. Pizza’s on me.

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  4. Dorothy said on July 2, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Josh was on the receiving end of a kiss from his Grandma one time and yelled “DOG GERMS!!!” at her. She was stunned and so was I. Then I remembered he had been watching lots of Charlie Brown videos lately. Lucy used to shout that when Snoopy kissed her. We laughed after we remembered the reason why he’d said it.

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  5. nancy said on July 2, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Fort Totten? I’ll be damned.

    No promises, but I appreciate the offer. I like old Army redoubts, but we’ll see if I can sell it to the fam.

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  6. brian stouder said on July 2, 2007 at 10:29 am

    we’ll see if I can sell it to the fam.

    To me, that encapsulates the art of the family vacation.

    Back in the planning stages, Pam agreed to my request for a few hours at Little Round Top/Dobbin House (etc) in Gettysburg, after clicking keys on Google (etc) and finding that a massive Boyd’s Bears facility was also at Gettysburg.

    It took awhile to find the place (which turned out to be very, very cool, I must say) and everyone ended up happy that day

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  7. Connie said on July 2, 2007 at 10:47 am

    “we’ll see if I can sell it to the fam.”

    My husband likes his visits to big cities when I am attending a conference. He says he can do anything he wants and doesn’t have to compromise with wife or kid.

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  8. Marcia said on July 2, 2007 at 11:17 am

    you are fucking kidding me

    That is hilarious.

    And good for you, Nancy, for not altering your vacation and letting the terrorists win!!**

    **Please, God, I don’t have to make a disclaimer that I am not serious here, do I?

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  9. LA mary said on July 2, 2007 at 11:34 am

    If you want I can give the phone numbers of my twin friends who are both Broadway actors. They are not big stars or anything, but they work steadily in shows, and they might be able to get you tickets or backstage at something. They’re also extremely good guys, funny, smart, all that stuff. I don’t know what they are in right now, but the last time I was in NYC one of them was doing a role in drag in Pirates of Penzance. He got raves from the NYT.

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  10. Marcia said on July 2, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Here comes LA mary with her connections..

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  11. LA mary said on July 2, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Hey, we went to high school together. And they’re not big shot stars. They both get bit parts on Law and Order all the time, usually playing teachers and having about six words of dialogue.

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  12. czucky Dimes said on July 2, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Just returned from NYC, and my question for you is WHY WHY WHY? The traffic and pedestrian congestion in Midtown is worse now than I can ever remember. If you must go, I have a subway Metro Card with eight or ten fares left on it. Let me know if yer wantin it.

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  13. LA mary said on July 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Have breakfast one day at SaraBeth’s Kitchen on Columbus. It’s near the Planetarium and Museum of Natural History.

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  14. Emma said on July 2, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Nothing embarrassing yet from Jack, as he’s only one year old. Although when I brought him into the office a few weeks ago, he farted on the boss.
    Everyone cheered.

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  15. LA mary said on July 2, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I remember my son announcing to a neighbor that he loved his penis. His own penis, that is. Not the neighbor’s penis.

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  16. John said on July 2, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    My son drew a picture (for the kindergarten open house) of the two of us in the hot tub together. There wasn’t enough blue water to cover the fact that we didn’t have suits on.

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  17. john c said on July 2, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    The two embarrasing-slash-hilarious moments that come to mind are courtesy of my now-5-year-old daughter Sally. Both happened in restaurants. Both involved her speaking in a very loud voice.
    The first came during potty training, when she all but shouted across the table: “Daddy, when you poop does it take a long time too?” The second came during a phase when she loved to play a game that involved blowing into each other’s faces. I would pick her up and suddenly blow onto her forehead, making her hair fly back and conjuring up squeals of delight. Then she would do the same to me, and I would laugh. We sat down at a booth in the venerable Village Grill, lunch patrons all around us, and my sweet little four year old (then) yelled: “Blow me daddy! Blow me!”

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  18. Connie said on July 2, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    John C reminded me of the time we took our one year old to a restaurant with visiting family along, plopped her in a high chair, where she spent the entire time in one of those long and loud grunts that accompanied her “movements” complete with scrunched up red face. The whole place was laughing within minutes.

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  19. derwood said on July 2, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    One of my nephews came strolling out of the bathroom at his grandparents lake cottage with one of those old style douching contraptions that had a jar, tubing, and various other parts that he found in the closet. He set it on the dinner table and asked his grandma what it was. This was during a dinner party with their pastor and several friends.

    Funny funny stuff.


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  20. Jolene said on July 2, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Doesn’t involve body parts or functions, but an inopportune question from my sister created an embarrassing moment for my mother.

    Mom had done all the things you might expect if you were hosting a meeting of the women’s group from a small Protestant church in a rural community in the early 1960s–cleaned the house, prepared the inevitable ladies’ lunch, brought out the good china to serve it, and dressed her flock of daughters (me and four others) in almost-good-enough-to-wear-to-church dresses, rather than the shorts and T-shirts we normally wore on summer days. The last was a particular hardship for my youngest sister, an irrepressible tomboy who, at about the age of three, proclaimed that she was a cowboy and wouldn’t hear otherwise for a good long while.

    As the church ladies pushed back their chairs and began complimenting my mother about the lovely afternoon, my sister correctly deduced that they were leaving and said, in a way that no one could miss, “Can we change clothes now, Mom?”

    You may have know my mother’s concern w/ correctness and my sister’s energy and forthrightness to find this funny, but it was, in fact, one of the great moments in which a simple remark pulls back the curtain on the whole show. I loved it then and still do.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    At about three, our son struggled with the “tr” sound and it always came out “f”. Concurrently, he was passionately excited EVERY time he saw a truck and had to say the word over and over and over. Didn’t matter where we were; a parking lot, restaurant, church…

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  22. basset said on July 2, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    hell, I thought they said DOG competition, not some kind of show-ring stand up straight and look pretty business. might as well get a poodle or some other foo-foo dog for that.

    I’ve had a couple of coon dogs, blue tick/Walker and blue tick/beagle crosses; never hunted them but I have gotten up in the middle of the night a few times when they had something treed close to the house.

    somewhere around here I have a tape of a piece we did for an outdoor show a few years ago… coonhound trials in Tennessee. basically you take the dogs out in the middle of nowhere after dark, turn ’em loose and when you hear one bark take off running after him. in overalls and hip boots. lugging a camera, tapes, belt pack full of batteries, the usual… nothing like it.

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  23. nancy said on July 2, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I once talked to a foxhunter — as in mounted-on-horse-in-red-coat foxhunter — who said they got a lot of their hound stock from a different sort of foxhunter down south. These are farmers in overalls, and they hunt by gathering in a central location, building a fire for drinking and telling stories around, then turning the hounds loose. They all know their individual dogs’ voices so that when they give chase, they know who’s leading the charge.

    I don’t think they chased after them. They just opened another round of beers and enjoyed the music.

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  24. LA mary said on July 3, 2007 at 9:58 am

    My lab treed a raccoon in my back yard at 3 am this morning. I’m sure all my neighbors love me right now.

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  25. nancy said on July 3, 2007 at 10:01 am

    A raccoon knocked over my bird bath last night. (Either that, or a very large bird.) Probably around 3 a.m., too. Give that lab a biscuit for me.

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  26. LA mary said on July 3, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I will when I get home. I hope my nasty next door neighbor doesn’t toss a rat poision biscuit over the fence in the meantime. He made a lot of noise out there.

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