What The Hell Is “Abnormal Bleeding?”

One of the reasons our society is going to Hell in a handcart is we have no idea what we’re saying anymore.  We’re screwing up the beauty of the English language so badly it’s a wonder it doesn’t ask us for a divorce.

“I’m fed up with you treating me like gibberish.  Get out!  And I’m taking custody of all the words.”

This isn’t just a minor misunderstanding over a few stupid things like Jumbo Shrimp or Military Intelligence.  This is serious.  There are some irreconcilable differences between us and the language we love.  Here are a few examples:

one day at a time – Think about this.  That’s the way they come.  Announcing to the world that you’re taking things “one day at a time” violates Einstein’s 3rd Law of You’re a Dumb Ass.  Are there people in this world who take things TWO days at a time?

bad luck – If your luck is bad, by definition, it isn’t luck anymore.  Finding a bag of money is lucky.  Getting hit by a car as you pick it up is not a different kind of luck.  Luck does not come in alternative forms.  You’re lucky or…

sex addict – There is no such thing.  We’re genetically programmed to want sex; that’s why there are more than 7 billion of us crawling around this planet.  Mother Nature gave us sexual desire so we would thrive as a species and have fun doing it.  Jerks like Tiger Woods are just trying to weasel (no offence, weasels) out of bad marital problems, and they think people believe this “sex addict” crap.

homophobia – First of all, a “phobia” or abnormal fear of gay people is not an illness.  Lifestyle or pharmaceuticals aren’t going to make you better.  Secondly, if homophobes think in stereotypes, what are they afraid of:  Nice shoes?  Designer dogs?  Square dancing?  Here’s the deal: homophobes don’t have a psychological disorder; they’re assholes.

fresh raisins – We need to remember raisins started out as grapes — a long time ago.

suicide bomber – The person with the bomb might very well be committing suicide, but the rest of the folks within shrapnel range simply aren’t.  The last time I looked, suicide was not an involuntary activity.  If you’re standing around waiting for a bus and suddenly you get your insides blown out, suicide has nothing to do with it: you’ve just been murdered.

And the list goes on from “light pollution” to “crash landing” (let that one sink in!) and if we don’t fix it soon, we might just as well jabber away at each other in Emoticons.

Stuff I Learned From Literature – Again

People don’t read much anymore.  The once glorious novel has been left to gather dust while we play videogames and watch Netflix.  I’m as guilty as the next person so I’m not pointing fingers, but I still think it’s a shame.  After all, most of what I know about the world comes from reading fiction.  Here is just some of the stuff I’ve learned from literature.

Never, under any circumstances, give pigs any power.
Animal Farm

Never volunteer for anything.
The Hunger Games

If you think your lover has committed suicide, get a qualified second opinion before you proceed.
Romeo and Juliet

If you’re going to invade Russia, make sure you bring back-up.
War and Peace

Don’t be fooled by contemporary propaganda, children are savages.
Lord of the Flies

Contrary to popular belief, family isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

If you live in Wessex, England you’re pretty much screwed.
Anything by Thomas Hardy

It’s not a good idea to party with aristocrats from Transylvania – especially after dark.

Be nice to the French.  They tend to hold a grudge.
The Count of Monte Cristo

Don’t drink and drive.
The Great Gatsby

Whatever you do, stay away from Southwest Texas.
No Country for Old Men

Female teachers with Scottish accents are dangerous.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Sometimes, finding Nemo is not necessarily a good thing.
20,000 Leagues under the Sea

Expect the unexpected.
The Collected Works of O. Henry

On closer examination the meat packing industry is not as glamorous as one would think.
The Jungle

Never hunt whales.  It will always end badly.
Moby Dick

If you find yourself in the woods with a talking rabbit … go home, you’re stoned.
Alice in Wonderland

And finally:

Make digital copies of your books just in case we all go crazy in the next couple of years.
Fahrenheit 451

Emily And The Badger II

The walk back was warmer – the morning was becoming noonish, and the winter sun was higher – but, then again, it might have been the brandy.

“You brew up a wicked batch of hooch, Duchess.”

Emily chuckled.

“Is that the same stuff we had last night?”

“Basically, but that back there?  That was pretty raw.  The boys were having a laugh.  They tapped a green barrel for your benefit.”

“But …?” Dreyfus shook his head and lifted his hand in question.

Emily laughed, “Oh!  They have a nasty, cold job, and it’s night work, and … so when I’m around, I usually drop in at the end of their shift, and we have a toddy.  Just a gesture.  When they saw us — there are no secrets at Pyaridge — they thought it would be cute to make you sputter a bit.”  Emily tilted her head, “Take it as a compliment.  But,” Emily stopped and turned to Dreyfus, “Do you mind?  Please don’t call me Duchess or Lady or … I get enough of that in public life, and people mostly get it wrong.”

“Certainly,” Dreyfus bobbed his head, “Milady.” And he smiled his half snarl twinkle smile, “Sorry, I couldn’t resist one last time.”

Emily gave him a mitten slap on the shoulder, and they started walking again.

“But I do have a question.  Why are you Lady Perry-Turner and not Lady Weldon?  I looked it up when Sydney told me who you actually were, and that’s what Burke’s said you’re supposed to be.”

“Oh, that.” Emily pointed to her left.  “No, we’re going to the stables first.  I want to see the horses and talk to Billie.”

“We’re not riding?” Dreyfus was sceptical and concerned.

Emily waved her left hand, “No, you’re off the hook – for today.  Dawna and Billie will be back soon, so we’ll just wait for them and then go up to lunch.”

“Lunch?  We just had breakfast.”

Emily smiled at him.  “You’ll get the hang of country living eventually.”

“Probably not — but lead the way,” Dreyfus said, gesturing forward.  “So what’s the story?”

Emily thought about it for a moment, as they walked.  It was one thing to talk about stables and fox hunting; quite another to trot out the family laundry.  But she never really hesitated.  She had decided back in London that she wanted Sinclair on whatever terms, and if he wanted to know, she’d tell him.  Her only real concern was that he might not be interested.

“It’s difficult to know where to start.  Uh — my great-grandfather was David Turner, Sir David, actually.  He made his money in shoes.  He married my great-grandmother Vera, who was, by default, the Duchess.  That goes back too far to explain.  Let’s just say my family has Royal Letters Patent that can set aside primogeniture and allow women to inherit and hold the title suo jure – umm – that means – um,” Emily wagged her hands searching for the words, “In their own right.  (That’s me, too, by the way.)  But anyway, after the First World War, all the Perry men were dead; in fact, all the men were dead.  A whole generation of local gentry simply vanished.  So, in 1919, husbands were hard to come by, and great-grandma Vera needed one.  But that’s another long story.  Anyway, Sir David came back from the war with a wooden leg and the other foot on the social ladder.  He was a poacher who wanted to be a gamekeeper.  He also had a serious drug habit.  The story goes that he used to sprinkle cocaine in his opium pipe and smoke it in the library after breakfast.  Anyway, it was like at first sight — or, at least, not dislike — and he and Vera were married before the ink was dry on the peace treaty.  However, Sir David refused to go to the altar unless ‘Turner’ was added to the family name.  That’s how we came to be Perry-Turners.  And, because he couldn’t be a Duke or even Lord Weldon, he insisted the designation be changed so he could style himself ‘Lord Perry-Turner’ instead of just plain old ‘Sir.’  The House of Lords wouldn’t help him out on that, so he took it to Buck House.”

Dreyfus’ look was the question.

“Buckingham Palace.  And he was given a letter, signed by George V, that said he could have it any way he liked.  It’s in the library if you want to see it.  That’s why I can be called Lady Perry-Turner or Lady Weldon or Duchess or …”

“Just not by me.”

 They had arrived at another set of white stone buildings, surrounded by white plank fencing — much smaller than the stables but built in the same style.

“This used to be the woodsheds, then the coal sheds.  Then they were empty for years, so when we converted the stables, I moved the horses up here.  Some people think it’s too close to the house, but some people think we shouldn’t keep horses at all.”

(Undoubtedly the bean-counting Ms. Miller.)

“That’s a pretty impressive story.”  Dreyfus said, thinking he’d like to move Emily around the corner, out of sight of the house and kiss her.

“By all accounts, Sir David was a charming fellow — even if he was stoned most of the time.”  But Emily was distracted, looking out over the grounds.  Then she whistled.  “Here’s Billie and Dawna with the dogs.”

Thwarted and feeling it, Dreyfus’ voice was a little blunt. “What do you want Billie for?”

Emily turned her head sharply.  It was the woman from the photograph.  Dreyfus had seen her before – clear, confident on the edge of severe.  Lady Perry-Turner was not used to being questioned, and certainly not in the shadow of her own house.  For a nanosecond … and then … it was Sinclair standing there – her Sinclair.  She smiled.

“He’s going to help me shoot a badger.”

You can read more about Dreyfus and Emily’s Christmas adventure here.