Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vermin, Varmints and Nasty Words

I went out to feed ponies last night and their backs looked like their fur was moving! Lice, millions of lice have taken-up residence on them (lice are attracted to the light and come to the surface of the fur). Fortunately a 5-day course of Ivermectin will kill them all.

Folks report a huge Raccoon in the pony stallion pasture, a big he-Coon, at least a 15 pounder. To me, Coons have absolutely no redeeming value. They stink to high-heaven, they taste foul, they eat your eggs and chickens, and they are mean, especially to dogs.

Around here my neighbors have Coon-dogs, Beagle-like critters that tree the Raccoons, so you can shoot ‘em out of the tree at your leisure. These dogs hate raccoons mostly because the Coons don’t have any respect for them. Of course, I won’t like the vermin but I can't bear to kill them, so we have have-a-hart traps of every conceivable size to capture critters and relocate them to better neighborhoods.

Speaking o’ Dogs

Janet’s friend Robin does dog shows with Rottweiler’s and she related a funny story to me. They wuz at Denny’s after a big dog show discussin a huge jet-black Rottie with a bad conformation fault in her croup. Just like Horse-show people, dog show people sit around and pick-apart their competitors faults, and at one point Robin exclaimed:

“Did you see the butt on that big black bitch?”

Well, Janet sez you coulda heard a pin-drop, and people all around Dennys stopped eatin’ to give her the evil eye! Robin had to explain to the whole room that they were dog show people, and they were talking about dogs, not people! It’s funny how real-world words can change meaning over time.

Speakin’ o’ obsolete words

Ah remember my ole Aunt Sara and how she would use out-dated words. For example, when our son was a baby he screamed and ole Aunt Sara commented “My, my, what an ejaculation”. Heck, even as a kid I remember the theme song from the Flintstones “We’ll have a Gay Old Time”, and how that wording would not be PC today.

For example, a few years back, I designed a miniature barn to go with the miniature horses that lived in it. As ole Aunt Sara would say, “What do you think of my magnificent erection?”

Speakin’ o’ nasty words

Last year my kids came back from East Carolina University raving about a perfesser who wuz teaching Greek and Latin. Now, I’d never heard of an interestin’ Latin class and I figured I’d better meet this guy.

Doctor Steve Cerutti was one of the most popular professors on the ECU Campus, mostly because of this exciting class on word origins where he includes the origin of offensive and vulgar words, including some that I use every day.

Wall, I had to meet Dr. Cerutti and we met at a restaurant in Greenville to discuss doing a book on word origins:

The Words of the Day: The Unlikely Evolution of Common English

Anyway, me and Steve hit-it-off and I wuz thrilled to find-out that my filthy-mouth was now a legitimate area of academic research. We cussed and cursed with great pleasure and wild enthusiasm at dinner.

See, Dr. Cerutti is an Ivy League dude (Duke), and even though he is well-published in academic books, he is concerned that his book does not come-off as too erudite. We’ve put one of his chapters online, and we invite anyone who is interested in word origins (who is over 18 and is not offended by profanity), to have a look and give him feedback:

Nine Words (And A Fish) You Thought You Knew

Please send Dr. Steve your comments to