Dog Gone It
“Dog Gone It” is a very old phrase that well-mannered people said often when they wanted to swear. It was the only expression permitted in strict homes where cursing or using “bad words” was one of the most horrendous things family members could do. This phrase was the only one allowed when you hit your thumb with a hammer. If perchance, you hit your hand once again with that hammer, you were permitted to yell “Drat” but only if you hit the same thumb. If you hit your thumb for a third time you could get away with screaming “Damn it!” followed immediately by a gentle soap mouth washing
For the much younger readers, “WTF” has pretty well replaced “Dog Gone It”, in today’s more sophisticated lexicon of expressing naughty words. Comic book authors rely heavily on #$@%&& and *$#@&% to avoid the scrutiny of their editors, but those words are so hard to pronounce the literary world let it slide. This has nothing to do with the proceeding story, however I did want people to know that my thumb is very sore today.
A friend of mine attended a wedding on the weekend and shared a remarkable story with me.
My friend had a friend. This girl volunteered to dog sit for a family on a long vacation. Unfortunately while the family was away the very large old dog died. She called the family to deliver the sad news. They were very understanding, and all consoled each other. The father asked the young lady to take the dog to the vet and have it cremated. She agreed, and though she did not drive, she committed to honour the family wishes. She dug up an old suitcase in their closet, which she could fit the canine inside and opted to catch the bus to get to the vet’s office. She placed the rather heavy case at the front of the bus and found a seat. About a half hour later she reached her stop she walked to the front of the bus and to her horror, she discovered that her dead dog suitcase had been stolen. Can you imagine the reaction of the thief when they opened that stolen suitcase?
Well that was such a great story I told it to many people. I began to get curious looks of disbelief as I told this dog tale, and finally was told that it was a made up story and a famous urban myth. I researched this and discovered they were absolutely right and there were much better more detailed versions of this story. Dog Gone It!
Embarrassed by this discovery I quickly evaluated my legal exposure for lying to so many people. Now to be clear, I lie to people all the time, but usually it is only about how successful my male modeling career is going. Occasionally I will brag about being the CEO of Apple, but since many of my friends are a little smarter than my cat, they justify my mistruths as the heavy price I pay for being so charming.
Hearsay is a term used to describe when you rely on an unknown, questionable source, to prove a point. I do this all the time when I start my stories, with “A friend of mine said…” With the current trendiness of fact checking, I am starting to use this opener far less often these days. I now begin my incredibly interesting stories with “You won’t believe what I think I saw today, but the sun was in my eyes and my glasses were a little smudgy!”
Double hearsay is an out of court declaration containing another out of court declaration. Well I called my friend to find out the chain of events as I thought he had told me that, “a friend of a friend” told him this story, and I could live with the double hearsay issue. It turns out it was not a friend of a friend, but a friend of a friend of a friend.. Drat!
Triple hearsay is almost as reliable as your teenage children promising to clean their bedroom. In the song “Take It on The Run”, REO Speedwagon referred to this as they sang “I heard from a friend who, heard from a friend who, heard from a friend…”
Well apparently REO Speedwagaon were guilty of triple hearsay, and as those who watch Judge Judy know, this is inadmissible in a court of law. I have done my best to call every person I told this story to, and share the potential of it’s fictionality. They each told me that fictionality is not a word, and then proceeded to tell me that they had already told many of their friends my story. I am now in the peculiar situation where I may be guilty of participating in a quadruple hearsay conspiracy. I called my lawyer to seek legal guidance with my very serious hearsay heresy. (Try saying that quickly three times) . Fortunately my lawyer was too busy to talk to me, but his receptionist really liked my story about the dog and the suitcase. “Damn it!” Will I never learn?
Eventually my lawyer called me and confirmed that quadruple hearsay is so exquisitely complicated, he suggested when you map it out on forty-seven page legal brief, it is very close to telling the truth. He comforted me by letting me know that any brief under fifty pages only costs clients $5,000. He also said he really liked the dog story his receptionist told him.
You will notice that I have used several links in this week’s blog. I only did this because I believe that when you share information that is untrue, you should always support your misinformation with more information. If I ever master this highly technical skill of linking, I will consider abandoning my lucrative male modeling career, and explore new opportunities at Yahoo News or FaceBook. If I ever master the art of unlinking sausages, Sunday brunch will be a lot less messier.
Your body language often exposes your deception. There is a band, whose name I currently can’t remember, who talked about this in a song ( if you are still in that annoying fact checking mood, you will argue they really sang it more than said it), “Honey you can’t hide your lying eyes”.
This band, whose name I still can’t remember had other hits. In a rare moment of connectivity, allow me to link the theme of this week to this week’s blong. I am not sure if plagiarism is part of the hearsay issue, but it does answer the question you have been asking for years. What if it was really only a Motel? A friend of a friend of a friend told me this is a really good song.
Cue the Blong: The Motel California.