“I’m not sure I understand what Art was talking about.” That was an understatement on my part. “I didn’t know that Angelina had a house. Even if she did, Geezer, I can’t imagine how Mr. Allen would fit into it.” Angelina, a diminutive chihuahua, weighed 5 pounds when she stepped out of the bath tub. Art Allen tipped the scales at 320 after ingesting two packs of Ex-lax. My visual was a video of Mr. Allen trying to get his foot into the house’s miniature door. His size 12 was two times too large to enter.
“Being ‘in the dog house’ is just a figure of speech, Sandy. He’s not really going to move in with Angelina; Angelina doesn’t even have a house.” The Geezer had that, I must be patient because Sandy is an unsophisticated creature, look. What a crock! He burbled on, “He’s gotten Mrs. Allen mad at him. That’s his way of expressing that he’s in trouble.”
I’d liked to have fired a sarcastic salvo at the old boy, but my canine patience with inferior life-forms restrained me. “It’s cliche. Common usage. That kind of thing. I get it. But how about him answering, ‘no hearts and flowers for VD,’ when you asked what the problem was. Is that cliche, too?” I understood the hearts and flowers probably referred to presents, but why would anyone give a gift for getting VD? And, if he was the “giver,” a divorce lawyer was more appropriate than a card and candy.
“That’s a bit more complicated.” The Geezer organized his thoughts. It’s a strain, but he can do it. “When Art said, ‘no hearts and flowers,’ he was confessing he didn’t have a gift for his wife on ‘VD’ which was his way of saying Valentine’s Day.”
After Geezer interpreted for me, it was clear. And reassuring. I’m glad Mrs. Allen didn’t have the clap or worse. She’s pretty, petite, and perky. It’s difficult for me to visualize the Allens’ engaged in sex. In fact, the only partner I can see Art Allen having sex with is Edna the elephant.
“Okay Geezer. Translate your answer. You said, ‘You better watch out! She’ll get religious on you. She’ll become a nun. Nun for you.’ Art laughed. I don’t get it. It seems like forcing your wife to enter a convent is serious stuff.”
The Geezer smiled. “That’s N-O-N-E, not N-U-N. It means he won’t be getting any lovin’ from Mrs. Allen for a while.”
I shook my head and looked skyward- I have a patented disgust look. “You humans can complicate anything, but you murder language and communications. Why do you need so many ways to describe the same thing and use the same word, or another that sounds exactly the same, to mean different things? In doganese, woof is woof, arf is arf, grrrr is grrrr. We get on just fine.”
“Let’s see. We describe the same thing in a number of different ways because we often want to express a feeling we have. An example: kids, young ‘uns, brats, and rug rats, all refer to children, but each paints a different image for the person receiving the message. Human language is an art form though many would try to make it a science. Sorry, it isn’t.”
“Makes sense,” I said. “What about words that mean a lot of different things?”
The Geezer thought for a few seconds then said, “That can be confusing. Like wait and weight. Or seen and scene.” He pondered further clarification. “Many times we can use a single word to sum up different descriptions referring to the same thing. There are…”
I interrupted as inspiration struck! “I’ve got an example, Geezer. What word means liar, cheat, devious, deceitful, corrupt, disgraceful, and dishonest?”
We answered together, “Politician!”
Human language lacks the simplicity and concise nature of doganese, but it does have its moments.