Thursday, February 11, 2010

Barky is the New Bloody

When I watch Brit-coms, it always strikes me as strange that the word Bloody is used as major-league profanity. What? Are they referring to menstrual flow? Or wounds? Either way, these are normal parts of life, hardly worth getting upset about.

Profanity ought to be used for things that are truly upsetting.

Okay – I know I’m out of touch here. The most common profanities are about sex and excretion. Also natural functions. I doubt that people actually mean, “Go have a great sex life,” when they are angry and their voice tones imply insult. Taken literally, though, angry people do need to feel loved and cuddled.

Perhaps people do mean it when they say, “You poor fellow, you must be constipated to act so miserable. I hope you poop soon.” Okay those aren’t the exact words they use, but that is the literal meaning.

Profanity should be words that describe actual sources of irritation if not fury. In that spirit, I offer the word Barky.

You want irritation? Meet my dog Petruccio. Yes, he is named for the most famous rejected suitor in all of literature. When we took Buffy, our older female dog, to the animal shelter to select a playmate, the first thing Petruccio did was try to mount her. She rebuffed him. But ultimately she selected him as her playmate. His name used to be Cappuccino. The shelter assured us that he was house trained. We changed his name, paid to have him neutered, and several days later, we took him home.

Petruccio is not now, never has been, and never will be house-trained. We have ripped all the rugs out of our house. We have incontinence pads on the floor instead, and every time he gets one, we pop it into the wash.

Petruccio did like Buffy. She’s been dead over a year now. He growls, barks and tries to attack all other dogs on the planet. He’s a 16 lb beagle-mutt. He has a high-pitched unpleasant bark when he sees or smells other dogs. And he has an even higher pitched whining bark when he is displeased with us. He wants attention when we want to go to bed. He wants walks when we want to rest. And he doesn’t want walks when we do want to take him out. He barks. He does not win.

He is not a happy dog. He barks frequently.

I don’t like to hear his barking.

The combination of his unhappy barking and my response to hearing it is worthy of profanity.

I have found myself describing things as Barky when I’m not happy with them.

The Barky UPS delivery guy says he made a delivery attempt, but there’s no sticker on the door, and I was home and nobody knocked or rang.

The Barky strawberries had mold in the bottom of the box.

The Barky bus didn’t stop at my bus stop.

The Barky snow has shut the city down.

That Barky dog is an inspiration as well as a nuisance. He's 17 years old. I won't have to listen to his barking for too much longer.

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