Of Buttercups and Snowflakes

By Jim Hagarty
Punn Ditt Inc.

I have spent a lifetime with words. In fact, it has been my use of words that has kept a roof over my head and food on my table.

So you might think I love words. All words. One one level, maybe this is true. But some words, and I can never predict which ones it will be, eventually get on my nerves if they are used repeatedly in mind-numbing ways. At that point, those words are transformed from their initial job of representing ideas into insults, defamation and evidence of an absence of critical thinking skills. Or thinking-at-all skills.

Unfortunately, the U.S. election has produced a truckload of annoying phrases and words. Such as …

Fake News
Known for generations as bullshit, horseshit, crap, nonsense, and even lies. Horse twaddle, bull crap, and a dozen other descriptors I am forgetting at the moment. Now, it’s all fake news. All politicians are using it, even Obama. Real news is reporting hourly on fake news, fake news is reporting on real news and fake news is even reporting on fake news. One careful analysis has found that only six per cent of everything that Donald Trump says is actually absolutely true. So Trump is, without a doubt, King of Bullshit Mountain. Long live the King!

Buttercup
I love buttercups, or used to. Those pretty little, delicate, yellow wildflowers that bloom everywhere in spring. But now, the word buttercup is being assigned to anyone who is not fully onboard with America’s new fascist regime. “Suck it up, Buttercup!” and “Buckle up, Buttercup!” are shot like water cannon at anyone who dares object to the prospect of the autocratic, military junta that is about to take over the world’s last superpower. If you are not down with 30 million people losing their health insurance, or with journalists being muzzled like in countries run by dictatorships, or voting rights being stolen from (Democratic-leaning) minorities or the country’s wealth being diverted to the already super wealthy, then you are, my friend, a buttercup. And you need to suck it up and buckle up. Most of all, just shut it.

Snowflake
I’ve always loved snowflakes. For a long time, as a kid, the most amazing thing I had ever heard was that there are no two snowflakes that are exactly the same. How could that be when trillions of snowflakes fall every year? Then someone introduced me to the concept of infinity – no beginning and no end – and that was the end of snowflakes. The idea that there are things in the universe that have no limit, crushed the little snowflake which melted on my tongue. But the snowflake is back, resurrected by rednecks and assholes to be used to put down anyone with any degree of sensitivity. Much like the buttercup, the snowflake is concerned with the welfare of others, even non-snowflakes, and dreams of a better world. To those motivated solely by Selfishness, Greed and Hard Heartedness, sensitivity translates into weakness. And to a true, self-made man or woman, weakness is to be scorned. Who doesn’t know that there is a Superior Race and that the Earth and all its riches belong to that group?

But for me, here is the biggest rub. Fake news, buttercup and snowflake, and other words I am forgetting at the moment, are already leaving the world of American politics and going out into the universe of general discourse. All over social media, the buttercups and snowflakes of the world are taking quite the beating by those who would be considered tough enough to take a punch without crying. You might call them bullies except for the fact that bullies always cry when punched.

More thought is required to come up with suitable words to describe these vile creatures. I’ll get back to you when they occur to me or if I find someone else has beaten me to it.

Till then, I’ll be here, buckled in and doing my best to suck it up.

Grip and Grin

By Jim Hagarty
2015

I have been looking for a new direction in life (and a source of more income) and I believe I have found it.

I think, in fact, that all my experiences have led me to this new adventure: I am going to hire myself out as a professional cuddler.

You are saying no such occupation exists but you are wrong. A new business begun last month in Montreal matches cuddly people such as me with those who need some cuddling and believe me, I am excited. Maybe a bit too excited but who wouldn’t be?

I haven’t grasped all the details yet but apparently cuddler and cuddlee get together and do whatever the cuddlee wants, short of actual sex. They can sit on the couch and hold hands, engage in hardy wraparound hugs and even crawl into bed and snuggle up.

Those who know me will agree this is a perfect fit for me. Hugging comes as naturally to me as wing flapping does to a bird. I will hug any creature, human or otherwise, who needs one or many. If I can get my arms around you, you pretty much don’t stand a chance.

Ask Andy, an incredibly large exotic goat on a rare breed farm in Scotland that my wife and I were touring. He was standing in his pen alone and there was a sign in front of his gate which read “petting area”. So, I opened the gate, went up to Andy and threw my arm around his extremely thick neck. He stood as tall as I do and somewhere there is a picture of this cross-species display of affection, me smiling broadly and Andy, with his horns that would make a normal man scream in terror, staring right into the camera but looking confused. I gave him one last squeeze and left the pen.

It was then I read the petting sign again and realized that I had missed the arrow which indicated that the petting area was at the top of the hill. Andy was nowhere near that area. But this is proof of my ability to calm the savage beast using nothing but my loving arms. (To be honest, I was in need of a cuddle myself for a brief time after that.)

I can’t get to Montreal very easily so I am going to start this service here. Give me a call and I’ll be right over. If you are lucky, I might even take a shower before I head out. Stand back and prepare to be snuggled like you’ve never been snuggled before.

If you think I am exaggerating my abilities to soothe, go ask Andy. I bet getting cuddled by me was one of his happiest ever moments.

And the best part for him was, it was free of charge.

But no more. I am monetizing my affection from now on. No more freebies from me. Hugs by Jim and More is going to cost you. The good news is, however, that if you get upset when I present you with my bill, I’ll just squeeze you till you forget all about it.

The GOP’s Solemn Healthcare Promise

Republicans Vow Not To Repeal Obamacare Without Detailed Plan For Disposing Of Patients’ Disease-Ridden Corpses

From The Onion

WASHINGTON—In an effort to allay concerns over how the abrupt removal of Obamacare would impact millions covered by the legislation, House Republicans pledged Tuesday that they would not dismantle the healthcare law without first putting in place a detailed and comprehensive plan for disposing of patients’ disease-ridden corpses, sources confirmed.

“We want the American people to know that we will not, under any circumstances, repeal the Affordable Care Act until we have a full, working Republican alternative for disposing of participants’ withered, virus-infested remains,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), adding that current enrolees can rest assured that the GOP is working tirelessly to draft provisions that will ensure every single Obamacare recipient can have their ashen and tumor-riddled carcass cremated, buried, or dissolved in a quick and efficient manner at minimal cost.

“To those presently insured under the ACA, you can expect a smooth transition in the weeks ahead from your current coverage to our much cheaper, easier, and more convenient corpse-elimination plan. Your putrid lifeless body and the putrid lifeless bodies of your loved ones will be well taken care of—that’s our party’s guarantee to you.”

McCarthy added that Americans will also be pleased to know that free-market competition will keep down the fees associated with the GOP’s plan, as all current Obamacare beneficiaries will soon have the option of having their moldering corpses disposed of across state lines.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I like companies with a sense of humour.

Yesterday, I saw a small car in our town, all painted up brightly with logos and these words printed along the sides:

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Barkbusters!

We provide training for dogs of all sizes

It reminds of our dog groomer, whose business is called Mutts Cuts.