Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rhymes with Nina... and neurasthenia

Yes, there’s a difference. A big difference.

Puppets are designed to be animated. Dolls are not. And ventriloquist dummies are a special kind of puppet made expressly for mouth and face animation.

Why am I so uppity about this? Just trying to pre-fend off charges of hypocrisy on my part. Or maybe the charges would be self-deprecation or self-condemnation. Or in layman’s terms, making a smart-alecky comment that actually applies to me.

To explain:

Sitting on the porch last night, my wife and I were talking about a dear friend. We’ll call her Eugenia* (You know – name changed to protect the innocent and all that.).

Eugenia is divorced now of a few years and is dating someone of merit. She hasn’t brought him over to meet me yet, which I’m not sure how to take. I would think having him meet her important blogger** friend would be higher on the list of things to do in the mating ritual. But I digress…

But, as the story goes, he grew up in Minneapolis and has always lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s a Minneapolitan***. One hundred percent. Yet, because he’s finding himself having to move, he’s moving to Houlton, Wisconsin, which is about 5 miles away from beautiful Hudson where we and Eugenia live.

So I’m listening to the story and I say for a joke, “I should tell Eugenia that if she helps him move and she finds his doll collection – be careful.”

It was only this morning that I realized I need to be clear about something as someone might thing this applies to me, too. Let me reiterate: Dolls and puppets and ventriloquist dummies are not the same.

No, no, no, no, no. They are not the same.

* Sorry, Eugenia. Look at the bright side. No one will ever figure out this post is about you. You don't look like a Eugenia.  I know what those look like. I grew up on the south side of Milwaukee - remember?

** My two buddies, Merriam and Webster, are considering replacing the words “military intelligence” with “important blogger” as the official example of an oxymoron. (Actually, they use the words “cruel kindness”, but that wasn’t as much fun. Important bloggers sometimes take liberties with facts just for humorous effect.)

*** If someone from Minneapolis is a Minneapolitan and someone from St. Paul is a St. Paulite, can’t they all generally just be called Twin Citiots? I like the ring to that.
About the post title:

There's a great old song called Nina.  In the song, the name is pronounced "neen-Ya", and it gets rhymed with neurasthenia - and rhymed well and well used as a word, in my humble opinion. That's a world that does not appear in any other song in any language.

And it rhymes with Eugenia.

Now you get it?

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