Monday, June 16, 2008

Names Can Be Hurtful

Have you ever done something so stupid that your friends, family or coworkers (yes, or all 3 in my case) have renamed the mistake you made after you. Such as saying ‘she pulled a Michael?’ That’s what she said. Seriously, you know what I am talking about, right? If you see a skanky, skinny (also known as Skinky, perhaps) girl walking down the street, you might be inclined to say the young lass was pulling a Paris or a Lindsey. Yelling obscenities at your daughter? Yep, that’s ‘a Baldwin.’ Sex in the White House? ‘Pulling a Kennedy.’ Gheesh, that sounds dirty. You probably thought I was going to say Clinton, didn’t you? Nah, that’s too easy, but if it makes you feel better, I can offer you this. Ever done inappropriate things with cigars in the Oval Office while leading your country? Yep, that’s ‘a Clinton.’ Uh, a ‘Bill,’ to be exact.

Ok, I think I’ve given enough examples. Well, as if the planet ex planet Pluto hasn’t been beaten up enough, it has now joined the league of having something ignominious (lordy do I hope I used that correctly, it made me sit up just a little taller as I was writing it) and unfortunate named after it. Yep, from now on, whenever a planetary body thingy is too small, or ugly, or has too many craters or a bad attitude or comes from poor lineage or does something embarrassing in class, it will be called a Plutoid. I guess it’s the same logic as naming a little or mini hemorrhage a hemorrhoid? Ouch. That’s just disrespectful.

Essentially, if it isn’t important enough or good enough to qualify as a planet, it will be named after Pluto. Perhaps the scientists who decided to do this thought they were honoring Pluto by naming every wannabe planet after it, but if you were to ask Pluto, I bet you’d get a different answer. And just for the record, if you actually did ask Pluto a question and then received a response back on top of that, you would legally qualify as someone in need of mental help or be labeled just plain ‘goofy’ (I am now one character mention away from Disney coming after me, by the way). In fact, I strongly suggest against telling anyone that any of the planets in our solar system spoke to you or that you spoke to them. I imagine if you made that mistake you’d get the same looks I get when I am caught humming ‘The Hustle’ while waiting for something to come out of our networked printer in the office.

I don’t know if any new Plutoids have been named since this decision was made but something tells me that as time goes on, the practice of naming inferior celestial bodies after Pluto will not just stop and fade away as often happens with our pop culture references. That’s the one hope that gets me through each day - the thought that having my name attached to doing something boneheaded will eventually stop and be forgotten. Well, that thought and the one that involves me going to the Tillamook Dairy in just over 2 weeks. Although after visiting the dairy, the hope that people will stop naming the act of doing boneheaded things after me will once again become the one thought that gets me through each day. Unless you are counting the promise of lunch and dinner because knowing that those two meals await me does help me get out of bed every morning. But that really has nothing to do with Pluto or Plutoids or the cosmic soap opera that has become poor Pluto’s plight, which by the way is the name of Oprah’s next book club selection.

Because of all this reclassifying planet mumbo jumbo, I now live under the fear that it will tear our family apart. As Lucy and Ethel prepare for the first grade, I know that one day they will be asked to appear in a class production of ‘The Planets’ or ‘Our Solar System’ or something like that. And it will just be our luck that one of the twins will get to be a real planet like Jupiter or Mars (but oh please God, not Uranus) and one of them will have to play the Plutoid Pluto. That will lead to the usual sisterly ‘why does she get to be a real planet and I have to be this tiny one that no one likes? I always have to be the inferior gaseous body without gravity!’ We deal with arguments like that daily and they are no fun. Well, ok, some of them do tend to get so silly that we can’t help laughing. But to our credit, we never let the twins see us laughing about which one gets to wear the redder belt or the khaki shorts that most closely resemble the khaki shorts I am wearing at the time.

And speaking of reclassifying planets, why is it so necessary? If you ask me, and I am painfully aware that you did not, I think astronomers started reclassifying planets because they ran out of things to do and need to appear that they are still busy and need to work. Why do I think this? Well let’s just say I have, uh, ‘reclassified’ the contents of my cubicle’s filing cabinet 5 times in the last two weeks. Although I think people are starting to catch on, I’m sticking with the ‘I’m trying to find a document I swear I just filed away in here last week.’ The use of the word ‘document’ makes it sound official and all businessy, so it usually gets me off the hook.

I feel for Pluto, but since I can’t do anything about it, I guess I should go join all the cool kids and watch Pluto through my telescope and point and laugh at it. Wait a minute, cool kids don’t have telescopes. Wait another minute, I have a telescope. Oh blurg…

11 comments:

Mel Heth said...

Are there any Plutoids in your cubicle filing cabinet? I'm pretty sure I could find some in my top desk drawer.

Eva said...

Plutoids sound like a brand of breath mint. This does not befit the majesty that is our farthest planet. Can you make them retract this hurtful reclassification?

Heart Of Darkness said...

I don't think I've ever pulled a Michael! ...(eh, you know what I mean!)

I've never pulled a Nikki, either! :)

Janna said...

Being full of gas today myself, I have more than the usual amount of sympathy for Pluto.

And Uranus.

CassJustCurious said...

Sad but true thought process when I read about this:

Poor Pluto...that would really suck. Wait, it's a planet, I don't think it's one that they've found any sign of life on either...can it feel bad. If IT can't feel bad why should I feel bad for it. Am I transferring some emotion I have on Pluto? Do I still call it a planet? Should I be looking this stuff up? What if I get picked for Jeopardy....

Employee No. 3699 said...

Yeah, poor Pluto. Uh, Plutoid?

Anyhoo, what I want to know is what boneheaded thing you did to get it named after you?

Toodles~

The Hustle? Wow.

Michele said...

For some weird reason I always felt sorry for Pluto when it got kicked out of the solar system for not being like all the other planets. And now it's being called names 'Plutoid'. How rude. Reminds me of school.

Those astronomer bullies need to find something else to pick on if they are so bored. Like black holes for instance, which in my opinion are way too secretive, and can't be trusted..

Sizzle said...

I am so using "skinky" in conversation today.

Selma said...

I've pulled a Mikhail. Does that count?

Patti said...

Is that really how hemorrhoids got their name? I never thought of that. You do make me think about stuff.

Sadly though I can't keep up with the creative commenters who were here before me.

meleah rebeccah said...

mmmmmmm Alec Baldwin.