If you've been worried that my nearly month-long absence means I'm pulling a David Lat and abandoning my blog for greener pastures, never fear, I'm not going noplace. What's my excuse this time? Well, I'm passing over my usual "I'm lazy" in favor of the bolder option: I've been busy! Shockingly, I even have something to show for it: Mr. T&A and the T&A Kitties and I are joining the propertied class by buying a house. Consider yourself warned: In the future you can expect to see discussions of such issues as paint colors and patio furniture (if things go well) and second jobs and foreclosures (if not so much).
Contemplating which excuse to use to explain my absence has led me to reflect on what makes a good excuse. Popular culture, in its endless bounty, has recently provided us with several impressive examples:
Zidane: The French soccer star who headbutted the Italian player and got kicked out of the World Cup final says he doesn't regret it because the other guy insulted his sister and sick mother, made a comment about getting with his wife, or called him the "son of a terrorist whore," depending on who you talk to.
Discussion: The mother/sister/wife combo captures the the ultimate trifecta of unforgiveable disses, and Zidane's savvy refusal to say exactly what the insult was allows our imaginations to cavort about in a filthy mess of sexual/religious/racial possibilities. On the other hand, he screwed up a game that I understand a lot of people care a lot about. I give it an B+.
The Italian guy: Said he couldn't have provoked the head-butt by calling Zidane a terrorist because "I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means."
Discussion: Huh? There may be some kind of different-cultures-how-can-we-possibly-understand-one-another explanation for this, but that's lame--a good excuse should transcend our differences, if you will. This barely gets a C-.
Britney: In the midst of the gum-chomping, hair-not-combing, boob-flopping, mascara-clumping, maternity-hooker-clothing-sporting glory that was Britney's interview with Matt Lauer, Brit-Brit managed to explain that she drives with her baby in her lap rather than in a car seat because her family is "country."
Explanation: At first glance this might seem as inexplicable as the Italian guy's "ignorant" thing, but upon further examination you realize: No, it actually works, because you really believe it. I totally buy that Britney remembers sitting on her dad's lap as a little girl--albeit probably a 6-year-old, not an infant--and that she has ignored all the information about car seats that one might have picked up in the intervening 18 years. Also, the word "country" itself is great--it's relatively innocuous, but it invokes a rich tapestry of stereotypes about trailer trash that are reinforced by Britney's aforementioned appearance. Good job, Mrs. Federline--I give it an A-.
That's it for now, folks. Tune in next time, same bat-channel, couldn't say what bat-month.