My wife and I get into frivolous arguments.
I don't mean "frivolous" in the sense of, say, "frivolous lawsuits" - where the lawsuit may have no legal or ethical standing, but could still do some real harm. No, I mean "frivolous" in its original sense: silly, unimportant, and frequently nonsensical.
Up until this past weekend, our most memorable such argument took place while we were shopping in Target. To give you some idea of just how absurd this particular argument was, picture us strolling through the aisles whilst arguing - loudly, and at length - over which phrase was correct. So you had, on my wife's side, the proposition that it was "They're golden dreams," because that made vastly more sense, and fit the general tone of the piece, and was the way she'd always heard it said; whereas, on my side, the argument was in favor of "Red, Gold, and Green," because that was right - a point, I might add, upon which I expounded at considerable length. Loudly. In the middle of Target.
(Yes, the topic of the argument was exactly what you probably think it was. At least, if you're of roughly the same generation that we are.)
This past weekend, though...
Well, let me set the scene just a bit. We're in the car, all four of us: the Beautiful Woman and myself up front, and the boys in the back. We're running various and sundry errands. In the midst of our peregrinations, we stopped at a traffic light (as one does, when they are as thoroughly red as this one was). And I noticed, off to our left, a store that billed itself as The Dog Bakery.
I was, of course, immediately and thoroughly appalled that such an establishment could even exist, let alone be operating in Plano. What sort of horrible people would want to bake dogs? What sort of moral turpitude would lead someone to establish such a shop? And what sort of depraved and degenerate people would ever consider shopping there?
My wife, of course, immediately leapt to their defense. They were not, she insisted, in the business of baking dogs; clearly, they baked treats for dogs.
I was distraught to see her taking that view - a view that was, as I'm sure you've already noticed, objectively pro-dog-baking - and I told her so. She responded that it was completely ludicrous for me to assume that the shop had any intention of baking dogs, when clearly a "dog bakery" could only be a bakery for dogs.
Utter nonsense, of course, as any business of that sort would only need to describe itself as a "bakery". By using "dog" as a qualifier, they clearly communicated the sort of baking that took place there, i.e. the baking of dogs. However, just as I finished explaining this, I got a closer look at the sign, and realized that what I was seeing was not, in fact, a dog bakery. Rather, it was a Dog Barkery, which was an altogether different sort of proposition. After all, nobody could argue with the innately humanitarian nature of an establishment which evidently taught silent dogs how to bark.
I expounded upon the marvelous service they provided, especially in light of the serious nature of the problem. Can you imagine the horror and shame of owning a dog that didn't bark? It would just jump around, jaws opening and closing, tail wagging furiously, without so much as single meager yap escaping. The Barkery, however, was here to help.
My wife, however, was unable to process this new information, and continued to insist that the store produced baked goods for dogs - doubly ridiculous now, since not only was the syntax all wrong, but the word "bakery" was no longer even present in the name. So, as we were pulling through the intersection, I explained this to her... and added that, in fact, this was cause for joy. After all, it meant that nobody here made their living by baking dogs. Who wouldn't be happy to know that? I certainly was.
...It was about this point that Firstborn, from his vantage in the back seat, presented me with the following question:
"Daddy? Were you maybe in an accident... where you hit your head... really hard?"
Lords and ladies, gentles and commons, it appears that I have been shown my place.