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Body Language

Perhaps every dog owner is a bit like the parents of a human: they want their offspring to succeed where they failed, or at least, missed their opportunities. That must be the explanation why I get so much pleasure from sitting in the shade in front of the 'Chatterbox Cafe', in Mayberry-for-Hippies, AZ. My dog has become the official 'meet and greet' dog, as befits her name, Coffee Girl.

Try to imagine being a computer-graphics expert who works for Pixar and writes software code for the physiognomy of the face. Imagine doing that for a dog who is immensely popular: an open mouth, a wagging tail, stamping paws, and other gyrations of the body.

But if I were really wise, I would practice that on myself. She is popular, while I never have been. (Perhaps I need to look less serious and professorial, and relax the permanent scowl in the ligatures of my facial muscles.)

The actual geometry and mechanics might be simpler for a human than for a dog. But it was not always so. Recently I rewatched "Gigi". Despite the tawdry plot of a courtesan-in-training and rich male appreciators, the cast performed with such tact and grace that the whole thing went over well. I smiled at one of Gigi's lessons: her worldly aunt taught her not to just plop down into a chair, but rather, to "insinuate herself" into the chair.

Thank heavens, for little girls...

So many mannerisms of that type have been lost from our levelled, plain, and utilitarian culture. It is fun to imagine how the most PC unisex males of the modern world would respond to a now-extinct 'lady', such as an ante-bellum southern belle or a Victorian lady with a parasol.

Try to imagine writing the Pixar software code for all the body language in a Victorian lady's parasol. What actually happens when it says, "Not so fast, Mister"; or "You've got a chance if you did a bit better"; or "Hey there, Big Boy."

But since modern female biological units have voluntarily relinquished the parasol and impoverished today's body language, we are free to consider other applications for the parasol. For instance, everyday I look out from my mooch-docking gig onto several people walking northbound on the Arizona Trail. Their hats have been interesting. One looked like a straw hat for a peasant picking rice in IndoChina.

Once a fellow went by with a silver umbrella. What a genius he was! The marketing departments of the outfitting companies need to get to work and revive the parasol, with all the right images. 'Parasol' means 'for the sun' in Spanish -- a lovely word, but it conjures up the image of a feminine accessory in a long-gone era.  'Umbrella' is just the diminutive for shade/shadow in Italian and Latin. Also, it conjures up the image of rain -- not appropriate for the Arizona Trail in spring. 

Therefore I suggest that a new outdoor equipment bandwagon should be started using the term 'sombrella', invoking the Spanish word, sombra (shade), such as in 'sombrero'. Maybe it could be combined with a hiking pole. Invest now!


Ed said…
Sombrella - I like it! Are you inspired when sitting in the shade in front of the 'Chatterbox Cafe' or is this evidence that you have been out in the sun too long?
I keep my brain out of the sun after 11 a.m. these days.