I received a notice recently of the availability of Medicare for Dummies, Second Edition.
For only $19.99, I can find out:
- When I should sign up for Medicare
- What Medicare covers
- What Medicare costs
- How Medicare works with other health benefits.
All of this information is undoubtedly useful, especially for an aging population in need of such advice. The “For Dummies” book franchise now has over 2500 titles. As stated in Wikipedia, “For Dummies is an extensive series of instructional/reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered. The series has been a worldwide success with editions in numerous languages.”
But Medicare for Dummies just strikes a non-resonant chord. It raises the question* of what is next for a dummy like me. Besides the obvious – Retirement for Dummies, Medicaid for Dummies – there is the illogical step to:
- Walking and Chewing Gum for Dummies
- Answering the Phone for Dummies
- Monday for Dummies (part one of a seven part series)
- Poverty and Homelessness for Dummies
- Borderline Hysteria for Dummies
- Terminal Cancer for Dummies
- Death for Dummies
- How to be a Dummy for Dummies.
I should have realized that there is already a Blogging for Dummies, Facebook for Dummies and Twitter for Dummies. There is also Critical Thinking for Dummies which appears to be a contradiction in terms.
It’s only a matter of time before you can enroll in For Dummies University (FDU) where you can graduate Magna cum Stultus.
*Dr. Language Guy applauds the use of “raises the question” versus “begs the question” and refers readers to several diatribes articles on this subject.
November usually brings with it my melancholia. This year in my part of the world the weather is not cooperating and remains pleasant which, of course, makes me even grumpier. I know that the weather will eventually turn and I will start counting the days until the winter solstice. After that, the miniscule increases in daylight, throughout the winter, prepare me for the arrival of early spring.
For now, I offer:
by Thomas Hood (1789 – 1845)
No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
My wife and I decided to get a dog. (Translation: my wife decided to get a dog.)
The dog is a female Yorkshire terrier. Taking the description of one dog breed website, terriers are good for people who 1) don’t want a large bulky dog; 2) want a dog that’s playful and social with people; 3) likes their dog to be busy and active without demanding constant attention; and 4) want a companion that will always be alert and watchful if the local squirrels dare to come into the garden and steal your nuts.
(My day is ruined if I find that squirrels are trying to steal my nuts.)
According to the Wikipedia, the Yorkshire terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England to catch rats in clothing mills, also used for rat-baiting.
(My week is ruined if I find that rats are trying to eat my nuts.)
In the short time that we have had this adorable creature, we have trained the puppy to pee and poo on its pee-pad. In that same time, the puppy has trained two humans to wait on her hand and foot. I had thought, up to now, that only cats had staff but I am learning from a three-pound puppy that dogs can have staff as well.
Our puppy has two modes – adorable, sleeping puppy mode and psycho puppy mode. I prefer adorable, sleeping puppy mode but that mode does not last long. During psycho puppy mode, the puppy attacks everything in sight, usually the hands and feet of the male human because male human hands and feet and rats have a lot in common, at least according to the puppy and female humans. (No female human has ever attacked my hands or feet but they have called me a rat on more than one occasion.)
During college, my housemates and I ended up dog sitting a six month old St. Bernard puppy until he found a good home. If a three-pound Yorkshire terrier does something bad, you hold it in one hand and say “bad dog!” even though it doesn’t listen to your scolding. If a 150 pound St. Bernard puppy does something bad, you first have to decide how strong you are and how much pain you are willing to endure to tell it “bad dog!” even though it doesn’t listen to your scolding. We all believe that St. Bernard’s are the well-behaved dogs that rescue people trapped in heavy snow drifts. We forget that a dog that can travel through heavy snow drifts is very strong and quite independently minded. The St. Bernard puppy story has a happy ending: the puppy ended up with a couple who owned a farm where the dog had plenty of room to roam.
So I am being slowly trained by this three-pound terror to obey her rules but at least I know that my nuts are safe.
Beware of the Yorkshire terrier!