That Sounds Sexy
Are you misogallic, i.e., a hater of all things French? Well even if you are, you have to admit whatever you say in French sounds really sexy. In that language someone can tell you to drop dead and you’ll just want to take your clothes off.
My favorite words of French origin all end with the suffix -oir, such as peignoir, a sexy see-through dressing gown; boudoir, a woman’s private chamber; and trottoir, a sidewalk. When those words rolled off my Parisian mother’s tongue, I thought they were the sexiest words I had ever heard.
Thus, when I first came across the phonetically delightful word abattoir, I believed it to be the most beautiful word I had ever heard--until I looked up its meaning: a slaughterhouse, a place where poor, unsuspecting animals go to die. I was distraught and so surprised. Leave it to the French to engage in such bait-and-switch trickery as they did in WWII, leaving many wondering whose side they were really on.
The moral is clear: Do not shirk good sense for good sound. Too often in life we are taken in by words that sound good because we want them to be true. We hear only what we want to hear and wake up with buyer’s or voter’s remorse. How many times have men offered women the moon and the stars but took off at the crack of dawn? How many times have you been whispered sweet nothings which amounted to just that, nothing, and left you not sweet but bitter? How many times has a diet product promised a whole new you and you woke up with ten pounds more of the old you?
There are basic principles which survivors adhere to and one of them is avoiding traps. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I cannot help but think of President Obama’s comment after the crushing defeat his party faced on November 2nd. He said, “…that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it's a matter of persuading people.” In other words, he realizes it’s time to reemploy the seductive rhetoric he used to get Lady Liberty into bed during his successful presidential run. It’s time to deliver a new load of sweet-sounding bunk to bamboozle America. I just pray that this president whose teleprompter has more frequent-flyer miles than I do, won’t get the electorate into bed for a second screwing with his newly refined rhetoric.
But he is not the one I’m really worried about, because those of us who know better will not be taken in as we were not the first time. I’m more concerned about the new lot of Republicans we are sending to DC. They, too, had convincing slogans and promised us they would take back America, stop federal spending, reduce the size of government and restore America to her former glory. Sounds sexy to me.
But we need to shut off our ears and open up our eyes wide. I suggest that the day these newly-elected officials take office we begin our letter campaign to THEM letting them know that we are watching them vigilantly, that it is not enough to tell us what we want to hear but the time is now for action and to live up to their word. We must keep the vise tightly on the screw until things turn around.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who is lying to us. We cannot let either the Democrats or the Republicans lead this country in “French” style to the abattoir.
In the biblical reading this past week we learn that the patriarch Isaac loved his son Esau more than his son Jacob because Jacob, though a pious man, was a quiet character; Esau however “knew how to trap,” meaning he had the gift of gab and entrapped his father with his manipulative words. He knew what his father wanted to hear and he fed it to him.
Now biblical scholars say that our physical ailments in life usually are manifestations of our spiritual failings. Could it be that Isaac was stricken with blindness because he would not see the true difference between his sons’ but instead lent his ears to deception?
So dear readers I urge you not to be taken in by sexy sounding words which will lead you to the abattoir one way or another. Too late, you will find this country hanging upside down on a meat hook swinging side by side with a hog and a mutton, because of those who listened but did not look.