Saturday, November 01, 2008

Refrigerators vs. Dogs

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when we wanted to indicate that something wasn't yet completed, we would say it was "in progress."

Remember that quaint expression? I never hear it anymore. What I hear now is that it's "in process," which doesn't actually mean anything. I assume that this bizarre linguistic anomaly comes from some moron combining the expressions "being processed" and "in progress" and if that were the worst of it, I would do nothing more than grit my teeth and silently complain every time I heard the phrase. But that isn't the worst of it, because now we have a newer (and even more incorrect) term. So today I feel compelled to speak out.

I bought a new refrigerator a while ago. Because it's an Energy Star-compliant refrigerator, I'm entitled to a rebate from my electricity supplier. In the past, in order to get a rebate, you had to fill out a form, mail it somewhere, and wait for months and months to receive your check. But now, thanks to the convenience of the internet, you can just fill out and submit an online form, and then wait months and months to receive your check.

So I filled out and submitted the form, and I'm now awaiting the check. The good news is, I can check out the status of my rebate claim online anytime I want. The last time I checked, the status of my claim was listed as "in processing," which doesn't even seem grammatical, unless you assume "in processing" is short for "in the state known as 'processing'." Maybe that's what they mean, and maybe I'm being too picky, but I think everybody would be happier all around if we just went back to using "in progress."

By the way, I'm actually sort of surprised we're still using the word "rebate." I thought it was gone for good when all the car manufacturers stopped using the term in their television ads and started using "cash back" instead.

Now, onto the subject of my new refrigerator. You may recall that I initially complained that the bins for storing fresh fruits and vegetables are smaller than the bins on my old refrigerator. Well, I'm happy to say that although that's true, it's also false. It turns out that two of the bins are slightly deeper than those of my old refrigerator, so I can actually store more fresh broccoli (to use a real-life example) in the lower bins of the new refrigerator. So something that I didn't like at first, I quickly grew to appreciate.

"Fine," you may be saying, "but what does this have to do with dogs?"

I have a couple of friends, one of whom I hadn't seen in a long time, and one of whom I had. They're not a lot alike, but they're probably not that different either. For example, they're both human Earthling females, they each know me, they both happen to have names with the initials "AK," and they each have a dog. I saw one of them on Thursday and the other on Friday, and they each told me the same thing, which is that although they couldn't imagine life without their dogs, when they first got them, it took a while before they stopped wanting to get rid of them. The first AK had her dog for about a month and a half before she wanted to keep it. For the second AK, it only took ten days.

So that's it, basically. I didn't like my new refrigerator at first (until I actually put some fresh vegetables in it), and the two AKs didn't like their dogs at first. But now everybody's happy. And if you think it's sort of misguided to compare a refrigerator to a dog on that basis, you're probably right. But there are some even more misguided dog vs. refrigerator comparisons, such as any of the following:

- Dogs and refrigerators sometimes make strange noises.
- A lot of dogs like to run around, whereas most refrigerators just stand in one place for their entire life.
- It is not practical to store a lot of (fresh or frozen) food inside your dog.
- Depending on the breed, a dog and a refrigerator may have approximately the same life span.

Those are just a few comparisons I thought of off the top of my head. You can probably think of a few more yourself. But if I were you, I probably wouldn't bother.