Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Price of Pestering

Mills of the gods

I awoke this morning hoping to see Dianh Sawyer's hard hitting interview with Mel Gibson (commercials had shown her provacativey asking Mel "Just how drunk were you ? " and then the second camera showed Mel with a "deer in the headlights" look pondering his response). But instead I found out that Noirth Korea had said that any more pressure from the United States would be considered an act of war which would draw a physical response. Of course this set the media off on a nuclear frenzy and I never got to find out exactly how drunk Mel was.

Interestingly, some of the translations of what the North Koreans said used the term "pestering". Any further "pestering"would draw a physical response. This means one of two things. either my mother is running North Korea, or North Koreans are a little too sensitive to pestering.

When I was young, my mother was the only person I knew who consistently used the term pestering, and even then she used it only with relation to the interaction of my brother and I."Stop pestering him" she would yell at one or the other of us,
usually not because she cared about the pestering, but more about the incessant whinning response the pestering drew from he who was being pestered. "Mom, make him stop." The pestering often took place on long car rides which, back in the pre airconditioned car, pre interstate highway days were more akin to Wagon Train rides than the smooth sailing we do today. In my family this was exacerbated by the fact that my brother and I took long trips in the back of station wagons, with the back seat folded down. This created a fairly large play pen area and contributed to more horse play than is now allowable today in the age of seat belts. Sometimes we would pester each other all the way to Dallas.Since both of us were prone to car sickness if we read in the car, the hours would sort of lay heavy on us after awhile, and pestering would ensue.

I checked the term pestering in the dictionary this morning and found that it mean to "annoy constantly with petty irritants". That's how my mom used it. If the pestering continued, it might rate her turning around in the car and slapping one of us on the leg. But the idea of responding to pestering with a nuclear bomb would have struck her, as well as my brother and I as somewhat out of porportion to the crime.

Actually, pestering originally meant to shackle a horse in a pasture and eventually evolved to any type of foot shackling. I have only known this for about three minutes and so have not had much time to reflect as to whether this is what the North Koreans really meant. "Stop shackling our feet" Now that I can understand would be slightly more irritating than giving your brother an "Indian Rub" in the back of a 1956 Chevrolet Station Wagon (I guess today they are Native American rubs) ot taking away his "Fantastic Four" comic book before he had a chance to finish it. But we have not been doing any foot shackling over there, have we ? What we should really do to solve this problem is get my mother involved.


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