There is a lot to be said for being privy to the joke. Being in on it. Having the awareness of the farce. Knowing there is a hoosegow. Horseplay. Buffoonery.
I like a good Buffoonery from time to time. As long as I’m in on it.
A fast-track back: When I was growing up, we were not really permitted to have cats or dogs. For a short time, we had two inherited parakeets in our kitchen. At one point, one sister had a hamster. But that was brief. An occasional goldfish made its way home. The ping-pong ball dropped in its fishy bowl at the Fair. Those were the sorts of pets we negotiated. Yet, not anything of substantial canine or feline.
But then I turned six. It wasn’t so much my age, as it was the neighbor’s pregnant cat. Doo-Doo was her name. Pregnant Doo-Doo. She had two kittens. And by some direct intervention from the Feline Gods in the Fluffy Heavens, we were permitted to have one of those kittens. It was going to be “my” cat for all intent and purposes. I was to feed her, and clean her litter box, and take care of her messes. Ka-Ching. I was ecstatic.
Now, as an up-and-coming six-year-old, I had a reasonable amount of potential names for our new clan member. Tiger, Tigger, Smokey, Dusty, Missy. You know, regular old kid-brained names. My first cat, and all.
But let us remember, that I was the youngest of seven children. There were very few times in my life, where I actually remember having a “say” in any matter of things concerning the Kronenberger Faction.
Seven kids. Six older, snarky and roguish brothers and sisters.
Let’s turn our attention to the media and the movies. There was a comic strip created by Robert Crumb, at that time. It focuses on a wild and lusty cat named Fritz. Sexual escapades. They made a movie about old Fritz. It was the first in the U.S.A. to receive an X Rating for an animated film. Fritz the Cat.
And that, my friends. Became the name of my cute, little, fluffy, innocent, feline. The one from the Heavens above.
My point. I was not in the aforementioned “loop.” Didn’t know the joke. No Privy Points. Clueless. I was six.
I found out a few months later. And so did my parents. I didn’t quite understand “X-Rated” but I knew it had a heavy label, by the look on Mom’s face. It was too late by then. Fritz was Fritz. And that cat had some sexual escapades of her own, as it turns out. The next Spring, she gave us seven kittens. But I can tell you. I was the one holding the Naming Wand, for those newly born kittens. By Decree of Mom & Dad. Oscar. Pounce de Leon. Candidate. And more.
Since that time, I like to be “IN” on the fast-ones. I like to know the joke. In the know. Informed. Wise to.
Where X marks the spot.
And not my cat.
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”
― Mark Twain
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
― John Locke
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
― Maya Angelou