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THE STROLLER

Who buys those 'I love my granddog' bumper stickers?

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TODAY’S WORD is jeopardize. Example: Sarah is afraid that with her son’s slipping grades he’ll jeopardize his scholarship.

SUNDAY’S WORD was conciliatory. It means intended or likely to placate or pacify. Example: Roger gave Caitlyn a conciliatory smile and picked up the dishcloth to help her with the supper clean-up.

Pet parenting

Have you noticed that “pet parenting” really has taken off in the past few years? People with pets call themselves “pet parents,” a “dog mom,” and the like.

Bumper stickers say “I love my granddogs.” Do you ever wonder if it was the driver of the car who bought it and stuck it on the car themselves — or if their son or daughter gave it to them and they felt obligated to put it on but think it’s silly? (And how about those obituaries that say “So-and-so is survived by her granddog, Fluffy”?)

And of course, pets don’t die anymore. They “cross the rainbow bridge.”

Shelly Volsche, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boise State University, studies human-animal interactions in an article published by The Conversation and available through Lee Enterprises syndication.

She wrote that she was interested in studying pet parenting because “After all, cultural norms and evolutionary biology both suggest people should focus on raising their own children, not animals of a completely different species.”

Nurturing others is a part of being human, she wrote, and these days people aren’t having as many children as they did in the past. A pet gives them someone to take care of.

And, according to those “granddog” bumper stickers, a pet gives some people’s parents someone else to take care of, too.

Big boom

There’s been a lot of talk about what people are describing as a “big boom” around Axton area Saturday night. At first there were a lot of wild guesses, but an informal survey of many across the area point to it seeming to have been an unusually, dramatically loud thunderclap. There also was some talk of loud thunder in Collinsville — whether it was Collinsville’s own thunder, or the Axton boom could be heard all the way over there, was not clear.

SUNDAY’S TRIVIA ANSWER: Thomas Jefferson and his cook, James Heming, brought some now-favorite American foods to America; they had had them while Jefferson was serving as American Minister to France from 1784 to 1789, joined by Heming, and Heming’s sister, Sally Heming, who both were slaves. Those foods included french fries, which they called “pommes de terre frites à cru en petites tranches” (potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings), macaroni and cheese and ice cream. James Heming trained as a chef while in France, and about 150 of his recipes from that experience still exist.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Why did Yankee Doodle stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni?

Reach The Stroller at 276-638-8801 ext. 243 and stroller@martinsvillebulletin.com.

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