Monday, January 14, 2008

Closed Captioning

My phone conversations now come with closed captioning ... of a sort. It's not for the hearing impaired, though. I'm not sure what to call it. Dipity would qualify as height impaired, but so would my wife's best friend. Reasoning impaired would bring in half of the Republican presidential candidates. Vegetable impaired might work, but it conjures up too many bizarre visuals. Picture a carrot up someone's ass. Wait, that would be vegetable impaled. Maybe the better visual is of a blind parsnip, or would that be an impaired vegetable. Anyway, maybe the best label for what Dipity does is closed captioning for the age impaired.

Of course, it's not really closed captioning. Dipity doesn't really lend herself to being shut off. The captioning she provides isn't optional. It is, however, damn funny.

Since she's been on the scene, a large percentage of my phone time is spent relating Dipity's exploits. Now, as I relate the exploits, they are simultaneously re-enacted. When I tell my mother-in-law about the time Dipity rammed her head into the wall, Dipity looks at me and slaps herself in the head. When I tell my mom the same story, she actually rams her head into the wall again. When I let my wife know that Dipity's screetches are now followed by a long extended "shhhhhh," Dipity screams and says "shhhhh." All dinner reports have to include a lot of spelling, or else I have a hungry parrot on my hands. Any mention of an article of clothing leads either to a short tutorial or a strip tease.

The conversation doesn't, however, have to be about Dipity to get the Dipity treatment. If I tell my wife that I'm feeling a little hoarse today, I hear a little "neigh" in the background. If I say I've been running around, I have a whirling dervish on my hands. I try hard not to duck or jump to conclusions, or at least not admit to either out loud.

Amazingly, Dipity's interpreting doesn't stop her from carrying out her kid duties. She'll knock out a neigh or spin around in a circle a few times and stumble to the ground, and then go right back to whatever she was doing. I've never seen a sign language interpreter on television knit a sweater or bake a pie while they were translating. I've also never seen one that helped cut through all the verbiage to the heart of the matter. And no little signing woman in the corner of my television screen has ever made me smile.

Maybe it's just closed, or open, captioning for the smiling impaired. It could be closed captioning perspective impaired. Whatever it is, it's happening in my house, and that much I understand.

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