PRESIDENTIAL BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOGS
They'll never be royals; it's not in their blood. (They're dogs.)
STICK TO DOGS
We need to talk about Bród and Síoda Higgins.
They’re the extremely good boy and girl of Irish President Micheal Higgins, which means YES, there are officially Presidential Bernese Mountain Dogs out there in the world.
Thank you President and Mrs Higgins (and Bród the dog 🐶) for the warm welcome for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the country, which will see them spend time in Dublin, County Meath, County Kildare and Galway – and highlight the many strong links shared between the UK and Ireland.
Following tea with President and Mrs Higgins, The Duke and Duchess laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance – a place of reflection dedicated to those who gave their lives for Irish independence, before calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The coming days will see The Duke and Duchess meet a broad range of people, including children and young people, those working in the creative arts, business and charity sectors – and are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people.
Befitting a Berner, Bród* greeted the visiting royal couple by leaning on Princess Kate’s legs and scooching his butt onto her feet. It’s called the Berner Lean, they all do it, and reader I assure you: it is the best thing in the world.
*Síoda was not present for the greeting as she is recovering from an operation on her paw**, according to extra.ie. She is otherwise healthy. Yes, it’s very important that you know all of this.
All dogs are wonderful, and everyone is allowed to love their own the most. But if I can make a case for the Bernese Mountain Dog, please see Bród for exactly what you can expect. They are kind, attached, large, hairy, goofy, a little dim, and wonderfully expressive. None of these qualities are individually unique to Berners, obviously, and maybe your ideal dog isn’t every single one of those things. That’s great! There’s so many dogs to love that aren’t Berners! Some of them aren’t even a breed at all and they’re amazing too. I’m just glad a Berner got to sit on royal feet, and I think Bród was too.
STICK TO SPORTS AND SHARKS
Johns Hopkins recently announced that due to coronavirus precautions, it would host D-III men’s basketball tournament games with no fans present this weekend. As you can imagine, this is a potential precursor for larger divisions making the same call—especially with D-I men’s tournament host city Spokane right in the state where those people are dying.
First, yes: this is the right call in any area with a substantial risk of exposure. Even if the health threat is likely limited for otherwise healthy adults, any spread of the illness puts children and immunocompromised adults at grave risk.
I, and I think most people, grasp that… intellectually.
But this is America. We’re not keen to stop a damn thing.
In Jaws, the mayor* of Amity Island famously refuses to chose the beaches during the town’s tourist season, facilitating the gory mayhem that ensues. The field experts plead with Mayor Vaughn, properly sensing the danger these innocent souls are in, and his response is essentially, “ehhh, yeah, but no.”
*This is as good of an excuse as any to include one of the 30 good tweets that have ever been written. There are only 30.
For a while I thought the mayor was the only real villain of that movie. Sure, there’s the animal doing all sorts of murders with its own teeth, but at the same time, sharks are gonna shark. Our expectation shouldn’t be that a better shark would be swimming up to the people and singing Beethoven for them or whatever.
[Editor’s note: I’m sorry, “singing Beethoven”? Did I read that right?]
I said or whatever.
[Editor’s note: Just thought I’d check!]
But if we’re keeping it a buck, the mayor’s refusal to disrupt the norm is one of the few relatable big moments of the movie. I’m not proud of that, but there’s only so many flu vaccine skippers and drivers with their noses in their phones—the last time you could claim ignorance on this is, like, 2007—that you can encounter before realizing the sheer volume of Mayors Vaughn who walk among us.
This absolutely applies to me! I have touched my mouth and face approximately six thousand times since beginning this article. My laptop keyboard was last disinfected during the Reagan administration. I wash my hands thoroughly when I have the opportunity, but that’s it, AND HONESTLY, I haven’t been praised for this fact in about 30 years and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even worth the effort.
(Spitballing here: Maybe an app that uses a fitness tracker/watch to detect time spent washing your hands and puts you on a leaderboard for Hygiene Points. Wait no, it has to be a made-up word. Yorbles. You wash your hands for 26 seconds, you get 26 yorbles. And your phone praises you with a push notification each time. It is a dumb, terrible idea and I think it would be much more successful than I want to believe.)
At least in Jaws there was a giant, humanbloodthirsty shark to protect (or not) the populace from. The mayor can have an ol’ whoopsy-daisy moment with the grieving families. But unless you have children in the house, you probably don’t know when and where you specifically contract a communicable illness, or to whom you spread it. It’s not a visceral experience. You don’t get to see the germs fall off your hands and down the drain when you’re collecting your yorbles.
So yeah, it’s going to have to take a strong, unilateral, deeply unpopular move to save us from the coronavirus, and more accurately from ourselves.
But y’know……. when you put it that way…… a tournament game in an empty stadium just seems too far, right? Seems too weird! Sorry! I promise to keep washing my hands at least.
STICK TO SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
Over at the mothership…
We celebrate baseball coach Rick Heller’s 900th career victory and a strong 2-1 showing against three ranked ACC foes.
Ross looks at Iowa’s chances to win the Big Ten wrestling tournament (spoiler: pretty flipping good).
There was allegedly a men’s basketball game held. No more details available here at press time, sorry! New phone who this.
STICK TO AFFIRMATIONS
Thanks for joining me today. We’ll always end on a kind word.
A wise man once said that nobody gets everything they want in life. So when life hands us a disappointing result, yes it hurts—it should! But only the details of our struggles are unique; the overall experience is universal.
The difference, then, is how we respond to the adversity. Maybe you need a day or two. Maybe the most important thing for you is to keep moving, somehow, some way. It’s up to you. And as a wise woman once said: our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die.
Just want you to know that singing Beethoven is absolutely on the level. He wrote lots of vocal music!