Entry 678: Atomic Bond

Hello again, boys and girls. It’s Mr. Sciencemoron, and I’m back with more news from the Large Hadron Collider!

Almost exactly two years ago, I told you about the amazing pentaquark. It was a sub-atomic particle the large hadron scientists had discovered. Somewhat disconcertingly, they had no idea what it did or what it was for, but they made a nice artist’s rendering of it so they could put up framed copies in the hall.

But now they’ve got their collider running on all cylinders (or whatever the hell it runs on), and they’ve been banging their hadrons together at a frantic pace. And they’re finding new sub-atomic particles all the time! In fact, earlier this year they found five in one day!

Now, kiddies, you may be wondering just how many sub-atomic particles there can possibly be, considering how small atoms are in the first place. Well let me try to explain it to you.

In the center of an atom you’ve got your nucleus, and inside of that are neutrons and protons. Inside of those, you’ve got Up and Down quarks, which can be distinguished by small arrows that light up green or red. And then there are heavier versions of Up and Down quarks called “Charm” and “Strange.” Seriously. I don’t know how they name these things but, in the future, they may want to put it up for a vote among non-nerds.

As you might expect, children, all these particles are teeny tiny. Imagine you’ve got a snow
globe of, say, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. You shake it up and the grains of sand (because it’s Florida) start swirling around in the liquid, eventually landing on the little people with their walkers and their pastel jogging suits. Now imagine that the entire snow globe is one atom, and it’s the size of just one of those grains of sand, and that everything inside the snow globe has been shrunk accordingly to fit into that one grain of sand. That will give you an idea of how many old people there are in Ft. Lauderdale.

Where was I?

Right–new particles. So the five particles they found in one day are even heavier than the Charm and Strange quarks. They’re called Omega-C. I think I took one of those with my other vitamins this morning.

According to one of the collider scientists, this was “… a striking discovery that will shed light on how quarks bind together. It may have implications not only to better understand protons and neutrons, but also more exotic multi-quark states, such as pentaquarks and tetraquarks.”

It had been previously thought that quarks bound together with a mysterious “glue,” possibly Elmer’s. But I’ll tell you this: with all these directional quarks and charmed quarks and exotic quarks and multi-quarks, I sure hope these folks have all their quarks in a row. Because if they’re not bound tightly enough, they could get loose, and then who knows what could happen?

Things could really get quarked up.

Anyway, here is a chart with all the parts of the atom. (continued below)

Unfortunately, the chart above is already obsolete, because now they’ve found still another particle! Scientists have announced “The first unambiguous sighting of the ‘doubled charmed Xi.’” There had been previous sightings, but some people thought it was just a dust mote.

The new particle is composed of two heavy Charm quarks and one Up quark. Charm quarks love Up quarks, so these two are very fortunate. If you’re the type of person, like Mr. Sciencemoron, who will go far out of his way for a pun, you might even say they were lucky Charms.

You may be wondering how the discovery of the double charmed Xi affects you, you self-centered little creatures. Well I’ll let Prof. Marek Karliner of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University tell you:

”The existence of the six quarks and the understanding of the strong forces acting between them are very relevant to understanding the history of the universe, to the understanding of the relative frequency of the various chemical elements, to understanding the stability of atoms and the solution to the question of why the universe contains so much matter and so little anti-matter.”

He adds, “The importance of the discovery does not affect our day-to-day life.”

Oh, well never mind.

See you soon.

P.S. One more thing, boys and girls: you’ll be well-advised to completely ignore this post when working on your paper for AP Physics.

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Entry 677: Facebook Follies

You have to hand it to Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps nobody in human history has ever invented a bigger waste of time.

Just one day’s worth of examples…

You can submit your photo to sites that promise to tell you what celebrity or nationality your face resembles. Evidently I know three different people who supposedly resemble Elizabeth Taylor, none of whom even faintly resembles Elizabeth Taylor until their faces are subjected to some sort of algorithm that could probably make me resemble Elizabeth Taylor.

You can also find out critical facts about yourself, like who badly wants a relationship with you, what tattoo you should get, and how much of an asshole you really are. It’s like an online version of the old coin-operated scales that dispensed a piece of paper with your fortune. Except then, you weren’t giving your public profile, friend list, email address, birthday, photos and likes to sites like MeowShare, whatever the hell that is.  I understand that these kinds of things can be entertaining, but are people really so bored that they don’t mind random businesses getting all that information about them?

And, by the way, I can tell you without assistance that the celebrity I most resemble is Rob Reiner. Also, I can guarantee you that I am not French. Not even a little bit. I don’t even like French food.

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Facebook has all these hypothetical questions to answer. For instance: “You have $10 million dollars but can only use it to buy things that start with the first letter of your name. What would you buy?” I mean, how is Zack supposed to answer that?  How many zeppelins can you really use?

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There are also all sorts of inspirational messages for me to ignore. Like the one at right. I am positive. I’m positive that I hate posts like this.

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My daughter had been in Vermont, and posted this video on Facebook. Believe it or not, the still frames at left are from three different points in the video. You can click this link if you want to see it, but the still frames still won’t move.

Soon after, my wife Barbara came into my office.  “Did you see the video Casey posted?” she asked.

“You mean the moose?”

“Is that what it is? I thought it was a bull. Or a bear.”

So, of course, Barbara texted Casey. And then reported back with the answer: “It’s a rock.”

“A rock?”

“She liked the way the light was hitting it.”

Who the hell takes video of a rock?

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Speaking of my lovely wife, she recently posted: “Coming to Yonkers! A great addition.” That was the entire post.

“What’s coming to Yonkers?” I yelled, because I knew she was somewhere in the house. She came into my office and looked at my screen. “Oh, there’s no link?” she said, and marched out again, while I went on to more productive pursuits, like seeing if my president had sent out any more of his entertaining tweets.

When she passed by my office moments later, I asked, “So what’s coming to Yonkers?”

“I just posted the link.”

“You’re standing right here! Can’t you just tell me?”

It was just some pizza place. Very anticlimactic.
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Speaking of food, I wish people would stop posting pictures of everything they eat in restaurants.  You’re there for dinner, not a photo shoot.

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When I open Facebook, there are a lot of posts from people I don’t know. They don’t look remotely familiar, their names don’t ring a bell, and I have no clue why I’m hearing about their thrilling lives. Take Glenn, for instance. Evidently, he would make an excellent actor. Or chemist. Or judge. I can’t think of many traits that would be assets in all three of those professions, but it certainly makes me curious to find out what Glenn actually does do for a living. And won’t he be depressed if he’s, like, an architect and just found out he missed his calling? The guy had three freakin’ choices and instead he’s designing buildings. And he’s probably horrible at it because, while there aren’t many characteristics that are common to all three of the professions he is cut out for, an eye for design isn’t necessary for any of them.

Poor Glenn. Whoever the hell he is.
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What’s up with the polls?  “Click if you think puppies shouldn’t be stacked on top of one another.”  “Share if you think God voted for Trump.”  “Like if you remember Fluffernutters.” I’ve got one: “Hang yourself if you think you spend too much time responding to stupid polls on Facebook.”

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Speaking of which, the junior senator from New York, Kristin Gillebrand, recently posted this:

URGENT: The Senate is racing toward a vote on Trumpcare. Health care for millions of Americans is at risk. I need to hear from 3,472 more people before the vote, and I still haven’t seen your response: Do you approve of President Trump?

I actually like Sen. Gillebrand although I live in Connecticut. But can she tell me how my opinion of President Trump will affect the health care vote? And what will happen differently if only 3,471 more people don’t approve of the president? These kinds of things only serve to make even the most sensible politicians look foolish, and while your vote of yes or no will do nothing to influence health care, I bet it will result in you receiving lots of political spam and fundraising emails.

Just to be safe, though, could you tell Kristin how much you hate Trump?

Thanks, and see you soon.

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Entry 676: Quickies V

Often, I come across stories about which I have a few snide comments, but not enough for a full post. So every once in awhile, I collect them for a Quickies post. This time, as a bonus, I’ll be introducing each story in the annoying manner of The Daily Skimm, which is a morning news briefing in the style of the snarky millennial woman at your office.

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What to say when your broken car horn gets fixed…

“Beep repaired.” In case you thought young girls don’t spend enough time online, there are now Girl Scout merit badges for cyber security. I guess they’ll learn how to prevent identity theft, protect systems from hacking, and crack down on computer fraud. So you better watch out, Mr. Putin. We’re sending our Brownies after you, and they ain’t bringing cookies.

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What to say when your husband says he visited Pornhub for research…

“LIAR!” The New York Times devoted an entire page recently to publishing lies told by Donald Trump. This is a perfect example of fake, biased news. It was fake news because many of the lies had been told months ago, so they weren’t news. And it was biased because it looked like more lies than there actually were, since the list included multiple mentions of the same lie (for instance, blaming airport chaos in the wake of the initial travel ban on a Delta Airline computer malfunction) if Trump told it more than once.

I think if you tell the same lie often enough, it becomes an alternate fact, not another lie.

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What to say when you’re missing an ingredient for cold sesame noodles…

“Now where did I put those seeds?” Hidden approximately 400 feet deep inside a mountain on a remote island between mainland Norway and the North Pole is something called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Inside are seeds from all of the world’s food crops, kept naturally at a temperature that will preserve them for later planting.

The idea is that, in case of apocalypse like nuclear war, climate change or alien invasion, we could revive life on Earth with this storehouse of seeds, providing that anyone is left alive to plant them, and there is a place left on the planet where they will grow.

Unfortunately, extreme temperatures in the Arctic this past winter — combined with heavy rain instead of snow — led to melting permafrost that gushed into the tunnel leading into the vault, and also caused a power outage that prevented pumps from expelling the water. While it turns out the seeds were not damaged, they could have been, because, in creating a vault intended to preserve seeds to keep us alive in the event of cataclysmic climate change, the crack scientists forgot to account for climate change. This leads me to think that perhaps we should not be relying on scientists to solve global warming for us.
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What to say when your husband calls down to you while you’re in the basement…

“Be right up.” I’d like to visit Australia someday, but it just takes too long to get there. A direct flight is like 22 hours, which makes it totally inappropriate for a long weekend. So I’ve been waiting for teleportation to be invented so I can go to Australia, but it turns out that may not be necessary, because Australia may eventually come to me. Apparently, the whole continent is drifting north at a rate of about 2.75 inches a year due to tectonic plate activity or some such thing. So all I have to do is fly to San Diego and wait a few hundred thousand years for Australia to show up.

Unless it ends up in Japan.

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What to say if you’re a druggie and someone asks you what your favorite Monopoly property is…

“Borderwalk.”  While I’m in San Diego waiting for down under to come up over, perhaps I’ll take a stroll along the Mexico border in the hope of getting hit in the head by a bag full of marijuana.  My president seems to think this is a common occurrence.
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What to say in the 7th inning of a scoreless Mets-Phillies game…

“I can’t think of anything more boring.” A computer scientist named William Tunstall-Pedoe has developed a search engine called True Knowledge, which he programmed to analyze 300 million historical facts in order to come to the conclusion that April 11, 1954 was the most boring day of the 20th Century. According to Tunstall-Pedoe, “Nobody famous died, no noteworthy events took place, and the only person who might claim a notable birth was Turkish academic Abdullah Atalar.”

I find this analysis to be a tad upsetting because April 11, 1954 is only 55 days from the day I was born. What if nothing much had happened on that day, either? So I looked up the front page of the New York Times for my birth date, and the biggest story was President Eisenhower going on vacation, which, given the frequency of our current leader’s golf outings, would be even less of a story today. But since True Knowledge didn’t call February 15, 1954 the most boring day, that can only mean that it ranks my birth higher than Abdullah Atalar’s.

It’s one of the nicest things anybody has ever not quite said about me.

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What to say to the guy at the bar wearing a day-glo t-shirt…

“You light up my life.” A new app allows individual citizens to control the spire lights on two Manhattan skyscrapers. So far, one of the primary uses has been for guys to impress women they’re trying to pick up. So, in other words, they are attempting to attract women by illuminating what are essentially giant penises.  The app is limited to 10,000 users, and you have to be invited by another user to get the download, meaning that the app is being passed from one asshole to the next.

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What to say when your plane crashes and everyone dies except you…

“It could have been worse.” A man peeing into a lagoon was bitten by a crocodile. On the arm.

See you soon.

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Entry 675: Life Before Netflix

Once upon a time, before TVs were smart and presidents were dumb, when the words “stream” and “cloud” had something to do with water, just about every neighborhood in America had something called a “video store.”

Even the smallest towns had one. You could drive across America and pass through Main Streets that were one block long, and it would be gas station, bar, coffee shop, bar, video store, tavern, gas station. And maybe a pub or two.  Oh, and a saloon.

If you wanted to watch a movie, you would have to leave your house and go to this store, where you were a “member.” Maybe you even had a card. And this store had all the movies in the world, except the one you wanted to see, because it was “out,” which meant that someone else had it and, believe it or not, only one person in the neighborhood could watch that movie at the same time, unless your video store had a second copy.

If you were born after, say, 1995, you may be thinking, “But why would you have to leave your home to get a movie?” Well, first, you are an idiot millennial with no sense of history. And second, this was long before everybody had high-speed Internet and broadband and smart phones and wi-fi. We had the Internet, but only through dial-up modems that were measured in a unit called a “baud” because of how you felt while you were waiting for screens to load. If you had tried to stream a movie back then, you would have been able to make popcorn between each individual frame.

So, yes, you had to go to a store where all the movies were on shelves. “New releases” were in one area, and everything else was by genre: science fiction, horror, comedy, action, etc., but you could never find what you were looking for, because the people who worked in video stores had to swear that they did not know what “alphabetical order” meant, or that The Day the Earth Stood Still should not be filed under “t.”

There was also a special room where only adults could go, but, ahem, I never did find out what was in there.

So, anyway, you and your spouse or your children would confer about which movie you wanted to see, and you’d have to select a first choice, second choice, etc., and then you’d go to the video store and, after an hour, finally find the seventh choice, Beverly Hills Cop, in the action section, even though it was clearly a comedy.

You rented the movie you wanted on something called VHS tape, which were these big, black cartridges about the size of an iPad Mini but three times as thick, and you’d take it home and jam it into the slot of a player that was attached to your small, square TV, and sometimes it didn’t go in all the way because your kid had pushed his peanut butter sandwich into it.

Occasionally, the tape had not deteriorated to the point of being unwatchable, and you could enjoy the movie. Then you had to rewind the thing (we actually owned a separate rewinder), and remember to toss it into your car the next day so you could drop it off back at the store, and then you’d get home and realize the damn thing was still in your car, and you’d think “What the hell, the late fee is only a buck,” so you’d leave it in your car overnight, and it was hot and muggy, and that’s one of the reasons why your rentals had often deteriorated to the point of being unwatchable.

Sometimes, when your kid was sick or a blizzard was forecast, you’d go to the video store and rent six or seven movies, enough to get you through a whole day, but you’d only end up watching four of them (because binge-watching hadn’t been invented yet), and then you’d forget to return them, so you’d pay late fees on movies you never even watched.

The biggest video store in the world was called Blockbuster. At its height in 2004, it had over 9,000 stores worldwide and employed over 84,000 people, none of whom could alphabetize. But Blockbuster made a series of, shall we say, less than optimal business decisions, such as declining to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000 (possibly because it didn’t like the color of the envelopes people would return Netflix rentals in*), and instead choosing another company with which to start a streaming video service. That other company was Enron.

If you’ve never heard of Enron, you might want to Google it. It’s a really funny story…

Anyway, the rest, as they say, is history. Soon almost all the Blockbusters had become auto parts stores, and all the independent video stores that had thrived in even the smallest towns had been turned into bars.

I bring all this up now because I noticed an article about one of the few remaining Blockbuster locations. It’s in Alaska, where the winters are long and the wi-fi is slow. So if you still have that VHS of Dirty Dancing that you rented in 1993, you can send it to Blockbuster Video, 11431 Business Blvd, Eagle River, AK 99577 along with your $8,745 in late fees. But hurry, the Eagle River Blockbuster is closing this month.

Oh, and don’t forget to rewind!

See you soon.

*By this time, videos came on DVDs. We were almost into the “modern era.”
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Entry 674: Just Wait Until They All Get on Your Subway Car

The lead of the NPR story read as follows:

The world’s population growth is slowing, according to a new United Nations report, but the number of people living on Earth will still approach 10 billion by the year 2050.

The actual number is 9.8 billion, which is 200 million short of 10 billion, so NPR is exaggerating quite a bit, just like when it tells you how much you’ll treasure your NPR tote bag.

But hyperbole aside, it’s still a lot of people, and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I’m happy that I’ll probably be dead by then, because I hate crowds. On the other hand, I might not be dead by then, because one of the reasons there will be so many people is that they’re keeping us alive so damned long.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “A lot of those folks are going to be Chinese, right?” Well, that’s a really stupid question, and as soon as we begin reducing the population by passing a law imposing a death sentence for the asking of stupid questions, you will be immediately executed. It’s true that 19% of the world’s population is Chinese now, but India is expected to surpass China in population in just seven years, which is horrible news for my wife, who cannot stand the smell of Indian food.

On the plus side, humans, on average, will be much better spellers.

According to the U.N. report, much of the population growth will come from developing countries, where there are 4.3 births per woman, as opposed to just 1.6 births per woman in Western nations.  Obviously, birth control should be promoted more in third world nations, possibly by distributing free condoms or maybe by just showing everyone that snapshot of Chris Christie lounging on the beach.

Of course, 9.8 billion is a lot of mouths to feed, especially since roughly 800 million people already go to bed hungry. The obvious solution to this problem is for people to eat a later dinner, but, even then, experts are questioning whether the planet’s resources will be able to keep up with its population.

Some folks think garbage may be the answer.

The report estimates that one-third of the world’s food is wasted every year. It says that if just a quarter of it could be recovered (preferably the stuff without tofu or quinoa), it would be enough to feed 870 million people.

In other words, by recovering wasted food, we could feed all 800 million hungry people and have enough left over to feed 70 million more, which we won’t need because we’ll have fed everyone who’s hungry, so we can throw the rest of it out, and then recover quarter of that and so on and so forth and–VOILA!–you’ve got an unlimited perpetual food supply*, constantly replenished with somewhat stale but still nourishing food, just like at your local Chinese/Japanese/Thai/ Mongolian/Vietnamese buffet restaurant.

Unfortunately, we’ll have all new people to feed by 2050, which means we should start wasting more food right now to build up the supply.

It will also help if we stop lengthening life spans with those pesky medical treatments. I’m proud to say that America is doing its part with the proposed new health care bill.

See you soon.

*Unless my logic is off somehow.
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Entry 673: Take Me Out to the Ullamaliztli Game

In case you think America’s big-time, big money pro sports will be around forever, you should learn a lesson from the Aztecs.

I’m reminded of this by the recent discovery in Mexico City of an ancient tlachtli, or ball court. The Aztecs played a game called ullamaliztli, which was sort of a cross between soccer, basketball and quidditch, but much more difficult to play and pronounce.

The sport was as important to the Aztecs as football or baseball is to us. In fact, just like in America, every major Aztec city had a tlachtli. The Aztecs built their stadiums next to shrines to Huitzilopochtli, their god of war. An Aztec family could make a day of it–a little worship, an exciting ballgame, and the ritual offering of a still-beating human heart to a god.

Archaeologists examining the Mexico City ruins found 32 severed male neck vertebrae in a pile just off the ball court. This likely means that Aztec fans sometimes lost their heads as they entered. This is perhaps why researchers digging at the sites of Aztec stadiums have not found many souvenir bucket hats.

The idea of ullamaliztli was to get a ball through rings that were placed on the sides of the court and appear to have been not much larger than the ball itself. Players couldn’t hold or even touch the ball with their hands, although over the years, it seems like they did away with the infraction called nehnemiliztli, or traveling. Also, the ball was not allowed to hit the ground. I’m not sure what happened if it did; perhaps that’s where the severed vertebrae came in.

The Aztecs gambled heavily on the game just as we do on our sports, and they would wager items like feathers, land and children. With stakes like those, I imagine that, after a particularly long winning streak, gamblers would start trying to lose on purpose. (“Yes, that’s right. I want to bet five toddlers and a colicky baby that Cortés will just leave us alone.”)

Ullamaliztli was a major part of the Aztec culture. And then a player named Cuetzpalli came along. Known as “The Lizard” (because that’s what his name means), Cuetzpalli played for the Tenochtitlan Tigers, and he became a star when, during a scoreless match against the Oxitipan Oxen, the ball accidently caromed off his elbow and went through the ring. Because it was next to impossible to get the ball through the ring without using your hands, this was the only goal scored during the entire 1518 season (many people got rich betting the under), and it propelled the Tigers to the championship.

Cuetzpalli fully enjoyed his new-found celebrity. He began selling loin cloths emblazoned with his likeness. The cocoa bean was highly coveted by the Aztecs, and soon children were clamoring for Cuetzpalli Bars of chocolate. Cuetzpalli even signed an endorsement deal with the Aztec Brewing Company, but it fell through because the Aztec Brewing Company was not founded until some four centuries later.

Cuetzpalli liked to walk the streets of the empire as people yelled “Lizard! Lizard!” though it never occurred to him that nobody knew who we was but were simply warning each other of the giant chameleons that would stroll around ancient Mexico.

When the next ullamaliztli season began, Cuetzpalli didn’t show up for spring training because he was holding out for more tajaderas, which was a form of Aztec currency, along with quachtli and children.  Tajaderas were copper hoe-shaped objects, quachtlis were standardized lengths of cotton cloth, and children were small Aztecs. I do not know what the exchange rate was.

Cuetzpalli finally got a small raise and began playing again, but he was often seen ducking when a ball came his way instead of letting it smack him in the mouth, as was the custom. After one such incident, he was fined a third of his salary for not hustling.  This was an unfortunate penalty because his salary was five children. (The pile of severed neck vertebrae may have been added to.)

The last straw may have occurred when Cuetzpalli took himself out of a match, complaining of a pulled hamstring. His teammates laughed at him, first because there were no substitutions and second because, well, what the hell was a hamstring?

As fame often does even today, Cuetzpalli’s faded quickly. After awhile, you couldn’t even give a Cuetzpalli loin cloth away, even if you threw in a teenager.

It was clear that success had gone to Cuetzpalli’s head. And soon, he didn’t have one. Then everyone got smallpox and the civilization was over by 1521.

The world series was not played that year.

See you soon.

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Entry 672: Would You Like Your Shetland Sheepdog With or Without a Moonroof?

As a long-time dog owner and lifetime dog lover, I have come across something that I believe is absolutely bizarre: people are leasing dogs.

According to Bloomberg News, a company called Wags Lending allows folks to walk a shiba inu in exactly the same way they might drive a Chevy Malibu. You pay a monthly charge for your pet, and at the end of the lease term–say three years–you can either turn your pooch in for a newer model or pay a fairly large sum of money (often what it would have cost to buy the dog in the first place) to keep your pal.

Although pet leasing works like car leasing, the analogy falls short in a number of obvious ways:

  1. Usually, you don’t have to exert a lot of effort in the first few months to train your Ford Fusion.
  2. Most people do not form an emotional bond with their automobiles. I loved my 1972 Gremlin, but not in the same way I love my sheltie. For one thing, I never bothered to name it. Also, I never allowed it into my bed.
  3. I have never heard of a two-year old Toyota Camry giving birth to a litter of Corollas.

If you’re like me, you find this concept to be horrifying, and you’re wondering why on Earth someone would even consider leasing a dog. With cars, leasing might get you get a better model, but with dogs, it’s not like you’re thinking “You mean instead of buying this dachshund I can lease a dog with legs?”

As it turns out, most people who lease a dog think that they’re financing a dog. In my opinion, taking out a loan to purchase a dog is already pretty stupid. I mean, car loans are one thing; you can’t go down to your local shelter and adopt an Audi. But you can get a perfectly lovable dog for a couple of bucks. And, after all, if you can’t afford to buy a dog, you’re not likely to be able to afford to care for it properly.

So it’s not a big leap to believe that someone dumb enough to pay off a pet can be tricked into leasing it instead. I realize that these days many of us do not bother to read contracts or user agreements because they’re mostly incomprehensible. But, still, here’s one paragraph right above the signature line, in which the word “lease” or “lessee” appears 10 times, not to mention that it says “Lessee signs x”.   I mean, that should give you a hint, right?  (continued below image)

Here’s how it usually goes, according to Bloomberg, using a highly intelligent couple as an example:

The Sabins had bought their new dog, Tucker, with financing offered at the pet store through a company called Wags Lending, which assigned the contract to an Oceanside, California-based firm that collects on consumer debt. But when Dawn tracked down a customer service rep at that firm, Monterey Financial Services Inc., she learned she didn’t own the dog after all.

‘I asked them: How in the heck can I owe $5,800 when I bought the dog for $2,400? They told me, You’re not financing the dog, you’re leasing. You mean to tell me I’m renting a dog? And they were like, Yeah.’

The super-smart Sabins were on the hook for 34 monthly payments of $165.06, after which they could buy their golden retriever and end up finally owning the dog for what amounted to 70% annualized interest, or turn it in and hope the dealer didn’t try to add charges for excessive wear and tear. (“Sorry, folks, I’m gonna have to charge you $300 to repair that dent on his tush.”)

Fortunately, even if you, personally, are as brainless as a borzoi (one of the dumbest dog breeds), you do not have to worry about becoming a victim of such shady practices…if you happen to live in Nevada. That’s because Governor Brian Sandoval has recently signed a bill banning the leasing of pets.

Further, he simultaneously answered this age-old question: “What do a Packham, a Pirelli and a poodle have in common?” Answer: the consumer protection bill signed by Governor Sandoval, which prohibits the leasing of “any living animal or goods intended for personal, family or household use.” That includes wedding gowns, tires, pets and hearing aids.

Presumably, this also means that, if you live in Nevada, you’re going to have to turn in those dentures you’re been leasing.

See you soon.

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