Friday, February 23, 2007


Today's Facet of Contemporary Reality That Continues To Baffle Me comes to us from Seattle, where touchy residents are most offended about a newly opened pet store aimed at providing for the upscale and discerning female canine. The problem is its name, which is actually quite appropriate.

High Maintenance Bitch.

They're indignant about the name, and even more so that its sign is "visible from a major intersection in the Wallingford district." (For the record, however, I once lived in the Wallingford district for several months and never came across anything major, intersections included. But that was way back.)

In any case, I just don't get it about the word bitch. What the hell is so offensive? It's a female dog, for Chrissake. It's a perfectly acceptable word. I've never understood why or how it is considered to be obscene, or even crude.

Shit and fuck and asshole and piss and pussy and prick and so forth I can understand--although pussy falls into a gray area, and is acceptable when followed by cat, or even a photo of a cat. These words have to do with bodily functions of a personal or repellent nature, or sex, or the organs thereof, and while I wouldn't mind if they appeared daily overhead in skywriting, I can see where people with tighter moral standards might be genuinely troubled.

But bitch, I just don't get it. It's like bastard. It's a perfectly neutral descriptive noun, used as a fairly mild insult, compared to numerous possible alternatives. And their clientele consists quite literally of high maintenance bitches: pampered, upper-middle-class female dogs.

I could understand if people took offense at, say, a clothing store for gay males called High Maintenance Cocksucker, or even one for African Americans called High Maintenance Nigga.

But High Maintenance Bitch? The only thing that phrase calls to my mind is Martha Stewart.


Blogger ....J.Michael Robertson said...

I waited patiently, and there the last sentence was: just right. Interesting that MS does seem to be the best of the possible punchlines. Maybe back in the day Leona Helmsley would have worked, but MS is better because she is the Queen of Cosset. She starts with herself and builds out. Anne Coulter would NOT work. One has the sense that when she requires diversion a fifth of Jack and a couple Greek sailors will do her just fine.

February 23, 2007 at 4:04 PM  

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