June 7, 2009

SHOULD WE ASSUME HE GETS HIS OWN SWIFTIAN JOKE?:

Ambassador Hot Dog (DAN BARRY, 6/07/09, NY Times)

In the Swiftian world of international relations, every detail, every gesture, is fraught with meaning. One diplomat interprets the innocent sneeze of another diplomat as an insult to his mother, and off they go into Lilliputian-Blefuscudian brinksmanship.

Thankfully, the United States has developed over the years a disarming way to put its foreign guests at ease. It is to offer that most unassuming of American food items, one long associated with baseball, barbecues and occasional gastrointestinal distress. Yes: the hot dog.

In the formal language of diplomacy, perhaps, the presentation of a hot dog may say: “On behalf of the United States of America, may we offer you this tubular delight of meat, meat byproducts, curing agents and spices?” But what it really says is: “How ya doin’? Wanna beer?”

Such is the democratic charm of the hot dog.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 7, 2009 8:11 AM
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