I was in deep meditation, not suppressing or rejecting thoughts, just acknowledging them and letting them go. One thought, however, broke me from my pleasant calm and besieged me to follow it.
When I had picked up my son from his daycare a few hours earlier he had been eating a cakepop, prompting me to ask him, “Do you have a cakepop?”
I can’t tell you why parents do that, ask their small children to state obviousness, but we all do.
Joan said to me, “How do you know what a cakepop is?”
And I said, “What else could it be? It’s a cake on a pop.”
She shrugged, I collected my son, and we left. Hours later, after the scene had replayed in my head and ended my meditation, I told my wife about it. She laughed, because she’s nice, but didn’t catch anything odd about it either.
I said, “I said, ‘It’s a cake on a pop’!” and mimed the stick that the cake would be sitting on. She continued to look at me like I wasn’t the brightest deck of cards in the toolshed.
“I called the stick a pop, but since when has it even been called that? When has anyone referred to the stick of a lollypop as ‘the pop’?”
“Oh,” she said, “I don’t know. That’s strange. So the stick that food is on is called a pop?”
“Well what else is there?” I responded.
“Popsicle.” we said simultaneously.
Then, it dawned on me, the purpose of this revelation.
“That means that the stick of a popsicle is called a pop, but we, all of us, corporations and individuals alike, call a pop, a popsicle stick. We’ve made it longer, and redundant. Why?”
“It’s like ATM machine!” my wife pointed out.
The superfluous syllables ‘-sickle stick’ will not destroy irreplaceable seconds in my life ever again. Let this egregious linguistic oversight be a lesson to us all. Next week, the ontological reversal of the donut and and its hole.