Something happened on this week's episode of The Bachelor that induced a flashback to the stupidest argument I ever had. The bachelor himself, Prince Lorenzo, took one of the three remaining bachelorettes to an amusement park, where he coincidentally (wink-wink) won her a big red stuffed dog. He asked her what she was going to name the dog. She said, "I think he looks like a 'Fred,'" and he said, "'Fred'? Well, I think he looks like a 'Simon.'" Whereupon she promptly declared the stuffed dog's name would be 'Simon-Fred.'
That's all it took to send my mind reeling back about 20 years to a time when I actually participated in an argument about an imaginary dog.
The man in my life (the one pictured here in the priest costume) went to a Crime Stoppers meeting one night. The next day he told me a little bit about the home security measures he'd learned the night before, then he made a request that struck me as just a bit odd:
He: "I need you to help me think up a name for a dog."
He: "They told us it's good to have a watchdog, but if you don't have a dog, you should make it look like you have one. A big one. They said to put a dog dish in the yard and put a name on it that sounds like something you'd name a really large dog. So I need you to help me think of a name."
Me: "Well, I see what they're trying to do, but I think that's going a little too far.
He: "Whaddaya mean?"
Me: "Most people don't put their dog's name on its dish. They put the food in the dish, and the dog eats out of it and understands that it's his dish."
He: "You're missing the point. The name should be something like 'Killer' or 'King' or something like that, not 'Fluffy' or some small dog's name. It's so a burglar would think there's a big dog in the yard."
Me: "No, I get it, but you could accomplish the same thing just by getting a really big dog dish."
He: "What do you have against putting the dog's name on the dish?"
Me: "I just think it's stupid. If you have two dogs, you might want to put their names on their dishes in case you need to tell them apart, you know, if you want to feed them differently or something. But if you only have one dog, you don't need its name on the dish. The dog can't read!"
He: (After a pause) "You're not being very helpful."
Me: "You know what? I'm running late. It's your dog; you name it."
After thinking about it for a while, I came to two conclusions: I was right about not needing the name on the dog dish, and he was right that I wasn't being helpful. The next time I'm asked to name a huge dog that will never even exist, I'll just suggest something like "Maximus" or "Hulk" and keep the rest of my thoughts to myself.