Friday, February 20, 2015

We be dissing

By Stephen B. Bagley

With my various physical aliments, I find myself spending more time that I’d like in doctors’ waiting rooms. They’re uniformly dreary places, filled with unsavory people who are deliberately coughing their germs my direction because they’re mean. Of course, I wear a mask during flu season, although I’ve learned to remove it when entering banks. They’re touchy about masks at banks.

The only good thing about waiting rooms is that I get to read a lot of magazines that I would never read otherwise and probably shouldn’t. I confess that I gravitate toward the more trashy ones about terrible people. You know, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Tiger Beat, People, US Weekly, and the U.S. Congressional Record.

You may disapprove—I’ll let you this one time—but I have learned things I would have never known. For instance, are you aware that Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are in a feud? Apparently Katy hired away some dancers from Taylor’s tour. Taylor could have paid the dancers more, but in that way lies madness. If you pay the dancers more, the backup singers are going to line up right behind them, and the next thing you know, you’re having to pay a living wage to your entire stage crew.

No, Taylor handled this in the devastating way that pop princesses do: Taylor is going to “dis” Katy in her next song. When Katy heard about this—probably from Tiger Beat, which follows celebrity feuds with the fervor and attention that network news should show when following world events —she let it be known that she will dis Taylor on her next album. You can tell from all the dissing going on that they’re on the edge of meeting in a dark alley and trying to off each other with their sharpened People’s Choice Awards.

I’m going to bet on Taylor in the brawl, by the way. She’s got those long legs and long arms, giving her the reach on short-armed Katy. Also, Taylor looks all athletic and fit, while Katy has a faintly dissipated look about her. And after the fight is over, Taylor will write a Grammy-winning song about it.

You’re probably wondering what “dis” means. According to such honored authorities as the online urban dictionaries, it carries the meanings of: “dislike, disown, disaffirm, distrust, disembowel, discount, disbar.” Wow. Think of all the spelling that saves. Although the “disembowel” bothers me. Someone could say they’re going to dis you, and you’re expecting them to discount or disown you, and instead, they’re swinging a sword at your midsection. That has to be disconcerting. Even disorienting. Are you disliking all the dis-s yet?

All the magazines are carrying this story, so you know it has to be true. I don’t know how they stay in business reporting the same news, but somehow they do. I’m told they are fiercely competitive about getting the story first, so much so that they actually have to publish the stories before the events depicted in the stories happen. In less enlightened times, this used to be called “lying,” but if Taylor and Katy aren’t dissing each other yet, the magazines know they will eventually. And if not, well, you shouldn’t be reading the trash they print, anyway.

Copyright 2015. Excerpt from A Little Floozy by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. Copying prohibited. Thank you for reading.

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