Misrepresentation or what? Think about it     

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, January 4, 2012

While everyone else is welcoming, scrutinizing, cajoling, lambasting or whatever to the new year, I’m going in another direction.

We all know advertising should stick to the truth and the facts.

Yet I frequently find this rule disregarded — like the newspaper running an advertisement for a big, splashy, baby sale. But could I actually buy a baby? Of course not. What the sale was all about was baby paraphernalia, from potty chairs to pinafores, rattles to rompers, nipples to nappies (that’s British for diapers), high chairs to hose, sweaters to sippy cups, booties to baby bottles — you get the idea.

Just for fun, I approached a clerk in the store’s baby department and asked to see a 6-month-old, brown-haired, brown-eyed baby boy and a blond, blue-eyed girl a couple months younger (they’re easier to care for at this age — trust me).

But what I got was a pair of raised eyebrows and an interview with the store manager (if you want to believe this story).  She didn’t come right out and say so, but it was implied that I was some kind of a nut — one doesn’t buy babies in a store — ask any 6-year-old.

I may have annoyed her a bit more by adding I’d even take a pair of twins, less than a year old, if they were in stock.

She visibly shuddered, gave me a scathing look and slammed the “employees only” door as she retreated.

Now I ask you: was I out of line? The advertisement read: “Baby Sale.” There should have been at least one baby available — clearly misrepresentation — or what?

Then there is that delectable bit of fried sweetness that is referred to as a doughnut hole. I agree that these little bites of goodness come out of the center of the doughnut, but what is left is the hole, not the bit of dough that is removed.

You and I know that a hole is nothing; we cannot grasp a hole nor pick it up and put it in a bag to carry it home. As for the so-called doughnut hole, it is easily grasped and just as easily put in a bag to carry home.

We need to rectify this misrepresentation by renaming the so-called doughnut hole. From my perspective, I see these bits of deep-fried dough as the nut part of the doughnut. However, referring to them as dough-nuts would be totally confusing. So we’ll drop the dough and just call them nuts, or even fried nuts, to differentiate them from all the other kinds of nuts in the world (the edible variety, that is). If you have a better idea, let me know.

Then there is another food I have a quarrel with (or should that be with which I have a quarrel). That’s the chili dog.

I am not personally acquainted with chili dogs available at a specific local eatery, but at home I make them by slipping a cooked hot dog in a bun and topping it with chili.

A friend of mine told me the following story: Going home from work a bit late one evening, she stopped at a restaurant to purchase a covey of chili dogs for the family’s supper. When she got home and everyone bit into the chili dogs, they discovered there was no “dog” — just chili. My friend called the eatery to complain that that the hot dogs were missing in the chili dogs. To her surprise she was advised that chili dogs do not include a hot dog. All you get in the bun in a chili dog is chili. Talk about misrepresentation!

My friend was taken aback but managed to inquire why in the world would you call it a chili dog when there was no dog in it? Of course the person on the other end of the line hadn’t a clue — she was just an employee doing her job. Someone on a higher level was responsible for naming this dogless creation a chili dog.

We’ve got to change that name. If you’re getting chili in a bun, then call it chili in a bun. Do all places selling chili dogs also omit the dog? Of course, an even better idea would be to put the hot dog back in the chili dog and then the name would be perfect.

The world is full of misrepresentations, and we have to deal with them.