Learn not to say things as they are. It does not do to call a spade a spade. That might, as a matter of fact, mean your undoing. It isn’t an easy or simple proposition any longer, calling things what they are, but that is how it seems things will be. Don’t call a darkened sky a darkened sky, the clouds may scream, “Racist!”
Come winter and it begins to feel cold. Whereas in summer it feels hot. Winters are cold. Summers are hot. That is why one is called that and the other this. You call winters, winter. You call summers, summer. Like you call a liar, a liar. And a fool a fool. Or a thief a thief and a charlatan a charlatan. They are words, they fit descriptions. Like a flower is called a flower, and a thorn a thorn and one cannot or should not be called the other. Some flowers are fragrant. Some flowers are foul. A cauliflower, for instance, especially when stuffed into a paratha. A foul thing is a foul thing. And the thing about a cauliflower grated into flour and served — baked, roasted, pan fried, deep fried, drizzled in oil or butter or in ghee, whatever — leads to fouler things. Try it out if you wouldn’t believe me. The season now is winter, there will be occasion to partake of cauliflower, and there will be occasion to slip under a quilt. Tell me about it sometime. You don’t have to take offence. Although you very well may, seeing which way the drift of things is; you may take more than offence. You may take umbrage, cabbage, all manner of things. All of it over a cauliflower being called a cauliflower that smells foul, or quite unlike a narcissus or a lily drenched in the effusive intoxications of monsoon rain. But a lily may not be called a lily, who knows, and narcissus no longer a narcissus.
Trouble these days is, you call a thing a thing, and nothing but the right thing, and you are likely to get blamed, even punished, for calling a thing a thing that it is. What do you call something or someone short? Short. But folks don’t understand. Understanding is no longer the thing to do; misunderstanding is the preferred thing. You call a place to get drunk a bar, and the eminences of the bar take exception. You calling a bar a bar? How dare you? Tomorrow you’ll insist on calling a dog a dog and an ass an ass.
An ass might take offence, and a dog might turn to say, well mind you, Sir, but do you mind calling me by my name? It’s Marmaduke, sired by Montmorency. And the one that you call a bitch, well, she’s not a bitch, excuse me, she goes by the name Gwendolyn, begotten by Gerda. Understood? Women won’t be called female, well, isn’t that just a derivative of male? And men might someday turn up their noses at being labelled male — isn’t that just a truncated form of female? Leh!
Learn not to call a thing because it is just that. A rascal may not be called a rascal, or a goon, a goon. Black is not a colour to be identified as black or called that, nor white, white. That won’t do any longer. The rules have changed. Rules are actually not rules, and the law, well, well, the law is a work in progress and may temporarily be masquerading in high places under the alias of flaw.
A court is liable to be called a court. And a kangaroo, a kangaroo. Now you could blame me for calling a kangaroo, a kangaroo, or a court, a court, but enlighten me what else may they be called. It’s even been said, on good authority, to no more call a joke, a joke. That’s not funny, and certainly no laughing matter. Call a joke, a joke and see what happens.
Blame me not, beware you
My patience do not tempt
You’ll be rubbed under my shoe
For all you’ve just said is contempt.