While reading the essay "Muddle in a Puddle," some very colorful images came to
my mind about what I have done in my life that compare to this particular piece. Of all
the times I have embarrassed myself by sticking my foot in my mouth, or by making a fool
of myself by playing with a strange toy in the toy department, only to my surprise,
everyone in the toy department was laughing at me. As Robert Herrick mentions in his
poem "_O how that glittering taketh me!" (100 Best Loved Poems, 12) That's how I felt
at that time. All of us have experienced things like this in our lives, and it is strange what
makes it so interesting to watch people make fools of themselves, as mentioned by Baker
in this quote, "...and any one could could have spoken out as one human might speak to
another....not one had said that." (156)
Yet another piece really spoke to me about the ways people communicate on a
daily basis. "I led the Pigeons to the Flag" was very exact to the feelings I have of
miscommunications and mishearings. I can remember times in which I have done the
very same things that were mentioned in this essay, like singing a tune over and over out
loud, then looking over the lyrics later. Only to my knowledge, my version of
"Cannonball" was actually "Panama." The way we hear and say things is also very
influential in the way others hold us in their standings. If someone catches us slipping up,
they might think we are weird, or stupid. It could also be a good ice-breaker for a good
friendly relationship. Sometimes not. It just depends where the people are from, and what
the situations are at the time of the incident.
I can remember a time, while at work at the funeral home, I was discussing school
with a bereaving individual. I was trying to comfort this person, as I noticed she was very
disturbed over the loss of a friend. It was around the time of finals, and she asked how
they were going. I said "they're killing me!" Immediately I realized that I had said the
right thing the wrong way. A million thoughts passed through my mind at that moment,
as Baker had also mentioned. What was I to say to recover from this terrible thing.
Change the subject? Repeat the phrase replacing killing with another mourning-friendly
verb?
Its hard to know what you can say around certain groups of people, or in certain
areas of the country. Thats where we get to the misccommunications and mishearings.
As discussed by Safire, the most important pledge in the United States, the Pledge
of Allegiance, is probably the most misunderstood and miscommunicated pledge known to
Americans. Most Americans love to watch major league sports, but the most embarrasing
thing to me is to sit and listen to someone sing the National Anthem. And the truth is, 5
out of 10 people don't know the words to it. They just plug in their own words and sing
right on along, not even caring if they're right or not. Americans are just plain sloppy and
lazy.
These two pieces,'I led the Peigeons to the Flag," and "A Muddle in a Puddle" are
both tightly coorelated, yet both are different in some ways. "Muddle" focuses on the
ways people communicate, or for that matter, lack of communication between people.
He mentions how none of the people sitting around the seat with the puddle of beer in it,
even bother telling him before he sits down. There was a lack of communication between
these people. The setting of this situation, seems to me, to be within a large city, where
the saying goes, "What's their's is their's, and what's your's is their's." Of course noone
will speak up when something is wrong. Noone cares about anyone else. The "Peigeons"
essay focuses on the different ways people mishear things in every day living. this could
be very dangerous in some circumstances. Some types of language could be taken as
racial slurrs, and that could be a big problem if not handled properly. It could also mean
death for the unsuspecting individual. These are some of the differences between these
two essays.
It is totally up to us the way