Ouch, that smarts, I think I’m being vetted. Or it could just be the sting of my neuropathy.
Vetted is one of those words that sneaked into public usage without being vetted. It sounds faintly Yiddish. It is embedded in every kvetch. Or something a vegetarian might say after eating too much quinoa and kale. Excuse me, I think I’m going to vet.
I don’t remember the word before the turn of this century. Yet it turns out to have been around for over 300 years. It’s a Brit-word derived from what a veterinarian does. He vets as in, Don’t place your bet until you vet the stallion before the race. The term crossed the ocean around 1900 when it transitioned from four-legged animals to political animals….who often don’t have a leg to stand on.
It wasn’t in time for Abraham Lincoln to vet his vice presidential nominee, Andrew Johnson. In 1999 Dick Cheney was asked to vet a list of V.P. candidates. In characteristic fashion he choose himself. This must be the first recorded act of self-vetting. Possibly the worst case of vetting gave us Sarah Palin in 2008 who’s every sentence adds more ignominy to her vet.
Had Ivan the Terrible been vetted or Vlad the Impaler we might have gotten kinder, gentler despots. Even Katherine the Great wasn’t really. Just damn good.
I understand Hillary has already vetted Tim Kaine, Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren. I’m preparing myself just in case. In advance I’m willing to admit the Norman Invasion was not my doing or even the landing at Normandy. I’ll have to remove them from my resume.
I’m not so sure it’s worth it. To be pinned like a butterfly naked under scrutiny. If it’s revealed that I peed in my pants in kindergarten I’ll deny it even though I can still feel that warm wet puddling under my chair. Yes, it’s true I once sneaked into a second multiplex theater and returned three times to a salad bar. When I had my own store I even stole money from myself. Doesn’t everybody? It’s been a life of crime.
Most of my misdeeds are sins of omission. I didn’t ride on the Freedom bus and get beaten up in Alabama nor did I throw myself in front of a troop train on the way to Viet Nam. Not sure how these entries will play in the swing states.
On second thought I’d better tell them not to bother. My record is not worth the vet. Not yet. Forget everything I said. No sweat. No regret.