Taking Care of Business, Euphemistically Speaking

The young bicycle shop owner saw my Brooks saddle and said he loved the leather saddle but that those saddles had never been good for his “business.” A little slow on the uptake, I realized he wasn’t speaking of his bike shop.

Brooks saddles are beautiful but notoriously hard and take years and years to soften. My Brooks saddle dates back to 1975. After all those years, it has reached the perfect equilibrium — not too hard, not too soft — just right.

I couldn’t help myself. I said, “I like that — ‘business.’ That is so much better than ‘junk.’ I don’t want my ‘business’ being called ‘junk.'”

Then I thought about the phrase “God doesn’t make junk.” Junk is for throwing away. Junk is useless. Junk just sounds junky. The sound of the word certainly isn’t aesthetically pleasing.

Junk is trash. Of course, there is the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” with the masculine pronoun being used intentionally. I like the idea of certain parts of my anatomy being thought of as “treasure.” That’s actually biblical, but back to business.

Business sounds enterprising — business can be good and business can be bad. There are up days and down days, so to speak. And then there is “taking care of business.”

For some reason, we descendants of the Victorians have a hard time calling “it” for what “it” is, but as long as we do, “business,” while way too capitalistic sounding and coldly transactional and not at all romantic or caring or passionate or representative of a way of giving lovingly to another, is far better than “junk,” not to mention that no one wants junky plumbing.

You know, maybe I’ll just call my “business” — “Brooks.”

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