As for the term, we’ve all heard it, the origin although seemingly to be of American invention, probably is not. Younger folks probably thing it was invented by the folks who wanted to worry about Ralphie shooting his eye out with his Red Ryder BB gun in the movie, “A Christmas Story.”
It seems that the folks over in England want to claim the origin of the term, probably rightfully so. There was a book, “The Child in Folk-Thought,” published in England back in 1896 that they claim first used the term. In the book, the author discusses American children using terms like, “I dare you; I black dog dare you; I double black dog dare you.” Over the years, the black dog part was simplified to the “dog dare” and “double dog dare.”
The “black dog” term was slang for a bad or counterfeit shilling, the term used by thieves dating back to around 1700 in England. Why a black dog? It seems black dogs were scarier than others. I wish someone would tell my big black poodle that he was scary; although I don’t think it would work. He seems to roll over when a Chihuahua comes into the yard.
Why the discussion on double dog dares?
I have a co-worker, who is very intelligent and I honestly enjoy working on projects with him because he is so bright. However, the other enjoyable thing about this fellow is after doing brilliant things, he often tells me interesting, sometimes kind of stupid ideas and stories. Even the smartest folks are capable of lapsing from time to time.
On this day, my co-worker was telling me about his girlfriend’s dog and how bad the dog’s health had been and how much money he had been shelling out keeping the ailing dog alive. Being a dog person, I understood. Knowing that he thinks a lot of his girlfriend, I understood even more.
He had explained how the dog had gotten his girlfriend through a bad relationship and through the sickness of one her children. Again, I don’t judge people on such things and if he wants to spend money on his girlfriend’s dog, that is his business.
Knowing that the end for the dog is coming soon, he started pontificating on something that he had watched on one of the network news programs. Evidently, I missed this particular program, but he explained it to me in his own special way.
I verified that he wasn’t pulling my leg by researching his claim when I got home. It seems there is this company in South Korea that will clone your dog, or give you another dog just like the one you have.
He had his prices wrong though. My co-worker buddy told me it was about $15,000. After researching the going rate that this lab charges, I found out that it was more like $100,000 to “double your dog.”
He wasn’t going to do it, however he did say that for just a $1,000, you could send the lab your dog’s DNA and they would hold it until the price came down.
He had explained the process very simply to me and it sounded quite stupid at the time, but I found out that his simplistic explanation was very correct as to how they do this. The world needs more people like this; folks who make difficult things simple… I’m sure someone smarter than I, said that first.
He had spouted off percentages of how many tries it took and the probability of the double dog having a different personality. Again, his numbers were pretty good considering it had been a long time since the television show on the subject had aired.
The lab notes that these techniques, which are very controversial, are used for other research into things like Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, in hopes of finding a cure.
As you can understand, my co-worker is smart, tells interesting stories, which can sometimes be kind of stupid. I just don’t see paying that much for a dog that could never be as good as the one that I have – even if he’s an exact double.
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