Who uses it: Veterinary pathologists
What it means: An examination of an animal to determine the cause of death.
How you can use it: When your chicken's underdone.
"Autopsy" and "necropsy" are synonyms, but for some reason people generally use "autopsy" to refer to humans and "necropsy" to refer to animals, or to examinations of tissue that's less than an entire human body.
Anyway, this word came up yesterday, when Anna told me about a sperm whale that had beached itself in the Florida Keys. The idea of suicidal whales seems totally plausible to me; I have always thought of whales as being lonely creatures, though I'm not sure why.
Every night for the past three nights, a skunk has decided to stroll past my apartment building and leave his scent behind. The first night I thought a skunk must have been run over, but three different skunks could not have been run over at the same spot on Water Street three nights in a row. It's more likely that this skunk has found something he or she likes on my block, so decided to come back. Perhaps, like Pepe LePew, the skunk has taken a liking to one of my neighbors' cats. (Speaking of lonely creatures...)
Five random songs off the iPod this morning:
“Michael Caine,” Madness. This song includes a repeated sample of Sir Michael saying, “My name is Michael Caine,” and it cracks me up every time. I will watch Michael Caine in anything.
“Old Devil Moon,” Frank Sinatra. You know what Maine doesn't have enough of? Martini bars.
“She’s a Baby,” Van Morrison. Not a very memorable song -- I can't remember if this one's off Back on Top or Enlightenment.
“Heaven,” Talking Heads. “The bands in heaven, they play our favorite song/Play it one more time/Play it all night long… Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.” Rock and roll is not supposed to be heavily philosophical, but really – listen to the lyrics of this song a few times and tell me if it doesn’t make you see things differently.
“Long Ago and Far Away,” Chet Baker. This was the song for my parents’ first dance, at their wedding reception. Thirty-four years later, my sister Peggy and her husband, Scott, used another Chet Baker song, “Time After Time,” for their wedding song.