Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Talk Thursday (on Saturday): Sticks, Stones, and Words That Stab Much Deeper

Significant words in the life of Jen:

Reading an email from a literary agent on a crowded elevator on my way to work one morning quite recently, I suddenly exclaimed, "GODDAMMIT!!" Uh, it was kinda loud. And everyone turned around and stared at me. I was pretty embarrassed. The email wasn't good news, either.

My ex broke up with me, she said, because she didn't want to be in a relationship "just because it was convenient." Yep, it happened about seventeen years ago and I can still hear it. That's "convenient" with a sharp "c", a long "e" and a pointed "t". I didn't want to hear the word "convenient" for years. Still don't, in all honesty.

When I was about nine, my mother, in an odd fit of prescience, took me to a psychiatrist. I told her I didn't want to go back because the doctor asked lots of questions and I felt invaded. My mother said that when she took her car to the mechanic, she had to answer all his questions or he wouldn't know what was wrong with the car. I didn't get past the word "car." Great. I was now equated with a motor vehicle. I'd better be good or I'd be recycled for spare parts. Or worse, recalled to Detroit. (Or Tokyo.)

Joan, my wife, is often referred to around here as "Pi." While this is a common Southern nickname for a woman, it's not often spelled out as a mathematical formula. It came about that I was abbreviating "pie" as "22/7", which is, "3.14285714...." or the radius of a circle, in a note. Joan read this literally as 22/7, meaning 22 hours, 7 days a week - because everybody deserves two hours off. So now "Pi" means two hours off, the radius of a circle, 3.14285714...or a fine pastry that often contains fruits, nuts, or both. And sometimes it just means Joan.

Back in the Middle Ages, people used to get sick and die of various diseases that involved facial lesions, all of which were lumped together (for lack of medical knowledge) under the general heading of "the pox." Since then (and I've been alive since then; indeed, I've been alive for ages and ages) I've discovered that the word POX!! pronounced exactly that way, with at least two exclamation points, makes a fine, satisfying fake swear word in circumstances where FUCK!! would get you in big trouble. Another satisfying fake swear word is GEORGE W. BUSH!! but that can be taken wrong in certain circles. You have been warned.

"External" is a word most often applied to something that is, uh, not internal; unless, of course, you live around here, in which it means a certain kind of cat. There are two kinds of cats in this house; the internals and the externals. The internals are the spoiled rotten house cats. The externals are the feral cats, who live in the back yard and share food, however unwillingly, with Madame Raccoon. We think rather highly of the externals around here, so much so that we named our external hard drive "Clan External" in their honor.

And this post is going nowhere fast, so in closing, I leave you with the word "ay-yow." This word comes from a cat dialect, most commonly spoken by all black and tuxedo cats. While it is most often used to express the concept, "Give me some tuna," the word literally means "heart's desire." Should one's heart's desire be thwarted, beware of the "maaaaare," which in most cat dialects means, "I'm going to smother you in your sleep."


Cele said...

How do you get all that out of a post that is supposedly going nowhere? How? It was inspired... and so am I... off to blog.

But not before sharing my word verification...

fuctiving (means: who gives a fuck)

Cele said...

Oh crap, I just realized you could take that as I don't when I do.

What is it with your blog? Word Verification

picaving (means: a common name of a collapsing southern woman; the radius of a collapsed circle note; a custard pastry that my husband carved his name in (hey it could happen; and no mathmatical equasions because everyone knows I am a product of new math.

Jen said...

Hee! No, I knew what you meant. My word verif is "houstoni," which means, "someone who has lived in Houston for a short period of time, not long enough to be a Houstonite or a Houstonian."

Jen said...

Hey gang, my boss says:

"Pi is not the radius of a circle. The radius is the measurement from the center of a circle to any point on the circle, which would not be a constant as there are obviously infinite sizes of circles. Pi, on the other hand, is a constant (3.14…) the value of which is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter."

So now we know...