Drivel Over Coffee 281 10/6/2015

“Sometimes I think it is my mission to bring faith to the faithless, and doubt to the faithful.”  ― Paul Tillich

FYI – Thursday is “Slap An Idiot Thursday – Line Them Up!!!

…A little bit about a lot of things. This week I jotted down phrases that ran through my head. I had wanted to do this for a long time. We all have random thoughts, ideas, verses, wants and desires pass through our brain every minute of every day. I wanted to get an idea how these related to each other; to see a pattern; to gain insight into my inner being. After you read the phrases below you will get a bit of insight to my inner being in turmoil.

“You already exceed the limits of my medication.” “Wait! I don’t snore, I dream I am a motorcycle.” “Sometimes I laugh so hard, tears run down my leg.” “Note to self: Just because it pops into my head does not mean it should come out of my mouth.” “Some days the supply of curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.” “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened?” “I have yet to find a problem that can’t be solved with cheese.” “Yo bro is so bald I can see what’s on his mind.” “Does running late count as exercise?” “Just remember, if we get caught, you’re deaf and I don’t speak English.” “Redneck pickup line: “Nice tooth”.” “I’m not short, I’m FUN size.” “I may be left-handed, but I’m always right.” “It was me who let the dogs out. Get over it already.” “Every time I think things can’t get any worse, there’s an election.”

Any comments? I can pass them on to my therapist. The first one had me doing the third one. Can you say AWKWARD?

An article came across my desk last week that I just had to share. It didn’t actually cross my desk. I received it as an email. I don’t know who it was from but I hope you are Hunky dory after you read this and chuckle…

About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.” A bevy of readers have asked me to shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige:

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We’d cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers lane. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

Like Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Or this is a fine kettle of fish! We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinders monkey.

Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone? Long time ago: Pshaw. The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians. Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston. The very idea! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Cooties. Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! And awa-a-ay we go! Oh, my stars and garters!

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter had liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff, this winking out of the words of our youth, these words that lodge in our heart’s deep core. But just as one never steps into the same river twice, one cannot step into the same language twice. Even as one enters, words are swept downstream into the past, forever making a different river.

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too. See ya later, alligator! See that was fun wasn’t it?

“An elderly lady was telling my current wife that she had recently joined an aerobics class for seniors at the local fitness center. “How did it go?” asked Sue. “Well, I bent, I twisted, I turned, I jumped up and down, and I perspired for half an hour, but by the time I’d finally got my leotard on, the class had ended.”

I was walking through Hy-Vee to pick up a few things when I noticed an old lady following me around. Thinking nothing of it, I ignored her and continued on.

Finally I went to the checkout line, but she got in front of me. “Pardon me,” she said, “I’m sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It’s just that you look just like my son, who just died recently.” “I’m very sorry,” I replied, “is there anything I can do for you?” “Yes,” she said, “As I’m leaving, can you say ‘Good bye, Mother’? It would make me feel so much better.” “Sure, no problem,” I answered. As the old woman was leaving, I called out, “Goodbye, Mother!” As I stepped up to the checkout counter, I had my Hy-Vee Fuel Saver card scanned. Then I saw that my total was $127.50. “How can that be?” I asked, “I only purchased a few things!” “Your mother said that you would pay for her,” said the clerk.

Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!” It’s Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. We who have seen war never stop seeing it. After while crocodile. That was pretty neat. -TA!