Monthly Archives: December 2017
Human behavior astounds this time of year, as people drive 30 mph through parking lots and a stranger grabs the last of a coveted toy right out of your hands in Walmart to cheery strains (“It’s the hap-happiest time of the year, ding-dong, ding-dong!”) as, all around you, children enact the nuclear option in in an attempt by the majority party to overcome obstruction by the minority.
In small compensation for your endurance of these annual indignities, I try to gift Dear Reader with something of value. In the past I have proffered, for example, A List of Great Books suggested by the nutters I call friends. This year, the parody one friend and I were writing for you–of the duet Baby, It’s Cold Outside as sung by a starlet and Harvey Weinstein–quickly became unfit for publication and was unfortunately scrapped.
I instead asked the nutters I call friends the following: “Can you recall anything your kid(s) said that was precious – a mispronunciation, or something amusingly wrong (e.g., the “Undertoad” in The World According to Garp), or that was wrong yet somehow right, or just interesting?” Following, for Dear Reader’s 2017 gift (of laffs!), are their responses. For as much as we savor excellent expressions such as ”He looks like the cat who ate the canary” or “trophy wife,” really nothing is as treasured or hilarious as our own private lexicons, created over a lifetime.
Once I read about a couple, both writers, who kept an open envelope on the fridge. When their child said something classic, they’d jot it down and insert it into the envelope. Most of us are not that organized, so please enjoy this envelope on our collective refrigerator.
THE MISPRONUNCIATIONS beginning with the foods: lomster, pisghetti, a tuppa cheer, as in have a “cup of” cheer. Custusting , diriculous, the Bommiddle Snowman, hepitata and hopeeter for helicopter, dennerous for dangerous, serra-mix for ceramics, and: my 3 year-old neighbor running frantically down the street screaming, “Good Hoopah, good Hoopah!” at the bizarre and diabolical Good Humor man who purposely drove through our neighborhood at top speed without stopping, presumably to torment children.
ONE LETTER IS WRONG: Remoke, groken, vantastic, brickly, buddons, library, and “E. said fruniture until he was like twelve.”
THE MISUNDERSTOOD LYRICS: Round John Virgin; The Whos down in Whoville singing, “Christmas day is in our breast”; Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds‘s “girl with kaleidoscope eyes” misinterpreted, sadly, as “A girl with colitis goes by.”
OTHER: When one girl’s mother asked her to stop doing something, she’d reply, “I want to if I want to.” Another once called her mother “the Ruiner of Ruiny Ruination.”
A little boy who could not pronounce his L’s, using Y’s in their place, famously asked, “Do caterpiyyars yive in a yittle, yong, yong house?” assuming, naturally, that its housing would suit the insect’s body type.
At wine o’clock, as we tucked into some chips and dip, our visitors’ daughter opened the door and briskly informed passerbys strolling down the dirt road, “We’re having a snack!”
When the priest paid a visit, my young brother opened the door and said, probably imitating our father on a totally different occasion, “Hot damn. Company!”
One kid’s: “I meant for that to be an accident.”
My son would exclaim when he saw any kind of chaos, like traffic, “Power Rangers all fighting in a mess!”
A neighboring child who was a huge fan of Barry Manilow would pepper conversation with random exclamations of, simply, “Barry!”
In the 70s, my little brother tried to show off for two cute southern girls at the Silver Lake State Park’s swing set by jumping off a moving swing in mid-air. His shorts caught on the S hook and shredded, sending the girls into hysterics. One howled, once able to speak: “Y’all ripped yaw pay-ants to pieces!”
CHRISTMAS: In a store, my cousin loudly advised our group, “That Santa smells like beer.”
My 4 year-old brother refused to create a list for Santa Clause, declaring “Santa knows what I want.” This was not a test; he simply understood that Santa knew, and that prying adults–who were in reality trying to extract information for my motherwere a needless bother interrupting his day.
I’ll finish with my own, Dear Reader, a phrase I use to this day. When very little, my niece received a toy doctor’s bag for Christmas. She went around the room “checking” people’s blood pressure. As my brother-in-law took out the stethoscope to “check” someone’s heartrate, she ran to the bag and angrily asserted, “This…doctor…I!” Meaning: “Listen up, Pally, I am the doctor here—not you—and you must not touch this bag, which is the sole property of me, the doctor, for the exclusive use of my personal doctoring activities.”
Do gift us with your own gem in COMMENTS as able. Happy New Year to all. And to all a…good day.