As a response to Rob's recent list of slang he tried to get off the ground, here is my own chronicle of words and phrases I tried (and failed) to introduce into the popular lexicon.
By the way, I was going to do a Minnesota Twins related list, but seeing as tomorrow is the Biggest Game of All Time, AKA, the Twins v. the Bitch-Sox for the AL Central Crown, I figure I'll save it for tomorrow, win or (KNOCK ON A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER BASEBALL BAT) lose. WIN TWINS!
There was time when I was, oh, let’s say, seven years old, when I used to call most people “Pancho”. I had a pretty good reason for this quirk. We had a foosball table and my dad nicknamed all the little foosball player-men Pancho, because they were a tan shade of plastic, with little black helmet hairpieces. Total Panchos. Anyway, I started doing that one day while my buddy Julian was over and he started doing it at school the next day, and pretty soon, everyone and everything was Pancho. It didn’t last past the fifth grade. I tried!
Hah. Yikes. My bold, high-school attempt to replace buddy/guy/friend/you with “face”… it was synecdoche pushed to its lamest extreme. “Hey face!” I’d say to my friends, instead of, you know, “Hey, Matt!” or “Hey, Nik!” Yeah, it was an awful idea. Only slightly worse than Pancho.
7. “Stay black.”
Today in the shower, I was thinking about things I say, and that turned into things I want to start staying, and I arrived at “Stay black.” I should definitely start saying this! Like, always! End of a meeting, looks like we’re moving forward with purpose and direction? Stay black! You totally just made out with your crush of five years? Stay black! Good episode of Gossip Girl? Dude… stop watching Gossip Girl.
6. “Balla, narc, or poseur”
Once upon a time, Eva and I invented a sweet game called “Balla, narc, or poser”. The object of the game is to decide whether the historical figure (usually a president) is a balla, a narc, or a poser. I’ll just copy/past the gchat—you’ll get the gist.
me: john Quincy adams… total poser. TOTAL poser.
Eva: he did make it into Profiles in Courage, though
me: i think all american history can be broken down into ballers and posers.
More like Profiles in BOREage.
Eva: I agree
on both counts
me: henry clay = baller.
samuel tilden = poser
Eva: Garfield, baller or poser?
poser, I think
me: in his first term, he was a total baller, but as he got on in years, he faded into poserdom.
oh yeah, garfield was a huge poser.
Eva: this is true
me: a poseur even.
Eva: Baller = Taft
he was so fat!
oh, there are also a few narcs.
Wilson was such a narc.
5. “Make arrest.”
I was obviously obsessed with The Departed during my senior year of college, so for a while, a thing that I decided was really fun to do was to text Rob and Tom the phrase “make arrest” at completely random moments. (Not random in that annoying, girlish sense, ie: “You guys, Trent was so random and awkward last night. He kept like, saying these things from these random movies and it was totes awkward, but like, cute-awkward… or, well, maybe awkward-cute, but, whatever, anyway, SO random!" Not at all random like that... my use of "make arrest" was lacking in purpose, order, or cause.) Anyway, I kept doing this for awhile, and then I started introducing it into conversation, but the problem was, it didn’t really mean anything. It was just a fun thing to say… which was actually really fun? Oh, well. It died.
4. “What powers does he have?”/”What cool features does he come with?”
This is one that I really should have put more of an effort into because it could have really taken off. For a while last year, whenever one of my friends would talk about someone new, I would always say, “What powers does he/she have?” to mean, “What is he/she like?” The thing that I really liked about it was that it cast social skills and personality traits as magical attributes. Then, I thought about it for a while, and it sounded like I was treating human people like action figures… things that could have battle damage or shoot plastic missiles. (Although, it’s true, most of my closest friends are battle damaged. Or just damaged.)
Earlier this year, I started calling everyone “Mom”. It is safe to say that I missed my mom. I stopped discriminating between sexes—referring to Tom as Mom after a while (I played the rhyme up quite a bit), and then just random folk I met on the street. Everyone became Mom. Then, it lost its luster, so I stopped doing it. (But now all of Caitlin’s girlfriends call each other Mommy! COINCIDENCE!?)
2. “No one knows!”
This is slightly akin to Rob’s “that’s made up”… but I am still trying to make it work, every chance I get. Here’s the deal. I frequently say things that demand explanation or qualification. Example… Some Person: Peter, why are you so upset about the White Sox losing to the Tigers? Peter: No one knows! What I love about this is that the reason in the example is clear… I’m upset because the White Sox blow and one more loss would mean the Twins would be in the playoffs. But it’s more important than that! “No one knows” is an existential expression of the true uncertainty of this (American?) life. No one actually knows, because absolute truths don’t exist. More importantly, though… it is fun to say! No one knows!
1. “Ah, life”
Folks! This was a longtime favorite. This was such a catchphrase that I tried to put it on a shirt. It was a mantra, a heartfelt admission of the ridiculous ebb and flow of the human condition. When something wonderful happened, “Ah, life,” I’d say. When something disappointed me, “Ah, life,” I’d say. When the Twins and the White Sox had to play a single, win-and-in playoff, scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30, AH FUCKING LIFE, SAYS I!!!