Sunday, March 24, 2013


Every group, be they family, friends or simple co-workers, tends to create a special language all their own, with words and phrases that no one else would understand. They may understand the words, but not their meaning.

I’ll give you an example:

In one place I once worked (nothing to do with my current place of employment, I assure you) there was a man who came in to work some of the Saturday mornings that he worked still at least a little drunk from the night before. He would be rumpled, unshaven, bleary-eyed, with a little wobble in his step and breath that smelled like Satan’s balloon knot. We’ll call this man, at least for the purposes of this example, Scott. Eventually we began to refer, at least among ourselves, to people who exhibited signs of great inebriation to be ‘Scott-faced’, as in ‘Wow, you should have seen this guy at the party, he was totally Scott-faced’. No one outside of our group would have had the background to understand that. They may have picked up the intent through context, but we all simply understood the phrase ‘Scott-faced’.

Got it?


 One of these little phrases sprang into being just last weekend… and here’s the story:

So there we were, strolling casually toward the theater. Handsome was planning his attack on the concession stand, trying to decide whether he wanted their chicken fingers or just a huge bucket of popcorn, while I was marveling at the way a parking space had seemed to just magically appear right next to the door as I drove by a full thirty minutes before the show was due to start…

Okay, I can’t do it. I can’t lie to you like that. Besides, anyone reading this who actually knows me will be able to call bull$#!% on that anyway. I’ve never been early to the show in my life, and as far as I can tell all the parking spaces within a mile of the door are just there for show — I never actually use ‘em. I’m late to absolutely everything, to the point that I’m going to stipulate in my will that my hearse should be last in line on the way to the funeral rather than first, and the driver has to stop somewhere along the way to buy Milk Duds. That way everyone will get to wait for me one more time. For some people, that’ll be the only way for them to be certain that’s really me in the box.

But I digress.

So there we were, running toward the theater entrance to the mall. Handsome was chugging along beside me, just trying to keep up. Jack the Giant Slayer was scheduled to start at 7:15, which was, coincidentally, the exact time I pulled into a parking spot in one of the satellite lots set around the mall. Each of these lots is about a day’s travel from any mall entrance by foot. 

Or so it seems.

So we were moving along at a fast jog as we crossed the ring road around the mall and entered the parking lot proper.

Wait… let me rephrase that. I was moving at a fast jog. Handsome was moving at a run, then a walk, then a jog, then a fast run again, then… well, you get the idea. He was all over the place, juking left and right, moving around some of the parked cars like a 135 lb hummingbird.

He was also flapping, a little like a hummingbird, but much, much slower. His boots were, of course, untied, and his coat unzipped, though it was a pretty cold night and we ran past snow left over from the last storm. The tarmac had been plowed down to no snow at all, the road dry beneath my feet, but the grass was still covered with inches of the white stuff. 

Now I, being the adult (yes, I know, there is some dispute about that, but I sometimes at least try to be a grown-up) kept to the plowed, dry road — well to the side and out of traffic, but at least on dry footing. Handsome, however is not an adult. He is a 10-year old boy with a gift for ‘mess’. During one of his short sprints, just as we were crossing the ring road and entering the main parking lot, he decided to take a short cut across the grass. The snow covered grass.

  • Movie tickets for two to see the show: $22 
  • Chicken fingers and bottled water from the concession stand: $12
  • Watching your son, whom you’ve told time and again to zip his coat and tie his shoes, trip and fly, like Superman, to land face-down in the snow, landing with such forward momentum that his t-shirted chest pushes a crest of snow into the air like the prow of a boat smashing through the water — Priceless!

He leapt to his feet, unharmed but embarrassed, and immediately tried to keep running along. I, however was right there, getting in his way, trying to brush snow from his chest and face.

“Holy crap, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, yes, I’m okay,” he said, trying to bat my hands away and just keep moving.

I stepped directly into his path, crowding him with my (still) larger size and forcing him to stop moving. I knew he just wanted to keep moving, trying to get away from the scene and anyone who may have seen it; I also knew I was doing a stupid parent thing in slowing him down and making him respond, but I was actually worried, and I couldn’t help myself.

“Seriously, are you okay?”

“Yes,” he said, looking me in the eye, knowing this was the only way to appease me and thus get out of the area. “I’m fine.”

“Okay,” I said, and we kept on jogging.

We got in the theater, and were standing in line for tickets when I started chuckling. Handsome looked at me and I held out a flattened hand, palm up. I moved my other hand down and forward at a steep angle, slapping my palms together like I was simulating a crashing plane and said one word that made his eyes widen.


Thus a new term has entered the family lexicon:

Boosh — “Remember that time you tripped while running along and made a chest-crest in the snow that looked like a meteor strike?”

Contextual Usage: 

“Hey, zip up that coat.”

“Naw, I’m not cold.”

*Hand gesture that might be used to indicate a crashing plane*  “Boosh!”

“Okay, fine.” *Zzzzziiiiip!*

Talk to you later!

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