Inner child… what does that even mean? I hear it all the time, and apparently its one of the key things you need to get in touch with in order to understand happiness better. I wonder, do you think when this younger generation gets middle aged and starts attempting to get in touch with their inner child they’ll try text it first? You know there will be a “contacting your inner child” app by that point with a text option… if texting still exists at that point.
Here’s a brilliant marketing idea, make tequila and name it Inner Child. The slogan could be, “Get in touch with your inner child.” Granted, the inner child you would be getting in touch with would be the one that likes to take off all its clothes and run around naked. Then again, that’s already one of the side effects of tequila. Ok so maybe it doesn’t actually create a liquid connection to your inner child that enjoys running around naked, but it certainly prompts it to make an appearance. Plus, its clever marketing, focusing on what will likely happen if you drink it in the first place. That way when you see the YouTube video of you running around the backyard naked, there’s really no shame or surprise. You were well informed of this prior to taking that first drink.
For the sake of today’s Smirk, I thought it best to start with defining this phrase and the intended use I have for these words. For some, inner child is considered to be one’s soul. For others it is simply the second album from Shanice. Wikipedia considers it to be, “…a concept used in popular psychology and Analytical psychology to denote the childlike aspect of a person’s psyche, especially when viewed as an independent entity.” For my intended purpose, I think the concept of the inner child is a kind of connection with that pure unforced joy we experienced when we were young, we didn’t have to try to create it or force it… we just experienced it.
Some of these experiences of unforced happiness are things like:
- Blowing on someone’s stomach for the sake of making loud flatulent noises that cause both you and the receiver to giggle profusely.
- Realizing that you can literally throw fireballs, sort of. All you need to do it let the marshmallow you are roasting in the campfire catch fire and then in an attempt to make it go out, you wildly shake the stick back and forth allowing the fiery ball of melting goo to fly off the stick and through the air, thus sticking to a tree, car, tent, or person nearby.
- If you walk around the house with a blanket over your head, no one can see you because you can’t see them (a great way for sneaking cookies by the way).
- If you are running to fast on the grass and you need to stop quickly, dropping to your knees works best.
- Peddling your big wheel down the driveway as fast as you can and then pulling on the hand break will cause it to skid around so you are facing the opposite directing, which you are certain no one on the planet has ever done before.
That’s the thing about being little, you are a constant self proclaimed genius. You discover things everyday that you are certain no one has ever discovered before, because if they had, they are so amazing that someone would have obviously told you about it. These are things like:
- Making mud pies.
- True insults end with the word head or face, i.e. you are a doody head, or a poopy face.
- It is possible to bounce a basketball against the ground so hard that it bounces up and makes a basket.
- You can eat flower pedals.
- If you hit a rock with a tennis racquet it will fly at least twice as far as it would if you were to throw it.
- Those big cushy rectangles individually wrapped found in your parent’s bathroom under the sink make convenient knee pads because they already have those little adhesive squares, but for some reason cause your mother to yell at you to get into the house. Then as you are ordered to take them off you are laughed at and instructed to never touch her knee pads again, which you do, only this time you wear them on your knees under your jeans instead of on the outside.
The thing I’ve noticed about this inner child concept is that there are still instances or situations that cause people to respond in the same way they did as a kid. Usually it seems to be connected to the root experience of unexpected (or surprise) joy. One of my friends responds to these moments by throwing his hands in the air like he’s about to descend the steep part of a rollercoaster. My sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh chooses to open her eyes as big as she can, and I swear I can almost her inner child say, “Did you see that?” as if she had just witnessed the most amazing thing ever. I on the other hand am a clapper.
I don’t clap like I do at a sporting event, or a play, or some type of performance where applause is the acceptable exchange of appreciation and admiration… or in some cases obligation. No, I clap like kids clap when they do something they consider to be amazing and are so filled with joy towards their own greatness that the only thing they can think to do is clap. It’s that open palm clap too, where the fingers extend out and away from the palms, as if they are concerned that their fingers might get tangled up if they touch while their palms connect to make the clapping noise.
Once I started looking at this concept, I realized I clap like this all the time. Like at our wine party this month, I started clapping this way when my friends walked into the house, the uncontrollable joy of seeing them instantly compelled me acknowledged this by means of me clapping like a little kid. I’ve also noticed that in situations where I begin clapping like this I begin the clapping by saying, “Yay!” The thing that triggered this realization was when I was hanging out with my nineteen month old nephew. He came over a while ago so we could watch him for the day and when I saw him my inner child snuck out and I said, “Yay!” and I started clapping, which got him to start clapping… when I looked at my hands I realized we were both clapping in the exact same way.
It’s a good feeling, when you realize that connection in yourself with yourself. It’s also refreshing that there are still those uncontrollable joyous moments in life where you can’t help but celebrate it, or at least acknowledge it the same way you did when you were little.
I like to think that we all unknowingly have our inner child getting out occasionally. If you’re not sure how yours gets out, keep a look out for it, it’s bound to turn up. And if you do know, by all means embrace it and share it. I’d be curious to know how many clappers like me there are out there. So, from me to all of you…
“Yay!” clap, clap, clap.
Google Images, keywords: inner child, kid clapping, adult in swing, and blowing on tummy.
© Richard Timothy 2011
With today being the celebration of Juno Fructifie (and no, not the Feast of Lupercalia, that doesn’t happen until tomorrow the 15th), or St. Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s day, or Single Awareness Day, or National Send Flowers Day, or a stupid Hallmark holiday exploiting love to make money… so a kind of National Hallmark Pimp day maybe? Anyway, I thought I’d let this piece form on its own throughout the day. A sort of work in progress concerning my mental journey concerning encompassing the random stroll my mind took today… on the day of love.
Valentine’s Day in Japan
Did you know in Japan the custom on Valentine’s Day is that only women give chocolates to men? Amusingly enough this tradition came about due to a typo from the executive of a chocolate company during initial campaigns to introduce their chocolate to the Japanese. The common practice is for women to give chocolate to all male co-workers, and to only their female friends. However when Valentine’s falls on a Sunday, instead of giving regular chocolate women will give the cheapest quality chocolate to the unpopular co-workers. So if you are a jerk at the office in Japan, you can rest assure that one of these years, if you continue to follow your jerk-like behavior, everyone is going to let you know on the same day, where you will receive literally pounds of shitty tasting chocolate that is probably more wax than it is chocolate.
I think the weirdest thing about that is that it would mean there is a company out there that intentionally creates nasty tasking, cheep chocolate so that women in Japan can purchase it and give it to some jerk on the random event that February 14th falls on a Sunday. I mean, I would think that to make their points they should just purchase and hand out chocolate flavored Ex-lax bars to the people they don’t like. I know it’s what a few girls I knew did with boys they didn’t like at school growing up… which might explain why I was so afraid of girls when I was in high school… hmmm.
I will say that in the 80s Japan did invent White Day, which is a sort of reply day for Valentine’s Day, which takes place on March 14th. On White Day the men in the office are expected to give white chocolate replies to all the women that gave him chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Still, it seems like a lot of work to make up for a typo.
Happy Shag Day
Is it just me or is Valentine’s Day kind of like the official Happy Shag Day of the year? Kudos to Valentine’s sticking to its Pagan roots in that regard. Think about it though, Valentine’s is a courting day were gifts like chocolates, flowers… or garments that are suggested to be worn under other articles of clothing, but are expected to be worn with no outerwear other than a long coat. All for the sake of setting the mood, which was set the second the lingerie was picked out.
What to have some fun? Go into a store that sells lingerie and browse. When a salesperson… commonly a woman, approaches you and asks, “Can I help you?” Tell them yes and pull something off the racks and ask her to hold it up (next to her, not in front of her – no need to come across as a creepy, well, creep) for you to look at. Then walk up and take the piece off the hanger and drop it on the floor. Take a few steps back and evaluate its appearance on the floor. If it looks good, let the salesperson know you’ll take it. Besides, you know and they know that is where it is going to spend most of the time anyway.
The point is that it seems all of the activities people partake in on this day seem to be devised as a precursor for the festivities people interact in as they wrap the day up and spent some time enjoying each other’s company. I know it’s a superficial holiday, but I like that it helps remind people of why they love the person they’re with. A day that reminds people to love instead of fight (or act ambivalent), is just pretty damn cool.
No Longer a Christian Holiday
Did you know that Valentine’s Day was removed from the Catholic calendar in 1969? (I bet we could blame the hippies.) I guess it makes sense it kept hold of many of its pagan roots, even though they tried to replace the Pagan holiday with a Christian one. I mean even eventually using the cherubim to depict that meddlesome bastard Cupid in Catholic sanctioned art during the time is a prime example of this. The only thing vaguely religious about this holiday anymore is its name. Apart from that, there is nothing religious, well Christian, about this holiday anymore. It’s one of the few ‘Pagan turned Christian’ holidays that won out in the end. Not that it’s a contest, but it’s nice to see that out of so many holidays that were adopted and revised for the changing political and religious times, that some pieces of those original works were able to survive.
My sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh asked me if we were going to do anything for each other this Valentine’s Day in regards to a gift… I told her “sort of”. Meaning, I had a plan, but I was going to surprise her with it… meaning, you are welcome to keep reading it if you want, but the rest of this Smirk for her, about her, to her…
When you asked me what I was thinking about the other night when I was working in my office, and I started to say something and then stopped, well I was thinking about Mello Yello, yes the drink. What I was going to tell you is that when I’m at work and I get the hankering for a mid to late afternoon beverage, I go to the break room and up to the drink machine housing three rows of Mello Yello and I start smiling, know why? Because it reminds me of you.
Ever since you told me years ago that when you were a kid you would always get Mello Yello when you went to the store, and that it was your favorite childhood drink, when the thirst arises I’ll get one and take it back to my desk. Then for the rest of the day there you are, well there the memory of you is, wrapped in a plastic bottle with a small green screw top, filled with an almost florescent liquid that I’d swear glows in the dark after you crack the bottle over your knee and shake it up. The thing is, the drink is really nothing like you, mainly because you are not artificially sweet in any way. Being sweet is very much an all-natural thing for you. Still, out of all the selection available, I get the drink you loved as a child, because it reminds me of you.
I love it when I come home and find you working away while wearing one of my goofy tee shirts. Even though a lot of what you are working on is a solitary and time consuming process, I feel like you wanted me there in your day. When you raid my closet and let one of my shirts wrap around, holding you all day, and keeping you warm during those times when your office gets a little chilled, it makes me happy to see that the memory of me got to spend the day with you in that way.
I love your childlike enthusiasm for show and tell. I know every time you’ve purchased something because of that look on your face when you walk into the house. It’s not just your big eyes giving you away, but you’re whole self can barely contain the excitement you are holding inside, not just because you are genuinely excited about what you got, but because I know how excited you are about sharing it with me. That inner excitement and infectious desire to share with others is one of the things that I find so beautiful about you. When you begin to share with others, you lead, and as you lead you fill others with excitement not just about life in general, but about their own life.
Your addiction to pretty stationary is… well yes, something we both agree you have a problem with, but I get it. It becomes clear every time you use that stationary to write a letter or send a card, or create some type of correspondence that is going to fill another person with acceptance, love and joy. You get more excited about using up your stationary treasure and giving that beauty to others than you do in actually getting it in the first place. That is why I have kept every letter you have ever written me and have my office filled with the cards you have sent me.
Besides being one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen, one of the reasons I love to watch you is your reaction to life and the joy you carry into life of all your friends… and it is an honor to hold you in that space where you are not just my love, or my wife, but as my best friend as well. Our home is always full of laughter and I love that a day does not go by where we don’t tell the other how much we love them. I know we say it all the time and thing I love most about us saying, “I love us” is that it is becomes more so with every passing day.
You want to know why I think butterflies are such a fitting symbol of you, because that is exactly what you have done to my life. My life with you has forever transformed in something more. Filled with more life, more beauty and more love than I ever expected possible. You are my butterfly, and because of that I am free. Thank you my dear, sweet, beautiful wife… my Angela. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.
Google Images, keywords: Valentine’s Day, ex-lax, shag, Mello Yello, show and tell, and blue butterfly.
I found this delightful little antidote the other day and shared it on my Facebook wall. I liked it because for me it was so resoundingly true every time I work at home. The clever observation was, “I worked from home the other day and got a lot of stuff done, which has led me to the conclusion that pants limit productivity.” I was going to leave it at that until a friendly, well, friend commented, “I hope there’s a smirk coming for this one.” In truth, up until I read that comment there was no… actually there was a Smirk in the works, it just wasn’t about that. However, thanks to Sarah’s comment, I gave it some thought …
Now I’m not sure why, but there seems to be the expectation that when you work from home, the last thing you put on is your pants, and that is usually around noon, but only if you are leaving the house for lunch. Otherwise, the pants get put on just before the misses gets home. This brings me to an interesting point, working at home without pants on is typically a male tradition, women prefer sweats or pajama bottoms instead, and since men are the pantless performers of the working from home stage, our only pant wearing requirement is at the curtain call at the end of the day, when the wife gets home.
Usually, it’s one of those things women don’t get, but men do. We really can’t describe why we get it and can’t comprehend for the life of us why women don’t. When we emerge triumphantly from our home office without any pants on after a fully productive day, women don’t care; they just shake their head and order us to, “Put on some pants.”
So why is it that I’m more productive when I’m not wearing pants? Here’s what I’ve come up…
Reason 1: A Cooler Self Increases Energy and Alertness
I am of the belief that when the temperature rises, my vigor and productivity wane. The warmer it gets the more I feel like I’m being wrapped up in a preheated blanket that has just been pulled out of the dryer, accompanied with the mental euphoria I get when eating a piece of fresh homemade bread that has just come out of the oven, which instantly begins melt the butter as soon as the butter touches it. See just the thought of that level of warmth gets me feeling a bit lethargic. Well that and makes me want to call my dad to see if he’s baked any of his homemade bread this week.
The warmer it gets the more I just want to nap out for a bit, and pants, they add insulation to the body’s natural thermostat, warming you up with fewer surfaces to vent out the constant heat your body is creating. Now let’s remove the pants… ah that’s much better. I’m not overheating at all. Actually, I’m cooling down quite nicely, which transforms me into being more awake and more energized, hence crating a higher level or productivity.
Reason 2: Physical Constriction Leads to Mental Constriction
According to my personal experience, when a part of the body is constricted that feeling transfers to the brain and then back to the entire body. If I am wearing jeans the natural outcome in the manner in which they fit around the body is to bunch up, either around the back of my knees when my legs are bent, or, and most commonly, around my unmentionables. I have to keep standing up and pulling my pant legs down to remove that uncomfortable restrictive feeling. The problem is that when you wear pants, even pants that fit perfectly or pants that are too baggy or too tight, the constant pulling up or down, or unbunching this or rearranging that, your body is very constricted, which translated into a restrictive work flow.
Remove the pants and you remove this anti-work block. If you remove the element that is hindering your ability to focus on your work, you become more focused on what you need to get done. Your mind isn’t constantly distracted from your work because something doesn’t feel right, or is simply uncomfortable. Removing the pants means reinforced focus to your work.
Reason 3: Pockets Lead to Distractions
Pockets hold distractions. Don’t get me wrong, they are very handy at the right time, in the right place, say like when you win at slots and all those coins start pouring out. The more pockets you have the more coins you can carry. However, when it comes to working, pockets seem to hold nothing but distractions. Cell phones for instance, a lot of people store them in their pocket or in little holsters attached to their pants, usually by means of a belt. Then the phone goes off people not only stop working, but it takes a while for them to readjust their entire body to be able to get access to their phone. This is a constant distraction from work for many, not just the phone, but the digging around for the phone in your pocket and then the rearranging of one’s seated working position to put the phone back.
Let’s take the phone out of the equation. I am a firm supporter of using the pocket function on my pants… I put things in them all the time. Just yesterday as I was at work I leaned back in my chair to stretch and my hands brushed against my front pockets and I felt a bump. I had put something in my pocket… what was it? Now I had to investigate… oh yeah my voice recorder. I have a little hand held voice recorder for ideas… Smirks, stories, funny thoughts, something I need to remember to do, and so on. I get some rather grand ideas when driving from time to time, and pulling over to jot them down or hoping I still remember them by the time I get home has proven to be a less than efficient way to keep those thoughts… that’s why the recorder.
Turns out I had three messages on the thing with no recollection as to what they might be. So clearly I had to distract myself from work long enough to listen to those messages. The first one was a success, because I had remembered to take the trash out. The other two were possible Smirk topics, which I made a note of. Now had I not been wearing pants I would not have had any pockets, and without pockets comes the lack of having things in pockets… long story long, the ability to get distracted is greatly reduced without pockets, and if you don’t wear pants you don’t have pockets and you remain more focused on your work.
Sure some people are going to suggest that the reason people get more done working at home is a result of few interruptions, but let me just point out that if you let people come to work without any pants on then people would interrupt you a lot less at work too… see, once again the “no pants” work ethic prevails.
I’m not saying these reasons are grounds for the business office attire standards around the world to change, but when it comes to working at home, these are pretty legitimate reasons for why I feel I’m more productive working without any pants on verses working at home with pants on… or working at work with pants on for that matter. I’m sure the same reasoning still applies; the only trouble is that if it became a standard some people would find the prospect of working in an office with a “pants optional” dress code a bit distracting. I would like to point out that if your gripe is that guys might go out of their way to distract a coworker that they fancy, pants aren’t going to make a lot of difference. You already know who those people are and they are already distracting the coworkers they fancy… ok thongs might be an issue, but that’s the reason for a dress code damn it.
It’s not a perfect science just yet, but I still believe there are some valid supporting points. If you are a supporter of the “no pants increases work productivity” work ethic I’d be curious to hear some of your reasons for increased productivity when you work from home pants free… or did I cover it well enough?
Google Images, keywords: working at home in boxers, woman pointing, napping at work, phone in pocket, and no pants.
I’ve have a friend and office mate, same person actually, who is exceptionally susceptible to anything supernatural, and is easily swayed in support of their ghostly existence. Left to his own devices he would be convinced that every image he came across on Google Images under the key words “ghost pictures,” would stand as irrevocable proof that the whole Earth is hunted. And even though it’s not on my list of job requirements, when he gets a little overly sensitive about the issue I’ll spend some time Googling these “images of proof” in hopes that his haunt-expecting persona will be able to let it go long enough to get back to what makes him, him… namely going off on obscure tangents that results in at least two people in the room reminding him to use his “inside voice”.
Of course he’s also terrified of midgets, or little people, as they prefer to be called… I’m not sure what that has to do with any of this, but it does give you a little back ground into his personality. I suppose if there was one thing on the planet that could put this guy into a fear coma it would be some sort of proof (fake or fact), such as a photo, Youtube video, Destination Truth episode, a blog post… anything really, which revealed that there was, in fact, a little person ghost out there maliciously haunting people. I wonder if it would overload his fear capacitor and he would become the next Evel Kinevel?
On more than one occasion it’s taken me about half a day to convince him that his house is not haunted and that he can go home again. To be fair these are the exceptions and not the rule. I’ve talked him though a code red on two separate occasions. He arrived at work determined that he would not set foot in his home ever again. By the end of the day his resiliency was worn down to the point that maybe he’d be willing to take a nap in the house just to make sure nothing was going on… but if something else happened, I had to promise to help him move. So far, he’s deferred hiring any moving vans.
I’d say that at least once a week we have a “ghostly” discussion. Here are a few actual conversations I’ve had with him:
- All old houses are probably haunted, which is why he’ll only move into newly built houses, apartments, etc. He even had his realtor research to make sure his current home was not build on or near any old relocated cemeteries.
- He wanted to know if I could help him find a Buddhist exorcist to get the spirit out of his house, which was making his dog freak out and bark at nothing. There were two spate occasions where a “ghost” had played hide and seek with his ring and then another time his watch… these were the code reds.
- For a few weeks this year he sulked everyday because his friend had just moved into an old house, which He was sure was haunted, you know, because of how the house looked from the outside. Eventually, over time, he started to go over and visit, but he refused to be alone in house. If there were two people in a room, and he was one of them, and the other person got up to leave, he’d follow them out of that room.
- If Ghost Hunters didn’t find anything and deemed a location as a “ghost free” zone, he was pretty sure they just didn’t try hard enough. And let’s not forget to mention the play-by-play of what happened on the Ghost Hunters episode he watched the night before.
- He is certain most ghosts enjoy Christmas, and are traditionally in a better mood, which explains why there is always an abundance of positive energy surrounding the holiday season.
- He wanted to know if I wanted to start a ghost hunting club. He’d been researching what type of equipment to buy and thought we could make some money catching ghosts. Eventually he admitted to drinking a lot and watching Ghostbusters the night before and that it seemed like a really good idea at the time. By the end of our conversation, he apologized.
I must admit that there has been a time or two… probably more… okay, definitely more, that I have taken part as the instigator. Telling him stories that people have told me, or sharing blog posts I have read, like a recent one about a child ghost playing with some little kid’s toys, which a friend of mine wrote about just this past week on his blog Atypical Read. It’s a pretty good story and worth checking it out… though please note, the author does have an affinity for using abrupt language that most people would consider “not safe for work”, unless you work at sea that is.
I’m not sure why I instigate it. Perhaps it’s my fascination with my seeing my friend light up and get so passionate about something so frightening to him… it so, well, brilliantly human. It’s oddly inspiring really… embracing what scares us, instead fleeing and hiding from the unknown. So, I’ve decided to start doing just that. At least once a week I will get my brain out its lazy boy and do something a little uncomfortable, scary even. I think my “ghost days” will be a good reminder of that. Today, I’ll be submitting a story to someone that may want to share it with others, or that may want to print it off and use it to start a fire that their children will use to make a batch of s’mores for a community bake sale to help earn some money to buy new pots and pans for a local soup kitchen… which is still pretty cool. Either way I’ll have done something that is a little scary for me sometimes. Still, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good day.
What would your first “ghost day” action be?
Google Images, keywords: ghosts, haunted house, and poke a badger with a spoon.
Today’s Smirk was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine, who, muck like 50% of the people in the US who have signed up for a life of legal partnerships, has walked away from the experience with a permanent “ex” attached to his life. And even though his ex no longer share’s his last name, she has an interactive role in his life due to the three children they had together.
Well, a few weeks ago my friend, Carlton, gets a call from his ex-wife’s current husband Fred. Yes, the ex, Becky, did manage to remarry. Fred was calling to let Carlton know about a little hiccup Fred and Becky had gotten into.
Turns out Fred was in the process of trying to get full custody of his own kids from his previous marriage. Apparently Fred’s ex was a bit crazy and quite unfit, according to Fred, to be raising his kids half the time. Because he used words like “mentally unfit” and “psychologically unbalanced” Fred’s ex was required by the state to take a psychological test to see if she was mentally equipped enough to be raising any children.
This also meant is that Fred and Becky were required by the state to take the same test to show that they were mentally fit to care for Fred’s kids full time. I like that the state requires this. It only seems fair that you should have to prove that you are not the loony one when you are trying to get your kids away from someone who you claim is. Fred went on to explain that the reason for the call was because Carlton’s ex, Becky, had scored a little low on the test.
Turns out “a little low” translated into Carlton’s ex-wife achieving the all-time lowest score on the test in the history of the state. It was so low, in fact, that the state was sure it was an error, something must have gone wrong with the scoring… grading… anything… it was impossible that she scored as low as she did, so they were going to let her take it again. Fred’s call was a courtesy call mostly because, if she failed the test again, there was a very good possibility Carlton would be getting his own kids full time.
When I asked Carlton what he thought about the whole thing, he replied, “I have mixed feelings. On one hand, taking the kids full time will definitely be a change to my schedule, which will take some getting used to. On the other hand, I’ve been saying for years ‘that bitch is crazy’ and now it looks like the state might finally be legally agreeing with me, so that feels pretty good.”
I told him he must have been a very good boy this year because it appeared he was getting his Christmas gift a little early. Talk about the perfect unintentional gift from your ex, and it didn’t cost him a thing… well, except for maybe a crazy ex-wife, but I think he’s willing to live with that, mainly because he doesn’t live with her.
Poor Fred though. It’s got to suck not being able to get your kids away from your crazy ex-wife because your current wife turns out to be even crazier… huh?… it would appear Fred certainly has a type.
Coincidence or karma? I can’t say I care, but I do know this, from now on, until the day he dies, every time Carlton says, “… my crazy ex-wife,” he is going to have a genuine smile on his face, even if it took ten years to get there.
To those of you with an ex, what would be the perfect gift from them?
Google Images, keywords: ex-wife, and smiling man.
I was reading a blog the other day by a British lady living in Italy with her dog Pooch. The piece I was reading was about her affinity for profanity, which I can relate to with much gusto and curseology… curseitude… some damn word relating to cursing. Now perhaps it’s the adorability of remembering when little kids swear that is keeping me on this profane topic for two Smirks in a row. Also, it may seem a bit odd that someone who has such an appreciation for profanity uses it so little in his blog, and the reason is… beats the hell out of me, it’s just how I’ve chosen to write my Smirks.
The point is this blog post reminded me of a story from years past that happened to my brother while he was working at a scout camp one summer, and I think my UK friends/readers might appreciate this.
My brother Dave spent the summer at a huge Boy Scout summer camp ground where scouts from all over the US would come to spend a week camping and pumping out merit badges like Disney pumps out direct to DVD sequels to their box office feature length originals. To help with the monotony of doing the same thing day after day, the older boys working at the camp got to work at multiple merit badge booths. As it turned out there was a sort of exchange student there for about six weeks helping out. He was from the UK. So there was a certain amount of fascination about him due to his exotic sounding accent.
Well, one day, at the archery booth on kid pulled back the string of his bow with a bit of excitable fervor just as another boy was walking behind him. The boy behind him received a swift elbow to the nose, which resulted in a few screams and a waterfall of blood pouring from the boy’s nose.
As one of the supervisors rushed over to help the boy, they were quickly surrounded by a horde of little scouts, all of which were yelling, “He’s got a bloody nose! He’s got a bloody nose!” Dave was there trying to get the other scouts to calm down and to give the boy some breathing room. As all of this was happening the boy from Britain came walking by and heard the fevered exclamations from all the little scouts about the boy with the bloody nose.
The British boy’s face distorted with confusion when he heard this chant. There was something incredibly wrong about what he was hearing and had to get close enough to see what was going on. As he got closer to the huddled scouts, he carefully looked over them to see the scene that everyone was yelling about. When he saw the boy’s face an expression of relief swept across his own face. Then he announced to everyone within ear shot, in a tone that was a touch chastising for making him worry, “It’s not a bloody nose, it’s a bleeding nose.”
Dave started laughing, which caused the other kids to start laughing as well. Not because they got it, but because they didn’t want anyone to know they didn’t get it. Eventually everyone calmed down as the bleeding nose stopped and soon everyone was back to shooting arrows for their Archery merit badge.
Ah, the diversity of the same language separated by the Atlantic Ocean. To this day, thanks to my brother’s shared account of that experience anytime I hear someone cry out “(He/She) has a bloody nose.” I start smiling, and make sure I inform at least one person it’s technically a bleeding one.
Sometimes it’s the unintentional lessons of others that stick with you the rest of your life… and for me, (pardon the borrowed Izzardism) “That’s just pretty damn cool man.”
So, any foreign word that isn’t really a foreign word story of your own that you’d care to share?
Google Images, keywords: bad words, archery merit badge, and confused look.