Archive for March, 2011

New least favorites

I’ve written a few posts in the past about re-looking at things with adult eyes and forming a new opinion on them. So far, I’ve focused largely on song lyrics and people’s names that I could’ve made fun of in hindsight, but I have a much broader category to address today: words. Yeah, that’s a pretty big category, and I realize that. I’m only going to focus on three of them today, but I reserve the right to add to this as more arise. None of these bother me as much as the unnecessarily-added D in “fridge,” but they’re officially on the list…or they would be if such a list truly existed.

First up: “fiery.” What would be so wrong about “firey” instead? Who changed the order of the letters and why? More specifically, why just with “fiery” and not “fierd” or “fiering”? In my three seconds of research, I see that we’re taking “fire” from the Middle English word of “fyr,” so in a sense, “fiery” is more true to the original. But I say that’s bullshit – we made our bed when someone turned “fyr” into “fire,” and now we should stick with it through its various incarnations.

Second on today’s list: “liar.” My lovely wife pointed this one out, and now it really bugs me. Why “one who lies” isn’t simply a “lier” makes zero sense to me. Not only does the spelling change for no apparent reason, but the word’s sound doesn’t even match the altered spelling. What the hell, right? And – AND – we have a precedent for proving that we as a people would be able to handle “lier” as the spelling: the word “outlier” exists and hasn’t exactly been confusing the hell out of people with its irrational refusal to relinquish its natural E. What do I know, I’m just a stupid bloggar.

My third one is very different from the first too. I eat fast food very infrequently, but when I saw some coupons in our mail for good deals at Burger King, I pulled the sheet out. “You’re gonna go to Burger King?” my lovely wife asked. “I might at some point. Maybe drive through before work and get a Croissan’wich or something.” “You’re ok with the name ‘Croissan’wich?'” she asked. And there it was – since I first learned of that menu item as a kid, I’d never stopped and given it any real consideration. Now that I have, I can’t stand it. I wonder how the marketing team that came up with that name …

Ad Exec 1: Egg McMuffin is a damn catchy name, and we need something cool for our item so we don’t get lost in the marketplace. Since we’re putting it on a croissant, maybe we can…I don’t know…combine that word with something else.
Ad Exec 2: Ooh, I like that. Like…breakfast croissant could be Breakroissant since they share that consonant sound.
Ad Exec 1: Exactly, but better than that. Aha! It’s a croissant sandwich, right? So how about Croissandwich?
Ad Exec 2: Close, but croissant has an “ah” sound and sandwich doesn’t, so that doesn’t really work.
Ad Exec 1: (completely ignoring him) And we can take out the D and make an apostrophe so it looks cooler. Croissan’wich. I love it!
Ad Exec 2: But then you’re really highlighting that the first word is being mispronounced. I mean, without the apostrophe, at least it could be interpreted as the two words sharing the S instead of-
Ad Exec 1: Croissan’wich. Croissan’wich! It’s perfect! Wait ’til corporate hears this!
Ad Exec 2: (shaking his head and muttering to himself) I fucking hate that guy.

I’m sure that’s exactly how it went down.  Anyway, those are my three newest entries I’m adding to the heaping mound of things that bother me.  I have more, but I’ll save them for another time since I’m getting pretty tierd.

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One kind of fun

I used to work with a guy who thought I was the squarest of the square people in the world.  One of his key examples of this was that I enjoy playing board games with my friends at gatherings.  (He, conversely, had midgets in dunk tanks and inside of large bowling ball thingees at his shindigs – seriously.)  Now I may not always be the hippest cat in the pet store, but I think he exaggerated my lack of coolness a bit.  That said, I can only imagine the faces and comments he’d make if I told him about how much fun I had last weekend with some friends.

There were a few couples of longtime friends and a total of six kids between us, so there wasn’t that much in the way of grown-up entertainment going on during the day.  (I almost wrote “adult entertainment,” but that has a different connotation, no?)  Once the kids were asleep though, we busted out the wacky fun super happy time…and the alcohol.  What followed was a rousing series of Scrabble games – but not your typical Scrabble, mind you.  Instead, this was Dirty Scrabble (played on a normal Scrabble board with the regular tiles).  The rules were simple: your words didn’t have to be real words, but they had to be dirty in one way or another.  I know it sounds simple and juvenile – and you’re 100% right – but it was also hilarious…for us at least.

The first game started off simply enough; the team didn’t have anything good, so they went with just the letter F by itself.  Things got a little stranger and funnier from there.  Some words you might expect, like “hole,” tata,” and “bj.”  But when someone plays “nard,” another team adds “crab” to the beginning of it, and then someone later makes it “evilcrabnard,” well that’s just pure magic.  I was personally proud of my use of “regonad,” a verb many eunuchs and neutered dogs would love to employ.  “Slutzoo” was particularly inspired, as was the equal-opportunity “sexinoun.”  All of those pale in comparison though to my two favorites on the board.  First, my team played “fistee,” as in “one who gets fisted.”  Not content to leave that alone, another team added to the end of it to make “fisteedent.”  Yes, the physical evidence that remains after said fisting.  Lovely, I know.  Second, the game ended with the board asking the incredibly polite query, “mayivagu.”  That’s just some glorious game-playing there, my friends.

We played the game again that night and twice more the next night, but none were as fun as the first one.  (Some of the words in the second game are far too dirty for me to write here, believe it or not, and yet they weren’t as funny as our Game 1 creations.  I guess novelties can wear off.  Go figure.)  So there you go: call it square, call it boring, or call it the opposite of midgets in big bowling balls, but when a few couples in their 30s got together and played an alcohol-aided game of Dirty Scrabble, it was a hell of a good time.  I’m left with just one question: Do you think there are fisteedent wizards who repair that kind of damage?

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Unknown knowns

There’s a new group of people with whom I enjoy interacting: complete strangers.  I don’t mean randomly walking up to people on the street and trying to engage them in conversation; that would be a little creepy and might result in me getting my ass kicked.  Instead, I’m talking about people who accidentally contact me and think I’m someone else.  Surprisingly, I’ve had two such interactions within the past month.  I don’t know if I’m somehow putting something out there to people, but I’m enjoying this new type of interaction and wouldn’t mind it happening again every so often.

The first one I’ll write about came via text message just this past Sunday.  I was in my car, and I got a message from a number I didn’t recognize (though it was pretty close to my own cell phone number): “Hope your okay.  Just need to figure out how much my part of the phone bill is because im strapped for cash, I had to pay 100 $ co-pay at the hospital on sat.  And the bill states that its 270$ and that is supposed to split between 4 of us, no one really told me how much it costs monthly.” I was very confused by this, naturally. First of all, I take the “you’re/your” and “it’s/its” errors pretty seriously, so if it were indeed a friend of mine, s/he was about to be ridiculed hardcore.  Second, who forgets that the dollar sign goes before the number?   Now the big one: I’m pretty sure I would remember if I shared my phone bill with anyone besides my lovely wife.  So I wrote back: “Who is this?”  I think that’s a reasonable question, don’t you?  I suppose I could’ve just ignored it, but I was pretty curious at this point.  What I didn’t expect was this answer: “Shaundra.  Lol. You know your friend who just moved out.”  Oh yeah, I’m the idiot here.  Now in hindsight, I easily could’ve had some fun with this person and played the role of her ex-roommate for a while.  Ya know, something like, “I wuz kidding LOL.  I’ll give you some money.  is 2000 $ enuf to cover u for a while?”  But I didn’t, and instead simply responded with, “Sorry, but you have the wrong number.”  She wrote back rather quickly: “Oh wait you know what I forgot, I am soo sorry for bothering you.”  What did she forget?  That she had put the wrong number in her phone’s address book?  Because if so, that’s the kind of thing one should change as soon as the error is made known.  I wrote back saying it was no problem, and that was that.  Shaundra, if you’re reading this…well that would be really weird, wouldn’t it?

The second stranger encounter happened almost a month ago.  I received an email that was sent to me and two other people who shared my last name.  It was from a woman named Kathy, and she was forwarding a link to an online autism test.  “I got a 6, Bill got a 7, Rick got a 25……….what’s your score?” she wrote.  I’ve gotten a ton of spam in my time, but this was different.  I could tell that it was a personal email just sent to the wrong person.  It’s happened before (and since, come to think of it), so I did the polite thing and wrote back: “Did you mean to send this to someone else? -Peter.”  I wrote my name (sorry if you thought it was actually P-Dawg) because my email address just has my first and middle initials, and I thought that would tip her off that she’d written to the wrong person.  Instead, I got this response: “no – why?  Are you afraid?”  I have to admit, she made me wonder for a split second if I was the idiot here.  I thought, “Wait, do I actually know this Kathy?  Maybe I should just take the quiz and tell her my score.”  Otherwise, the only other logical explanation was that she knew someone with the same first and last name as me  – and same middle initial!  It’s not that uncommon of a name, but those odds seemed unlikely to me.  Also, like with Shaundra, was my email in her address book already or did she manually type it in wrong?  The next email was from Anne, a possible long-lost relative who was on Kathy’s original email: “13. Interesting. Peter…..Melissa…Will?:  Well crap, now Anne wants to know my score too.  Melissa replied to all: “I got an 8. Will won’t take it.”  Kathy wrote back, ” LOl….Will is funny. -K.”  I enjoyed learning so much about these people, but I thought it was time to clear this up once and for all.  “I apologize, but I think you might have the wrong person,” I wrote.  I’m not sure why I apologized or said “might,” except that I was probably letting her down in some way by a) not taking the test and b) not being someone she actually knows.  She replied, “LOl…I’m so sorry.  You’re right.  I am looking for pt***** at a different server.” 

End of story, right?  Well maybe for most people, but I couldn’t let it go quite that easily.  So I wrote back:  “No problem at all – amazing that his name’s also Peter. Now I might go take that test 🙂  -Wrong Peter.”  I thought that was some nice closure to our conversation, but Kathy had other plans: “I’d be curious to know how you do. Just a guess, but I bet your score is on the low side. Mine was 6.”  Oh, so she knows me now, does she?  How could she possibly guess my score?  One thing was for certain: I absolutely had to take it now and email her back.  So I went to her original email and took the brief test.  Then I wrote once more: “My score was 11, so between my new friends Anne and Melissa :)”  I guess I was in a smiley face mood, which is strange for me.  Nevertheless, that was another email that I thought nicely ended our little accidental conversation.  Shockingly (or probably not at this point), my phone buzzed again: “Haha..11 is low! Your new friend Anne wants to know if your middle name is Thomas too.”  “Sorry, I’m afraid we’re different people after all. No Thomas here.”  I almost wrote my actual middle name to her, but then I realized that there’s no reason to give a complete stranger my first, middle, and last name to go along with my email address and supremely important autism test score.  She wrote back one final time: “Oh well, you seem like a friendly guy anyway. Cheers!”  Anyway?  Like that was in question because my middle name isn’t Thomas?  That’s a weird thing to say, Kathy.  I thought I knew you.

So, those are my recent accidental stranger conversations.  Accistrations?  Sure, accistrations.  What gets me about both of them is the amount of indignation sent my way when I nicely pointed out that they may have written me in error.  If someone sent me something saying I might have contacted the wrong person, I’d immediately double- and triple-check everything and then apologize.  But no, they assumed I was forgetful and afraid, respectively.  It all worked out in the end though, as I don’t have autism and I don’t have to split 270 $.

(By the way, I’m not sure if the link still works or not, but here’s the online test.)

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