Monday, May 14, 2007

Somebody Bob Overhearing

I'm a bit behind in my language-overhearing postings. Frequently I make a note in my little 4.5 in. x 3.25 in. Composition book with marbled green cover and taped spine, but I don't get back to it for a looooooong time. Basically some cataclysm has to disjar it from its entrapment in the bottom folds of my handbag lining.

So it is with great pleasure that I suddenly remembered to find and get these off the docket.

At the end of April we (the two male offspring and I) were in the dumpy little car coming back from the elder's weekend Madrigal Choir rehearsal at the local uni, listening to something funny on National Public Radio, when Tyke wanted to respond (in the immortal words of the recently late Peter Boyle, of Young Frankenstein and Everybody Loves Raymond fame), "Ho-o-oly Cra-a-ap!" Only he suddenly bit his tongue and instead said,
Ho[ly]! Cr[ap]oowwly Bob!
Well, now every member of our family knows what we need to exclaim in moments of great emotional transport. "Ho! Cr--owly Bob!" It's your all-around general-purpose swear. It falls into the great tradition of, "Well, I swan!" as some of us used to say who were raised in ladylike Southern traditions. You could not say, "Well, I swear," or even permit yourself to think "I swear"; you had to think and say something at least once-removed, as if it were a seldom seen and quite possibly completely unwelcome visiting cousin. Sometimes it was, "Well, I swaaannneeee!" (Twice-removed.)

It's not just a Southern thing. Even my Northeastern father-in-law says the once-removed "Oh, Sugar!" instead of, "Oh, sh**!" I've never heard him say anything worse, although I'm sure he's moved to [often] and has [many times].

So for now, our family has adopted
Ho! Crowly Bob!
You cain't hardly beat an oath like that with a stick, and nobody, but nobody, can take eksepshun to it or be offended by it--yet--unless that person's name is ackxerly Crowly Bob and I hope nobody's is. If he was to come after Tyke, I'd challenge 'im and reckon there'd be fisticuffs, but so far we hasn't run acrosst no takers.

I currently live a couple of blocks away from the Mark Twain house. (Yes! I really do! It's my favorite place in town, because in the most recent renovations they obtained, reconstructed, and displayed the actual Paige Compositor that, for me as a writer and former newspaper typesetter and page compositor, has been like finding the Holy Grail. All my life I wanted to see that thing, and after all my ridiculous nomadic relocation, it came to me! Even worse, I want to just climb into the display and start composing. Don't tell anybody. They won't let me in anymore.) Anyway. Reading all that Sam Clemens litrichur including the Compleat Letturs and Ottobyografy to get yerself sivilized and sophiscated sinks into a person. Sorry;
Ho! Crowly Bob!
there goes my durn langige agin.

During the same car ride, #1 Son, G, having just come from a very formal lesson in Renaissance and Baroque song, read something completely mundane using a cheesy lounge-singer voice. Since I was driving, I could not afford to laugh as much as really I needed to. "Stop it! I'm gonna lose control of the car!" I said.

[Will ask boys to remember what it was G was reading, and will insert here when gleaned.]

Tyke said, "G, read it again in your decorish voice!"



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