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Showing posts from February, 2015

Collective nouns, clever monkeys and other irritating creatures

If there isn't already a collective noun for emoticons then I would like to propose one. Or since I am discussing emoticons why settle on just one - they seldom appear in the singular, so a crop of suggestions would seem vastly, indisputably, unarguably, undeniably, absolutely, unassailably, enormously, incredibly more appropriate (see what I did there ... excessive and ultimately pointless over-use of adverbs where a smiley face, a thumbs-up, a lightbulb and a clever-looking monkey could have created an identical emoticon-fueled mind-numbing effect). So here is my list -



blizzard of emoticons which, of course, is ironic as emoticons arrive suddenly en masse creating anything other than a white out. In fact, they are as much a blizzard as the dancing, singing participants in a flash-mob are a blizzard. Or as the friends who leap out from behind the furniture at a surprise party are a blizzard. Or as the wasps who sense there is a sticky platter of barbecued chicken in the garden …

Plop, Stomp and Belle

When, over morning coffee, your daughters inform you that they have changed their names to Plop, Stomp and Belle - and you know that everyone had breakfast, no-one is hung-over and the throbbing finger that got trapped in the hinge of the garden loppers five minutes earlier confirms that you are awake - you cup your drink in your hands, smile and say "Fine." Then you try to figure out which is which and join the joke, and laugh, and reflect how great it is to have them home, and love the way they tease each other. And wish that it would never end.

The coffee conversation leaps around from funny names, to the funny faces that dogs make before they sneeze - imagine squirting the bitterest most astringent liquid into its mouth and you get the picture. The giggling chatter then tumbles into the subject of fruit and the one calling herself Belle says "It's impossible to eat a banana at school now."
To which Littlest (or Stomp) adds, "I always eat a banana when …

E.P.I.C. Failures

An 'Epic failure,' for those not acquainted with anyone under 25, is urban slang for a total failure and is usually abbreviated to epic fail, the opposite of epic win, both being over-used to announce success or otherwise in anything from catching a sweet in your mouth, via exam results and sporting scores, to on-line gaming. All fairly mundane and a long way from the older, traditional definition of 'epic,' which describes a heroic feat, of almost unimaginable bravery, as portrayed in a poem or lengthy piece of prose, such as The Iliad, or The Lord of the Rings.

Not only prone to picking up a word and running with it, so far that the word outclasses any previous definition of cliche, falls - as all favourites must in a competitive, jealous world - and is instantly replaced, thus beginning the cycle again, but the under 25 generation also has a tendency to capitalise EVERYTHING. They think it adds weight to what they are saying. Of course, they aren't actually sayi…

Pot-holes, harnesses and fingers

It's January, it's winter and an acne-like rash - of the deep crater-forming, scarring kind - is afflicting the local roads. It begins with a hairline crack in the tarmac, like the fissures that appear on the cooling surface of a baked cheesecake. Water pools in the crack, expanding and scabbing over as the temperature drops. The icy crust then shatters beneath vehicle wheels, throwing lumps of broken tarmac across the road. Repeated freezing, expansion and plucking of grit from its edges digs a deeper and wider fissure that grows into a vehicle-destroying, passenger-tossing hole.

The school run is no longer simply a tootle-along-practicing-tables-and-singing-songs run, but has become an avoiding-the-pot-holes run. And trying-to-remember-where-the-deepest-ones-are run. As if trying to remember anything in the morning wasn't difficult enough already - games kit? Water bottle? Piano music? Cello? Where are the dogs? Have they been fed? Did we lock the front door? And now, ha…