My advisor in grad school would visibly cringe every time I declared “that sucks,” which is (I confess) something that I seem to say quite often. One day he turned to me in exasperation and said, “Do you KNOW what the derivation of that expression is? I mean, do you UNDERSTAND to what you are referring?”
I grinned at his obvious discomfort. He came from a background in linguistics and this was clearly killing him. “Yes, I am aware. But I believe current colloquial usage trumps the original evolution.”
“Well it makes me uncomfortable,” he said. “I’m old enough to remember when that was an extremely CRUDE thing to say. Is there another phrase you might use, instead?”
“Oh, sure,” I acquiesced. “I’m sorry. ” I thought for a moment. “I meant to say… THAT BLOWS.”
(I don’t think he was too heartbroken when I graduated.)
Anyway, this evening the kids and I were playing a dice game Chickadee had brought home from school. Each player has a shaped grid of small squares, and with each roll of the die you get to fill in that number of squares in any pattern you wish, provided that they’re all adjacent to one another. The first player to fill in all the squares wins.
I’m aware that it’s not exactly chess, but this was what they wanted to play.
The grid pages that Chickadee had allowed for only 2 players per game, so we took turns letting Monkey roll the die for us. (He couldn’t be trusted to follow the rules of filling in the grid squares, but he is a champion die-roller.) It quickly became a raucous event filled with promises of using mind forces to “program” the numbers rolled, and much cheering or jeering depending on whether he rolled favorably.
So it was a moment of great pride for me when Chickadee urged Monkey to roll a 6, and when he rolled a puny 1, instead, Chickadee declared “Awwww Monkey, YOU SUCK!”
I want to tell you that I didn’t laugh. I want to tell you that I nipped that in the bud immediately. I want to tell you that it did not dissolve into 5 straight minutes of back-and-forth “No, YOU suck,” and “NOOOOO, you suck MORE!”
Yes. I want to tell you all of those things. But I cannot tell a lie. Plus I’d put my head down on the table in an effort to squelch my giggles and may have lost consciousness, briefly, while trying to catch my breath.
Eventually the Suckfest came to an end when I sent my little suckmonsters upstairs to brush their teeth. It’s funny; some things sound fine until you hear them issued from your children’s mouths, and then maybe your view of what’s acceptable changes a little bit. I felt the same way the first time I heard Chickadee telling Monkey to “pick up his crap.”
I think the obvious moral to this story is that you don’t want to suck. Know what would be a really good way not to suck? You could do me an itty bitty favor. It’ll take you about 60 seconds, and I promise it won’t suck, and I’ll tell you that you’re pretty. Because, MY GOD, you are looking really, really good. I don’t know HOW you do it.
Anyway, the ever-brilliant folks at BlogHer have asked a few of us to
beg ask our readers to take a short survey for informational purposes. It will help them out, which will in turn help ME out, and–most importantly–it won’t suck. I don’t care if you’re a regular commenter or a lurker or a first time visitor or an old friend; can you spare ONE MINUTE? Pleeeeeease? In the name of anti-suckage? Yes?? Then please go here and answer just a few questions. I’ve also added a button on the upper left that links to the survey.
Thank you in advance for humoring me. Hey, Monkey gave me his cold… so basically you can fill out the survey while I go to bed early, or I can write an entire entry about snot. I’m pretty sure this is the better deal all around.