Despite the fact that I majored in English, I truly suck at articulating my thoughts when I speak. I’m alright when it comes to my writing, sure, because I can go back and change the parts that make me look like an illiterate bumpkin. But when I have to throw words together at a moment’s notice, what comes out of my mouth is often frighteningly far removed from what I’m actually trying to say.
This causes problems. It also inspires fits of laughter from others which, in turn, inspires me to separate my middle finger from the rest and display it for all to see. But that’s an entirely different personal problem we won’t get into today.
I had bitchin’ lunches when I was a kid. My mom seldom shelled out the money for a school lunch, but she always made sure there was something fabulous for me to take to school with me. While other kids slowly chewed on their boring-ass peanut butter sandwiches like cud, I enjoyed left over pizza – that sort of thing.
One day – I was in the seventh grade, if memory serves – I had in my lunch sack the scrumptious remains of the previous night’s fried chicken dinner. As has been previously confessed, my family hails from West Virginia, so this was no ordinary fried chicken. This was my mother’s southern-fried chicken: delectable bird juices bound securely inside plump and tender meat by obscene amounts of seasoned, oil-saturated flour. This is how God himself has his chicken prepared, okay?
Now, at that age, I had yet to acquire the more refined, adult taste for white meat and was thus only willing to eat legs, thighs, and if absolutely necessary, wings.
So I’m sitting at the table in the crowded school cafeteria, surrounded by friends and cliquish, asshat bullies alike, unwrapping the aluminum foil from my luscious chicken, when I realize that I had grabbed my mom’s lunch instead of my own. Without even an iota of forethought, I blurted out, “Oh no! My mom got my legs and I got her breast!!!”
The fact my lunch was ruined quickly became irrelevant since humiliation tends to destroy my appetite.
I Want Candy
The other HI-larious example is quite a bit more recent. A couple years ago, a coworker was selling candy bars for his daughter who was participating in a school fundraiser. For two weeks this coworker, B, was the go-to man for your overpriced-but-for-a-good-cause chocolate confections.
On one particularly busy afternoon, I was in need of an energy boost and simply didn’t have time to run over to Starbucks, so I headed to B’s desk with my mouth set for one of the bars with the Rice Crispies in. Seeing he was not at his desk, I said to those sitting nearby, “Anyone know where B is? I need some sugar.”
There was really no way to recover from that, since there was a limitless plethora of better words I could have chosen over “some sugar”. I could have said “chocolate” or “an energy boost” or the painfully obvious “an overpriced candy bar with those yummy Rice Crispies in.”
But no, I had to make it sound like I was looking for a quickie. Gah.