Sticks and stones, eh b’ys? Words can never hurt you. No one believes that’s true. Words, as Buddy with the pen said, can cut to the bone slick as the mightiest sword slicing butter.
Dearest Duck verbally filleted me the other day after we returned home from Costco. She flensed me as if I were a whale carcass moored broadside to a blubber factory.
I’ll get back to that tongue lashing.
First, I want to explore some arcane vocabulary.
In a previous century, while I was still an innocent bay-boy, it was possible to shatter youngsters with a single word. It still is possible. Nowadays, however, the youngster is more likely to demand the tormentor cease and desist, or else wind up as a bully-post on YouTube.
In those olden days though, Meany got in a meek kid’s face, poked said kid in the belly-button and said, “You know what?” “What?” Meek Kid quavered. “You’re a squat and I’m not! HaHaHahahaha!”
Not saying it was me, but Meek Kid collapsed in a bawling heap bawling.
For being called a squat? “Harry, my enigmatic love, (or words to that effect),” says Dearest Duck, seeming to have forgotten the lacing rendered to my sensitive ego after last week’s Costco trip, “surely you exaggerate.”
“My Duck,” say I, “don’t peek. You may read upsetting words.”
I’m not lying. For reasons obscured in folklore, once upon a time being called a squat could reduce the recipient to tears.
What was so awful about being a squat?
For frig sake, what was a squat anyway?
Among us today are those who rig themselves up in Lululemon — whatever that is — park their eco-cars tight to the doors of some local high-end exercise emporium, and, hydration container in hand, dash inside to do squats.
People who do workout squats repetitions can’t be called squatters because homeless folk who occupy abandoned buildings are already called squatters and the makeshift living-quarters are called squats.
Confusing, eh b’ys?
My earlier question is still unanswered.
What is a squat?
A squat is nothing.
For instance, if some finger-pointer addresses you and says, “You know doodly-squat,” the epithet suggests you know nothing.
Does ignorance make you a squat? If so, is that a terrible thing?
Mind warping, eh b’ys? Okay, picture the hunkereddown position of those squatters back at the gym. Remove their designer barbells — or whatever — and roll their lululemons down around their knees. They look like they’re quat down in response to Mother Nature’s beckoning.
(A vocabulary aside for clarification: quat is a colloquialism for squat … with the s knocked out of it.)
P’raps, though, ages before Mother Nature encouraged her human offspring to go whoopsie indoors, the posture associated with doing one’s business, gave squat negative connotations.
If you were called a squat, it meant you were a little … Reason enough to weep, I s’pose.
If you knew doodly-squat, it meant you knew less than… Another reason for tears. Who knows?
Anyway, most of the preceding scribbles are excelsior — packing material like those Styrofoam peanuts used in shipping breakables.
In other words, stuffing, insulating me from the painful subject I’ve been avoiding — Dearest Duck’s verbal flogging of my heedless hide.
In Costco’s parking lot that day the wind cut at our legs like ninja throwing stars. Dearest Duck hung like a counterweight from the hatchback of our SUV, her tippy-toes tapping with each gust. I carefully, carefully, carefully unloaded the cart and attentively packed each item into one of those Costco cooler sacks the size of a hockey bag.
In Costco’s parking lot that day the wind cut at our legs like ninja throwing stars.
I placed the fresh meats — steaks, assorted chicken cuts, sausages, slabs of salmon, and an unfrozen turkey — inside, one atop the other. I strategically tucked in ice packs, extra insurance against the meat spoiling on the return trip to our happily-everafter bay-abode.
Costco bag scoated to the kitchen, I reclined in my Lay-Z-Boy sipping Tension Tamer while Dearest Duck unpacked the meats.
“Harry, my heedless honey,” she said, approaching me in full-blown android rage, the cooler bag tipped towards me, displaying evidence. “You squat the sausages!”
I squat the sausages?
Squat flat on the bottom of the Costco bag was the package of sausages, the first item I’d lodged in the bag before I stogged all the other meat on top, the combined weight of which had squeezed the sausage meat out of its membranous casing.
B’ys, the sausages were squat on the bottom of the bag — not quat, despite having the life squeezed out of them.
Dearest Duck lashed into me and peeled me like a spud.
Thank you for reading.