I always get accused of being “citified”. I readily admit this to be true. I haven’t ever run around town without shoes or fallen into a huckleberry patch or chewed on the end of a piece of hay while floating on some homemade raft while the cicadas swarm overhead. I’ve never had occasion to make out in a hay loft and run from a farmer’s pitchfork. I don’t like bugs – least of all, the bitey, stingy kind. I do, however, watch shows like Survivorman or Man v. Wild and think to myself, by gum, I think I could survive. I do – and I’ve mentioned this in previous posts. I have complete confidence in my survival skills. I know not to sweat too much. This will pose a problem for me. You’re not supposed to sweat or you’ll lose vital body liquids and will dehydrate and maybe even catch hypothermia – weather providing. But I digress. Being called citified is some kind of a put down. It means you’re lame. I was called citified recently – right before a country lady with a pig thrust a stranger baby in my arms and told me I looked like a natural.
My friend Grover grew up in Marietta, some small town outside Hotlanta. It’s right next to a big chicken statue, I guess. Sometimes he says some strange things. I decided I had to make an inventory of these weird words. It all started with rooty toot.
Rooty toot. n. The cardboard tube inside a roll of paper towels or toilet paper.
Really? I do like it though – very colorful. Sounds fruity and strangely thirst-quenching. Here are a few more:
Rain bird. n. Lawn sprinklers that rotate and spit water.
Donkey dick. n. The spout on a gas can. (As per Grover’s wife’s suggestion, a call will soon be placed to a Georgia hardware store to verify this technical term)
Snake doctor. n. A dragonfly.
Titty biscuits. n. 1. Smegma. 2. Funky dirty skin pills that form on the body when one is unshowered and basically pretty grimy.
All nouns all the time. Anyhow, I’ve always been sort of enchanted by the way southerners talk. They’re very colorful people. They don’t just say, “it’s hot in here.” No. They say, “it’s hotter’n two rats humping in a wool sock.” A gal isn’t just “unattractive.” No. “She’s so ugly, she makes a train want to take a dirt road.” There are a lot of these, you see. Hyperbole. Exaggeration. Suddenly everything in life is far more exciting. I think we need to spice up our use of the English language. Remember when they tried to get ebonics recognized as a language in California schools? It didn’t really get very far, otherwise, shoot, I’d have an advanced ebonics degree by now. Damn you Bill Cosby!
The other night Mario had us watch a wonderful and uplifting HBO documentary called “Cat Dancers.” Sounds cute right? Sounds sweet and full of cutesy little fluffballs in stupid costumes and maybe people like me making them dance like idiots, right? Not so much. Basically, it was the most gut-wrenching shit I’ve ever had to sit and watch. Mario is scarred as well. Basically, dancer boy meets dancer girl. Boy moves away to New York; girl soon follows. Boy and girl get real famous doing adagio acrobatic dance. But they need to take it to the next level, of course. So, they decide to incorporate wild cats like panthers and tigers into their routines. This, obviously, proves to be a massive, fatal mistake. These people apparently crave spice. Girl (well, at this point, old lady) finds some young hunky circus conductor to join their act—on stage and between the sheets! Yes. This is a true story. They also get some exotic white tiger but these jerks tend to be inbred and a little nuts and prone to violence.
Of course the tiger attacks the young hunky circus conductor and kills him dead. And five weeks later, the now suicidal old woman (who has since decided to quit eating and bathing) gets killed by the same jerky tiger. The old man (who is super fond of wearing really bad wigs) is now left alone with no love and no animals and at the end, the animal preserve that had housed his remaining cats goes under and he euthanizes them. It was not a happy movie. I think we had to turn on something funny to try to undo that whole trauma. On that note…happy new year!