Meet our writers

 







Humor July 2014

Strictly Humor

Arms in a Slang

By B. Elwin Sherman

All I could think of was that sobered-up morning aftershock and awe one suffers when one discovers an X-rated Yosemite Sam tattooed upon one’s thigh, and no idea how it got there. Or, when one wakes up to find one’s self married or enlisted in the French Foreign Legion.

Printed words are my business, and though they are often a poor way to communicate (I find that a well-timed forehead thwap at an opportune moment will accomplish far more than a mere adjective modifying an improper noun against a snooty verb), I must resort to using them here.

That’s why, when I read that a celebrity couple recently announced their celebrity separation as a “conscious uncoupling” (thwap), I couldn’t sit idly by. I owe you that much. They unveiled this in public, celebrity-style, by telling everyone who'd listen on every talk show on every channel that it was a private matter and nobody’s business.

That's how celebrities operate.

The inverse-prone humorist half of my brain pricked up my ears when I heard it, and I had to say it out loud: Conscious uncoupling.

This prompted the science half of my brain to take over, as Newton’s Third Law rushed in. As reason would have it, if we are now out there not ending, but rather “consciously uncoupling” our relationships, then it must be that somewhere along the way, we “unconsciously coupled.”

All I could think of was that sobered-up morning aftershock and awe one suffers when one discovers an X-rated Yosemite Sam tattooed upon one’s thigh, and no idea how it got there. Or, when one wakes up to find one’s self married or enlisted in the French Foreign Legion.

For every impaction, there is an equal and opposite extraction. My column. My physics. Sorry, Sir Isaac.

I was then compelled, as I always am whenever faddish sanitizations of my beloved language thwap me on the forehead, to do a little research. Dangerous, because it makes the thing sillier than I thought possible, but humor is fraught with peril.

Yep, there it is: an article on how we’ve socio-politically corrected the word “divorce.”

“Say, did you hear that Jack and Jill were getting divorced?”

“No, but I do know they were thinking of consciously uncoupling.”

Anyone who thinks in terms like this should be required never to talk. Anyone who talks like this should be used as a pie-fight test dummy.

The author then explained this new “conscious uncoupling” babblespeak, citing an essay written by a long-dead Russian esotericist, who described how millions of years ago, dragonflies had three-foot wingspans and look what happened to them.

(I did warn you that research in the hands of an adept humorist was dangerous.)

As I allowed my scientific researching half-brain to run amok, I found the next logical status quote abuse lurking in the lexicon. Yes, alas and alacrity, prepare thyselves, my dear readers, because there is a female blogger out there who is reporting her pending conscious uncoupling as a “marriage unengagement.”

Thwap. Thwap. Thwap.

There is also a psychotherapist in our midst with several hifalutin’ letters after her name who has now designed a 5-week seminar for the looming lovelorn entitled “The Art Of Conscious Completion.”

Again, I can’t resist now presuming that a best-selling “The Science of Unconscious Incompletion” is waiting in the wings. And, given the latest pop-obsession we have over dietary restrictions, it will no doubt come with a gluten-free dust jacket.

This all started in the language, of course, when you bought that certified previously-owned vehicle and drove it to transport your trash to a transfer station recycling center. Don’t look now, but as a still-living American exotericist, I refuse to muddy-up how I arrange words and the spaces between them.

Come Saturday, I’m still simple-slanging it and going to the dump in a used car. Let’s just hope that I at least unconsciously remember to completely couple my trailer.

 

B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. You may consciously contact him via his blog at witbones.com.

Meet B. Elwin