it’s in the blood

i don’t know if people think i’m a total weirdo for making up the word smussy. the people i groove with the most seem to get into it and embrace the smussy essence. i also have always gravitated toward people who make up words, nicknames and phrases. the type who are always riffing off of song, movie and tv titles. people who love word games. people who are always playing with the language — who are always making up new abbreviations and talking in acronyms and shortened words. people who are always conversing in some new inside language and who are always up on the latest trend/fad word or phrase. people who take all of the above and mix and mangle and marry them altogether. these are my people.

however, in recent dealings with my dad, i realize it’s been born and bred. the other day, when i was home visiting, i was at the kitchen table and i looked over to see a piece of paper sticking out of some things with my dad’s handwriting on it. it had three names of three NASCAR drivers (1) indicating who my dad had for that week’s race (2). it said “driver blank, driver blank, driver blank –dolly. driver blank, driver blank, driver blank — jon w. person.” and i cracked up laughing. my mom asked me what was so funny, and i showed her the paper, and she rolled her eyes. my dad immediately began laughing, too.

my mom is dolly. there was a list of names and her name indicating her drivers for the week. but the other list was for my dad, and apparently he had indicated himself as ‘jon w. person.’ which is just fucking hilarious, as far as i’m concerned. his middle name *does* start with w., but it just seems funny to me for someone to give themselves a generic pseudonym. maybe that’s not funny to you, but it’s funny to me. also, i guess it’s funny because it’s slightly (?) arrogant to refer to yourself in the third person, which is pretty standard/classic jon g.

i was also just on the phone with my dad, and he said he found a picture of my high school best friend’s baby. on the back he had written “jenny d’s baby — zachary toenailius.” he saw that and started dying laughing. cracking his own shit up. again, another bizarro name he’s made up. it’s sort of a weird/slight/flippant cutdown that he has .. to call someone a ‘toenail.’ i think maybe he did that because i hadn’t talked or seen jenny in so long. maybe now her child was a toenail? and it’s even more awesome that he sometimes romanizes it. “toenailius.” or, knowing my dad, it wasn’t a rip at all. it just was what entered his mind that day.

the other thing i’ve noticed him using a lot lately is “re.” “that’s so re.” “it was re.” “don’t be so re.” basically, without it being said, it’s clearly short for retarded. but he’s done this self-censorship as if it’s too uncouth or uncool to actually say something’s retarded. however, this is a man i’ve heard refer to certain people as “towelheads.” it’s a bizarre double standard from my dad to be sure.

other jon-isms. “whip.” don’t be a whip. (someone lame, fickle, weak.) “white.” (don’t really even know what this means. but he just refers to us as this. “get me a soda, white.”) ____atatus. (basically putting a dinosauric suffix onto various nouns.)

point being, i’ve been around this kind of stuff my whole life. no wonder i do this sort of stuff.

(1) i don’t know when this hot country/NASCAR thing hit my dad — sometime in the mid-90’s? sigh.
(2) it’s so weird. i think the thing that i’ve most disappointed my parents with is my financial ruin. and my parents are really good with their money. but they do like to gamble and get into pools and shit. and my mom can sit at ‘a machine’ like no one’s business. this is referring to some NASCAR pool where you get points if ‘your’ drivers win and stuff.


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