Tis Christmas. Yea Verily.
Father had just settled down after serving the fried quail baluts and some distant and dubious 2007 or 2008 Chateau Pouget.
“We can’t stop here” he says prodding one of the eggy comestibles.
“One of the main problems is that People don’t masturbate enough”
That hangs in the air like the halitosis of a dead Tasmanian devil.
There is dead silence that follows such a comment, a pregnant pause, a pre-emptive postulate, you know what I mean?…. and I am sure that you do.
Fuuuck, I am sorry, I think in my rather tentative and well practised cognitive dissonances, our father is making a point that I don’t quite get.
“Don’t end your thinking with a preposition”, says Mother.
Did I just say that aloud? Or can she really really read my mind? Is it getting hot in here?
“That’s a comment up with which I shall not put” I viscously (yea verily) reiterate Winston Churchill’s famous comment hoping for some reprieve from the image I have of my 82 year old father…you know… whatever.
Father meticulates on “they don’t spend enough time enjoying it. They just sit down and swallow it down without a thought. Blood stupid people”
“Shit, he is on a roll tonight” I think. Mother glares once again. What is it with Mothers and their intuitive and precognitive looks?
As one of the mangrove warbler eggs has just lodged itself in between my oesophagus and that wiggly waggle thing in the back of my throat* I begin to choke.
There is no sympathy, my lack of response has been deemed somewhat judgmental. Are we getting into an argument? Good Heavens no! Not at the Dinner Table.
Mother has honed in on my moment of weakness, her steely stare is boring into me.
Why does father titter so? What the utterances of such a sardonic and mordant nature?
“Father maketh a point and I don’t quite get what he is getting at” I intone in a somewhat tactful nature. Are we going to begin talking about a rotary Wankel engine Now?
“Speak up boy, do you have something to say?”
Panic Slowly Miles, remember your lessons my boy
“Mother, it’s a bit much speaking to me about… you know…whoopsey and all that. ”
Our child never listens, Father resuscitates the recovery of the conversation.
“People don’t masticate their food enough, they don’t chew, you know what masticate means don’t you, silly child?”
I mean I do know what it means, I don’t… you know… whatever.
One of Mothers legs has just fallen off. I pretend not to notice. Probably best not to say anything…
“Ah yes Father, I thought that you said… er …. I mean…you know… whatever”
“out with it boy!”
“I think not Father dearest” There are words and worlds other than these and even in those words and worlds the parents and children are not discussing this.
You know what I mean and I am sure that you do
This is a lesson, I think to myself. Not sure whether it stems from our father or Our Father.
Words are those slippery building blocks of language and don’t need no grammar to make themselves heard etcetera and whatever and what not and all that, know what I mean?
And I am sure that you do…
There are those words that stand empirically, imperially and therefore insidiously on their own feet, staring you in the face, they isolate themselves from the grammotological (a term coined by the linguist Ignace Gelb in 1952) structure of the surrounding syntax and have the potential of changing the blood flow to all of our organs, and I mean all of the organs including those that father may, (or may not) have been referring to (from time to time).
Words have an effect on us, the stuff that has happened to us in what we think is our past, (you know when it has passed) mixes with the associations that we have developed and that all becomes the stuff we call memories of the future of the past.
I shudder at what the psychologists would think about my immediate reaction to fathers contemplation’s.
But, all in all, language is a slippery eel
I was once seated next to Stephen R. Covey at a dinner table, (nothing like Father’s Dinner Table). I asked him what it meant to be a good leader, how do I use words to be a good leader.
He leaned over and said that in order to lead, I should speak, but understand and I should seek that before I bludgeon my way forward to be understood.
He added that it might be a good idea to listen with my eyes and to listen as one human being talking to another human being. It took me a while to understand that lesson.
And that got me to thinking, does our verbiage not impede the imperative of our iterant illiteracies ?
Did I miss something whilst preparing my rebuttal? Did I really Listen?
And I sit here tonight, “listening” to what has gone wrong, (so little really) and so right, (so unrecognised) and I perchance to ponder my rather rebarbative revalidations.
So in closing, whether we masticate or desiderate, or just eat the cake that we are given at the dinner table (and we must eat cake surely?), I feel that we cannot discount the effect that unconsolidated conflicting tongues present us from time to time.
And as William of Occam once said so many (oh so many) years ago
Entia non sunt multiplicanda,(In regards to competing hypotheses that arrive at similar conclusions , the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should always prevail)
Or (Don’t complicate things more than necessary)
What better way than to say nothing at all?
And as repeated in more plain terms by Hunter S Thompson before his untimely and self inflicted demise
“We can’t stop here, this is bat country!”
The view is great tonight, I can almost see the sea.
You know what I mean?
As Milton Once said, “Life is just too important too take seriously!”.
* Yea, its been bugging you, I know! its called a Uvula. Surely all educated people agree upon such things?