I find it’s always best to define a phrase before I use it in general conversation. This works particularly well with my kids. I learned this lesson the first time I let them go down a snowy hill in a sled by themselves.
They were little – maybe 2 and 3 years old – and I made it very clear to them that if they heard me yelling “BAIL!” they were to immediately fall off the sled.
As they started down the hill, gathering speed, they veered left so that they were headed straight at the one tree in the whole place. At which point I started to run in slow-motion while screaming, “Bail! BAIL!!! BAAAAAAAILLLLLLL!!!!”
They missed the tree by inches and when I arrived at the bottom of the hill in tears with snot frozen all over my face, I asked (ok, yes, in a yell-y sort of way if you must know) why they hadn’t bailed when I told them to.
“We don’t know what ‘bail’ is,” was the reply from their pink-cheeked, big-eyed puzzled faces. They were having FUN! What was Mom so worked up about anyway?!?
Ohhh, Most Honorable Sensei. This Grasshopper has now learned to DEFINE phrases before sending others plummeting towards certain head injury and broken bones.
So. Before we get started here, do you know what a ‘pet peeve’ is?
No, I’m not talking about the ‘pet peeve’ as I first discovered it in my mother’s highschool yearbook: all innocuous inside jokes and stuff. Mary Betsy’s pet peeve is Gilbert’s scarf during pep rally. Tee hee hee.
Huh? If my pet peeve were Gilbert’s scarf during pep rally, I would jump Gilbert outside the sock hop and use my switch-blade to de-scarf his gullet. Now THAT’s what I mean when I say ‘pet peeve’. Hulk during Defcon ‘Roid Rage Pet Peeve.
Ok. Now that we’ve level-set, let me tell you about a pet peeve of mine which is top-of-mind because I cleaned THREE bathrooms today and all THREE bathrooms contained massive amounts of petty peevishness.
And for the record, no. No, I’m not EVEN talking about what happens in and around all the toilets. This remains a mystery to me which I will never solve and I’ve given up trying. The particular pet peeve in question is…duh, duh, duhn…the sink. And the spit.
How is the sink NOT a big enough target for all the spitting that happens in the bathroom?? Again, I ask you: how is the sink NOT BIG ENOUGH to contain ALL THE SPIT?!?
Why…WHY…is there so much spit on THE MIRROR? And AROUND the sink?? But not IN THE SINK?!?
Gaaaah!!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?
Do you watch to see how cute you are as you’re spitting out the toothpaste and that’s why all of it ends up on the mirror?!? Do you have some rudimentary blowhole on the TOP of your head you haven’t learned to control yet – so as you’re brushing your teeth into the sink, everything is spewing out towards the mirror?!? Do you stand fully upright with a book on your head working on your posture WHILE you’re brushing your teeth and you just let the chips/spit fall where they may??
I don’t get it. I honestly don’t get it.
Here’s what you need to do: hold whatever ya got in your mouth until you are bent-at-the-waist at a ninety-degree-angle above the sink. Then, and only then, can you let it out. And if you have to? Just to be safe?? Get yer everlovin’ head right down IN the sink before you spit. God save the Queen!
Do you know what that is, boys and girls? That’s my PET PEEVE!!!!