Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Chinese Magistrates and Gay God Parents
Sometimes, when listening to a friend relate a story, or half-listening to a conversation that's going on around you, your brain & ears will join forces play a bizarre trick on you. The ears will take whatever words the speaker just said and muffle them just enough that the brain gets to spin it's roulette wheel of "random words you may have heard at some point in your life" and fill in the blanks.
This is the best explanation I can come up with. How else would I really think that my friend Allen would declare, at a dinner with 22 of our closest friends, "I am an Oriental Magistrate." Upon hearing these words, I did stop him, interrupt quite rudely and ask him to explain and clarify. Or maybe I just said, "Wait, what? You're an Oriental Magistrate?!" That's probably the more likely answer, because I recall his response being a very droll, "Yes, I am an Oriental Magistrate." To this day, neither one of us has any clue what he actually said... and perhaps it's better that way.
Last night, just before dinner, as my husband is chatting with his sister, I could have sworn thatshe said something about "bacon gas." I was honestly intrigued, horrified, and determined to find out where and when such a vile, and possibly awesome creation came into being. Turns out she wasn't talking about bacon gas at all. Not the gas one passes after eating bacon, nor bacon heated to the point that it ceases to be either solid or liquid but the molecules vibrate so quickly that they leap into the air in a deliciously pig-scented fog... I don't remember what she was talking about either... I was distracted by thoughts of bacon.
Perhaps one of my favorite mis-heard phrases, and one that has enjoyed a long history, is the infamous "Gay God-parent" moment. One evening, back in my college days, I walked into the Able/Santos study-hall room thingy where our bible study was held and proudly, and loudly, proclaimed, "I have a gay God-parent." My friends looked at me askance and were somewhat dumbfounded for a while. Turns out, that's not what I said at all. I know, I was the one saying it. While I also have a fantastic history of mis-speaking choice phrases*, this time I said exactly what I meant, which was actually, "I have a 'Yay God!' moment." Once we got over our giggling at the crossed signals, the phrase "gay God-parent" stuck around and was uttered to mean, "Hey, I've got to tell you about the super cool stuff God is doing in my life right now."
So, thank you brain and ears. Your team-work has lead to many a joyful moment of shared laughter at the absurdities you two concoct. Keep up the good work!
*One, sitting on a beautiful grassy knoll (but not the famous one) with my friend Paula, two sentences in my brain got twisted up and I didn't untangle them before I spoke. Instead of saying, "Pardon me" or "Hold on" I exclaimed, "Hold me" which wouldn't have been all that bad if the next words out of my mouth hadn't been "I have to fart." Thankfully, they weren't. What I actually said in my funny English accent (because we were performing at Scarborough Faire) was "I have a fart." Yep, put it all together: "Hold me, I have a fart." Immortal words, I tell you. I shall never live it down.