Wha’ Happened?

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No entries in weeks. No shame, no apologies, but one excuse: I’ve undertaken the labor of writing a book on life with twins. Presumably the task will continue to occupy a good slice of my free time, which, anyway, is a small slice itself.

Cheeky Onion

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Suppose you just completed a meal at a local taco restaurant—one of those authentic places, where you’re obliged to speak Spanish but pay in dollars, a place whose walls are plastered with radiant posters displaying the match schedules of Mexican soccer clubs, ads for discount call-abroad phone cards, racks full of CDs whose covers depict groups of paunchy avuncular hombres dressed in black with enormous sombreros and bikini clad chicas seductively beckoning a purchase (of the CD, not of them), framed paintings of fighting cocks, and black and white photos of various 19th century revolutionary heroes. Suppose your meal consisted of three soft-shell tacos filled with roasted steak, a cilantro-onion mixture and dribbles from a lime wedge, plus a small ladle-full of blazing hot sauce (suppose you chose the light green one over the dark green, the orange, or deep red options, all blazing hot). Now, after all that supposing, indulge your imagination once again, and suppose you consume these tacos, and walk outside with a straggler onion bit adhering to your cheek. Is it the public’s duty to bring it to your attention? Who declared that just because we weren’t born with finely chopped produce adorning our faces it is somehow awkward to do so now? Civilized society should acknowledge the merit of oniony cheeks—having a healthy snack close at hand—and move on to other concerns.

For the record, this did not happen to me. I’m merely readying for that possibility.

How’s That?

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‘LARKIER’, that’s how. Last night my cell phone’s mini-Scrabble dropped this obscure gem on me for 41 points.

I admit I’m the sole cause of my undoing. I chose to tangle with a computer brain on the most difficult level of this classic game. (The download cost me eight bucks for unlimited frustration plays). Whenever I poke my finger in that snake hole I seem oblivious to squaring up against an apathetic agglomeration of circuits that can consult an unabridged dictionary’s worth of verbiage at fiber optic speed. Brazenly I pitted my lowly neurons, already busy with thoughts on the Orlando Magic’s double-digit deficit and the large male mosquito dancing and bouncing its way up the living room wall. The result is not surprising. A few turns into the match I’m down 57 to 163 and wonder why I bother to go on.

If only I can grow intellectually from the flogging, things wouldn’t be so bad. Since the ‘larkier’ flash card in my 2nd grade English class apparently slipped out of the stack leaving me dumb to its definition, I consulted the good word book for help. That’s where the trouble started. Google’s “define:” feature turned up nothing. Another high-octane multi-language translator/dictionary/thesaurus that easily churns through complex French business terms and spits them out in plain English couldn’t crack it either. It did, however, point me to the root word “lark” and offered the adjectives ‘larkish’ and ‘larky’, but no ‘larkier.’ Perhaps it was a fouled spelling attempt at ‘lacquer?’ . If so, I want my $8 back.

I then resorted to the Random House Unabridged. I flipped through its weighty mass. No luck there. I got ‘larker’ (close!), ‘larkiness’, ‘larkishness’, ‘larkingly’, ‘larkish’, ‘larky’, ‘larkishly’, and ‘larksome.’ I failed to spy ‘larkier’ anywhere on that page 1084, in the appendix, inside the back cover flap, or hidden under the price sticker. Perhaps the dictionary came with a bookmark with words shamefully left out from the printing? No, it did not. At least not my inherited copy. Where to turn next in search of meaning for that mysterious assemblage of letters? Must I pore through Turkish technical manuals, Inuit igloo scribblings from days preceding Erik the Viking, or signals beamed from interstellar inhabitants graciously suggesting additions to our lexicon? I’d had enough.

So, Scrabble parent company Hasbro, consider this a formal complaint. There ain’t no such damn word. I demand the return of a bunch of points, my pride, and six interrupted hours of writing this blog. Go larkier yourselves!