No, I’m not changing careers, but having the ability to talk like a used car salesman has a plethora of important uses. Among the most important of them was trolling for freshman as a junior on the 5th floor of mighty Cambridge Hall. Now you all know that I’ve never really had any game to speak of, choosing instead to rely on sheer force of will and infinite patience in pursuit of the fairer sex. Theoretically, Cambridge was reserved for upperclassmen, but the 5th and 6th floors were assigned to the Honors Program, which guaranteed an influx of freshmen every semester… We’d later learn to call this a target-rich environment.
I suppose it would have been October of 1998 and I was targeting a particular freshman with lots of attention, long talks on the back patio, romantic,lingering dinners in the dining hall, and of course, booze. After an extensive “softening up” period, I decided that a frontal assault was in order, saying simply, “I’m gonna sell this like a used car… What do I need to do to make this deal?” Well, in making a long story short, for some totally unknown reason, it worked and began a whirlwind romance that would practically end with a war between the north side of the floor and the south… That’s right, our own little version of the Civil War. Come to think of it, that was also the night I learned that no matter what you are doing, having two people in a single bed is just damned uncomfortable. So, yeah, that’s the story of How “like a used car salesman” came to be a phrase in regular use. I don’t get to use the phrase often these days, but it still crops up from time to time.
I’ve hear it said that there’s nothing as powerful as the sense of smell to carry us back to a moment or a place we haven’t thought about in years. I had one of those moments a few minutes ago. In smelling the combination of fresh-cut grass and the exhaust of a not-quite tuned lawn mower, I was hit with an overwhelming recollection of my grandfather and his Allis Chalmers B-10 lawn tractor. The mid-60s vintage machine was practically new even when I knew it in the 80s. With that smell hanging in the air, for just a second, I was a kid again and could see people and places I haven’t set eyes on in twenty years. It was really quite remarkable and, I’m not too proud to say, was the best warm fuzzy I’ve had in quite a while.
Gonnaherpasyphilaids is actually one of my personal favorites. I find it to be an excellent all-purpose word basically meaning that the individual in question has a high likelihood of carrying one or more diseases of the naughty regions that are non-responsive to penicillin. This word came into usage during my sophomore year as a response to the choruses of “I’d do her” that accompanied almost any chick of even modestly attractive features. That is to say, “Yeah, you’d do her, but you’d probably end up with gonnaherpasyphilaids.” This term is still regularly in use.
At the request of a dear friend, I have undertaken a small project to catalog many of the “Tharpisms” that have evolved over the years. Many of them have their origins high atop Cambridge Hall in the land of single rooms and honors students. Others are more recent additions to my personal lexicon, but nevertheless, they will be familiar to anyone who has spent any amount of time anywhere near me in the last 10 years… If there are any particular favorites, feel free to make a request. I’ll start you off with two that top my list in the coming posts.
Well, we can add another item to the list of things a hick from the sticks of Western Maryland never thought he would be doing. I just bought pet insurance for Winston. At $480 a year and a 70% reimbursement, this shit is actually better than my own insurance from Uncle. With medical care for pets coming close to what we provide to humans, insurance just seemed to make sense. My vet has access to an MRI… so you know she’s gonna order a few runs through that to take care of the overhead expenses. The good news is that all of the major bulldog hereditary diseases are covered by this policy and since they tend to be sick little buggers over their lifetime, a few dollars invested up front seemed to be a good idea… Yes April, I know I could have found a less problematic dog, but bullies are just so damned cute!
Now if I can just get off my duff and start interviewing cleaning services, I’ll feel about half squared away.