By Bob Dorn
Every few months I stumble onto files tucked away in odd places recording wordplay I’ve recorded in the last few years. I started doing it when a name, or coined word or phrase seemed to define events well but wouldn’t work in the piece at hand, either because it didn’t quite fit the passage (and would have looked shoehorned in later), or because it was too light or mean and petty for the context, or because it was simply distracting.
Yeah, distracting. I don’t know who said this; it was a writer for sure: the first thing to cut from a piece is the best thing in it. Of course, that’s so that the rest doesn’t suffer the contrast. But can you afford to forget the debris?
I wonder if this husbanding (why not, wifing?) of castoffs isn’t related to early writing– the epigrammists like Epicurus in Hellenistic Greece and a touch earlier, the Asians. Is it a motive behind and beneath Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary,” and other slender volumes that try to save the junk or the sublime of writing?
And if you think I’m trying to carry on the tradition these people established then consider how humiliating it would be to have anyone read what follows as anything but a struggler’s attempt to get this stuff out of the computer on a day he had no ideas.
On Old Age
We’ve been this young before.
We’re slowing up, but we still have timing.
Too many turns in a strange place.
Outmoded Big Words
Freedom – too troubling when applied to individuals
Principles – replaced by principal
Propaganda – replaced by spin
Integrity – reserved for buildings, use with “structural”
Computerror – falling behind in IT
Drunkometer – counts the number of times the elbow bends.
Spagoda – Japanese themed resort
Dysfengshui – well, it’s okay, but…
Vampirates – Old Republicans with defibrillators
Radio Apocalypse – Rush, Hannity, Savage, Hedgecock, et.al.
Nathanpetering – to win by boring voters
Peternation – political losses from excess testosterone
Palindrone – Palin
Palinclone – Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann
Subdude – Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Kevin Faulconer, et.al
Oregonads – Tea Party guys in lumberjack shirts
Signs for the Times
Trust in God, but Verify
When Coporations are People, People are Dollars
Not in Armed Forces or Congress; Out of Work
SUV and Truck Model Names
Ford FU 150