Friday, August 29, 2008

Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free!!

Or --- Alle, alle auch sind frei - the suspected source of the hide and seek safety phrase which was used in Nazi Germany as a monstrous way to lure Holocaust victims to their deaths. Crazy, isn't it, how horrific words and phrases can evolve into something harmless?

Example: the N-word. It still makes my flesh crawl when my son and his black friend call each other the N-word as a salutation or a jest. I forbid them to use the N-word in my house. They laugh at me. Apparently, it's okay if you've been best friends your whole life.

Words morph.

My grandmother often sang this from West Side Story:

I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and gay
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me today

...much to the snickers of my cousin, who was, in fact, GAY! Oh sure. She knew he and his long term roommate were intimate partners but "gay" meant giddy, not homosexual, and nobody could convince her otherwise. Plus, as she frequently jibed, if they were REALLY homosexual (not gay), they would enjoy her showtunes. My grandmother was a hoot.

Point. Point. Oh, yes. Me.

Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free! I have resumed my life after a long and nasty case of --- get this --- MONO!!! Oh yeah. That myth that you can't get Mono after your twenties was started by those guys that found Big Foot.

The doctor said I should have made out with more boys when I was a teenager and gotten this over with early like the other 95% of the population. He's right, of course. While I was in bed with a swollen spleen and every bone in my body crushing from the inside out, my fourteen year old, who came down with Mono at the same time, was out playing laser tag.

Stupid spleen.

How did I get Mono, you may ask? My son's nineteen year old friend moved in with us while he's going to college. With him came his Mono and an inability to remember which bottle of water is his.

The first few days of Mono are kind fuzzy now. I remember pain and fever. I remember hearing the "I Dream of Jeanie" theme song and thinking my Chihuahua was the mail lady. I remember feeling the cauliflower growing in my throat and I remember my four boys hanging around my bed talking about me.

D: You have Mono? Serious?
W: Stephen, you douchebag!
M: I have it, too and I'm not that sick.
S: Yeah well you're a tool.

Ah. The evolution of language.


Anonymous said...

The following video is about the n-word:

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Thanks. Not gonna buy the book but no doubt there's enough history and opinion about the use of the word to fill one.

Unk said...

Glad to see you're out and about...

Mono eh?

You sure you weren't just procrastinating? LOL.

Gotta watch them 19 year olds... And their agua viciado con mono.


MaryAn Batchellor said...


Fun Joel said...

Not sure if I'm saying the same thing as Unk. But all I can say is, I hope this doesn't mean you've been making out with your son's 19 year old friend! ;-)

And glad to hear you're feeling better. :-)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

It would appear that's the case but actually, he and I both drink a lot of water. I think we got our water bottles mixed up. At least, that's my story.

Unk said...

Hmmm. I never got the impression that you'd actually make out with a 19 year old... LOL.

But what do I know?