A heady gush of teastosterone was pulsing through my veins, but my Mamish wife accused me of shamorous behavior. I hadn’t seen her this angry since painful birthquakes had made her stork . . . raving . . . mad! It was the kind of reaction that can make happily married men understand why some guys are slomosexual.
The whole situation made me wish I’d married a mousewife instead of a sassy woman’s fiberator.
She left me no choice but to go down stairs and make goodbye glibberish with my budding slimitator and her sister, the santaclaustrophobic. I was impatient because I had an error-plane and knew at some point I was bound to suffer from comatoes.
I’m watching my garbohydrates so I grabbed a crapple and headed down for a wretched cup of coffee from the failing shop where I volunteer bizzospice care. I climbed back into the car, switched on the radio and decided against listening to any of the blowhard boracles and instead punched in channel that played standards sung by women with unconvincing leyebrows. I knew I’d be seeing scores of mallbergs at the airport and wished for a moment I was going someplace warm, even if that meant I might have to dodge hungry canniblers.
They wouldn’t scare me because I fancy myself a mooscular empathlete. I may spend my days decrapitating silly little stories on my laptop, but in my mind I’m tougher than Ernie Borgten.
Didn’t understand any of that? Did the spellchecker in your head just explode?
Don’t blame me.
Blame the culture and the dictionaries it relies upon for not letting me in.
See, the words that baffled you above are just a sampling of the 30 I’ve coined and am trying to wedge into usage so widespread that they’ll be recognized as significant contributions to the vernacular. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years coining words with the hopes that just one of the little dandies will earn a relatively microscopic spot on a whisper thin page in dense books with more than 1,600 pages and 180,000 entries.
I don’t think that’s asking too much.
See, I’m on a word quest to land one of my neologisms -- self-coined words -- in a major dictionary. Any major dictionary. Once there, it will endure with barnacle-like tenacity through the ages. Once one gains acceptance, dislodging dictionary words becomes as impossible as removing dogged and ill-conceived traffic lights: no one ever thinks of removing them no matter how little traffic they actually stop.
As goals go, it’s not like leading my team to Super Bowl victory, brokering a tricky peace deal between historic hostiles or curing something itchy. It’s not even like writing a 75,000-word bestseller, something even marginally literate athletes, drug-abusing rock degenerates and self-degrading reality TV stars have achieved, so how big a deal is that?
When you think of it in those writerly terms, how worthy a goal is writing any book, even a really good one? They come and they go.
In fact, the only books with perennial staying power to transcend cultural fashions are dictionaries and holy books like the Bible. And I’ve already authored the only book published in the last 2,000 years that can arguably be called holier than even the Bible.
It’s “Hole in One! The Complete Book of Fact, Legend and Lore of Golf’s Luckiest Shot,” (Andrews McMeel, 2003; current Amazon ranking, no. 1,071,643). As the only book ever written dedicated exclusively to the most amazing shot in golf, it documents the story of hundreds of aces. In “Game’s Holy Grail is Far From Elusive,” a August 17, 2009, New York Times story, author Bill Pennington cited me and my book in his story about the art of aces.
If The New York Times cites my book, and only my book, in its story about aces, then I humbly submit my book is the Bible on the subject. And saying a book about aces is downright holy isn’t much of a stretch. And, yes, I’m aware, the dictionary spells it “holey,” but as I’ve already pointed out, the book is not without its flaws.
So, even though it may be a just bit of stretch, I’ve already checked “Write a Really Holy Book,” from my life’s to-do list.
That leaves “Plant One Word in the Big Boring Book Full of Them” next on the list (just below ‘Call Buddies about Happy Hour Plans,’ and about five notches above things like ‘Fix Car Brakes,’ and ‘Find a Job’).
My inspiration is the late Bill Cardoso. I still have the fading yellow newspaper clip announcing his February 26, 2006, death. The Associated Press obituary reads: “Bill Cardoso, the writer who coined the term ‘gonzo’ to describe the frenetic participatory journalism practiced by contemporary Hunter S. Thompson, has died. He was 68.”
The 350-word story goes on to detail how Cardoso and Thompson became friends while sharing long rides and chats together on the national press bus assigned to cover the 1968 re-presidential campaign of Richard M. Nixon. When Thompson wrote his colorful drug-riddled story, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved for Scanlan’s Monthly magazine, Cardoso wrote a flattering letter describing the piece as “pure gonzo.”
“The term stuck,” reads the Cardoso obit. “Thompson embraced it and so did Webster’s, including it in the New World Dictionary in 1979 as meaning ‘bizarre, unrestrained, extravagant specifically designating a style of personal journalism so characterized.”
The brief story mentioned that Cardoso’d written for Esquire, Rolling Stone and other top magazines.
I began to feel a kinship. I’ve written for Esquire, Playboy, Sports Illustrated and a bunch of others. I like to brag that I’ve written for many of the finest publications in America and been rejected by all the rest.
But doing any of that won’t ensure a snazzy obit in newspapers across the country. There’s thousands of underemployed guys like me who scratch out a living contributing 400 word stories to top magazines. I realized I needed to follow in Cardoso’s footsteps. I began to coin words, hundreds of them. Some weren’t worthy of keeping. “Slanguage” is too obvious. “Rimbicile,” a description of dim-bulb copy editors misplacing commas at daily newspapers, was too narrow. And as proud as I am of “vagitarian,” I was fearful my mother might read it and scold me so it had to go.
That left me with the 30 you’ll find below. Those are the core creations I’m beginning to promote. I’ll welcome your comments about the potential of your favorites. I urge you to be hasty because it took 12 years for “gonzo” to be accepted into a dictionary and I intend to do it in 12 months.
I think it can be done. Really, Cardoso didn’t have the benefit of the viral internet or even the self- motivation that’s driving me. He just came up with the word, it sounds perfectly serendipitous, and went about his life. Not me. I’m going to apply all my skills, my genius, my contacts, my promotional savvy to in one year achieve mass exposure for at least one of my 30 (and counting) words. I’m going to do it because I believe I need to secure a legacy that’ll impress my descendants, and because I believe I have something to contribute to humanity.
And, really, I’ve got nothing better to do.
Here’s the list of my offerings. Feel free to use them liberally in speech and in print.