Word for the Day: Wait

“Just you wait” from My Fair Lady.”

The word “wait” is a very loaded word. We wait here; we wait there; we wait everywhere. We begin our lives waiting. Nine months or less. And we believe that once that wait is over, no more waiting on our agenda. Little do we realize the waiting has only just begun. It has been estimated that we humans spend five years of our lives waiting if we live to be 79 years old.

Initially we wait for our parents to change our dirty diapers and give us a bottle. And we let them know that we are not appreciative when they make us wait. Too bad we can’t use that strategy for later on in life when we’re waiting in line at an amusement ride.

We wait on the school bus. We wait for Santa Claus to show up at our house. We spend weeks waiting on that video game we just have to have. We wait on our friends to show up at the park so we can play baseball.

As we grow into our teen years, we wait on that guy to ask us to the prom. Or that girl to give us the “Yes, I will go with you.” Later we will wait on that engagement ring or the girl to answer our plea to marry us.

As adults, we wait on the food to come at the restaurant. Or the line at the movie theater. Or the ride at the amusement park. Or we wait for the doctor to let us know we’re a-okay. And down the road we wait on retirement.

We wait on the fish to bite. We wait on the light to change. We wait for our paychecks. We wait for a response to that resume’ we sent. If we’ve been bad, we wait for that ‘get-out-of-jail” card. Or we might have to wait on a Supreme Court ruling. If we are Christians, we wait on the Rapture.

We get put on a wait-list or waiting list. A member of the wait-staff, a waiter, also known as a wait-person, asks us what we wish to order. Our computer spends time in a wait-state when we’re transferring data. The doctor makes us sit in the waiting room. For an actor, it’s the green room. But that’s a word of a different color.

When you ask your mom for a new toy, Mom may just give you that old “wait and see.” And you may have to “wait up” for your partner to get home and tell you the good news. Of course, you may have to “wait for that other shoe to drop.” And some of us may find ourselves “waiting on them hand and foot.”

That “wait” can be a threat. As in “Just you wait, ‘enry Higgins.”

Or it can be “wait” can be a warning like “We have to wait for the hurricane.”

Or it can be a Promise, such as “Just a little more wait and Santa will be here.”

When we entering a waiting state, we know a ton of bricks is coming. That ton of bricks may be something significant like being born. Or insignificant like we have scheduled a plumber to fix the drain.

All this waiting has sidekicks joining it. They are the Hope of Expectation or the Fear of Anticipation. With Anticipation, we find ourselves Anxious. If we’re not careful, pretty soon we’re experiencing an Anxiety attack. If we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves having a nervous breakdown. 

Or not.

Who knows? With a little Patience the waiting will soon be over. We might as well accept it. After all, it’s a waiting game.

Faster than the speed of light

Words, especially the lovables,
adjectives such as humble, kind, gentle, meek,
each a personality, each a timid thing.
The hint of a harsh noise, they go fleeing
faster than the speed of light.
Hardier stuff, a replacement,
shooting stars spewing from a warp drive of a mouth.
The prodigals make for home, begging forgiveness—
though they should be the asked, their nature the asker—
Turned away and out into the cold,
broken hearts lost in space.
Astronomers, their giant telescopes
scanning the cosmic ocean of sky, they spot
a blue dot, a wanderer named Planet 17.

 Could it be?

Probably not.

Near 500 words: Grammar-ing rhymes with hammering

Note: For all who wanted the mystery, “The Great Squirrel Caper”, it’s in the works and on its way. 

In need of a writer, I’m your man. I can make a screwdriver sound sexy. You want to spunk up your orange juice, just pour in some vodka. Then turn it with a screwdriver and that screw goes write in. Folks, as you can see. I have those mixed metaphors down pat. And talk about similes, well, we shouldn’t gossip.

If you want your house to stand, you want to use a screwdriver that’s going to drive in them screws good and hard. (Now get your heads out of the dirt. I’m not talking sex here. ‘Course if I was, same words might work in reference to condoms.)

When it comes to clichés, I’m your man. My philosophy is why take the road not taken when you can hit the hammer of the head and take the easy way out. That road not taken is going to have a lot of weeds and burrs. Who knows? It might even have some lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I know I would prefer being a cowardly lion than a dead one. So I’m taking heart and using my brain. I’m taking the Yellow Brick Road. If it was good enough for Dorothy, it’s good enough for me.

I just want you to know I got those parts of speech all wrangled and branded. Why, ladies and gentlemen, there isn’t an -ly adverb I haven’t used. And talk about split infinitives. Isn’t “to boldly go” so much sexier than “to go boldly”.

I think so. And so did James Tiberius Kirk. Otherwise he wouldn’t have written it in the Captain’s Log so many times. And after taking so much gup from Spock over “to boldly go does not compute”. Of course, it computes. It’s write there in the Captain’s Log. It may not be logical, but it sure is a Kirk-ism. Absolutely.

There I did it. I managed to put in an interjection. Don’t you think it spices up my writing a punch?

Unlike grammarians everywhere, I have a passion for the passive. When you think about it, you never want to take a pass on the passive if you want to be passionate. Why I used to date a girl who was all the time asking me, “Where were you last night?” If that ain’t passionate, I don’t know what is. And she said it so passionately. In spite of everything.

Uh-oh. I done gone and done it. I can hear them grammarians chomping at the bit, telling me not to use a sentence fragment. Here I go fragging my sentences all over the place. I can see the smoke coming out of their ears. Well, all I have to say is there just ain’t any pleasing some people. Like Abe Lincoln said, you can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the peeps none of the time. That leaves no time left for pleasing moi.

Anyway. (There I went and did it again.) If you’re looking for a writer who can write all formal like, I’m not your man. My motto, after all, is why not end a sentence with a preposition. Everybody does it. Oh, I know what my mother would say. “If Everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?” Of course, I wouldn’t. It’s a cliff, and I am afraid of heights.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Derek Walcott, Poet

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is the poet, Derek Walcott:

Derek Walcott on writing and painting.

Oh, what a beautiful language we have, this English. We strip it and we tear it down, we ignore it and abuse it and lose a bit of it along the way. It not only survives. It rises like a phoenix and soars. Especially when it is in the hands of a poet. William Shakespeare was that kind of poet, and Seamus Heaney too. So was Derek Walcott.

Derek Walcott was an island man, so he gave us islands and the sea. He showed us that poetry could rise out of the least of places. That it was possible for a black man from a very small place could become a great poet. And he did it with this magnificent language of ours.

 

Grammarlogically Speaking

“I didn’t mean–” her daughter spoke back at her mother.

“Of course, you did,” her mother disagreed with her. “You wouldn’t have said it if you didn’t mean it.”

“But, Mom,” the daughter pleaded her case.

“That’s what you’re always saying,” the mother was announcing her victory. “There’ll be no ifs, ands, or buts. Not in my house.”

“How about a however,” her father said with a smile on his face.

“That’s as bad as a yet,” the mother was not happy about his however. It usurped her authority. It was bad enough that her daughter wanted to give her a hard time. Now she had to take on two members of the family instead of one. “That’s a nyet if ever there was one.”

“And yet,” he came back at her.

“What’d I tell you about starting a sentence with ‘and’.” The English teacher in the mother was coming out big time now.

The daughter was happy for the reinforcements. “Even though—“

“Now hold on,” the mother was not accepting the challenge with ease.

“Oh,” the father chipped in. “now you’re pulling one of those now-hold-ons. You know how we hate those. That’s hitting below the belt.”

“You think?” the mother wasn’t having none of his sass either.

“So you want to conjugate,” the father had a big smile on his face. “You think, you thought, you thunk.”

“Thunk?” the mother was not believing what she was hearing. “I thunk not. It’s you think, you thought, you had thought.”

“I spent a long time thunking it,” the daughter was trying to catch up with her parents.

“That’s enough,” the mother came back.

“Oh, now we’re getting a that’s-enough,” the father.

“You know you’re all wet,” the mother said. She had completely forgotten where the argument had started, forgotten enough to use a cliche’.

“So it’s going to be water pistols at ten paces,” the father said.