While reading, have you ever run across a word that, based on your age, reading level and experience, should be absolutely clear to you within the text?
You have. Right? And so have we all. For me, that word is “pigeon.” I know what a pigeon is – I’ve held a pigeon, I’ve fed a pigeon, I’ve eaten a pigeon (not the same pigeon – I have a strict policy against eating animals with whom I’m personally acquainted.) But for some reason, the word “pigeon” in print never fails to baffle me.
Pig-eon? What’s a pig eon? Is that like a dog’s age? Pige-on? Pig-pig-pigeon. Pigeon. Oh. OH. PIGEON.
Even if no one can hear your inner monologue, it’s embarrassing. Like, “showing up to your ACT test with a sunburn so severe it looks like leprosy” embarrassing. But it’s even worse when your brain blips actually manage to escape your mouth. In my past four years of working as a professional, I’ve managed to say (or shout) the following in the workplace:
“I really don’t do well with people aiming balls at my face” – when asked to join a Nerf football game.
“Colin Webster? I thought you were saying ‘colon, Webster,’ which is probably why we can’t find his nametag.”
“I’m definitely worth two men” – both bastardized and said in a room full of men.
We all have our moments.
Some of us more than others.
For instance, if you’ve never informed a coworker that “Amy Schumer is a national goddamned treasure” with a director standing behind you, then I salute you.
If you’ve yet to interrupt a conversation with a stranger by screeching “SMASH THE PATRIARCHY!” (low blood sugar may have been involved), I congratulate you.
If you haven’t replied to a British person’s apologies over stepping on your bag with “Well I’m sorry for dumping all your tea in the harbor,” I worship you.
And if you’ve never slipped on wet marble tile in front of three dozen lawyers and joked that you should’ve have had so much happy in your lunch hour, you’re probably my hero.
Long story short: I made it weird.
And I’ll be making it weirder here again.