Some call it being tongue-tied. Some claim it to be the famous “brain farts.” But there is one undeniable fact about me in this great big world, one thing about me that opens the figurative curtain into my psyche, that I am about to impart to you.
There are times when I can’t speak good.
It’s not that my brain stops working. In fact, I believe it to be just the opposite. My brain starts moving and shaking so fast that the neutrons flying down from my cerebral cortex start bumping into each other like a bunch of bad-dancing teenagers at their first Homecoming. This results in a complete vocal stoppage or a verbal choking, if you will. And I know you will.
An example you ask? Sure, let me lay myself wide open on the operating table so you can take a peek inside the hard, crusty veneer and look longingly upon the soft and supple innards of my soul.
I was at the grocery store the other morning around 7:00am. I like to do my shopping at that point to ensure that I have the opportunity to interact with the very fewest people possible. My wife will attest to the truthfulness of that statement. There is just something completely cathartic about walking down the cereal aisle with no one else around – gazing upon the various brans, flakes and puffs with no one bothering you. At one with the world, that’s how it feels.
I get to the checkout aisle with a full shopping cart and a heart full of mirth. I start unloading the bounty of goodness on the conveyor belt – which sometimes moves WAY to fast by the way….is anyone else bothered when there is gappage between the items you’re placing on the belt? Is that just me? I need to have it packed tightly so that nothing untoward can be placed between MY items. OK. It’s just me.
Anyway, things are going smoothly with the checkout process (except for the above mentioned gappage) when I pull this out of the shopping cart and heave it onto the belt….
That’s right – a vat of cheese balls. I hate them. I hate the taste of them, I hate the smell of them, I even hate the look of them. But my son loves them. So as any good parent would do, I succumb to his pressures and load the vat onto the belt. I want to make fun of the purchasing of the balls of cheese to ensure that Clarice knows that they aren’t mine and I don’t endorse them. I want to share the guffaws with all of those around me. I slam the vat down onto the belt, and get ready to spit out the funniest line about cheese balls that you will ever read. I open my mouth and…drum roll please…say the following:
That’s honestly what came out of my mouth. I’m sure it was accompanied by a droplet or two of anxious spittle, so hopefully those fell right into the gappage between the items on the conveyor belt instead of randomly hitting the fingers of the cashier. She definitely then bailed me out with a comment that gave my brain time to clear the buffers and come up with a witty retort. Well, a witty retort that could be understood by human hearing.
This happens to me fairly frequently – I’ll be rolling along on a sentence and making a fantastically brilliant point when I get to the last word of the sentence. All of the sudden, the old brain-mouth tube stops up worse than the vacuum cleaner did when I accidentally rolled over the cat. Once the cat is removed, just running the vacuum for a while on the hardwood floor clears it right up – just like my mouth does when I just give it a bit of a rest.
The title of this chapter of my life came from the TV show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, a pretty funny sitcom that just recently started. They gave a perfect example of this last week:
Boss Cop: “There’s a community outreach program that’s very important to me. I was wondering if you’d like to head it up.”
Detective: “Absolutely sir, I won’t just head it up. I will head and shoulders it up. I will dive in, swim around it and just be altogether good with it.”
Boss Cop: “Be more articulate when you speak to the children.”
Detective: “I will make better mouth.”
That, in a 30 second snippet from a sitcom – sums up my life. A vat of cheese balls and making better mouth.