Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Poker dots are so book

In working with kids stories for Barrel of Monkeys, we often come across fun misuses of words -- the recent ones that stuck in my head are a dress with "poker dots" and a guy who says, "It's hot! It's 99 the grease outside!" Of course, our job is to bring out the funny in the story so that the kid who wrote it will feel good, not to make fun of things like this for the benefit of adults.

The kids can think it's funny when they're older, like my friend Annie who used to think the "Caution: Delayed Green," sign at a certain intersection meant that the foliage on that block took longer than usual to bloom in the spring. There's something great about those moments of recognition when you understand something for the first time. Maybe you feel a little dense for not getting it all along, but it's almost better to have it come in a flash. It's a little bit of proof that you're living.

I tried to think of adult moments of discovering something new. The best I could come up with is "book." A friend heard this for the first time recently meaning "cool." If you don't know why, take a look at your cell phone. Those crazy UK kids have taken a mistake and adopted it as slang. I heard it for the first time in a Streets song.

And then there's my mom, who's only recently learned how to email. She adorably asked me the other day, "When that message pops up and it says, 'You are the 100,000th visitor. This is not a joke!' that's not real right? It's probably not a good idea to click that, I guess? But it sure is tempting."

We're always going to have those moments. There's never going to be a time when we get so smart it doesn't happen. I really hope there's at least one adult reading my blog who still doesn't know what's wrong with the phrase, "poker dots." There's a good chance. If you search google for "poker dots," the first thing you'll see is an image of a polka dot purse. If you're only just now going, "Ohhh, polka dots!" I'm a little bit jealous.

Around 1,000 revised today, plus some rearranging, and 89 new.
Currently reading: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel Pinkwater

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