The right word at the right time can be life-affirming and even life changing. But the wrong word at the right time is downright hilarious. Back by popular demand this week is a selection of favorite Garyisms.
Faithful readers may recall that my husband Gary is a man of action, not words. In fact he sometimes seems to view words as barely necessary accompaniments to the action adventure that is his life. Consequently, he doesn’t waste a lot of time searching for the right word, or even for any combination of consonants and vowels that is actually a word at all. Any verbal utterance that will take him from one idea to the next will suffice, or so it seems. Without further ado, here are some of his best.
Gary’s favorite flicks involve action and one of his long-time favorite stars/directors is Clint Eastwood. When I asked him which Clint Eastwood movie topped his list, he said Pot of Gold. I’m not overly familiar with the Eastwood film output, but I was pretty sure that wasn’t one of his movies. The correct title of course is Fistful of Dollars.
One Saturday morning, Gary was taking inventory of our freezer stock before going grocery shopping. He came in from the garage to tell me “You have two iotas in the freezer.” Yes, it was true. I did have two bags of Ore Ida potatoes in the freezer. On another grocery-related occasion, I sent him to the store with a list. Upon returning he informed me, “I couldn’t find the albatross. I got the light tuna instead.” A wise choice. I find albatross is no substitute for albacore tuna.
Recently we were going out to dinner, and Gary looked extra spiffy and smelled very nice too. When I commented, he said “Thanks, I used face deodorant today.” Now, I did have to reflect on that for a few seconds, until I realized he was telling me that his new after shave accounted for his pleasant scent.
Gary is quite an astute observer of human nature and very insightful about people’s motivations and emotions. Once, Gary noted that a friend had chosen a woman who wasn’t a good match for him. He added that he wasn’t going to say anything to his friend, both because it wasn’t his business and because the friend seemed to be deeply under the woman’s spell. Only the way he expressed it to me was: “It wouldn’t do any good. He’s just too amorized of her.” Enamored + mesmerized = amorized.
He came home from coffee the other day to tell me that a friend who does a lot of air travel had told him about the special socks he was using to prevent blood clots on long flights. “They’re called concussion socks.” No. No they’re not. They’re called compression socks.
The thing I enjoy so much about Gary’s special take on words is that he utters them fearlessly and with complete confidence. There is no hesitation, no searching for the right word or turn of phrase: there is just thought and immediate expression. When we were running one day with our usual heavy, struggling tread, I mentioned how effortless some runners who passed us seemed. Their strides were so graceful and smooth, they looked as though they were floating. Gary said, “Yeah. They call them light bodies.”
No, no ‘they’ do not call them ‘light bodies.’ Only Gary does. But maybe everyone else should.