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To Explore Strange New Words

Sep. 13, 2016
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, as our state legislature extends its egregious efforts to make America’s Dairyland the Mississ-focking-ippi of the North, so as to rank near or at the foggy bottom in every measurable category from your soup to your nuts, I’m reminded of a little story:

On Friday afternoon, the entire state legislature of a state located not-even-close to either coast was aboard the official state bus touring a remote rural area when the driver lost control and crashed the bus into a ditch. Sometime later, a local farmer sauntered by and, upon finding the politicians lying in the road, buried them. 

It was reported that county sheriffs then arrived on the scene just as the farmer finished tamping the dirt down over the last member of this state’s legislature. Upon questioning the farmer about the wreck, a sheriff asked, “So you buried ALL the politicians? Were they all dead?”

The farmer reportedly answered: “Well sir, some said they weren’t, but you know how them politicians lie.” Ba-ding!

Cripes, I almost forgot that I’ve got such big news I could almost focking squee. A friend of mine alerted me to the fact that the Oxford English Dictionary (“the definitive record of the English language,” just so’s you know) whipped out their list of new words they’ve recently added to their very fat book. Among such what-the-focks as yolo, biatch and spanakopita, the OED finally got with it and added a word dear to my heart: focking, I kid you not. Here’s their low-down:

focking, adj. and adv.: A. adj. Used as an intensifier, expressing annoyance, frustration, hostility, etc. B. adv. Intensely, extremely. Also simply as an intensifier.

Focking-A, ain’a? Although, I must admit to being a tad jack-offed that my name is not mentioned as the word’s foremost godfather. Still, to have a word that you nurtured and heard grow for more than 30 years to be listed in the Ox, hey, that’s some hoity-toity company focking be now keeping, you betcha.

And speaking of words, perhaps you’s have heard somewheres that the newspaper business seems not to be exactly a bed of leaf-love, lo, these days, what the fock. And me being a newspaper guy chagrined by the alleged dire straits this industry be floating upon, I figure the best way to offer assistance is for me to attract more readers to my cozy newsy nook back here in this paper. One small step for man, one kind-of leap for peddling products you don’t really need, or an “experience” soon to be forgotten.

And so I need to attract not just any kind of reader, but better readers (no offense intended), the correct kind of readers who quote the Oxford English Dictionary as opposed to the ’til-now usual low-rent scrubby rabble that turns out for my weekly oracle, the kind most likely to spend a Saturday evening riding the bus, talking to themselves, what the fock.

Hey, I need the reader who’s with it, on top of it, lives it, breathes it, eats it, full of it: I want “today’s” reader—today lends me ten bucks; tomorrow, can’t remember. Yeah, that kind of reader, the kind of focking reader I can turn around over, under, sideways down to advertising types who will then solicit my contractual John Hancock and turn me into a mega-media pitchman, so’s I can commercially endorse their fine products to you whom I’ve herded to the marketplace. Boner pills, anyone?

OK, so talking about the right kind of readers I need, I ask this: Gents, how do you measure up? Ladies, how do you stack up? Fock if I know, but let’s find out with this brief exercise in analytical reasoning. I got to know from you’s what you think the following animals, vegetables, minerals and stuff got in common. Here’s the catalogue: Forbes Field, the pie-billed or pied-bill grebe, Dick York, sulfuryl chloride, the Treaty of Ghent, caulk, trinomials, Paul Gonsalves, sufferin’ succotash, compound umbel and Parcheesi.

Take a couple, three minutes to figure. I’ll go have a smoke. 

** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Ready for the answer? If you guessed “not a thing,” or more accurately, “not a focking thing,” you are abso-focking-lutely correct sir, or madam. Random material in a random universe. Welcome aboard. And if you’re still working on the exercise above, forget about it. The best I can do is save you a seat on the bus. Try the No. 30 on a Saturday night. You’ll recognize me. I’ll be the one, right rear, talking to myself ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

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