I like words. I’m one of those people who collect and hoard them, I was that way about words before I wrote for a living. I have friends of the same ilk, they often call us “nerds” when we’re seen together in groups, but my friends never fail to share great words with me.
My best bud Robin is a word nerd. She’s also my hair stylist and has been for 20-some years. It was in her and her husband Michael’s very shop (shout out to Strands, in Fairborn, Ohio!) that The George & Wendy Show began, oh so long ago. I actually worked for the Chaneys as a nail tech, and happened to have a very nice customer named Mrs. Parker. Her son George, who happened to be a strapping young redhead with an extremely engaging smile, came to visit her from Arizona and popped in for Robin to cut his hair while his mom was having her nails done. After he left, I was forward enough to tell Mrs. Parker I wanted to go out with her son and she was forward enough to call him up and tell him she had a date for him. The rest, as they say, is history. It’s true. It’s carved in the caves in France, it was so long ago…
Anyway, the last thing I do before leaving for 5-6 weeks is have my roots done, because I can’t be traveling all around America with gross gray roots. Time is always so short when I’m preparing to leave, so Robin and I catch up while I’m getting de-rooted. It’s nice to sit in the shop and bitch with Michael about the gubmint – the Chaneys are small business owners who take a lot of the same crappy hits we do as owner-operators. They have a service-oriented business and have to pay insurance premiums just like we do – there’s a lot of common ground to gripe about.
We were talking about the transportation appropriations bill and the reason it’s probably going to get vetoed, which got us on the subject of why: the HUD attachment on the rear end of it. We all agreed that being able to attach unrelated things to bills is akin to having your real estate agent tell you you have to take the rabid dog in the backyard with your dream home, which increases the cost by half, or you can’t have it all.
I couldn’t leave the shop without getting at least one good word from Robin, and she didn’t disappoint.
Floccinaucinihilipilification (noun): the estimation of something as valueless / the action or habit of estimating something as worthless. As in: “99% of the data gathered by the FMCSA is a pile of floccinaucinihilipification that costs the taxpayer a gabillion dollars.”
The word is used mainly as a curiosity, kind of like common sense in Washington, and is a compilation of four different Greek words, all roughly meaning “crap.” I have to wonder what was so bad in Greek society that they needed a four part bad word for it, then I remembered the Greeks invented gubmint, and it all made sense.
Hey, by the way, your phone calls and letters helped defeat the (insurance-hike-related) Cartwright Amendment – there were 1,500 calls logged from South Carolina alone – and they all made a difference. Keep it up – we may not be able to control our gubmint, but we can sure as hell let them know how we feel, and sometimes, just once in a while, they listen.