Monday, August 20, 2012

Abandoned ideas and other ponderings

It's probably the writer in me, but I often find myself preoccupied with words and combinations there-of. I don't mean just how I can use them in a story or blog entry. I mean just the words themselves. Sometimes it's the sonics (labyrinthine is lovely, isn't it? Roll it around on your tongue. Don't you wish you had a reason to use it right now?). Other times it's the images they bring forth, like DRAGON-fly. How did we get from "look there's a stick-like bug hovering over that pond" to "that bug looks like a dragon." What legend produced that? And, yes, I've looked up the etiology of it since I've had that thought, but the mystery remains. 

Many of these come to me while traveling; like billboards for motel chains that offer "clean rooms $45 a night" as a selling point. And while it's not the deepest thought I've ever had, I do wonder--shouldn't clean be given? And do I really want to stay in a place that views this as an extra benefit? I've wondered what they'd say if I stopped and asked what they charged for the dirty ones.

Then there's accidental word pairings. The other day I saw a place that advertised "gas & beer lottery tickets". Seriously? There's a lottery for that? And our small town used to have a restaurant with a marquee that read "Every Saturday Night! Dancing Roasted Chicken." The image of that dancing headless chicken covered in seasonings became a frequent brain movie and the subject of a lot of stories that Gary and I would tell to one another as we ran errands. I was kind of sad when the owners retired and took it down. 

My imagination is fired by everyday phrases too. For instance bars that advertise "live bands". I know what they mean, of course, but think about that for a minute. See? Now you're doing it too.  

Recently, I overheard someone say, " . . . so I had to abandoned the idea" and for the first time in my life I thought about what that meant. Abandoned--left behind in an isolated place. And then of course I considered all the sadness associated with it and I began to feel sorry for the idea and wondered if it was still where the person had left it. Maybe I could bring it home and add it to my population. Because, let's face it, there's always room for one more idea. Maybe I could open up a shelter for unwanted, abandoned ideas and pair them with people who understand them and don't mind that they aren't perfect. 

It's a sickness, folks. One that I'm willing to share. What about you? What words and phrases catch your eye and why?  


Melissa Fischer said...

Oh, I love this! My mind often runs along similar veins. I remember when I was a child, an elderly aunt telling me she was smoking chickens... That word picture still comes to mind when someone tells me they are smoking some kind of meat. And yes, signs are often a great source of amusement while traveling.

Dennis Bryant said...

Why is it that you drive on a parkway but you park in a driveway. And why is it that if you send something on a ship it's called cargo, but if you send it by car it's a shipment? But my favorite is a J. C. Penney add that appeared in the newspaper many years ago: "Women's underwear 50% off." I think I know what they meant but I can't help wondering if I should've checked it out :-D