in praise of mumbles

I am not always brilliant or well spoken. I think the people that are – it has to be affectation.

Sometimes life is very simple. Sometimes you will be asked very practical questions and to expound upon your answers will leave your audience breathless with annoyance. As in, “Could you go for a hamburger?”

There is no dishonor is answering “Sure,” or even “Could totally go for that,” or some variant with ‘bro’, ‘dude’, or ‘man’.


“Sometimes I get so stressed I think I might take up drinking,” I told her, looking at the ice cubes packed into my water. Who even does that in the winter?

“Well I know I could never ever do that! I mean, I wish I could but I just can’t, you know?” Amy sighed, shook her head. “I’m just one of those people who can’t ever drink.”

“Really?” I tried sipping the edges of the glass. Very cold. “Like, glass of wine at the end of the day? Seems kind of nice.”

“Oh.” She sat up straight, eyed me. “Oh that. Well. I mean, that’s not really drinking, is it? I mean, everyone has some wine at the end of the day. Or when you’re starting a bad shift at work. That isn’t really considered drinking.”

meant to say

Sometimes I like it, and sometimes I don’t – accordion music. Sometimes it seems to me indicative of everything that’s wrong with the world, the –

That isn’t what I meant to say. I meant sometimes I drink so much coffee I believe I can conquer the world –

Still, altogether not what I meant to say. I shouldn’t let anyone into my house. I should never have guests.

Or maybe I should never have anyone over that I actually like.

chubby hump

“So the other day Chubby Hump asked me for a time slip and I asked him, as politely as I could muster – ” I was attempting to explain to the director that sometimes one of the parents – Bob – confuses his work life with our school, and it’s mildly amusing and sometimes frustrating and a probable cause for concern.

She interrupted me by choking and spitting her juice into the sink. “Did you see what you made me do?” I looked. “Give you an excuse to hack up your homemade V-8?”

“What did you call that poor man?” I bit my lip. I refer to him, in the comfortable private environs of my brain, as ‘Chubby Hump’. I had just referred to him as that out loud apparently. “You called him Chubby Hump!” the director answered, while I continued my silence and fished for the right words. “Well,” I started, “He’s, uh, chubby, and, uh, he’s really horn – um, lascivious, and he – ” She cut me off with a wave of her hand. “Oh no no totally I completely get where you’re coming from, I just was taken aback by the name. ‘Chubby Hump’. That man is a Chubby Hump, whatever that is.”

And she walked off swirling her atrocious veggie smoothie.


“When I was a little kid I could stick my finger up my nose up to the knuckle,” Horton informed me. I pursed my lips, searched for the appropriate response, ended up just saying “Really?”

“Yes.” he paused. “I could still do it if you made it worth my while.” I looked up from my newspaper. “Is that so, Horton?”
“What is the going worth of your while?”
“I dunno – something good and tasty. Like a bag of chupa-chups. A whole bag.” I looked at him. He was deadly earnest.

It would be a change of pace from the Wall Street Journal.