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I Give You Sniglets for the New Age

2 Nov

by Roger White

 

Remember sniglets? You have to be at least kind of ancient if you do. Sniglets, the brainchild of 1980s comedian Rich Hall, were simply described as “words that don’t appear in the dictionary but should.” They’re concocted terms used to define everyday phenomena—usually petty annoyances or ridiculous inanities of life that we all experience but don’t think about enough to actually attach a real word or phrase to them. Like backspackle, which is, of course, the ah the spacklemarkings and smudges on the back of one’s shirt from riding a fenderless bicycle. Or giraffiti, which is vandalism spray-painted very, very high. Or one of my personal faves: slopweaver, which is someone who has mastered the art of repositioning the food on his or her plate to give the appearance of having consumed a good portion of it. Teens are marvelously adept slopweavers.

I started pondering sniglets the other day at work when, for the umpteenth time (is “umpteenth” a sniglet?), one of the little protective rubber coverings on my stereo’s earbuds came off in my ear and I didn’t notice—until a coworker pointed out to me that it looked like I had a cockroach nesting in my left ear.

Ah ha. There should be a word for that, I thought. And then, as I pondered sniglet possibilities for my plight, it hit me that we need a whole new crop of sniglets for the 21st century. So, herewith, I give you a jumping-off point of Sniglets for the New Age. These are just sniglet proposals, mind you. I think Rich Hall or somebody has to officially bless them in a ritualistic sneremony or something for them to become official. And as always, I welcome your snig-gestions:

  • Burst Responder: a person who blurts out a response to someone who’s talking on their cellphone because the responder thought the person was talking to them.
  • Adcenta Previa: those frustrating ads placed in front of the youtube video you want to watch.
  • Spellhole: the maddening state you find yourself in when your mobile device keeps insisting on correcting your text spelling when you don’t want it to.
  • Asdfjkrunge: the collection of food crumbs, bits of dust, cuticle washy washytrimmings, and other tiny specks of detritus you have to empty out of your computer keyboard from time to time.
  • Coughartle: the noise made, particularly by cube-environment workers, when trying to mask the sound of passing gas.
  • Tootretort: snarky comment or question posed by annoyed coworker who knows damn good and well that somebody just coughartled. Example: “Is there a gas leak?” or “Did somebody burn the popcorn again?”
  • Textnesia: that troublesome realization that you forgot who or what you were texting in the middle of text conversation.
  • Cell Squeenge: when two people in a cellphone conversation attempt to talk at the same time and end up hearing nothing and saying, “Hello? Hello? Are you still there?”
  • Vinylstalgia: a baby boomer’s angst at the lack of albums and old-fashioned record stores in today’s world.
  • Illoleracy: the absolute dearth of language skills shown by today’s teens and young adults who have been raised on “lol, ur kiddin, rofl, brb…” etc.
  • Faceplant: when you share a post on Facebook that your friend received 102 likes on, and you end up with three likes—and two of those are from you and your mom.
  • Proselyposting: the annoying habit of some Facebookers to hallelujahcontinually post how much they love Jesus/God/Yaweh/Allah/The Dude/Eric Clapton and that if you love Him/Her/Them also you must “like” and “share” or you’re going to Hell/Lake of Fire/Perdition/The Abyss/Cleveland.
  • Screenscramble: that moment when your boss suddenly pops into your cubie, and you have to frantically pull up a document on your computer screen to make it appear as if you’re working and not farting around on youtube.
  • Budplug: I almost forgot. This is what I came up with for that tiny rubber earbud covering that gets stubbornly stuck in your ear without your knowledge.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious offspring, a very obese but mannerful dachshund, and a cat with Epstein-Barr. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com. Or not.

 

Light Up a Smooth Chesterton’s and Enjoy This Column, Won’t You?

5 Dec

by Roger White

Wow. I’ve been reading lately how these crafty internet marketing types prowl the vast jungle of blog sites on this here World Wide Webby thing to see which ones are getting more and more hits as the days go by. Then they pounce, you see, and offer all kinds of payola and other goodies to the blog hosts to let them advertise on their blog sites. You see. The marketing types’ clients are happy because they get more traffic and word of mouth about their fantastic products and services, and the bloggers are happy because they get nifty payola and other goodies simply for referring their loyal readers to these guys who advertise on their sites. And the blog readers are happy, I suppose, because they get what you call “value added” bonus material (this can also be read as obnoxious advertising and teeth-clenching pop-ups) on their favorite blog sites. You see.

The only problem with this scenario is that the integrity of ye olde blog site owner comes into question. Somehow the purity of the message seems tainted when a corporate sponsor gets involved. You start wondering, now, did he write a whole column on how the Nazis were just a misunderstood political faction bent on strict law and order because he really believes it or because the Volkswagen logo is now splashed all over his web page? And kind of like how every first down the Texas Longhorns make when they’re playing at Royal Memorial Stadium is now brought to you by Taco Bell. Not that I’m implying that the makers of Volkswagen are Nazis somehow or that the only reason the ’Horns strive for every hard-earned first down when they’re playing at home is because they get a free bag of burritos with every 10 yards. But you get the idea.

So, anyway. Wouldn’t you know it? The very day I’m reading about how all this works, I get an e-mail from a guy named Mark Ettingtipe asking me if I would consider pasting some obnoxio—er, I mean, if I would consider developing some mind-nourishing value-added information for my li’l old blog site. How about that? Enough of you crazies have had absolutely nothing better to do than poke around reading my meandering streams of thought so that some crafty marketing types have been prodded to fishing in these waters for an advertising deal. I’m so flattered, you guys. (Insert Sally Field voice here.) “You like me! You really, really like me!”

I have to say, I gave some very serious consideration to the guy’s offer. I mean, jeez, an eighth of a cent per reader hit adds up over time. Let’s do the math. Say I get approximately 150 reader hits a day, multiplied by my sweet deal of an eighth of a penny per hit, and this comes out to about $1.20 a month. As one Jeff Spicoli once opined in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: “Righteous bucks.”

It was a tough call, but I turned ol’ crafty Mark Ettingtipe down. For one thing, I just can’t be untrue to my dear column—and to you, my loyal readers. My mission here is to provide those who know and love me the most with true pearls of wisdom and wit that can only come from a pure heart and a mind influenced only by the odd residual chemicals still left floating in yonder brain canals from my halcyon days of … well, let’s just call it “life experimentation” and leave it at that. I still say the color orange has a distinct sound.

And for another thing, I’m not certain I’m quite on board with the products Mr. Ettingtipe was wanting to peddle on these here pages. So you’ll be glad to know that you won’t have to ever wonder about the content on this site at least. They tried, yes sir, but they couldn’t get this old soldier to sell out to Madison Avenue. It’ll take much more than the lure of some easy money to turn the head of this ol’ keyboard banger. But this does remind me—you know what does turn my head? I’ll tell you, it’s the sweet, luxurious aroma of Chesterton’s 100s Menthol-Tipped Cigarettes. Whenever I’m tired from a long day of writing, I like to relax in my favorite easy chair with a cold drink and the silky smooth menthol tobacco flavor of a refreshing Chesterton.

Won’t you join me next week when I’ll be penning an enjoyable, light-hearted piece of humor about the wacky adventures of visiting the in-laws over Christmas? Pull up a chair, fill your best pipe with Chesterton’s nutmeg-aroma pipe tobacco, and we’ll share a laugh or two. See you then!

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.