My vocabulary is full of phrases from iconic television shows. I recognize that this says something about me…perhaps something not all that positive…something bordering on pitiful…but it is what it is.
More and more I realize that some of the things I regularly say out loud to folks are not recognized as being tied back to their original source; which, if you understand the usage of these phrases, completely removes all the humor and nostalgia that should be invoked in the listener. It doesn’t help that most of my regular dialogues during the school year are with folks typically aged 18-25. This generation knows nothing of shows I watched as a kid and young adult…shows like Dragnet, The Monkeys, Columbo, Welcome Back Kotter, Get Smart, Candid Camera, Happy Days, Lost in Space, Davy and Goliath, Laugh-In, The Golden Girls, The Carol Burnett Show, Room 222, Alice, The Incredible Hunk, Different Strokes, Fantasy Island, All in the Family, The Partridge Family, Mork and Mindy, Father Knows Best, The A-Team, etc., etc., etc. (yes…I have watched thousands of hours of television in my lifetime thus far).
All those years of collecting all those phrases in my mind and using them with impeccable timing and placement are now for naught. It kills me. There are folks who are not even remotely familiar with the John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd years of Saturday Night Live – yes…it’s true!! There are folks who think old school SNL is represented by the likes of Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell. As I said above – it kills me.
I can’t stop using these phrases though…they are ingrained in me and have become part of my persona. I am thrilled whenever I am talking to someone and they actually recognize the phrase – it has become such an anomaly. I have started to identify with those emails you get that say, “You know you are old when…”, and I have taken to calling folks who are well into their thirties “kids”. The end is near my friends…the end is near.
Lately, I have been trying to catch myself before I utter any of those iconic phrases by utilizing a mental door stop that just happens to be (not surprisingly) another iconic phrase. Now each time before my brain goes to insert a phrase that seems perfect from my new forty historical perspective my door stop phrase kicks in and issues a stern warning – “Danger, Will Robinson!” Yes, an appropriate way to remind me that I am truly Lost in Space and the appreciation for my finest television reference phrases has all but evaporated in my day-to-day world.
But I refuse to acknowledge that this setback is indicative of the aging process and “I pity the fool” who says that to me as they are sure to garner a “Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?” followed by a boisterous, “Kiss my grits!”
Am I bit recalcitrant about admitting my vocabulary is dated – “You bet your sweet bippy!”
Day five hundred and twenty-nine of the new forty – obla di obla da