Sunday, January 07, 2007


Does this ever happen to you?

You’re happily minding your own business, when, suddenly, you are struck by the laugh-out-loud ridiculousness of a given word or name.

Suddenly, that word - whatever it may be - sounds completely silly. You can’t help thinking about it, and the more you try not to, the more it jams itself into your consciousness.

It has nothing to do with the word’s meaning. It has everything to do with how it sounds, and sometimes, how it’s spelled.

For She Who Must Be Obeyed, one word that pegs her Ridiculometer needle is “desk.”

Say it to yourself a few dozen times. You might begin to feel that “desk” is a ridiculous word, too.

In my case, I am frequently bedeviled by a Proper Noun. A name.

It’s a name that, through no fault of its owner, makes me want to laugh out loud.

Maeve Binchy.

Say it a few times. Let it roll around on your tongue. Maeve Binchy. Maeve Binchy.

God-damn! what a ridiculous assemblage of syllables. Maeve! Binchy!

Maeve Binchy is a real person. An author, no less, with at least fourteen novels, five short story collections, and a novella to her credit.

I have never read any of her books. I am not likely ever to read any of her books. I just can’t get past the name, which, for no apparent reason, simply strikes me as humorous. And these are the kind of Random Thoughts I have concerning Ms. B.:
  • Maeve Binchy is where America goes for seafood.

  • Hefty Hefty Binch-Sak

  • Don’t get your panties in a Binch.

  • How about a nice Hawaiian Binch?
Now: Does this ever happen to you? Or do I belong in an institution?

And if the answer to the second question is “Yes,” do you belong there with me?

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