Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things I Noticed, More Thoughts on Sensitivity - and a Caution Flag!

Another thing I noticed is, people who you can perfectly well see are only a little overweight - they're pretty sensitive about it! Like, disproportionately so. You could look right at one and say "Hey, fatty!" - woman or man! - and they'd be all "HEY! That's not--! I'm not even--!" Look down, resigned sigh, shoulder slump. As much as concede that they are! Even though they're not actually fat. You see, it's because that's what they have been telling themself, that's what they've been hounding and pounding themself with, so when you say it, it's like a reinforcement. So don't do that.

Anyway, you shouldn't be calling people fatty regardless of how fat or thin they are, because it's not a nice word. And it doesn't really matter how you meant it, either. That's out of bounds. It's like playing the racecar.

I love that saying by the way! "Playing the racecar." It's one of those sayings where you don't really know what it means, but it's OK anyway, you just pick it up from context. And then you use it, and it just fits perfect! The sound is perfect, and the meaning just gets dragged perfectly along behind it. It's not necessary to know all of the little trivial derivations and etymologies. "Playing the racecar," we know what that means! We know exactly what that means, when someone is playing the racecar: they did something totally uncalled-for. It was a stunt, you pulled some dumb stunt because you thought it would impress people, but they're not impressed - it was just STUPID. You played the racecar.

You had to play the racecar. Stupid. Who the hell did you think you'd impress with that, by playing the racecar?

Actually, the more you say it, the more it kind of DOES make sense! It's not only stupid, it's dangerous, because here you are toying with something really powerful and elemental, that's a fast hard monster roaring down the track, right? A RACECAR! And you're out there PLAYING with that? DUMB. REAL STUPID.

I can't believe you went there. I can't believe you played the racecar.

I love these idiotic expressions. They add so much color and depth, complexity to the languages. Beautiful!


Nina said...

Calling someone a fatty is super mean. That reaction you described actually sounds like how I would react to being called a fatty.

I've actually never heard that phrase before. So when you first said it, I was like "...what does that even mean?" But now that you've explained it it makes perfect sense!

dogimo said...

SOMEBODY called me a fucking FATTY the other day!! And I almost had to about kick some ass, but then I thought: you know what? Channel it in a more literary vein. I was going to say, "be the bigger person" but...kind of not a good way to put it for this situation.

The "racecar" bit is a different story. That was based on a mishearing: someone was saying "I can't believe he played the race card" but I thought they had said "played the racecar"! I was like, "???"

After the misunderstanding got unraveled, we all had a laugh at my bad ears and/or idiocy! But I thought it was a good laugh, as laughs at my own expense go.

So now every now and then, I find I have to call somebody out for "playing the racecar."