Monday, December 6, 2010

Catch Phrase

They say that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. However, what does it mean when someone takes your "material" and claims it as their own? Well I would say that would make them a low-down, yellow-bellied, sidewinder in my book. ... Huh? I'm rambling again? O.K., let me take a step back and fill you in on the relevant details. O.K.?

From time to time, when the inspiration moves me, I make up expressions or "catch phrases" for my own personal use. In fact, when I was a graduate student many years ago, I entered into an especially fertile period in my life for this sort of genesis. A fellow student who worked with me used to occasionally make "use" of my catch phrases. With my lawyer standing nearby, I reluctantly told this fellow student that he could use my catch phrases provided he properly cited my work. After he signed the paperwork in three places and initialed in four, the formal agreement was in place.

This fellow student surprisingly received his degree and moved out into the real world. In time I did as well, but we did not have all that much contact for two or three years. However, somehow during this period away from my watchful gaze, something insidious happened in his mind. He took ownership of my catch phrases. He used them at will without acknowledging my creation. Now, nearly 15 years since we were students together, we are once again working in and around each other. Whenever he uses one of my old expressions, which he does regularly, I remind him that I was the phrase's creator. He then proceeds to tell me that I am crazy. He will swear up and down that he made the expression up. What nerve!

Below I share a few examples of my catch phraseology. My suspicion is that you will find these so useful that you will want to sprinkle them liberally into your conversations with family members, co-workers, vigilantes, and hobos. You have my permission to use them, provided you use proper citation. Please see my laywer.
  • Bed-wetter - a wussy; a spineless, ineffective person. Sometimes known to wear a lavender jump suit.
  • Geeb - a personality-less blob of a person.
  • Mew-mew-mew - The tiny high-pitched whining sound a kitten makes. Said to someone whining and crying about something.
  • Cuffin'-the-carrot - Used to describe somebody making lots of noise but getting nothing done. Think of the "actions" of a lonely teenage boy.
  • Butt-muncher - A boss who rides you hard and is always chewing you out for not getting things completed fast enough. Also known as a B.M., which is fitting because this is standard medical terminology for a bowel movement.