Finding the AweWow Gland

It started out as a typical Saturday morning. My wife and daughter had some errands to run. As tempting as it was to tag along and surf the waves of estrogen, I decided instead to roam the mall. I like roaming the mall alone. I walk with nothing more than my writing pad. I have found that observing the people, stores, and surroundings of the mall can provide a great source for writing material. I always find something different each time. It can be someone I met, something on display or people who (intentionally or not) make a display of themselves. This Saturday was no exception.

I started off in the bookstore (as I typically do). This helps me to enjoy my exploration with a clear mind. Somehow it helps to cleanse the mental palate. As I worked out of the bookstore, I turned to my left so that I could cover the greatest mall distance. I easily walked not more than 20 feet before my eyes and mind were treated to wonderful visions of beauty. I am talking about sights so beautiful that most men would swoon and drop to their knees. Was it a fashion show? No siree, buddy. It was a car show.

Now, I am not a car aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn’t be able to tell you that a 1965 Mustang K series engine came in at 289 cubic inches with 271 horsepower and 10.5:1 compression and a four barrel carburetor unless I went out of my way to look it up (I did). As a matter of fact, I will probably have auto-philes and Mustang fanatics tell me that I just said that entirely wrong. I’m OK with that. Such spewing of facts is usually done around auto-philes to show that you are an authority on the subject (or at least give the illusion) while your friends go “Yup!” and smile with a knowing nod. This allows to to either pass along the same illusion of authority or act in kindness to not expose that you lack it (auto-philes are cool that way).

Still, there’s nothing like a really cool car that has an effect upon any guy who gazes upon it. It stimulates part of the male endocrine system know as the Awewow gland. The gland is located somewhere between the salivary glands and the brain. Doctors have been unable to pinpoint the location of the gland but have been able to verify its presence at every car show. It is called an Awewow gland because whenever a man sees a sweet car, he stops dead in his tracks and says: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” It is also shown to be highly active during Super Bowl Sunday and any time that Eddie Van Halen plays Eruption. If they are around other guys, it provokes arm grabbing and elbow poking to draw the other guy’s focus toward the object of desire. It can also be followed by exclamations of: “DUDE! “DUDE! “DUDE! “DUDE!  Soon, two or more guys are going: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” in multi-part harmony. Legend has it that a prison riot in 1976 at Poundrock State prison was brought to a grinding halt when a quick thinking prison guard displayed a picture of his 1967 fire engine red Corvette. Suddenly, more than 100 inmates in jumpsuits dropped their handmade weaponry and began saying: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!”  Some say that the the harmonious chanting could be heard as far as 10 miles away.

I couldn’t JUST stand in awe of these cars.  I took out my mobile phone and started snapping pictures of these wonderful machines (Yup! It’s another bulleted list):

  • 1973 lime green Pontiac Firebird
  • 1968 turquoise Olds Cutlass
  • 1965 sky blue Mustang. My dad used to have this same model but his was royal blue.
  • 1956 burgundy/white Chevy Bel-Air. This one was really cool because it had a rose etched into the quarter glass.
  • 1971 black/white Chevy Chevelle. This color theme was accentuated throughout the car with plush skunks.

As sweet as all of these cars were to see, I got the biggest AweWow stimulation when I gazed upon a 1939 lemon yellow Lincoln Zephyr. This car wasn’t just a display. It was a SHOW! The car had suicide doors. The engine was decorated with blinking Christmas lights. On display inside the trunk was a replica of the Zephyr right down to the lemon yellow finish. To top it all off, there was a mannequin wearing a yellow baseball hat, a yellow scarf,  crème pumps, and fishnet stockings. 

It was shortly after this that my wife called to pick me up. I put away my handwritten observations and my mobile phone and met them outside. Of course, I couldn’t resist the photos with my son in law (an auto-phile). When he saw the photo of the 1956 Bel-Air he couldn’t stop himself: “AWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE! DUDE!”

What A Wonderful Word Vol. IV: The Return of the Son of the Bride.

Howdy! Howdy Howdy, Folks! Here we are, once again’, gathering and learning words. What kind of words, you ask? That’s a good question, folks. We are here to learn words that are worth learning to increase your wordy wealth. This is the fourth installment in the series (and I’ve passed the savings onto you).

For those who may be unfamiliar with these installments, I’ll take a moment to lay out the rules of making such a list. Those of you who ARE familiar can just sit and relax for a moment. First, it must be a real word that can be found in the dictionary (I used several dictionary sources). Secondly, keeping in the spirit of my blog, it must be family friendly. Lastly, if you could imagine Tigger saying the word, it had a good chance of making the list. The list has exactly 18 words. There are two main reasons for this number. First, the original list had 18 words. Secondly, keeping such a specific number in mind makes the challenge more interesting to me. I’d give a third and fourth reason but I promised you there’d be only two. People from all over send me words to use (and I come up with a few on my own as well). Many of the words I receive comply with the above rules so please feel free to contact me with a word for future volumes. If it lines up with the rules and hasn’t been used before, there’s a good chance I will use it. With that in mind, here is the fourth list.

  • abligurition – This one was sent to me by a long time friend. While the word’s use IS somewhat outdated, I still couldn’t resist using this word in the list because it just sounds WAY too funny. Anyway, abligurition refers to spending lavish amounts of money on fine foods. It describes a fondness for delicacies. A person who is showing abligurition will choose to have foie gras on a cracker in lieu of a liverwurst sandwich. He will choose pheasant under glass over a bucket of chicken. “The two friends decided not to have breakfast after work. One had an abligurition for quails eggs and potato galettes. The other just wanted to go to the Waffle House and get a ham and cheese omelette with his hash browns covered and chunked”.
  • attitudinal – When I first heard my daughter use this word, I honestly thought she was just making it up. My daughter is an intelligent woman, she is just not a word nerd like her father. As the word implies, this adjective simply means that a person’s behavior or actions are based on their particular feelings on an issue (ones attitude if you will). “I feel that the senator’s decision to propose a harsh leash law is not based on the concerns of her constituents. Her stance is likely attitudinal due to the fact that she was bitten on the ankle by her neighbor’s chihuahua.
  • befuddle – This is definitely a word that is hard for me to use or hear without giggling a little bit inside. It seems to me that if someone is using the word “befuddle” they are quite possibly, deliberately trying to sound funny. It simply means to confuse someone with one’s words or action. Salesmen befuddle consumers to make a sale (some salesmen not all). Politicians befuddle their constituents in press releases (most politicians not all). Athletes use sports jargon and double talk to befuddle reporters and spectators to explain why they just lost a playoff game (every single, solitary one of them). But that’s not the cool part, the cool part is that the word can also mean to stupefy one with alcohol. This means that a malicious  soul can create a circle of befuddlement by getting someone intoxicated then using a bunch of double talk to confuse them. It’s a terrible thing to do but the point is that you can befuddle someone then befuddle the already befuddled individual again. “The senator tried to befuddle her constituency by using bunch of bleeding heart legal jargon to explain her attitudinal stance on the proposed new lease law.  Still, one couldn’t help but notice the tiny, canine teeth marks on her ankles”.
  • brouhaha – I LOVE this word. It sounds like someone is laughing when they are saying it (“You just said it, didn’t you?”) A brouhaha is great excitement or concern about something. It can also be used to describe an uproar. “The senator’s proposed new leash law created an extraordinary brouhaha among her constituents. Many outraged citizens marched with their chihuahuas to the capitol steps to express their disapproval. Unfortunately, this also resulted in many protesters receiving fines for violating the litter laws”.
  • effulgent – This was another word that was provided for me by a someone else. A colleague learned this one from one of her word of the day calendars. The word refers to brightness or radiance. The hard G in the word makes it sound less than complimentary which is probably why it made its way onto this list. “The young man gazed into the lady’s eyes and said he could not help but be exhilarated by her pulchritudinous effulgence. His friend walked up and told her she looked pretty in the dress she was wearing. The former young man received a wedding invitation from the new couple a year later.”
  • elation – This word has a very special meaning to me right now. The word means to be filled with joy and happiness. Someone I know recently had a bit of a scare medically speaking. He got word from his doctor that the situation was not as severe as they thought it could have been. When he told me this he said that he could not truly describe his elation. I was beyond happy for him. I also love that fact that cannot truly use the word without being somewhat elated. “Imagine my elation to open my refrigerator at 3 AM and discover 3 pieces of leftover fried chicken.”
  • knickerbocker – It was my younger daughter, Brianna, who insisted that I include this word. She absolutely cannot hear or say the word without laughing. The word refers to a descendant of the Dutch settlers of New York. It can also refer to any New Yorker. It has also been abbreviated to knickers to describe pants that reach just below the knee. Kickerbocker was actually, at one time, the team name for the New York Knicks. I am sure the reference is geographical and not one of fashion. If YOU want to ask Ama’re Stoudemire about it, you go right ahead. I assume no responsibility for the outcome. I won’t use this one in a sentence as it is primarily used by ignorant tourists and historians.
  • parameterize – This one definitely sounds made up but ,lo and behold, it’s a real word. It refers to breaking down or expressing things by using limits or boundaries. I, personally get the impression that if someone is using this word, they are either putting to much thought into something or they are trying to muddy up an issue. “When he explained that he was going to parameterize his music collection by their respective genres, sub-genres, and release dates; I immediately realized he needed to get out of the house and bought two tickets to the tractor pull”.
  • pinking shears – Yes, I know its two words but at the end of the day, I make the editorial decisions. Pinking shears are scissors that are used for cutting cloth. The blade edges form a zigzag pattern for the cut. I only learned recently that the purpose behind this zigzag pattern is to reduce fraying and damage to the woven cloth. “My roommate realized immediately that I was not a gifted cook when he saw me used pinking shears to separate a chicken. However,  I could not explain why I owned pinking shears since I do not own a sewing machine.”
  • prognosticate – This is definitely one of those word nerd words. To prognosticate is to foretell of an upcoming event using present signs or conditions. A meteorologist,  for example, can prognosticate an impending storm based upon current and recent weather patterns. “Given the public’s outcry over the senator’s proposed new leash law, her staff were able to prognosticate the repercussions during the forthcoming elections. They were also able to advise the best route home (e.g. avoid the capitol steps).”
  • puzzlement – This word alludes to a previous word in this list. It simply refers to the state of being puzzled by something. “The senator was completely oblivious to the sentiment of her constituency. Her puzzlement was very apparent on the news bulletin which shows dozens of barking robotic chihuahuas all yapping in unison on her front lawn.”
  • quixotic – This is a word I absolutely love. It is a reference to the novel of Don Quixote which was written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Actually, the full title is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. The character of Don Quixote is one who passionately pursued his endeavor no matter how hopeless, no matter how far (Did you really think I was going to let that one get by me?) He was also portrayed as one who was a couple of bricks shy of a full load. The term quixotic describes one’s actions as being somewhat impulsive or idealistic and could have devastating outcomes. I personally think that if one is being told their plans are quixotic, they should look the word up to give more time to consider their decisions. “The senator’s advisors told her that her proposed new leash law was unduly harsh and rather quixotic. The senator scoffed at their remarks and walked away with a noticeable limp.”
  • skullduggery – This word describes underhanded dealings or deceit. I like it because it makes one sound like a pirate every time it is uttered (You just said it, didn’t you?) “Several on the senator’s staffed resigned immediately when she accuse them of skullduggery and sympathizing with a pro-chihuahua lobby. Another advisor was terminated when the senator discovered a hand drawn picture of her likeness wearing an eye patch”
  • smarmy – This word is clearly negative in its connotation. It refers to one that is insincerely flattering in their speech and actions. Imagine a hotel bellhop who compliments patrons that tip generously and you get the idea. “The senator’s smarmy assistant was clearly trying to protect his job when  he gushingly complimented the way the senator’s ankle bandage accessorized her fashion ensemble.”
  • snarky – This word will be forever lodged in my brain. It refers to speech or actions that are disrespectful or critical in tone.  I became rather irritated with someone at work once. In an effort to control my irritation, I fired off an email to this person that was very short and to the point (or so I thought at the time). My team manager (who was included in the email exchange) privately told me that my email was “…rather snarky and not very helpful.” I (eventually) took his criticism in the spirit in which it was given. Even today, we still occasionally joke about responses have certain “levels of snark”. This is especially important for me to consider the lesson I learned from that email as I am now also a team manager. “The senator gave a very snarky response to the journalist who asked if she was considering levying a tax on chihuahua owners.”
  • spatchcock – I want to buy a grill just so I can use this word more often. I picture speaking to my food like a brilliant English director while I grill it. “Good eeevening, Mr. Chicken. My name is Captain Spatchcock”. Anyway, the word means to dress and split a chick for the purpose of roasting on a spit. “While his friend has an abligurition for spatchcocked fowl. He prefers to just fire up his grill and roast some chicken”.
  • unctuous – This is another one of those words that alludes to a previous word in the list. Like smarmy, it also refers to words or actions that are complimentary but insincere in tone. I like it because the hard C in the word makes it sound rather accusatory. “Having greeted him (along with her now husband), the newly wedded bride could not help but notice the gentleman’s unctuous tone as he complimented how lovely she looked in her bridal gown. She also couldn’t help but notice that, once again, he did not have a date.”
  • wonky – I had to end this list with a word that I could say over and over again ALL DAY LONG. It’s a word I want to teach to five year olds so that they can say it ALL DAY LONG (You’re welcome, Mom and Dad). It means that something or someone is off center or off kilter. It can refer to someone’s or some thing’s irregular or problematic behavior.  In short, it says that something isn’t quite right. “The senator’s behavior became quite erratic in the wake of the leash law scandal. Most authorities concluded that she simply couldn’t handle the stress anymore. Still, many rumors were circulating that the senator’s maniacal laughter and wonky smile were due to having contracted rabies”.

Well, there you have it, folks – another list of funny sounding words with legitimate uses. If you found that I omitted words from this list (or the previous volumes). Feel free to chime in as long as they meet the guidelines (funny and family friendly). I hope you enjoyed this list. I also fervently hope that the senator gets 400 hours of community service caring for rescued chihuahuas.