Friday, November 16, 2012

A Tangled Tongue and other Ticklish Tales

Sunrise in the writing room.
Today like so many other early mornings "sleep" left our house early.  I've often wondered why, when I'm finally retired,  sleep doesn't linger longer in the early mornings, like I dreamed it would.  Just now two cardinals perched on the bushes outside my pink sunfilled writing room, chirping an early morning recital.  Blessings from another world, I think.  Perhaps sleep knew what she was doing when she left, leaving me the time to enjoy the sunrise and Cardinal's songs.

If I don't take a short refreshing nap today, I may find that my brain and tongue don't work well together as the day progresses.  I like to blame those brain snaps on a weary mind or lack of sleep.  Over the years I've kept a list of tangled tongue remarks that I've made, but perhaps my most lasting memory, or even my first memory of a tangled tongue came from my dad.  He was suffering some severe should pain and rubbed it often hoping for some relief, but he also had bursitis in his elbow and shoulder joints.  One day in frustration and pain he turned to my mother and I and groaned, "Helen, my shoulder burts."  We never laughed at my dad unless it was a joke and this was not a joke, it just sounded funny.  He seriously attempted his sentence again, "My shoulder burts."  By then mother and I had lost our self control and rolled with laughter.  Dad relaxed and laughed with it.  Burts was added to our family vocabulary to describe real pain that comes from "bursitis and hurt" or any other reason to make light of joint pain.

Last weekend on the drive home from Norman Jack and I noticed a lot of cars heading north, like us, with KSU stickers and flags waving.  Those Wildcat fans had just watched another football victory and were driving home with hopes of a new BCS ranking of #1.  At a McDonald's stop in Perry, Oklahoma I was standing in line with four people dressed in purple and looking like they'd had as little sleep as I had from the football games the night before.  When the moment was right I turned to them smiling and said, "You look like a happy group of "Stay-Katers."  Their faces looked stunned and I felt numbed by my words so I tried again, "Stay-Katers" I blurted out only louder this time thinking I'd get it right.  One lady came to my rescue before laughing out loud, "I know what you're saying."  "Ok," I breathed deeply and said, "I mean you are happy Wildcat fans.  Congratulations on the wins!"

Carrots of the Piribean.
If that had been my only tongue tangler this week I might have forgotten about it, but I ran on fumes this week with fun events each evening and very little sleep.  I have a tee shirt that I wear sometimes to Pilates or Yoga, that says, "I Love Jack."  My Pilates instructor, Abby, noticed it this week and asked how I found a tee shirt with my husband's name on it.  I proudly smiled and pointed to a tiny copyright print, and then opened my mouth, "It's from 'Carrots of the Piribbean.'"  Once again that blank stillness filled that air, and I knew I would not be saying it right, so I just pointed hard and jabbed at the copyright, nearly grunting and laughing.  It read "Pirates of the Caribbean."

I'm fearful today of what might slide out of mouth, but at least I know it won't be the first time.   For those of you reading this, I'm guessing your tongue has tangled, too.  You are welcome to share your stories in the comment box below.

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