There’s that third grade picture book with “spegeti” for “spaghetti” and “carit” for “carrot.” You find stick figure drawings of yourself through the eyes of a kindergartner, with your legs taking up 90 percent of the picture and your head ten percent, with no upper torso. Maybe they know something more about our brain capacity at an early age than we demonstrate as adults. Go figure.
You flip through photographs, finding vacations and special moments you’d entirely forgotten. The memories return.
As papers were pulled out of boxes, I found a number of phrases that made me smile. One in particular stood out.
Our younger daughter Skyler, who at the time must have been 8- or 9-years-old, said, “I meat loafed it.” I have this written down on a three-by-five card. At this stage of my life and memory, I have no idea what she meant. It’s still dang funny to read that and think about her saying it. But I wonder what the subtext was.
Was she being literal? Doubtful.
Was she discussing something to do with the singer “Meat Loaf?” Highly unlikely. She wouldn’t have known who he was at that stage of her life.
More than likely she was applying the phrase to something she did. We introduced her to golf fairly early in life, so maybe she was talking about a bad shot she hit and said, “I meat loafed that one,” when she was discussing a chunk of turf she’d ejected down the fairway. It’s possible.
It could also have been that she mispronounced something and meant to say “heat load” or “feet moat.” Who knows?
What I do know is that odd sounding phrases sure are funny to read, especially if you add food to it. Think about it.
What if you spaghetti-ed that painting? What would that mean? Probably that you plastered paint all over the place with lots of fine lines and red coloring. “Man, Leonardo da Vinci really knew how to spaghetti the canvas. He was a master.”
Our mother loved the line, “You turkey.” It was nothing new then, and still proves useful today. It applies to someone who is a loser when you don’t want to be mean about it.
Just the other day, I hamburgered an assignment. I packed a bunch of juicy words inside of an opening and closing that sounded similar and added a lot of flavorful language throughout the body. “I hamburgered that writing assignment.” It sure looked good and whoever read it afterwards felt full and content.
Sometimes you need to grease the skids to get something down quickly. What if you “olive oiled” it instead. “Zach, quit taking so much time, lay down some olive oil.”
Restaurants know how to play with this type of language. It catches your eye, makes you want to try something new, causes laughter. For example, one of my all-time favorite names for a restaurant is the Chinese chain, “Wok ‘N Roll.” Genius. How can you NOT go and eat in that place at least once to see if the food matches the talent of the play on words?
We limit ourselves far too much when it comes to how we use words, whether it’s about food or something else. So next time you mess something up, tell everyone you “meat loafed it.” We’ll leave up to you to explain what you meant.