Location: marengo, il, United States

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Now Tip This

Gather close, little ones, for I have a serious thing to contend with. Clive, stop pestering the Owl. Jamie, put down the can of shaving cream and let Jason finish his nap. Or even better, wake him up; he can help here too. Act, stop twirling like that, you beautiful child. Erin, sit down here and let someone pick the ceiling out of your hair while you listen. Ned? Ned? NED?

And where is Mad? Did he take that copy of British Bike into the loo? Will someone please take notes for Mad?

Ready? Right. Now I gave up on the idea of becoming a tipping point after riding a Mo-ped to school during my Sophomore year in high school, but I though that the time has now come to take a stab at it again.

(tipping point is a [currently-arcane] reference that only the wisest of owls, a lone Pom or two, and I might guess, a coffee-making Key Stone should instantly recognize, but the rest of you will hopefully get the idea pretty quick)

I recall when the word “man” became a hip and cool word. It was all the rage back then. Since that time, I have noticed, many new words have come and gone, but man, that one just won’t die or go away. Maybe it’s because I use it so much myself, and just maybe I am the only one still doing so. I don’t really know.

But I am fed up to here with a certain phrase, and I want to step out of the box, so to speak, and take this expression, tie it up in a bed sheet, wrap it in plastic, seal it with duct tape, paint it over with toxic paint, weight it down with tons of rocks, load it on a freighter, and then invite all my friends to come stand on the dock of the bay to watch the term as it heads for Davy’s Locker. We can bring beer, if you want, and we can cheer. Think out of the box here with me.

I am so sick of the idiom I want to kick the box, smash it, compress it, fold, spindle, mutilate and bite the thing till it begs for mercy, and only then will I consider having one of those beers myself. It galls me to hear it said. So let’s all go for the gall one final time. Think outside the box.

Man, what in the thunder does that really mean? You know, when I first heard the term, I actually thought, cool, man. There is a term I can dig, daddy-o. Far out! I thought, hey, dude, that describes me to a tee. Chill, dawg! Outasight! My ace-in-the-whole! Yewbetcha! And gigabytes to yo moma, just for good measure. Big whoop.

What a snobbish bunch of claptrap.

I am not a box. My head is not cube-shaped in any sense. And I resent the implication that I should try to think different. I am already different enough, thank-you-and-hand-me-the-damn-check.

So I want to get credit for being the tipping point. I do, I do, I do. But here is the problem. Mom always told me, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Right on, Ma! So here’s the plan, Stan. We can’t wish this inane thing away. That ain’t gunna happen. Nosiree, Bob. We have to replace it with a better, newer saying if this plan is to work. Alright, you surely get my drift by now. Let’s all reflect in another pool. Sense in another continuum. Sow in another field, perhaps. But let’s all get cracking.

Now look busy.


Blogger Ned said...

As a Dane (commonly known as a squarehead) I can't possibly think outside the box but I would like to rearrange reality, tune into a new frequency, change channels or perhaps switch tags on the items on the rack of life and get a better deal (you can do this in stores too but check for security cameras first).

4:35 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Hey man (cough, cough), what a trip....ya know man, way back in the sixties (wooo this is good, cough, stuff) all us freaks used to call it yer gourd (cough, man am I hungry) I'm not suggestin' (woowee long word) that we think outside the gourd (cough)......but at least a gourd is sorta round man.....what?......oh yeah....if thinkin's yer bag man.....(cough)....ya gotta use the gourd....(is that a spider?)......(wow it IS a spider).....(man that is sooooo cool)......what?...... I dunno know man......what box?

4:52 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Aaaarrrggghh typo. Mad is at a funeral, by the way. Or was. I guess it's over by now.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Well you know, that phrase is a little dear to be, because actually, Jason's head is shaped like a box (he was dropped on his head repeatedly as a child). Although, I must say, it would be good enough for me if he could just learn to think inside the box! But no, it's a big dumb box; an empty box, and I hate empty boxes. I think all boxes should have jewelrly inside them.
But thinking outside the box is just as dumb as colourind outside the lines. Colouring outside the lines is scribbling! Everyone knows you get held back a year for colouring outside the lines (Jason did 3 years of kindergarten for this, a shame really).
So you let me know if you get a whole nother saying going, and I'll do my best to pass it along.


6:58 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

J, it turns out that my 11 yo David suggested the term, "My ace-in-the-whole!". Lousy research on my past, as Eli ratted him out.

"He stole that from Strong Bad, dad. Whatageek."

But who knows...maybe flash cartoons will be the next big thing out of the box.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

First off, thank you for getting the lizard off me. There's just something about reptiles (shudder).

I'm guessing that you might possibly have had trouble with the square peg, round hole game in grade school.

You're right though, the phrase is ridiculous, overused, and pathetic. Maybe they should turn it into a McDonald's jingle?

10:22 PM  
Blogger bumpy_beth said...

<-- totaly confused.... :)
But I'll take yall's word for it, whatever it may be.

Make way for the Blonde....
Step aside, hury it up!

1:51 AM  
Blogger The Bubaker said...

*wanders out of the loo, copy of "Performance Bikes" in hand* Huh? Did I miss something? Oh sorry Way, I was thinking inside the box, the thunderbox...

7:50 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

To crap outside the box...Hmm. Someone read the verse in Deut. 23:12-13 (NAS). Mad has hit upon an old but solid idea.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

23:12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

23:13 and thou shalt have a paddle among thy weapons; and it shall be, when thou sittest down abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

Good point Harry. Perhaps we should not replace the phrase but modify it so that it has meaning.

11:12 AM  
Blogger The Bubaker said...

I didn't know there was a biblical passage instructing us on crapping whilst camping! You live n' learn...

11:17 AM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

The Wayfarer's Dictionary - To crap outise the box: To argue against a point that has not been made, as in, "Nah, man, you're crapping outside the box. What I said was..."

11:21 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

"And the man did surely peeth his pants, laughing."

11:53 AM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

OK Harry, here's your 14th: I do solemnly swear that I shall henceforth use the said phrase "to crap outside the box" whenever one of those numpties comes into the room and argues against points that no-one has made. Of course, I might just use it in a think bubble... ;)

3:45 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

#15: I've just noticed your title for this piece - "Now Tip This". Hahahahaha

3:47 PM  

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