Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's the what?

Maybe it's because I am sort of slow on the uptake, but I am always the last to notice when someone I see all the time loses 67 pounds, or grows a beard, or has moved to Schenectady.  I guess I'm more thinking of the "now" than of the "then," but the point is, things can change a lot without me noticing.

True story - I saw a post on Facebook by a woman I worked with. I said I would have to stop by her office in the morning to show her something associated with her post, and she said, "Have you not noticed I left that job over a year ago?  I work for Johns Hopkins now."

There's no way to come back from that.

Misuse of apostrophes is also the pits.
So I guess I am the last American to notice that no one says,"It's the pits!" anymore. The expression dates back to the 1950s, and originally came from our overwhelming interest in armpit hygiene, when people started saying "It's the pits" to mean something stanky.

We used to say that about a crummy job, a broken bone, or an outbreak of nepotism. It was a standard punch line on sitcoms ("Junior, how was the first day of your senior year?" "It was the pits, Dad!") and a handy way of commiserating with the guy down the street whose car was ripped off and the only thing possible to say when your favorite TV show was cancelled for the all-new "CSI Indianapolis."

And then, suddenly, everyone stopped saying it, and I just realized that no one says it anymore the other night, when I went to say it, and stopped 1/2 way through, stopping just in time to avoid the embarrassment of saying something totally uncool.

That would REALLY have been the...pits.

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