Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Friend Ray. Rated R...

Mmmmmmmmm...  LASAGNA!!!

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Ray called me at work, wanting to know how to spell 'sawndree'.

Apparently, he had just purchased a birthday card for his wife, Mandy.  When he called me, he was sitting in his used 2001 Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of a drug store, like a filthy, homeless bum, scribbling a desperate message of love to his beloved wife.  Problem is, he had no idea how to say or spell 'sawndry' in the first place.

     "I need you to look up a word for me," he said.  "How do you spell 'sawndrie'?  I know it starts with S-A-U-N-D-R.  But does it end in Y or I-E?"

     "You called me to look up a word for you?" I asked.  "Just do it yourself, Numb-nuts."

     "I know you're in front of a computer," he replied.  "Do it for me."

     "Why, where are you?" I asked.

     "I'm in a drug store parking lot," he said.  "I just bought a birthday card for Mandy, and I'm filling it out in the car."

     "What's the word?" I asked, shaking my head in disbelief.

     "Saundree," he said.

     "  ...Saundree?  ...  I've never heard of that word."

One of my co-workers in her mid-fifties piped up from across the room.  "Does he mean 'sundry'?"

     "I think it means 'miscellaneous' or 'various'," he replied.

     "Well, if it means 'miscellaneous' or 'various', why don't you just write 'miscellaneous' or 'various'?" I asked.

     "Tell your friend that there's no such word as 'saundrie'," my co-worker chimed in again.

     "Just look it up!" Ray barked.

I brought up on my computer and typed in S-A-U-N-D-R-Y.  The message came back - 'No Results Found'.  I typed in S-A-U-N-D-R-I-E.  Again, the message came back - 'No Results Found'.

     "Um, there's no such word as 'saundrie'," I said.  "Did you, by chance, mean to say 'sundry'?"

     "Oh...  is that how you say it?"

     "Yes," I said.  "And that means that it starts with S-U-N...  not S-A-U-N."

     "You're friend is not very smart," my co-worker called out.  I stood up from my cubicle and nodded, in silent agreement.

     "Let's look it up with the proper spelling, shall we?"  I typed S-U-N-D-R-Y into the search field on and waited for the results.  "Ah, here we go.  Sundry.  S-U-N-D-R-Y.  It's a determiner which means 'several or various; miscellaneous'.

     "That's the word I want," he said.  "So, it's S-U-N-D-R-Y?"

     "Yes," I said.  "There's no 'A'."

     "OK.  Thanks!"

     "The word also has a separate Australian definition," I continued, scanning the multiple meanings of the word on my screen.  "In cricket, it's also referred to as 'extra... or a run not scored from the bat, such as a wide, no-ball, bye, or leg bye.'"

     "Um...  thanks."

     "Why would you ever think of writing 'sundry' in a birthday card?" I asked.  "Do you think you should be using a word that you don't know how to say or spell?"

     "Tell your friend that nobody uses that word anymore," my co-worker added.

     "Will Mandy even know what the word means?" I continued.  "What if she's only familiar with the Australian definition?  That will confuse her even more."

     "Of course she'll know."

     "Who confuses 'sundry' with 'sawndree'?" I asked.  "If you can't spell it or say it, then you shouldn't be using it?  And if Mandy doesn't know what it means, that will be even more insulting to her than getting a clich√© Hallmark greeting card, filled out clumsily with your third grade chicken scratch in a parking lo--"

     "Fuck off!" he barked, cutting me off.

     "Anything else I can help you with today?"

     "Nope, that is all."

     "Ya know," I said.  "I feel very used right now."

     "As well you should," he replied.  "I'll talk to you later."

     "Bye,"  I hung up the phone.

My co-worker had wandered over to my cubicle.  "Did your friend graduate from high school?" she asked, sipping her coffee.

     "Yes, he did," I said.  "He's an anesthesiologist at a local hospital."

     "NOBODY...  uses that word anymore," she said again.  "Is he trying to impress his wife?"

     "I don't know," I said.  "I don't know why Ray does a lot of the things that he does."

I probably made a bigger deal of it, being an English major and all.  But in the grand scheme of things, I shouldn't have been surprised.

After all, this is the same boy who swallowed a toothpick whole after reheating a piece of frozen lasagna.  The toothpick had been used to suspend platic wrap above and over the lasagna, while it was in storage in the freezer, to prevent it from sticking to the cheese.  When he removed a piece from the pan and reheated it in the microwave, he forgot to remove the toothpick.  As the lasagna warmed, the toothpick sank down into the lasagna, never to be seen again.

Without even being aware that he had swallowed it, he passed the whole damn thing through his entire digestive system, and managed to get it lodged sideways into his upper rectum.  At the hospital, the attending crew had to put his legs up in stirrups, while a male doctor with rubber gloves went spelunking around in his asshole with 'crevice-friendly' pliers, asking him repeatedly why he would even consider inserting a sharp object into his anus.

I guess that a made-up word isn't the end of the world.

Mmmmmmmmmmm...  LASAGNA!!!

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