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Wednesday, 01 March
My Imaginary Brush With Royalty

Ever had one of those really silly, really inconsequential memories that hits you now and then and you realize that you're stuck with forever? I've got one that I apparently will take with me to my grave. It is, happily, totally stupid.

I'm on the playground, around sixth grade or so, so I guess I was eleven. I was hanging out with ur-dweebs M. and S. M. was a reticent kid who also happened to have diabetes; I remember once in class when there was some spirited debate going on, and M. waited patiently with his hand raised in the air for five minutes to be called on. Finally, when Mr. W. said, "Okay, M.?" He replied calmly, "I think I'm having a reaction." His hobbies in retrospect seemed to preemptively summarize his entire life: M. basically devoted all of his energy into three directions: 1. Drawing (and he was talented), 2. Not being noticed by anyone, and 3. Collecting every Star Wars action figure ever created.

S. was, if possible, even more awkward than M., and his traits were characterized mostly by a weedy kind of nervous energy. S. seemed, at all times, to vibrate at some odd, inhuman frequency that made him waspish and inspired a sort of pain in one's teeth. It's hard to explain, as you see. S., I always thought, even as a kid, would grow up to be a sniper. He had a fiendish knack, for example, when playing dodge ball, of hitting boys in the nuts.

Anyway. Here's the bit that has stayed with me. I don't know why.

The three of us were dorking out on the playground one day, and M. said something to set S. off. Not in a really pissed-off way, but just one of those "gotta save face" reactions. So here is what S. said:

"You BUTTHOLE!" There was a slight pause, and then he continued. "You HOLE OF THE BUTT! You BUTT OF THE HOLE!"

And it is this that has stayed with me for all these years. I have turned it over in my mind, like some mysterious, precious piece of handed-down jewelry, examining its facets too try to determine its strange charm on me. And after much analysis, I have decided that what has made this memory so indelible is the incredibly strange wordplay involved in the phrase "You butt of the hole." In fact, I have decided that I love this infelicitous phrase beyond all imagining.

For one thing, it makes no sense at all. But for another thing, it kind of does, that is, if you pretend that it is some long-forgotten terrible honorific whose courtly connotations have long since been corrupted by popular usage of the crass "butt." For the past week--again, I don't know why my brain is doing this--I have been entertaining myself by imagining being introduced to some very proper British fellow.

"Hello," he says in a plummy accent. "My name is Aubrey Henry Shellington Mawpes, Second Earl of Burfton, Knight of the Order of Glump." I shake his hand formally. And then he continues, "I am also the Butt of the Hole." He pauses for effect.

In this weird, meaningless fantasy, I maintain outward composure. But inside, I am screaming with cosmic glee. I am shaking hands with the Royal Butt of the Hole! "It is a pleasure to meet you, sir," I say. I'm trembling a little now. "It's an honor to meet you."

"I should think so," he sniffs. "It's not every Yank who shakes hands with . . . the Butt of the Hole."

Then I replay it all over again.

Confess | Skot | 01 Mar, 2006 |

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Comments

Whatever you are huffing, stop it now - it's gone to your brain.

Just Say No.

Comment number: 006659   Posted by: Jado on March 2, 2006 07:21 AM from IP: 63.109.229.19

Brilliant...I love dorky people...

Comment number: 006660   Posted by: Lythea on March 2, 2006 04:37 PM from IP: 216.153.144.4

"The last successful invasion of England was in 1066."
Learned in 7th grade, at Nathan Eckstein Junior High (when there still was such a thing as a Junior High...)

Comment number: 006661   Posted by: linnea on March 2, 2006 09:24 PM from IP: 68.164.170.57

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