When my boys boast or plan hyperbolic things, which they often do, being boys and all, I’ve often acknowledged their projected prowess or accomplishments, often set to arrive in the future, by saying they’ll be a big man on Mulberry Street.
This would be a case of what Daddy always says, except my boys are past calling me Daddy, and this particular utterance only occurs in the very specific circumstance when someone asks Dad (as he is now known) what time it is at 4:30.
In this case, Dad always says, “4:30. It’s not late. Naw, naw, it’s just early, early, early.”
Because of a relatively minor hit for the Spin Doctors some 26 years ago, old man.
So. My oldest son is twelve, and he’s starting to notice girls, although he will downplay this, but when he’s noticed them, his body language changes to an enforced nonchalance, and he sweeps back his forelock often and with flourish. He did this when putting his contact information into the phone of the Norwegian exchange student last week. He did it when the young cashier at the grocery recognized the band on his shirt.
So yesterday, when both of my boys were engaged with girls of their age at the martial arts school after their classes were over, I reported to my wife,
They both were mackin’ on girls.
Which might just catch on at their small school as the proper slang.
Why on earth would I use that natively for flirt?
Well, remember, gentle reader, I grew up in the projects in the 1970s, when many of the residents wore picks in their afros kind like Questlove does.
But they were earnest and not retro.
Did I try to wear a pick in my hair like my friends did. Yes. It went as well as you might expect, but certainly better than it would today, where my pate is as close to shaven as I can get.
So it’s a product of my youth.
Or perhaps I use it because I listen to a lot of Willie Mack.
Which I like to say is because I spent a lot of time in my youth in the housing projects, where many of the young men walked around with the new portable tape players on their shoulders, playing music just like that. Presumably, while preparing to mack on girls.
Still, I keep using out-of-date slang with my children in hopes that they’ll pick it up and suddenly the whole school will be talking like me.
We’ve got about a hundred feet before the driveway where we’re going to turn, and a bicyclist is ahead of us, going bicycle speeds. So I say, “Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!” as I often do when encouraging some part of traffic to accelerate
Sábado Gigante, the quirky, iconic, 53-year-old variety show that has been a fixture for generations of U.S. Hispanics, will broadcast for the last time on Saturday night. As they prepared to say farewell, Sábado’s beloved host, Don Francisco, and his followers looked back on their time together with nostalgia and emotion.
“I started doing this when I was 22 years old, and since then, my whole adult life has transpired,” Mario Kreutzberger (Don Francisco’s real name), told El Nuevo Herald shortly before a taping for Saturday’s show. Kreutzberger, 74, married, raised three children (including a son named Francisco) and had nine grandchildren.
It’s not as though I’ll stop saying it, but there’s no chance my children will catch it while flipping through cable in college and think of me.
I’m prone to saying to my children, “Willie, it’s go time.”
The source is not classic children’s literature, but rather classic arrested adolescent literature. Namely, another beer commercial that was popular around the turn of the century, back when I was watching hockey games on television every couple of nights:
I’m ashamed to admit that my allusions are thirty-five percent classic literature, twenty-four percent philosophy, and forty-one percent old beer commercials.
Springfield has a new Denny’s, and it was inevitable that we would venture to the restaurant, the first of its kind in the city, because I spent an awful lot of late night time in my youth in a Denny’s, and I longed for a Super Bird and a bowl of vegetable beef soup.
Still, my children could not understand why I kept calling it Lenny’s.
Gather round, youngsters, and let me explain about the Corlick sisters.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Denny’s advertised on television (perhaps they still do, but we’ve been out of Denny’s television markets for five years now). The commercials featured two sisters, the Corlick sisters. One of them mishears what her sister says to comedic effect (much like Daddy does on occasion, although he’s the only one who thinks it’s funny). Then she mentions eating at “Lenny’s”, and her sister automatically corrects her to “Denny’s.”
I had a few of those free meals at Lenny’s. I recall one year visiting multiple Denny’s so that I could get the free meals. As a young man, I could eat a lot.
So my children know about the Corlick sisters. I would have alluded to the commercials when interacting with the wait staff, but everyone working there was younger than the commercials.
When we’re driving and I see a jogger, I often say, “There’s a jogger. I wonder if his/her name is Jaromir.”
That’s based on a mispronunciation of Jaromír Jágr, a player in the National Hockey League ten years ago when my beautiful wife and I watched a lot of hockey.
And he’s back. He’s going to turn 41 next month, and he’s playing center for the Dallas Stars this season.
Given that the oldest boy is starting to pay attention to hockey and very well might see the Dallas Stars in action, he will not only remember that thing that Daddy always says, but he might have first hand knowledge of watching the player who inspired it.