The other week, I caught an Uber because I was running late to an appointment. Or it was raining. The driver turned out to be someone fairly inspirational in that he mentioned offhandedly that “he majored in business and minored in innovation”. What an amazing, random comment for me to hear. It made me remember this entry that I had started some time ago.
I started it in a fit of irony when musing about one of my many made up words after a conversation about it with a friend. Yeah, one of those DNGN Guys, if I can quasi-plagiarize Star Trek: the Next Generation in the creation of yet another Chrisism.
DNGN Guy: A Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere Guy. Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere being an acronym from the Enterprise’s Engineering Department. Whenever there was a generic crawlspace needed to set a scene, it was almost always a DNGN Tube or Accessway. The phrase kept things vague enough for the story to go on without accidentally creating a massive geek orgasm because they inadvertently created a continuity mistake by being too specific.
So, a DNGN Guy would be a generic guy who’s presence in my life literally went nowhere and did nothing to improve or impact my life. See also: Lost Boys
I can’t recall the specific Chrisism that we were discussing, but I think I was modestly taking credit for Portland’s Food Cart scene. We’ll get to that.
My conversation with the Uber driver caused that flashback and what I came out of that car thinking was of the old days when I proclaimed myself an idea man because of the words I make up and the random ideas that I have. Sometimes I discuss them, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I post them on Urban Dictionary.
Sometimes, they take on a life of their own with zero effort on my part…those damned food carts, for instance.
A long time ago, when I worked for Linens ‘N Things – no…I’m not taking any credit for how they imploded, but I do know what happened – and I was growing more and more frustrated with the company, I threatened to quit and start my own business. My idea was to borrow $30k from my 401k to buy and start three Hot Dog Carts to place throughout downtown during the M-F lunch hours. Pedi-cab type contraptions so that they were easy to move from place to place and didn’t require use of a vehicle or permanent locations. It was a genius idea. Permitting was easy enough. The idea was basic, but at the same time the simple ideas usually have some legs.
As a business person – albeit a retailer – I knew the demands of the day usually created a need for personal sacrifice, ie: lunch. Knowing I wasn’t the only person in this shituation, I figured an outlet for people to run out for a literal quick bite was important. This was somewhere between 1997 and 2002…there were a handful of carts presently around town, but not a pod in sight. And we’re talking a handful of two that I can think of off the top of my head. My idea was to offer a basic dog with gourmet-ish alternative toppings to provide a little sense of indulgence to take the edge off the day.
Of course, my ex – well, not at the time, at the time he was just my super materialistic and unsupportive boyfriend, he had yet to become the Sucks At Cheating Ex (that name may not stick) – totally poo-pooed the idea because his lifestyle needed the support of my corporately secure paycheck, so it became a sort of DNGN Idea.
Let’s see…now there are pods of food carts around town and I’m unemployed and single.
Yup, my life is right on track.
Maybe Sucks At Cheating Ex does need his own entry. Story for another time.
The important note here is that I would wax Quixotic to any random-yet-valuably-therapeutic drinking partner at that time in my life.
My ex was definitely not listening.
One of those drinking Benedict Arnolds is probably responsible for the acreage of food cart pods you run across in Portland these days.
Loose lips may sink ships, as do well lubricated lips.
Although, I also remember talking to a guy that I had worked with after I left LNT about this, if only in basic concept. He was part owner in a restaurant that I liked.
Total side story, but I had first been taken to this by a Portland Police Bureau Captain of some local notoriety and was later surprised to learn of my co-workers connection. Of course, that surprise wore off quickly when his restaurant opened up a mobile outlet and I saw it parked in the lot at my gym one day.
Probably just a coincidence, but if it isn’t, then I prefer the notion that I inadvertantly – versus drunkenly – gave away my idea to a co-worker, providing one of us an out from the glamor of retail.
Let’s flash forward and back to the present-ish, though…dwelling in the past is so passe.
There’s a lot of old sayings that could describe some interesting things that have happened to me over the last few months:
Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
Putting it out there.
But they don’t exactly capture what I’ve been experiencing recently. Anything from blurbs of deja vu where something seems familiar, only to trace it back to an idea or comment I have made in the past to something way more solid like having a friend and former co-worker quote one of my precious little Chrisisms back to me.
Like I said, this has been percolating for a bit, but a while back when I was talking to a former colleague, she mentioned WINning in reference to prioritizing things in her life and it just made me chuckle. WIN is an acronym that I helped create at work back in my Meier & Frank days here in Portland. It stands for What’s Important Now. I liked it then when it helped give associates and junior managers a little perspective in the fast-changing world of retail priorities, but I still like it because I can apply the same perspective to life’s daily changes.
My self-proclaimed idea man status revolves around a lot of creative masturbation I have done. From fantasy life stuff that would provide an escape from my corporate world to stupid words I made up for fun and onto some serious social conspiracies I am responsible for…accidentally, of course!
Take Red Heads, for instance. Not long ago, they were on the verge of social extinction – if not actual extinction given the Royals’ apparent reluctance to continue inbreeding…I joke. Nonetheless – and quite the coincidence, here – the Sucks At Cheating Ex had just left me and my friendship with the Silver Fox had just begun. Back before Asocial Media got out of hand and ruined gay culture – just my opinion, but look at that whole food cart thing…I have good opinions. One of the things we used to chat about while we were getting to know each other on a site called Manhunt was what I was looking for in a guy.
I wonder if Manhunt is still around.
Anyway, I told him I wasn’t really ready to date, but that I had a list. This wildly excited him. Turns out – and I had no way of knowing this at the time – that he’s quite a little caretaker. So, his enthusiasm for the list wasn’t just because it was kinda crazy and kinda funny. He honed in on the different qualities on that list, things I thought I would want in a prospective boyfriend, and reminded me of them whenever someone I dated met one or more. Although, I admit, I didn’t mind checking them off the list one at a time.
Anyway, that was one of the many times that I had mentioned Redheads in a sexual or romantic fashion. The habit went back to my days as a Chicken (what young, smooth gays were called before someone – not me! – came up with Twink) in the LBC, when I would mention to my friends Dennis and Petur (gays are so fucking precious with their names sometimes) that I wanted to get with a particular guy or two at the bar. Specifically, Long Beach’s only two redheaded gay guys. I never managed to score a date, nor even a rendezvous, and Dennis and Petur never stopped looking at me with squinty eyed expressions or outright sneers of disgust at my attraction to these two redheaded men.
Not that I let that stop me from being attracted to them or pursuing a random redhead. I actually realized, based partly on Dennis and Petur’s reactions and partly on personal observation, that many redheads are simply monstrous looking. I’m sure they are just fine people on the inside, but on the outside they look like vulva.
No offense to actual vulva.
So, way back then in the early 90s the search for the Elusive, Good-Looking Redhead had begun. A topic of conversation, to be sure, way before I put it on the Fox’s radar by disclosing to him that there was a list.
Then it became a fetish amongst the gays and Redheads started peacocking around like the prized pigs they wanted to be. About the time I lost interest in them. Or focus on the interest, to be more accurate.
I also brought back the color orange. I don’t really have the time nor the inclination to go into that story, let me just say…Orange Couch. Leather. Envy. Resurrection. Orange.
Random Chrisisms? Some of which can be found on urbandictionary.com with credits by up to 30 other authors, supporting the theory of tandem evolution…I guess.
– Fauxgasm: When a guy has an orgasm but nothing comes out. Still feels great, though…and no, I shouldn’t go have that checked out. Shush.
– Fagabond: A young, gay guy – hell, why does he have to be young? A gay guy that crashes at friend’s houses or apartments in order to travel on the cheap or get his legs under him so he can get his own place. I’ve been this guy, it might be an autobiographical construction.
– Faguar: This one has gotten around! I gave this its first hard mention back in Seattle around 2006, but had been spinning it around conversationally for years before that. Probably around the time The List first came into its electronic hard copy form with the Fox on Manhunt. Anyway, it’s an older serial dater type gay guy that dates younger gay guys. Not a Daddy, because Daddies tend to have a steady guy they date.
– Voice of Treason: The Naysayer. Someone who openly opposes popular opinion. Usually in response to a group of people self validating an incorrect idea…someone has to set them right. That person is the Voice of Treason.
– Shituation: Basically, a really not a good situation. Close to the phenomenon of getting quoted back to myself? After the Broken Poet left (the second time), the Fox gave me a sympathy card that he’d picked up…just in case there was a need for it. Sometimes, I think the Fox should work for a circus. Anyway, the card read, “You didn’t need that relationshit, anyway”.
The other day – ok…week, now that I think about it – I was watching a Black Mirror episode that reminded me of my idea for Government Subsidized Gyms. They were free, but you had to go a minimum number of times per week, based on age and your general health level. The “free” memberships were paid in time on cardio bikes and machines, which were configured to generate and collect electricity. The gyms essentially becoming large power plants. Americans, let’s call America the pilot program, need to get healthier anyway, right Mrs. Obama?
And one more Chrisism? One that perfectly encapsulates the theme of this entire blog, potentially?
Whimbecille: Someone who thinks they are being clever but is really just toiling in obscurity. Alternately, someone who looks like an idiot when trying to be funny on their Facebook page or what-have-you but misspells or misuses a word in the process. Think Their/There/They’re, It’s/Its, et al.
That’s the Chrisism that caused my breakup with Urban Dictionary. I submitted it and they rejected it. Working Theory: it took too close a hit to a lot of their submitting contributors. Take a look at that place, bad English all over the place.