As I make my way through life, I love to take notice of how other people’s speech patterns, favourite sayings, manners of expression influence how I choose to express myself.

My long-time friend, Bob R, inherited his dad, Harvey R’s, knack of making sometimes astute but often corny asides as observations on things that had occurred, or upon things that were said by others. As Harvey was close to a surrogate dad to me, I must have picked up a bit of it myself, much to the chagrin of people around me. Many has been the time when my partner, has commented, “Droll, dear, very droll!” in response to one of my observations. Other people, less generously, simply groan in mock pain, as if they’d been hit with some realization of a major mistake, but it is a mistake they rightly attribute to me.

I had a friend, Chris, who would often use understatement well. We’d be working on a project together and it would suddenly fall apart or otherwise fail. My natural reaction might have been to yell, “Ssssshit!” But Chris would say something like, “Oh! That’s less than optimal!” Followed with a query like, “And do we know how to turn off the water?”

More recently, (though she vehemently denies ever saying such a thing), my girlfriend expressed concern over what might follow in the wake of my eating beans without ‘protection,’ sans Beano, as it were. My apparently faulty recollection was that she had said that she didn’t want me to ‘scorch my shorts.’ But whether she ever said such a thing or not, I have this next one from her right!

We both have cats. She has two cats, I have one. Hers are both black and whites whose shedding fur might be harvestable should there ever be a demand for cat-fur fabric. My cat looks like a smaller than average Calico, but I’ve been told by the veterinarian that she is a Calico/Siamese cross. My cat sheds only 10%-20% the amount that my girlfriend’s cats shed. One day while she and I were sitting together in my den, with my cat sitting contentedly nearby, I pointed out another extraordinary thing my cat does. When she yawns, it is almost as if she can unhinge her lower jaw and her mouth goes wider than any cat I have ever seen. The cat began yawning, I elbowed my girlfriend and said, “Watch this! Watch this!” The cat yawned her usual yawn. Then my girlfriend said, “Yes, my cats regularly try to turn their heads inside out, but Sasha came close to making it pop right over didn’t she?” Now, I always watch my cat yawn, and I swear she’s getting close to succeeding in ‘turning her head inside out’.

I even went on-line to try to grab an image of a cat yawning to illustrate my remarks, but apparently in all the cyber-world there is no image of a cat’s yawn that rivals Sasha’s stretch.

Of course I hope my cat may never actually succeed. Having a cat with an inside-out head would be a CATastrophe (Harvey’s influence) and would indeed be ‘less than optimal’ for petting. (Thanks Chris.)