Printed words are
my business, and though they are often a poor way to communicate (I find that a
well-timed forehead thwap at an opportune moment will accomplish far more than
a mere adjective modifying an improper noun against a snooty verb), I must
resort to using them here.
That’s why, when I
read that a celebrity couple recently announced their celebrity separation as a
“conscious uncoupling” (thwap), I couldn’t sit idly by. I owe you that much. They
unveiled this in public, celebrity-style, by telling everyone who'd listen on
every talk show on every channel that it was a private matter and nobody’s
That's how celebrities
humorist half of my brain pricked up my ears when I heard it, and I had to say
it out loud:
This prompted the science half of my brain
to take over, as Newton’s Third Law rushed in. As reason would have it, if we
are now out there not ending, but rather “consciously uncoupling” our
relationships, then it must be that somewhere along the way, we “unconsciously
All I could think
of was that sobered-up morning aftershock & awe one suffers when one
discovers an X-rated Yosemite Sam tattooed upon one’s thigh, and no idea how it
got there. Or, when one wakes up to find one’s self married or enlisted in the
French Foreign Legion.
For every impaction,
there is an equal and opposite extraction. My column. My physics. Sorry, Sir
I was then
compelled, as I always am whenever faddish sanitizations of my beloved language
thwap me on the forehead, to do a little research. Dangerous, because it makes
the thing sillier than I thought possible, but humor is fraught with peril.
Yep, there it is: an
article on how we’ve socio-politically corrected the word “divorce.”
“Say, did you hear
that Jack and Jill were getting divorced?”
“No, but I do know they
were thinking of consciously uncoupling.”
Anyone who thinks
in terms like this should be required never to talk. Anyone who talks like this
should be used as a pie-fight test dummy.
The author then
explained this new “conscious uncoupling” babblespeak, citing an essay written
by a long-dead Russian esotericist, who described how millions of years ago,
dragonflies had three-foot wingspans and look what happened to them.
(I did warn you
that research in the hands of an adept humorist was dangerous.)
As I allowed my
scientific researching half-brain to run amok, I found the next logical status
quote abuse lurking in the lexicon. Yes, alas and alacrity, prepare thyselves,
my dear readers, because there is a female blogger out there who is reporting
her pending conscious uncoupling as a “marriage unengagement.”
There is also a psychotherapist
in our midst with several hifalutin’ letters after her name who has now
designed a 5-week seminar for the looming lovelorn entitled “The Art Of Conscious
Again, I can’t
resist now presuming that a best-selling “The Science Of Unconscious Incompletion”
is waiting in the wings. And, given the latest pop-obsession we have over
dietary restrictions, it will no doubt come with a gluten-free dust jacket.
This all started in
the language, of course, when you bought that certified previously-owned
vehicle and drove it to transport your trash to a transfer station recycling
center. Don’t look now, but as a still-living American exotericist, I refuse to
muddy-up how I arrange words and the spaces between them.
Come Saturday, I’m
still simple-slanging it and going to the dump in a used car.
Let’s just hope
that I at least unconsciously remember to completely couple my trailer.