Sunday, January 22, 2012


I overuse the word “Dude.” It’s my all purpose address to anyone under the age of 12. It also gives me the cool cadence of Jeff Bridges from “The Big Lebowski,” or at least Aerosmith circa 1987. And it prevents that embarrassing stumble of names when you try to address a child.

“Put down that butcher knife, FinnRoryLucaJeffChuckBarack…Elijah!”

I don’t have really have any good reason to argue against my sons or their cousins adopting a little slang of their own. So why does the word “Freaky” sound like nails on a chalkboard mixed with Styrofoam squeak?

I can place 100% of the blame for the invasion of Freaky on the narrow little shoulders of my nephew Finn. A few Sundays ago, he strolled into our house armed with a new Lego toy and armed with…the word.

He waited until his coat was almost off his back before he unleashed it.

“That’s freaky,” he said to no one or nothing in particular.

Elijah and Luca perked up their ears like a dog who heard a box of treats being opened across the kitchen. The word quickly rose to the top of the charts.

“Don’t be freaky. That sounds freaky. He she it is freaky. Luca freakied in his diaper. This milk tastes freaky. I have a freaky stuck under my fingernail. I freakied in the freakiest freaky that ever freakied.”

I asked Finn, “What does ‘Freaky’ mean? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?”

He responded, “It just means ‘Freaky.’”

Since I couldn’t beat my nephew, I thought about punching my brother. But he works out now and is much stronger than me.

Diana and I have tried to outlaw the word in our house. “No Freaky talk,” we announce after every 1,000 times it’s uttered. In fact, I’ve tried to encourage poopy talk to get them off the word.

We took the crew sledding yesterday to a hill so crammed with kids you had to wait behind three rows for the chance to cry after getting snow in your face. Once in a crowd of kids, Elijah said, “This hill is freaky.” The children looked at him like he just invented fire.

I mouthed, “I am so sorry” to the other parents.

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