Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mrs. Malaprop

I had never really heard of Mrs. Malaprop or malapropisms until some time in my teens. My cousin and his wife were visiting and we were taking a walk in our front yard. I spotted a 'covey of quail' and pointed them out, only my pronounciation was way off and my cousins burst out laughing. I had no idea that I had said anything funny. In a very kind manner, they introduced me to the often humorous land of malapropisms and I have never forgotten that lesson.

With a four and five year old roaming in our house, malapropisms abound. Two of the funniest to be heard in our clan took place tonight, in less than the span of five minutes.

We have satellite radio in our Prius. It was the last thing I thought we would want, but the car came with a trial period, and when the three months expired, I found I just couldn't stop. I love the wide variety of musical selections and there is nearly always something to suit my mood or wide ranging tastes.

This evening, I took the kids cruising to see Christmas lights at our local outlet mall. I know that sounds more than a little wrong. But please allow me to explain.....our outlet mall purports to have THE largest live Christmas tree in the U.S. (bigger than Rockefeller Center, bigger than the White House, or at least, so says the mall), the tree is decorated to the hilt with gorgeous lights and the trees throughout the parking lot are absolutely beautiful, tree trunks wrapped in simple white light trunks with red lighted tree tops.

But I digress.... So here we were, listening to music and cruising our little town. When songs come on, sometimes I like to play 'name the artist' with the kids. I'm trying to help them develop their musical ear, partly due my parent's musical influence, and no doubt, partly due to this strange but completely useless talent I possess of being able to hear just a few notes of just about any song and name both the tune and the artist. If I never have heard the song before, but its by an artist I'm familiar with, I can usually figure it out in a bar or two.

OK, so a Frank Sinatra song pops up, and I ask the kids, "who's singing?" I can see Sophia smiling in the rear view mirror as she somewhat shyly offers up "Frank Sir Nostrils." All I can say, is that I was laughing so hard, I very nearly peed my pants, OK, maybe there was just a wee bit of leakage associated with this laugh, but at least it wasn't enough to ruin the upholstery.

After the song ends, I decide to change the station, and I land on a U2 song. U2 just happens to be Colin's favorite band and the kids know that. I ask "who do you think is singing this song?" there is a bit of a pause, so I decide to help out "it's Daddy's favorite band," Sophia immediately pipes up "You Toot." I've heard her use this malapropism from time to time, so the upholstery wasn't in much danger this time....that is, until both kids start cracking up, because they know what Sophia said is funny. Anyway, the conversation detiorerated from there, and Keenan's teacher, Miss Pattee would not have been happy with all the potty talk going on in our car. It got so bad, I finally had to tell the kids to 'put a lid on it', which merely resulted in a whole new gale of giggles.

Yes, suffice to say, Mrs. Malaprop is alive and well in our little family.


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