Monthly Archives: December 2013

Spontaneity, Part I

This post was originally published as a guest post on my dear friend M.C.’s  superlatively entertaining blog, Tacky Galoshes . Check it out!

Spontaneity.

Besides being really difficult to spell (right now, before looking at the word again I SAID DON’T LOOK AT IT just pull out your phone and try to spell it right on your first try and see if you got it right. You probably didn’t. If, by chance you did spell it right, then maybe you can teach me how to spell raccooonnn or leupleurydon  or leishmaniasis or perhaps the name of that white, fluffy grain served steamed with Chinese food–is it raiss?

But I digress. Besides being difficult to spell, what is spontaneity?

Imagine you’ve never heard it used to describe a person before when your friend begins telling you about her pal, Wilburforce Jones.

“Oh, Wilburforce is so spontaneous!” 

Spontaneous, you wonder to yourself as your mind dredges up some half-formed memories from your seventh-grade science class. Doesn’t that have something to do with flies and raw meat? Unsure of her meaning, you decide to test the waters further before taking a plunge into the murky lake of conjecture.

“Spontaneous, huh?”
“Yeah, you should have seen him last weekend!” your friend gushes.

“So, um…what did this Wilburforce…do?”

“Haha, well we’d been at a party for a while already, and Wilbur wasn’t there yet, anyways that’s what Hannah said. But then when I went to sit down on the couch he popped out of it and Neil it scared me sooo bad! He’d been waiting in there for a whole half hour!
Processing this information, your Braintionary hurriedly creates the following definition for spontaneous.

Spontaneous Adj. spahn-tae-nee-iss.

1)Of or pertaining to people who live inside upholstered furniture.

Example: As I came to be accepted among the tribe of R.C. Willey I realized them to be an entirely spontaneous people, preferring chesterfields and sectionals but happily occupying ottomans when these are not available.

2)27 gotta go!????????

While you think you understand what spontaneous means, it never hurts to be sure;  you pressure your friend for further information.

“Tell me about another time this  Wilburforce was spahn-tae-nee-iss.”

“Oh! Oh, you’ll love this story,” says your BFF cryptically as she continues. “We were walking in the park when Wilbur sees this big, brown pile of wet leaves, and then he says ‘Katie! Look out behind you!’ and I spin and there’s nothing there and then I hear some rustling somewhere and I turn around but WilburEff’s nowhere to be seen but then I see his red sweater buried in the leaves and Neil he jumped and hid in the pile of leaves!”  Katie suddenly bends over and slumps to the ground, convulsing. You panic for a moment before she takes a long, cackling breath and you remember Katie just laughs in a really, really weird way. “–and I said ‘Wilburforce Chesney-upon-Avon Jones, you get over here this instant!’ and he wouldn’t come out!” Katie manages to gasp out before being overcome again by a fit of what has now become genuinely dangerous laughter.  As you carefully observe her for signs of hypoxia and debate whether you should pull out the supplemental oxygen you always carry in your bag for situations such as this, your  Braintionary updates with additional information.

Spontaneous Adj. spahn-tae-nee-iss.

1)Of or pertaining to people who live inside upholstered furniture.

Example: As I came to be accepted among the tribe of R.C. Willey I realized them to be an entirely spontaneous people, preferring chesterfields and sectionals but  occupying ottomans when these are not available.

2)Characterized by a fear of bright light,  open places and  accompanied  by a compulsion to hide in dark spaces, even to the violation of social norms.

Sometimes when I ride the subway I start feeling really spontaneous and want to do something crazy like hiding under a flimsy bench where a really heavy guy is sitting and singing a song of sixpence and then talking about how scary for the blackbirds it must have been when they were taken out of the pie.

Seizing breath, Katie blurts”–and then Willy says “Hey, I found some worms! Dinner is served!–”

3)Insectivorous.

Looking excitedly at the contents of the fridge, Shaniqua exclaimed ‘Looks like another spontaneous dinner!”

“–and tells me he’s going to save some for later to keep in his collection–”

4) Appearing soon on A&E’s Hoarders.

Eyes tearing up with pride, Janice surveyed her bedroom filled with ropes and three-toed sloths. Feeling spontaneous, she draped One-Eyed Edgardo over her shoulders and began to do the Electric Slide just as a knock sounded at the door. Scratching a patch of dirt off the filth-encrusted window with her yellowed fingernails, she squinted a jaundiced eye and wondered from just where so many cameras had arrived. Surely they hadn’t come for–

‘They’re here!’ she screamed, her voice shrill with alarm as she cried out to her mossy brood. I’ll hold them off while you escape out the back!’ Slowly, imperceptibly they began their exodus. She estimated she’d only have to stave off the intruders for a moment, a couple weeks at most.

“Neil?” says Katie, snapping you out of your reverie.

“Yes?”

“You are positively one of the least spontaneous people I know.”

And it that moment you know that despite your awkward adolescence you’ve turned out just fine after all.

Ok, you’ve caught me. I didn’t actually say what spontaneity was.  Stay tuned for Spontaneity, Part II!

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