Abstract: In which our cast of characters–in a decided departure from common practice–attempt to go for an entire blog post without once saying the word… well, you know, THAT word. The word. The word floc… ooohh, you know. The word. THAT one.
The Blogger: [addressing a small group of people gathered in his living room]
So hey there, fellas. Thanks for coming! I wonder if each of you would mind glancing down at the piece of paper that you’ve been handed. It explains the one big, basic ground rule for this particular post. Note that your attention is being called to one word in particular: the one word that none of us is going to use in this here blog post.
Jennifer Smith: Blog post? What blog post? Biffy, what does he mean by ‘blog post’? He’s making strange remarks again. I’m already feeling disoriented.
Little Biffy: Just roll with it. Pretend he’s talking about a “log post” that you tie your boat off to, right when you’ve returned from a satisfying morning of fishing.
Jennifer Smith: You just made things ten times worse. NOW i seriously do not EVEN.
Little Biffy: Oops.
Jennifer Smith: No, come on. Log post? I’m feeling disoriented.
Little Biffy: Heh heh. Forget i said anything. Post? Where’s the post? I don’t see a post. Nobody said anything about a post. There’s no post. Not a post in sight.
Jennifer Smith: [begins breathing heavily; her eyes start to roll back in her head]
The Good Reader: It’s okay, Jennifer. Here, come sit next to me. We can be sensible together in the midst of a whirlwind of chaos and nonsense.
Jennifer Smith: Thanks, sort of. Um.
Elvis Wu: [gazing intently at the note he’s been handed] Ahh! So we are to conduct ourselves normally, except that there is one word, one particular word, that we may not, under any circumstances, allow ourselves to say.
The Blogger: Precisely.
Elvis Wu: And that word is Flo–
The Blogger: [with hands over ears] Aaaahhh aahhhhhhhhhhh aaaaaaaaaaaahh aaahhh aaaaaaaahhhhhh aahh aaaaahhhh…
Elvis Wu: Just kidding, my good man. I just wanted to see what you would do. That reaction was actually a bit more interesting than whatever i was expecting.
Aristotle: Hmmm. Interesting. I can’t help thinking… hmmm.
The Blogger: [consumed with curiosity–after all, this is ARISTOTLE we’re talking about]
Um, yes? What’s on your mind? Something profound and philosophically spiffy, i’ll bet!
Aristotle: Well, it’s just that, if we were to think of all human behavior, or perhaps all human tendencies of personality…
The Blogger: Yes, yes, hmmm?
Aristotle: …as being laid out on a kind of grid, with one sort of extreme at one end, and the opposite extreme on the other end, and a satisfying, happy medium in the middle…
The Blogger: Uh-huh, yes?
Aristotle: Well then, we… hmmm. I’ll need to put a bit more thought into this one.
Confucius: Sounded like you were on a roll there, o most eminent among Greeks. Don’t let that one drop. I think it’s going to lead somewhere.
The Buddha: First we go through the fire, then we go through the water, and then we go through the, um, the wasteland of ice, and then we go through, uh, umm, the place where, uh, earwigs come from, and then, then, uuhhh… that bottom dresser drawer that we rarely open and there’s no telling what’s in there.
Confucius: The wise man know when to remain silent; the fool go on and on about ridiculous fire and earwigs and other nonsense.
The Buddha: Bearded Greek is allowed to make no sense, but not the Lord Buddha?
Confucius: Sometimes we must take one for the team.
The Buddha: Um, okay. Not fair.
Scotsman #2: My bonnie lies over the ocean.
The Good Reader: Wait. What?
Scotsman #2: My bonnie lies over the sea.
The Good Reader: No. Stop.
Scotsman #2: My bonnie lies a couple of blocks past 57th street, but you gotta jog left when you get to that stop sign where it looks like the road comes to an end, but it really doesn’t.
The Good Reader: He can’t even hear me. Hello! Hello!
Scotsman #2: Oh bring back a couple of ham loaves, some ginger and cinnamon and clove, a box of cigars, two earwigs…
Confucius: Again with the earwigs! What is this, National Earwig Day?
Scotsman #2: …and maybe one of those oversized lollipops with all the colors in them.
The Good Reader: Of course.
Scotsman #2: [triumphantly] …to ME.
Your Mom: [enters] Hi, i hope i’m not late! It was really sweet of y’all to invite me.
[The Blogger hands her one of the explanatory cards, which she glances at for half a sec and then stuffs into her purse]
The Blogger: Welcome, Someone’s Mom–perhaps yours! Well, i mean, not YOURS [glancing at Your Mom] but probably someone else’s. As long as you’re prepared to observe our one simple rule, come on in and join the party!
The Good Reader: The joint’s rockin’. You got here just in time.
Jennifer Smith: I still don’t understand what he meant by the word ‘post.’ Isn’t this bothering anyone else?
Little Biffy: Think of a ‘post office.’
Jennifer Smith: Is there a word that means “the opposite of a helpful comment”…? Cause that’s the word i’m looking for right now. [Gazes menacingly at Little Biffy]
Elvis Wu: Biffy’s a good fella. He means well. Perhaps we ought to be thinking of ‘post’ as meaning, in the present context, something like, “that bounded range of trans-rational yet rule-bound [within a subjectively established set of expectations] experience, in which The Blogger is able to enact any one of a potentially infinite number….”
[Jennifer, bless her heart, has summarily yet placidly passed out cold by this time]
Your Mom: So, okay–[glancing again, oh so briefly, at the card she was handed]–sorry, i’m just curious–what ARE flockbinkers, anyway?
The Blogger: Dammit! Oops. Sorry.
The Good Reader: Okay, calm down. It’s not an emergency that someone said the word “flockbinker.”
The Blogger: Oooff! Stop that!
The Good Reader: It just means we can start taking ourselves a bit less seriously about this admittedly stupid blog post.
The Blogger: Doggone it!
Your Mom: Did i say the wrong thing? I just wanted to know a little bit more about these, what did you call them? FLOCKBINKERS.
The Blogger: [hacking, gagging, hopping about on one foot]
The Good Reader: Oh, come on. You know i’m right. Setting yourself the goal of having a blog post in which no one says the word “flockbinker”–
The Blogger: Owww! No! Cut it out!
The Good Reader: –ranks waay down on the list of significant things for you to be concerned about.
Your Mom: Am i pronouncing it right? Flok – bing – ker?
The Blogger: [the agonized eruption of a thousand dying suns upon his face]
The Good Reader: Now now. Be nice. She’s your guest.
The Blogger: But doggone it, The Good Reader, it’s MY blog–i should be the one determining what people do or don’t say on it!
The Good Reader: You just go on believing that. We all need something comforting to hold on to in the darkest days of winter.
Jennifer Smith: But it’s summertime. Well, okay, as of a few days ago, it’s fall. As if you could tell that from these temperatures.
Little Biffy: Which leads us, if you think about it, to this ultimately arbitrary (and really, somewhat unhelpful) cultural habit of ending ‘summer’ and beginning ‘fall’ on the same day–well, you know, basically–every year, as if the annual shifts in temperature and seasonal dynamics…
The Blogger: [to everyone’s consternation, he begins to expand, turn green, sort of roar–sort of–kind of loudly, and transform into The Incredible Hulk]
Elvis Wu: Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Great party, guys!
[A few hours later. The room has pretty much cleared out.]
The Good Reader: You’ve thrown another winner, buddy!
The Blogger: [sniffling] It was awful.
The Good Reader: Oh, come off of yourself. You have the worst attitude. I think they all liked it. It was fun!
The Blogger: It was an unmitigated disaster. I throw the worst parties.
The Good Reader: What! You’re a weenie. Buck up. Everyone had a great time. [a glint in her eye] Especially Your Mom. My goodness, i don’t think i’ve ever heard anyone say the word ‘flockbinker’ that many times in a single setting! She was great.
The Blogger: [gazes, glumly, a man bereft of hope, off into deepest space]