‘MISSING WORDS FOR THE MODERN WORLD’.
It’s a dictionary of sorts. It’s a list of all the words we need in today’s world, but don’t have.
word needed for: the type of people who go to the library to watch videos on their laptops with their significant other as though it were a night out at the movies, which not only uses up enough library wifi data to prevent you from checking your work emails or listening to a Songza playlist while you work, but also prevents you from concentrating since they are the type of movie-goers who enjoy commenting and laughing uncontrollably at the new Zac Effron flick
word needed for: the irresistible urge to look at a copy of a stranger’s bank statement after they’ve left the ATM without removing it, leaving it hanging, inviting the invasion of privacy that is only justified because you have to actually pull theirs out so you can read yours, and you have to glance at their account balance, secretly hoping they don’t have more money in their account than you do, but usually you leave the ATM terminal feeling like you don’t have your shit together financially
word needed for: inching along a row of metred parking spaces as you look for one that still has a little time left on it because even though you have a few quarters in your change compartment, a quarter only gets you 10 minutes these days and you try desperately to conserve your change for the hot, black liquid that some days is the only thing that keeps you vertical
Insert word here: the sudden loss of common sense for driving a motorized vehicle when small pieces of cold, white crystals fall from the sky and accumulate on the ground making things a little more tedious but not accounting for the incomprehensible urge some people have for stopping on a major highway when visibility is low.
Insert word here: the hiring of a high-profile communications firm to assist in writing a letter to the general public through social media that is meant to sound genuine and explanatory but, since everyone knows is crafted strategically, should be rendered less effective and yet still succeeds in sounding sincere with a significant portion of the public because the writer of a letter has such damn soothing voice that the readers can’t help but conjure up said voice in the reading of the material, which is exactly what an expensive, high-profile communications and strategy team would tell someone with such comforting vocal tones.
insert word here: the kind of anxiety that’s mixed with anger when someone pulls up real tight behind you while you’re stopped on a steep hill waiting for a light to change and you’re driving a standard vehicle that you need at least a foot or two of roll-back space especially because it’s wet or icy and you’re worried that you’ll back into them, and really not clear on whose fault it will be in a legal sense.
insert word here : the feeling of joy you get watching someone parallel park in one smooth motion making you feel good about other drivers again after sitting behind countless people’s efforts to reverse in smoothly, having to re-adjust their angle over and over and pause mid-maneuver to wonder what they’re doing wrong.
insert word here: the satisfaction of knowing you understand the male condition so well as to be able to anticipate the behavior of a group of teenaged boys as you watch them approach a car-wash vacuum terminal, waiting, knowing for sure what’s coming and then smiling when you watch one of them pick up the hose, point the end at his friend and say….”I dare you to put your dick in here”
insert word here: when you’re sitting in a dentist’s chair having work done that you’ve been warned might be a little ‘uncomfortable’ and while you’ve got instruments jabbing into your flesh and gums, it is still not as painful as the cheesy 80s metal hair band song that is playing on the local radio because they still refuse to play anything remotely close to real music and you wish to god your dentist would take those metal tools and stick them into your ears instead.
insert word here: those 3 extra seconds you wait after the handheld debit screen at the store tells you to pull your card out because you know if you pull it out too early, there’s a chance the deal won’t go through and you’ll have to go through that whole awkward minute-long transaction again while staring at the debit machine not sure if you should try to make small talk in that short time or just pretend like you’re occupied reading what’s on the screen.
insert word here: the relief you feel when your partner offers to jump in the shower first after the alarm goes off in the morning, giving you 15 more minutes of precious sleep that might be the most important thing to you at that moment because you went to bed too late again the night before and it’s Monday and you’re not quite ready for another week of work but you feel you might be if you could just get 15 more minutes of sleep.
1. insert word here: when you’re sitting in a dentist’s chair having work done that you’ve been warned might be a little ‘uncomfortable’ and while you’ve got instruments jabbing into your flesh and gums, it is still not as painful as the cheesy 80s metal hair band song that is playing on the local radio because they still refuse to play anything remotely close to real music and you wish to god your dentist would take those metal tools and stick them into your ears instead.
2. insert word here: those 3 extra seconds you wait after the handheld debit screen at the store tells you to pull your card out because you know if you pull it out too early, there’s a chance the deal won’t go through and you’ll have to go through that whole awkward minute-long transaction again while staring at the debit machine not sure if you should try to make small talk or just pretend like your reading what’s on the screen.
3. insert word here: the relief you feel when your partner offers to jump in the shower first after the alarm goes off in a hotel room, giving you 15 more minutes of precious sleep that might be the most important thing to you at that moment as you didn’t get to bed until 4am from a wedding with an open bar, but you wouldn’t trade any of it except for maybe 15 more minutes of sleep.
1. Word needed for : The act of someone initiating a conversation in public with a member of the opposite sex but in order to fully engage in this modern world, both members must first take their ear buds out and turn off their iPods so the first exchange of words is missed because at least one person is still in the process of un-hinging their earphones and didn’t quite hear what was said, which, though, is never as awkward as the encounter with someone who turns their iPod off but still leaves the ear buds in making it seem as though they’re trying to listen to you while also listening to your music making you feel self-conscious that you’re less important than the new Spoon album when, in fact, you do have their full attention and they’re wondering what your problem is.
2. Word needed for: seeing someone you used to know as a child and quickly looking away to avoid eye contact hoping they won’t recognize you, not because you don’t want to catch up with them but because you’re at the gym on your lunch break and only have 10 more minutes to fit in one more exercise before rushing back to work, where you spend the rest of the afternoon feeling shitty that you placed some bicep curls ahead of a person you used to build forts with and organize neighbourhood hide-and-go-seek games, which are still amazing memories and will always outlast any gym exercise you selfishly put first in your life as shitty adult.
3. Word needed for: having a conversation with someone you don’t know very well and as it turns towards a matter they are deeply troubled about, you offer your sympathy and regards and as you share an insightful moment together in silence, your dog turns his head into your crotch with such determination that you have to wrestle with his head to remove it from your junk and you are not sure whether to laugh or apologize so you do neither but pretend it’s normal until he does it again and you have to laugh, waiting to see if the other person does to…..and they do, thank god.
Thanks to Noel for these excellent nominations for the missing words in our modern world (see below). I like the sound of being Jesse Wilkinson-ed, whatever the context is!
1. A “Budding-Romance” of course.
2. Being “Jesse-Wilkinsoned” – you cold, cold media editor. Who
would ever do that!
3. “Abswry” or “Obswry” – going for the inverse of “wry” with a bad
application of a latin suffix.
1. Word needed for: a person who cuts in line repeatedly until he/she is at the front of a line that is actually going to a place of transit that won’t leave until everyone is on board rendering the efforts of the adult line butt-er absolutely useless since they will have to sit and wait until everyone is on board anyways. They either have to wait before or after – the former allows them to exist as a human being; the latter makes them into someone that the rest of us wishes were beat up more as teenagers. When this happens say, boarding an airline, you secretly wish their plane would crash out of karma, but then realize that you’re on that same plane and spend the whole flight scared you might have cursed yourself.
2. Word needed for: the puddle of urine on the floor right below every men’s urinal in every public washroom on the planet that will inevitably always exist because, while men have the ability to aim directly into the porcelain receptacle, most of us still manage to miss out of sheer indifference, rebel tendencies or short-penis syndrome. I can be guilty of the first two from time to time.
3. Word needed for: the asshole, Canadian tendency to assume that everyone else in the world speaks English, even in remote areas of countries that have no real need or benefit of speaking English and when you pull out your trusty ‘do you speak English’ in whatever language they do actually speak, they reply with justified anger and laugh at your attempts to survive in a country you don’t even speak the language of and engage their wife in mocking you until you sheepishly give them the money you think you owe them and bow in apology even though the country you are in is not Japan.
1. Word needed for: the act of walking with your head down while texting causing you to bump into a complete stranger (or object) on the street and not allowing this incident to deter you from your all-important text message to your friend telling them what place you’re heading to where you’ll probably talk too loud about shitty things and spend the rest of your time on your phone.
2. Word needed for: a driver who sits in the left hand lane (fast lane) of a two lane highway but doesn’t drive very fast and and isn’t passing anyone and therefore should be driving in the right hand lane (slow lane) and doesn’t even get the hint to move over when you are riding his/her ass for five minutes because you are trying to make a point that the left lane is for passing and driving at least 20 kms over the speed limit
3. Word needed for: the lack of foresight in city planning that was done many decades ago and failed to account for the rise in population that would ultimately make getting into certain cities (i.e. Toronto) so painfully difficult and slow that one must force themselves to ponder whether the hassle of spending over an hour shifting from first to second to first in the heat and stench of exhaust to move only a few kilometres along the highway until you reach your $30 parking spot is worth the pleasure derived from a day in said city.
Thank you Andrea Wray for your following suggestions for Missing Words for the Modern World:
2. Mario Nondretti