Monday, March 19, 2007

Can you taste words?

Last night while lying in bed, I began to think of my crusty old sailor friend, Butch. We visited the USS Alabama on the way home from the beach. The children are fixated on that ship so when the weather is perfectly cool with a breeze we explore it. Though nothing much has changed since I was a child, I am still amazed by the space efficiency of the ship. Actually, I'm humbled to think 2500 men could eat, sleep, work, and play in that space when I complain of lack of space in my much more commodious accommodations.

Anyway, my friend Butch was a stickler for organization and tidiness. I suppose 30 years at sea living out of a locker improves your spatial relations and cleanliness. He used to have a sea chest under the tomato table filled with toys for his grandchildren, then his great grandchildren, my children, and any other child who happened to visit. Before he opened the chest, he established the rules, "Play with whatever you want, but ______________." I can't remember. I can taste the seafaring words for return everything to the trunk and close and lock the lid. I can fill in that blank with fifteen to twenty alternatives, but I cannot remember the sentence he actually said. I woke my children to see if they remembered. I grilled my husband, whose nautical vocabulary is obviously no greater than mine.

Then I said, "I can taste the word."

My husband said, "Does it taste good?", while looking at me like I was insane.

Come to find out, he can't taste words and thinks it's weird.

Can you taste words?

Better yet, fill in the blank so I don't have to worry Butch.


zilla said...

I can taste words :-)

I can tell I would like Butch, too; but, I can't fill in the blank.

The last ship I boarded was The Odyssey, used by Ocean Alliance to track and study whales. The crew was very young -- twentysomethings, I think -- and they gave us a fabulous tour of the entire vessel. While the main cabin was about as tidy as my living room on a good day, the sleeping quarters were unmitigated chaos! Their mothers would have been horrified, and Butch would probably have a few salty words for them as well.

Kate in NJ said...

Yes, I can taste words. I wish I knew what it was Butch said.I'll have to ask all our "Navy" men and see what they come up with.

wisteria said...

Wow, Zilla!! How did you get to do that?

There was a place on this ship where all the personal stuff that was left out of the locker was placed. In order to retrieve it you had to do extra duties. Though my home is not a militarized zone, I have been thinking of instituting the plan.