Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm going to the river, get me a tangled rocking chair

I was reminded last night (not for the first time, let us say) of the uselessness of my brain's tendency to retain random pointless bits of information.

It was late afternoon. KB had made a pot of tea* and I was trying to open a new carton of milk. Here in the Thptpth household we have two kinds of milk: Nolan's milk, which is whole milk, and KB's and my milk, which is 1%. Nolan goes through about a gallon a week, while KB and I put together only use our milk for coffee, the aforementioned tea and the occasional bowl of cereal, so I usually only buy the cardboard half-gallon carton of 1%.

So I was trying to open the new carton and couldn't quite get it. I had successfully peeled back the two sides of the spout and was trying to push them together to get the point of the spout to "pop" forward, but the sides were structurally unsound and just kept collapsing. Each successive attempt to push them in only created new fault lines in the cardboard, making it more and more impossible to achieve the desired goal.

After a few minutes of fumbling I began to contemplate switching to the other side of the carton and trying to open that one. I realized that for some reason the other side of the carton was being labeled in my mind the "illegal" side. And then a word popped into my head: "Lactomangulation." Which is not actually a word, but a sniglet. You remember them, yes? Rich Hall? Not Necessarily The News? "NNTN" was sort of like the proto-"Daily Show." Well, if you had HBO on all the time growing up in the 80s like I did, you would remember. And in my head, verbatim, I had the entire definition of "lactomangulation," which is: "Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk carton so badly that one has to resort to using the "illegal" side."

Why? Why would my brain decide that this particular bit of information is not only pertinent, but important enough to hold onto for the twenty years since that show went off the air?

(Here are a bunch of them if you'd care to read.)

And there are more that I remember that aren't even on that list!:

Banectomy - the surgical operation you perform to remove a bad spot from a banana.

Gazoonting - using your face to fold back the center of the newspaper because your hands are both occupied trying to turn the page.

Potentater - the prized largest french fry in a carton of fast-food fries.

Minutater - the smallest french fry in an carton of fast-food fries.

Jujuspection - holding your candy up to the light coming from the movie screen in order to determine what color/flavor it is before eating it.

Succubeebish - the gooey gel-like substance surrounding the actual food in a can of cat or dog food.

Cellostatic - the mysterious force that makes saran wrap stick to itself so thoroughly that it is impossible to use.

I'm just sitting here trying to remember more of them and they keep popping up. I ask you. What valuable information is missing from my brain so that these infernal non-words can continue their residence in my grey matter? What possible use could they be?

Sigh.

Thanks for reading.

*Do not snigger. Have you ever had a REAL pot of tea? Made with actual tea leaves instead of tea bags? The difference is astonishing. I used to laugh along knowingly with that Paul Reiser bit about how tea always SOUNDS good ("Hmmm, caramel apple cinnamon tea!") but when you drink it, it still tastes horrible, until I had actual brewed tea from leaves. It's kind of like always having had Sanka and being told it was "coffee" and then drinking real, freshly-ground-Peet's-Major-Dickason's-Blend coffee. Get yourself a tea pot and try it out, whydontcha?

3 comments:

Electric Mayhem said...

Useless Trivia Twin, I totally remember these, and the milk one in particular. You are not alone.

Adams said...

Oh, for fuck's sake! I just left a comment here about running across Rich Hall in London a few years ago. It was a pointless anecdote, but now it's gone and I don't know what happened to it.

ETA: No lie, my word verification is "jzbox." Awesome!

thptpth said...

Apparently he lives there full time now and plays gigs under the name Otis Lee Crenshaw. Bizarre.