Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Silly

Have you ever noticed yourself picking up a verbal tic or tendency, yet have no idea where it came from? Maybe you start saying "alll riiiight" after something goes well. Or start referring to a favorite thing as "the tits."

Perhaps it's a favorite line from a TV show, which I'm often guilty of on Wednesdays, after watching Scrubs the night before. ("See you around six, wear something slutty - zoom, zoom, zoom!") Annoying for the people around me, but it usually only lasts a day.

Anyway, here's why I'm bringing this up: Over the past week, I've been referring to many people as... "Cowboy."

I don't know why I'm saying it. Is it anticipation of the new season of Deadwood? (If that was the case, I think a far less flattering nickname - rhymes with mocktucker - would be sputtering out of my mouth.) Is it because I think it's stupid when ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" guys call their colleague, Jeff Brantley, "The Cowboy"? Or has my recurring Clint Eastwood fixation returned?

I don't know where it came from, but I've said it more than a few times. Maybe it was to lighten the mood while Lil' Sis, Mama Cass, and I were slogging through Extreme Makeover: Casselberry Home Edition, and filling a dumpster with 20+ years worth of accumulated junk.

Nothing's funnier than calling an old Asian woman "Cowboy" while she's emptying firewood out of a garage. Am I right? But it wasn't just for laughs. The pet name also provided encouragement to a thin, not quite strong enough young lady lugging big-ass medical textbooks from her bedroom closet. "Way to go, Cowboy!"

So that's probably where it started. We were dirty, we were rugged, and I wanted to make note of it. Unfortunately, once those wagon wheels in my head get rollin', they can be hard to stop when I rejoin the society-at-large.

While using a restaurant bathroom with only one toilet, I locked the door because - hello! - the commode was now occupied. That apparently didn't occur to the jackass who kept tugging on the door, trying to open it, as I was attending to my business. After I was done, I opened the door, saw Mr. I Have to Pee Now, and said, "It's all yours, Cowboy." I think my humor was lost on him. Or he just really had to pee.

(Note to self: Using the term "Cowboy" around a men's bathroom is probably not a good idea.)

Yesterday at the movies, when a teenager was too busy talking to his girlfriend to notice that it was his turn in the concession line, I had to get his attention. "Hey! You're up, Cowboy." Don't mess with me when it's ten minutes before showtime and there's a long line at the popcorn stand, kid. What has two thumbs and hates missing the previews? This guy. (Um, I'm pointing the two thumbs at myself, if you're not following me.)

And that's probably the last time I should call a stranger "Cowboy," as I reckon that could get me a fistful of knuckles right in the kisser next time around.