I Just Threw Up On My Lawn A Little
FOR the inaugural installment of Get Off My Lawn, as you readers who wrote in voted to name this feature where I complain about things that because of my advanced age I don’t understand (Surprisingly, the rather abstract “It’s 2012; why do you even have a blog?” came in second!), I decided to focus on three phrases that irritate the hell out of me.
I was pretty sure that I remembered hearing “I just threw up in my mouth a little” in the movie “Clueless.” So in an effort to make sure I was accurate I looked it up online and not only did I not find out whether it’s from “Clueless,” I also learned that Gawker has also covered this phenomenon.
Gawker’s complaint, however, is the use of these sort of phrases on blogs – while I’m annoyed by them wherever I happen upon them. Sure – I do see them on the internet, but I hear them more often than I read them.
I’m aware that “I see what you did there” is a well-known internet meme, but that’s not the phrase that troubles me. Switch the pronouns around and pose it as a question – “You see what I did there?” and it serves roughly the same sarcastic purpose but becomes an admission of an obvious joke by the person who just made it (rather than a condescending comment on someone else’s bad joke).
I’m sure this variation exists on the internet. But me, I hear it out there in the real world, brother – in radio spots for car dealerships, on TV by that jackass announcer on NBC who tells me to stay tuned for sixteen seconds of additional “Whitney” hilarity after they flash its production logo, from the bingo caller at Kon-Kow-Wa Vista Casino where I bring Nana on Tuesday afternoons. (It’s always, always after he makes the same crude joke when he calls “0-69.” And then it’s up to me to explain it to my grandmother and the other ladies at the table, half of whom are hard of hearing.)
The most overused and therefore worst of the three is, of course – and I refuse to use it here (meta-)ironically – “wait for it.” (I’m disgusted enough at myself for using the prefix “meta.”) Over at Gawker, they’re as puzzled as the rest of us regarding its origins or what the hell it actually means other than being “a ridiculous tease and artificial tension builder that’s never worth the wait” – which is saying volumes because the “wait” is merely the length of time it takes the speaker to say the words “wait for it.”
This bit of drollery makes even less sense when you come across it on a page. Yet this is the one I hear the most – on radio, TV, in person by people who need to be kicked in the head – as though it’s somehow original or clever.
Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of these ridiculous phrases and their usage – and yet it’s all quite apt – is that even my complaining about them shows how out of step I am with the rest of the world: That Gawker post was written in 2006.