I’m sitting in a fine establishment with a beverage in front of me before I deal with the drudgery of not having a beverage in front of me when a gentleman, a gentleman who has been keeping a conversation going with a person who, I can tell by his posture and downcast eyes, is not as engaged in this conversation as one would expect, begins to speak in a voice that can only be described as attention grabbing.
The gentleman in question, a well known thief and all around no-goodnik, is spinning tales of his near-do-well life. Tales of daring do, criminal hi-jinks, spine tingling drama. Forgetting, of course, to mention his stories of being face down with a law officers weapon pressed to his temple, pissing himself in a cell because he’s too hammered to accomplish it any other way and any of the multitude of less glamorous moments that are also part and parcel of a life in crime.
At one point he is lecturing on the use of external appearance subterfuge to escape capture. Wigs, hats, prosthetic proboscis. He’s spinning yarns about how, with just a change of his voices timber (and probably a fake ID), he avoids capture. How by simply exiting a crime scene and changing only his shirt he could slip past the alarmed store employees undetected to the safety of his vehicle. How with only his cunning (and a blood stream full of opioids) he can waltz undetected through even the most modern of security systems.
He’s letting everyone know of his specific skill set and how, with the flick of a finger, he can make the dreams of his customers come true. To say he regales his tales in a syntax that is sinfully stunted is to cheapen the truth. His words are mangled, phrases half baked, meanings lost in a chasm of participles dangling precariously upon a precipice.
It is during this most boastful of narrations this anecdotist veers off into a deeper world of self. A world where he doesn’t have a rap sheet the size of a Steven King novel; where the police are not unlike the denizens of Cheers where everyone knows his name; where his perpetrated crimes are as slick as Keyser Söze’s storytelling. He delves into an arena where, due to his lofty standing in the world, he has the uncanny ability to make up his own words.
This ability has been on going for some time. Words, newly formed in the English language, have dribbled from his lips. Words that, to a man who has actually read a dictionary, are not only foreign but seem clumsily offered off the tongue. Words that seem to defy not only the rules but the spirit of the English language.
I will not bore you with the many garbled vowels and constipated consonants this fellow emitted. But I will leave you with my favorite. I know it’s my favorite because, from the moment he uttered it, I have lived with the horror of the word pinging endlessly in my head.
It is during one of his tales in the master of disguise realm when this word appeared for the first time in recorded history. The story entails his particular genius with being able to transform himself into anyone to avoid capture.
“Yeah, what I do ain’t easy. Not everybody can do what I do. Ya know? They don’t got the balls I do. But I got the balls. I’m good, no, great at what I do because I can imper-serate anybody.”
Except a cunning linguist I suppose.