Sorry for the day’s absence — no excuse, sir. Dr. Frank came up for some visitin’, and that’s always a distraction, plus he bogarts the computer. Not really, but I tease him about it, and it’s so gratifying to watch a PC user explore the mysteries of a wireless broadband Mac network. Of course I had to show him the iTunes Music Store, spending a buck to demonstrate how quickly we could get Prince’s “D.M.S.R.” into the house. If he makes the Switch, I want a commission.

Today, in history class, the professor made a passing reference to burlesque. “If you don’t know what that is,” he said, “think Deja Vu.” Deja Vu is a semi-famous string of strip joints around here, but man, talk about taking nothing for granted — not knowing what burlesque is? I really do feel old sometimes, sitting in these classes. Last week, when my pathetic fiction was being workshopped in English class, everyone tripped over a passage where I’d called a fox “Sly Reynard.” Precisely one student out of 20 understood the reference. The teacher didn’t even get it. Like Jon Carroll, I felt hair growing out of my ears and wondered if my breath smelled like denture cream.

Now I see why everyone makes such a big deal out of that list that comes out every summer. Last night, at dinner, one of our fFs, the youngest among us, revealed she’d never used a typewriter. She knew what they were, of course, but she’d always written on a PC. Amazing.

Just writing about this makes me feel about a thousand years old. So I’d better take my teeth out and go to bed.

Posted at 9:14 pm in Uncategorized |

8 responses to “Creaky.”

  1. deb said on March 10, 2004 at 10:39 pm

    i can’t believe it — only one student in 20 got “sly reynard”? for the love of god, even a smattering of high-school french should make THAT one easy.

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  2. Connie said on March 10, 2004 at 11:09 pm

    Well my 16 yr old daughter would have gotten the sly Reynard part, and she studies German, not French. She learned it from a Gingerbread Man poem she memorized at around 5 or so. She wanted to know why the fox was named sly Reynard and we did a little research to answer her question. Those were the days when we had an encyclopedia.

    Cultural literacy can be a curious thing. I was shocked recently when I learned my husband didn’t have a clue what I meant when I told him he was just like one of Pavlov’s dogs.

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  3. Peter said on March 11, 2004 at 6:52 am

    Not to go Dave Barry, but Sly Reynard and the Pavlov Dogs sounds like a great name for a band.

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  4. John Ritter said on March 11, 2004 at 8:18 am

    We play an amusing (well, at least to us grey beards) game at work called “Ask Salerno”. The object is to see what Marc, a young (under 25) engineer with his master’s degree, doesn’t know. Most of the questions would be on the $100 row of Jeopardy, but yet, he still consistantly comes up short.

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  5. Nance said on March 11, 2004 at 8:56 am

    Best Dave Barry Band-Name Suggestion Ever: The Miami Relatives.

    The thing about cultural literacy is, it really doesn’t have anything to do with how smart you are, although smarter folks are more curious, and will look up stuff they don’t understand, etc. And the more culture that piles up, and the more segmented popular culture becomes, the harder it is to keep up. The other day I walked out of class to hear a student talking to her dad on her cell phone, telling her about this amazing movie she’d seen — “Miracle,” about the 1980 Olympic hockey team. From her comments, I gathered this whole story was utterly unknown to her. Yes, she spent 19 years on the planet without hearing about it. Amazing.

    As for myself, I am befuddled almost daily. When did “bitch” become “be-yotch”? “On the Q.T.” is now “on the D.L.” And so on.

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  6. 4dbirds said on March 11, 2004 at 10:10 am

    Went to your link of “the list” and it seems the author is showing his right wing bias. Freedom does mean safe and legal abortions (if one so chooses).

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  7. Randy said on March 11, 2004 at 1:17 pm

    A recent *journalism* graduate asked me what the heck this whole war in Iraq was about.

    I said it was about ensuring a steady supply of area rugs to the the American marketplace, but I’m not totally sure she believed that.

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  8. Nance said on March 11, 2004 at 3:11 pm

    4dbirds — You’re right. I changed the link to a better reference to the entire list. Also, the word “scrappleface” grosses me out.

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