Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life Sentences #5

One curious aspect of language is that even when you’re in no mood to be amused by it, even when your life is broken down and stranded along the cluttered, infomercial-lined roadside on the highway to happiness, you’ll hear a particular word, catch a particular phrase, and something about it will take the droop right out of your demeanor and you will no longer give a hootski that your circumstances aren’t perfect. When I was a boy, for instance, I was prone to feeling oppressed most of the time, which meant I was perfectly normal and perfectly inclined to sink into the mopes when I had been sentenced to a week’s solitary confinement in my room after I had committed an atrocity like shitting on a ham sandwich and placing it in my piano teacher’s mailbox or taking it upon myself to urinate on the Jane Austen section at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Library [Ed. Note: despite psychological evidence to the contrary, Mag is not, nor has he ever been, a serial killer. Also, Mag tries to keep the scatological references to a minimum – he’s even in therapy to prevent this sort of subject from continually gurgling to the surface of his writing – but he apparently isn’t trying hard enough]. Particular offense notwithstanding, we can all remember those moments of youthful confinement, how Proustian in scope they were, alone in the early evening, gazing out the window, a few hours left of daylight, the neighborhood children frolicking hither and thither in their back yards, their world a delight, our world a wasteland of proportions as vastly desolate as the mindsets of the adults who banished us to our rooms. Then we’d hear a kid say something, maybe ‘hippopotamus,’ or ‘weiner schnitzel,’ or ‘Diaper Man,’ and we couldn’t prevent the grin from widening our lips into joy!

Hmm. I just totally forgot what I was talking about, hey. This happens once you starting advancing past a certain age, I guess. I think I was thinking about being happy. And maybe if you think about being happy long enough you can become happy? Nah. Fuck that.

Oh yeah: that’s the cliff I was driving toward: Today’s sentence.

One of the most joyful sentences in English is the implied-subject sentence, or the command sentence, or the imperative – any of these terms merit a Grade-A rating in my opinion. In the imperative, we address our subject in a complete sentence but we do not include our subject as the subject of the sentence because the subject of the sentence is implied and with luck the subject of this sentence has the wit to catch the implication.

The sentence of the day:

Fuck that.


(You, unstated, implied subject) fuck (transitive verb) that (direct object).

Further analysis:

Wasn’t that fun? Didn’t that make you happy?

Analysis of further analysis:

Fuck that.

1 comment:

  1. Fuck that. Heckawee ate weiner schnitzel at Hedman Winery this afternoon. Not bad.


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