Sunday, February 27, 2011

RE: (Humor) What the heck is a flippernugget?


I write so much that I’ve practically got words sweating out of me in the most inconvenient places – the words, not the sweat – forcing me to scribble on any surface I possibly can – fast – lest I forget the idea.

As it turns out, a simple piece of paper is not all that easy to come by when you’re out and about spreading around joy as I am wont to do. My peripatetic ways force me to commandeer writing surfaces in transit which is why I’ve been known to put pen to often-non-paper upon quite an array of items; fast food bags, receipts, the car door, neighborhood children, bank deposit slips. (With regard to the latter I was informed that humor column text does not convert to legal tender.)

The problem with this modus operandi is that afterward I’m left to decipher my own notes and that can be a tricky business, my penmanship being marginal when I’m stationary, let alone in forward motion.

Placing a receipt on the steering wheel and writing on it with an eyebrow pencil makes it difficult to get my own drift because that’s all I’m often left with. Drift. As in: the writing implement is drifting downward leaving the semblance of letters from what appears to be an extinct language. Perhaps Atlantis-ian?

Thus, I’m left to decode jottings like “tennis shoes,” which I’m convinced are, no doubt, an integral part of a brilliant book waiting to be written. If only the crucial springboard to this unforgettable literal legacy could be understood.

When I reflect upon these same doodles later, not when I’m more sane or focused, but simply later, I have no idea what I was thinking. This brings me to my recent Dead Sea scrolls finding when I excavated a torn and rather lonely-looking piece of binder paper from underneath the detritus of my passenger seat upon which was inscribed one word. Flippernugget.
Now, what could I have been thinking? I know we call those dealies we convulsively punch on the side of pinball machines, convinced we’re pinball wizards, flippers, but no nuggets there.

In an effort to jog my out-of-shape memory I looked the word up on the Internet, but all I came up with was a mythical cartoon, rainforest-dwelling animal. Oh, and some random blog entries about not being able to sleep. I know. I don’t get the connection either, but I’m guessing these folks write all sorts of arbitrary things like I do, but they turn them into blog entries, not columns.

At first, the search engine helpfully inquired as to whether I meant, flipper nugget, two words, as though that was going to net me a bigger answer fish. I got bupkus whether it was expressed as a compound word or not.

I’m going Old School and getting out the dictionary. Finagle, finfoot, first mate, Flemish, flocculate. Nope. No FLIPPERNUGGET. What if I parse it out, like I was done taught to do during my turn-of-the-century education?

Okay. Flip. “Someone or something that flips.” I think we can all agree that doesn’t contribute much to the goal of clarification. The entry also mentions a fin and then a flat or hinged something-or-other in the theater. That sure doesn’t ring any proverbial bells, so let’s go for some whistles. I’m going to go look up, “nugget.”

I’m back. Basically, it is a “lump of matter.” If I put the two together I’ve got a lump of matter that flips. Huh.

Perhaps the 1960’s show, “Flipper,” starring that loveable dolphin by the same name that was smarter than the average human had a full name of Flippernugget? Probably not.
Maybe when a certain fast food restaurant first came up with their fish fillet they thought they’d try fish nuggets and they were going to call them flippernuggets? Nah. I’m reaching now.

Well, I’ll have to chalk this one up to, “I have no idea what I was thinking” and file it. Mental note: This file is almost full. Purchase a bigger folder.

It’s clear there was no reason in the world why I would have written that word down and who knows how you would…hold on. Maybe I’ll go on over to Wikipedia. I can probably be the first to create my very own entry. What? It asked me if I meant, “flippilodge?”
Oh, flippernugget!

Ohhhhh. I just made it up as an expression. Well, mystery solved AND there’s no need for a new “I have no idea what I was thinking” file folder...yet.

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