Monday, July 4, 2011

RE: O Captain! (Crunch) My Captain!...humor about that crunching sound...

O Captain! (Crunch) My Captain!

CRUNCH. At first glance, in and of itself, this is a fairly innocuous word. I would even go so far as to say it’s a positive word, evoking gastronomical imagery of fresh, sassy food infused with texture.

(The Food Network has noticeably expanded my vocabulary and my waistline.)

Crunch has the added bonus of providing a bevy of onomatopoeic opportunities. This includes an English terminology refresher course on what the heck onomatopoeia is (when the word represents the sound) and how to spell this blasted term that flouts all spelling conventions.

I would like to offer a different spin on the word “crunch” with my own “MeSpeak” when talking about how my body feels after exertion.

A simple sentence illustrating this meaning might be:

“Man, I am experiencing a skosh bit of stiffness and I’m crunchy after that work-out.” This renders the connotative meaning of crunch to be tight.

Granted, I didn’t use crunch in the usual context and I even added a “y” not before an “i” or followed by an “e” with a side of “s,” but that’s the connotative fun of it all.

The utterance of crunch does not really possess all that much life-changing emotional meaning or mood until…

Duhn, duhn, duhn…

…you consider its application to eating. As anybody who has ever sat in a crowded movie theater next to a soda-swilling, popcorn-chomping patron can tell you, you can connote the heck out of the word “crunch” when that business is going on.

A simple sentence demonstrating this might be:

“She thought to herself, Gosh, if he doesn’t stop chewing like that, I am going to clock him on the head with my purse until I hear something crunch.”

Of course, this reaction may seem a wee bit violent. I posit that the crunch auditory assault situation elicits just such a response from generally gentle persons, forcing them to turn their yin-yang jewelry backwards, zip their sweaters over their peace sign teeshirts and pretend to get into a different car than the electric one with the “Coexist” bumpersticker.

But they’re not responsible for their actions because this is a syndrome that can’t be helped. They didn’t choose to feel this way. It’s in their DNA. As surely as they inherited, say, stunning blue eyes, they may have inherited this unpleasantly prevalent reaction to crunchy food. In point of fact, this is a syndrome with its own acronym because I have helpfully created both.

Thus, it’s the same word as the word. C.R.U.N.C.H.


Although popcorn and other ambiguously caloric foods may qualify as the culprit, bringing about an attack of C.R.U.N.C.H., it is more frequently health foods that are the real perpetrator here.

It doesn’t even matter if someone closes their mouth while they’re eating these torturous victuals which necessitate excess mastication. Healthful offerings are just as high-decibel whether the maw is open or closed.

Crunchy foods garner the attention of my own husband, who normally enjoys the ability to accept any noise level due to his life-long status as a rock ‘n’ roll musician, suffering the resultant collateral damage that is hearing loss.

Let someone (and this someone is usually moi) “fire up” a carrot and this habitually mellow man turns into a high frequency detecting, cranky Chihuahua, exhibiting the same combative tendencies. With my first bite his ears go up, his head whips around, and he launches the detonation sequence on his patented I-will-give-you-one-minute-to-eat-that-item death ray glare.

I’ve been known to transport a cellophaned bag of those luscious baby carrots into the bathroom, just so I can enjoy them in a judgment-free zone where comments like, “Are you about done with those?” and “How many are in that bag anyway?” don’t machine gun away at me every three seconds, harshing my carotene mellow.

(Okay, I am a bit prone to hyperbole. It was the bedroom, not the bathroom.)

The real problem with C.R.U.N.C.H. is that you don’t seem to know you have it until someone helpfully points out to you how annoying crunching can be.

You’re welcome.

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