The Talking Scrapbook

It’s enjoyable to think about all of the turns of phrase and peccadilloes I’ve picked up from important people in my life.

From my art teacher… I use the term “sneak up on it” in reference to taking it slow and steady when working on a large, impossible project. It comes up a lot.

From my old recruiting boss, I sarcastically use the line: “I’ll get to that in my copious spare time” when a request is made and I’m already flat out. (My wife says this now too.) I also push the up arrow on my keyboard exactly twice each morning to wake up my monitor screen.

From my dad… I cut up everything on my plate before I eat anything, at the dinner table I instinctively place the juice off to my left, I use “My man!” as a term of endearment when I’m excited for someone, I call steak “stike” and pizza “ah-beets” (at least in my head), I routinely say things like “ahead of the game”, “bassackwards,” and “cookin’ with gas,” and I rarely get the orange juice in the drive-thru because it ruins the deal.

All this stuff in my head and in my actions, baked into the Cliff code. It’s like carrying around a scrapbook of important memories and the pictures talk when I wave my hand over them. Just by being alive and going through my day, these pictures, they come to life, suddenly and unexpectedly like a talking greeting card. I can’t help but smile.

Sometimes, when I spontaneously laugh in public for no apparent reason and someone asks me what’s so funny, I tell them. “Oh, I just thought of someone I know.”

And no further explanation is needed.