Posts filed under 'Ripostes & Rejoinders'

Ripostes & Rejoinders – The Beans Have Been Chilling For A While

A helpful reader forwarded this link, proving beyond a doubt that “cool beans” was neither invented by kids from my small Midwestern home town, nor was it forgotten after five minutes. However in spite of SIX pages of definitions, ranging from the banal to the pornographic, there is no consensus as to the origin – temporal or cultural – of “cool beans.” If you have time, perusing all 42 definitions is entertaining. I excerpt a few of my favorites below…

The Literalist:

Cool Beans – Beans that are neither hot nor cold, but cool; generally 42 1/2 degrees.
It is 42 1/2 degrees outside that is cool beans!

The Naughty:
Cool Beans – Another name for the drug ecstasy.
“Jerry you got the cool beans?”

The Latecomer:
Cool Beans – A Yahoo chat room term, (invented in 1996…), which means that one thinks highly of something.
That is exciting = Cool beans!

The Bitter Child of the 80s:
Cool Beans – A phrase popularized in the 1980s by U.S. teenage females who were viewers of the American sitcom “Full House.” For some yet unknown reason, these persons found the show entertaining and desired to emulate actress Candace Cameron whose character repeated the phrase incessantly on the show. The phrase then spread like a virus, infecting the vernacular of people of older and younger generations regardless of gender…these people were born without the ability to discern that this phrase was, to put it in the parlance of our current times, “*^$%ing stupid.” Is used to express approval or liking.
Person A: “Hey, it’s TGIF on ABC tonight! Wanna watch ‘Full House?’”

The Innovator:
The first of a series of unnecessary and over-used catch-phrases when something happens to one’s liking. The list goes as follows: Cool beans! Hot ice! Stolen diamonds! Pistol-packin’ granny! Sinister Minister!
The “c” can also be stuttered to enhance the effect.
C-c-c-c-c-cool beans!

The “Doesn’t Yet Realize That ‘cool beans’ And ‘super cool’ Live in the Same Linguistic Neighborhood”
Cool Beans – A very old word your parents might use in front of your super cool friends to seem just as super cool
dad: “what are you and your super cool friends up to?”
daughter: “ nothing”
dad: “cool beans”
*super cool friends walk away*
daughter: “ thanks dad.”

The “Has Issues With an Ex”

Cool Beans – A word that was originally used [in]… pop culture, now used by people who think they’re random. They feel the need to take words out of the 60s, when [they]… themselves are listening to Emo bands.
George: cool beans!
Me: Shut up.

And my particular vote for the most likely origin:

The “Random and Improbable Begets Random and Improbable”
Cool Beans – A slang term that actually began its use in the late 60s/early 70s. Popularized by the pop culture of the time. Used to describe something very favorable or pleasing. Great. Very nice.
Cheech: Hey man, look at this car made out of weed!
Chong: Oh cool beans, man!

Because, somehow “cool beans” makes sense when uttered in response to a car made out of weed.

Add comment August 6th, 2008

Ripostes & Rejoinders – Do These Genes Make My Eyebrows Look Fat?

A few weeks ago I posted an article detailing a few of the beauty secrets we never knew we wanted to know – knowledge gleaned one afternoon from an enthusiastic and talkative group of women in the sauna. Among their surprising revelations was the fact that menopause makes one’s eyebrows stop growing. ?? Who knew??

Apparently, one of my reader’s knew, as she wrote in with a clarification.

Menopausal eyebrow activity, she pointed out, is highly individual; some may experience a change in hair growth, while others may not. Further, there is something known as the “bushy eyebrow gene;” scientists have discovered that those who are endowed with the bushy eyebrow gene do not lose loose their brows in middle-age.bushy-eyebrow-gene.jpg

I can only imagine the fright experienced by that first scientist who discovered the bushy eyebrow gene…

Add comment April 3rd, 2008

Ripostes & Rejoinders – Twelve Vikings in a Sauna

Following my adventure within an adventure, “Tales From the Gym – Sartorial Subterfuge” two readers wrote in, urging me to make good on my threat/promise and wear my green velvet Renaissance Festival dress the next time I’m headed for the treadmill. One reader went so far as to speculate what might happen if I wore such a costume into the sauna afterwards. Would my own sartorial subterfuge trigger another splitting of realities? What, my reader asked, would a Renaissance Sauna be like? She immediately (virtually) shivered and took it all back – urging me to forget the project entirely. Apparently the visual of a pre-modern sauna was enough to kill the fantasy. For me, on the other hand, it was a delightful jumping off point. Renaissance Festivals and SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) events were the playgrounds of my childhood; when I’ve worn this dress before, I’ve been surrounded by all sorts of delightful characters – most of whom ended up being costumed as 9th century Vikings. I feel certain that if I do, in fact, break out the green velvet dress, the sauna at my gym will immediately be populated by large men clad in iron and leather, all of whom will be drinking home-brew from big horns, invoking Thor and Loki, threatening to raid and pillage, stomping around and swearing to see each other again in Asgard.

Incentive, or disincentive…?

Add comment March 2nd, 2007

Ripostes & Rejoinders – Restricted Readers

A reader recently wrote in with a compliment and a request for an expansion of my imaginative terrain. She writes, in reference to my Muse, “…it is, as usual, highly entertaining, but I’d love to read about something other than just your visits to the gym! :) …” First of all, thank you dear reader! It is always an absolute delight to discover that people are reading my Muse, and when I discover that people both read and enjoy it, my joy cannot be contained. Which means that I must take requests for, shall we say, a broader narrative scope quite seriously. I don’t think I can leave the gym just yet – it has provided too much fascinating fodder. “A rich vein of material” as one of my writerly friends puts it. But I do plan to introduce a new series next week detailing my adventures at the Venice Beach drum circle, along with a less narrative, more whimsical category called “les poesies quotidienne” (French for everyday poetry). And I have a couple of other stories up my sleeve as well. Hopefully if I dilute my tales from the gym with some tales from elsewhere, you will continue to indulge my fascination with naked networking?

Add comment March 2nd, 2007

Ripostes & Rejoinders – Outstanding Friends

There are many definitions of an outstanding friend. Here’s one that’s particularly apropos today: an outstanding friend, first of all, is someone who offers to keep some of the things you can’t bear to part with, but can’t begin to wedge into your car. She sets your things up royally, giving them primo real estate on the wrap-around porch of her techno log cabin, or downstairs in the “Cowgirls Kick Ass” basement. She reads your blog, learns that you are an anti-materialist animist who is dealing with some separation anxiety following the jettisoning of your material possessions, and immediately writes you an email – channeling the personalities of some of your favorite left-behind objects.

“Hello! This is your desk! I’m hanging out here in East Lynne, and just wanted to let you know that I’m doing fine!”

An outstanding friend then goes on to describe the conversation she had with your rocking chair: “so then I said to your rocker, ‘you know, when spring finally gets here, we’re going to do some serious rocking out here on the porch!’”

That’s an outstanding friend.

Add comment March 2nd, 2007

Ripostes and Rejoinders – Speculative Readers

More mail from my engaged readership. A skeptical reader isn’t sure she believes that the sauna at my gym is a TARDIS – a time-traveling device that deposits me somewhere different and unexpected every time I leave its confines. “You know” she writes, with the faintest allusions to sarcasm, “that so called health club is really an interdementional space station in disguise.”

I couldn’t help but be struck by the clever reappropriation of spelling rules. Maybe “interdementional” is a typo. Or maybe my reader believes that rather than dimension-hopping, I am actually dementia-hopping – hence the interdementional space station.

Oh, clever reader!

Add comment January 16th, 2007

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