Wednesday, November 15, 2006


If I ever write a book, I'll have my mother write the forward. She just returned from Costa Rica, and I must share this one golden bit recounting her vacation:

I also read Augusten Burroughs's new book, "Possible Side Effects" while I was there. You know I am Augusten Burroughs. Well not exactly--I'm not a recovering alcoholic, chain smoking, gay man with a horrible dysfunctional childhood, but I do know where he is coming from most of the time. I am giving you the book when you come home. But here is one passage that absolutely makes me scream with is on page 103. He was talking about an ad he was working on for Junior Mints, the candy, when he worked in advertising. He was describing a time when he and a colleague figured out an ad campaign playing on the word mint as in enjoy MINT or entertain MINT: "We began laughing hysterically. We hunched over, clutching our stomachs and gasping for breath. It was as though we had been told the funniest joke in the history of the world that, for safety reasons, had not been revealed until now."

This reminds me... just a note on "mint." My friend John used the word "mint" to mean that something was, as I would put it, fabulous. After the visit from Jutta's Japanese friends I've found myself thinking "sagoy," a word they seemed to translate into "cool" or as I would put it, fabulous. My young Korean students would often proclaim "ASSA!" when something fantastic like "no homework" was announced. I wonder if I'll ever find a word to replace fabulous. I tried fantastic, marvelous, crazy... but they just don't do it for me like FABULOUS.

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