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Looking down on looking up

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Mrs. Cool Kid said we should get a dictionary.

I asked, “Why?”

She said so she could look up words while playing her Scrabble ripoff Facebook game.

I said we should wait and maybe someday someone would invent an internet browser that had a feature — as a placeholder term we’ll call it a “tab” — that would allow you to have two or more web pages running at the same time.

That way, I said, you could play your game and — when you needed to look something up — switch over to an online dictionary.

She asked why being a jackass was such a point of pride for me.

I referred her to Lucius of Patrae, and mentioned that a white horse is not a horse in any real sense.

She asked me to be serious. And after a few seconds of silence, we both gutted a bust laughing.

I explained to her why I despised dictionaries. There are two types, I told her, and I got a personal history of animosity toward both.

I loathe unabridged dictionaries because “unabridged” is a dumb word. It’s a demodified modifier. I’m a busy man. I ain’t got time for unhitching prefixes.

Here’s an idea: Let’s call abridged dictionaries “indiscontraexnonillabridged” — an even number of modifiers bringing abridged back to its original meaning. Hey, why not? My time is theirs to waste, right? So what if the village withers because I’m too busy to pull the plow.

Not that I care in any way for abridged dictionaries, either. They’re silly. They leave out the less common words in favor of words most people already know. That’s some sdrawkcab thinking.

Editor’s note: Sdrawkcab?

The Cool Kid’s note: It’s backwards. Literally.

Editor’s note to self: Just breathe. Breathe slowly. Happy place. Happy place.

Mrs. Cool Kid said, “That’s fine. Insane, but fine. I’m getting a dictionary anyway.”

To which, in devastating reply, I said, “Abe, you can do what you want, but next time you see me coming you’d better run.”

She did a weird thing with her index finger — circling it repeatedly near one of her ears.

I pushed on, asking, “Where you want this killing done?”

She sighed longer than a leaky zeppelin.

And I answered my own question with a triumphant, “Out on Highway 61.”