Curmudgeon n : a crusty irascible
cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas
This is the correct definition according to
"dictionary.com," but I have different ideas
about this beautiful word. Let us redefine.
Down here in the south, we tend to look at a lot
of things in a different context, 'specially words.
Heck, we even start our fairy tales differently
down here. Regular fairy tale begins;
"Once upon a time..."
Southern fairy tale begins;
"Y'all ain't gonna believe this..."
Let us examine the words, Cabernet Sauvignon. Now
doesn't that just roll off your tongue; like poetry,
ain't it? It's supposed to; a good red wine and a
chunk of roasted venison, very nice!
A few weeks ago, our own Ipswichy columnist, Dave Micus,
emailed me concerning something and typed this alluring,
angelic, appealing word. How nice of him to refer to
himself as one of these persons, dang, I just liked
the sound of that reference. Curmudgeon,
and he hated to think he may turn out to be one. Hell,
after I read the note, I wanted to be one! 'Course, I
had to look it up to see what it meant, first. I was
in shock! Not our Dave! A perfect example of how things
get screwed up. An exquisite word that some curmudgeon
made up to describe himself…too bad it had to be wasted
on that fool! (No, not Dave!) And, just to think, the
word doesn't even have an origin!
As I said; let us redefine...
"Based on legend, in along the same time period of Sir
Galahad, a horseman rode his worthy steed into the
castle gates to ask the great king for the princess'
hand in marriage. This was no ordinary knight, he
was a Curmudgeon. All in the village knew there were
but only a few of these Curmudgeon. They came from
all around to witness the event, and they wept as
they knelt before this mighty swordsman. They were
rare and brave knights and only could receive this
title by the spirits summoned by the Wizard of Curmudgia..."
Now doesn't that just sound a lot better? Wow, to
be a Curmudgeon in those days!
We would never mess up pretty words like that in
the south. We would simply just attach a better
meaning to that word, just like I did. I thoroughly
believe there should be a panel, of sorts, put
together to analyze definitions, then assign a
word to properly attach to those definitions.
Let us consider the word influenza. That's another
pretty word; nasty meaning...pretty word. I submit
to you this little scenario...
Picture a quant, Italian village. Vineyards cover
the hills in the distance. In the town's center,
a flowing well where the ladies gather every
morning to whisper the latest gossip and to fill
their clay pots with water. There, sitting on the
edge of this well, is a lovely and single girl.
Her dark hair flows teasingly in the gentle wind.
Her eyes flash with excitement as she notices her
beau heading her way. "Ah, there you are, Influenza.
I've been looking everywhere for you." Now, see...put
it in a different text, and there ya go. Another
word given to the pretty Italian girl as a name,
instead of some dreaded illness. It's a shame, isn't
Okay, let's reverse it.
n. pl. mullet or mul·lets Any of
various stout-bodied, edible fishes of the family
Mugilidae, found worldwide in tropical and temperate
coastal waters and some freshwater streams.
The poor old mullet is picked on by everyone in the
sea, including me. As soon as he is born, oops,
hatched, he is the official low man on the food
chain. He is delicious fried or smoked. All the
other fish love him, too...sushi style. And all
he does is jump gleefully into the air to celebrate
his life, and then a blasted osprey pounces on him
and carries him off for lunch. He's rather a cute
fish, so says my wife Linda, with that pouting mouth
and those big, Betty Boop eyes. It's bad enough that
he goes through life being munched on, pounced on,
hooked in the rump with a Mustad 3407, 4/0 and flung
to a waiting sea trout or snook. Then some buffoon
makes it even worse and hangs the name "mullet" on
him...that just ain't right! The Italians, and I'm
not pickin' on you guys, figured the same thing I'm
thinkin', they refer to the poor old mullet as Lisa...
that was nice of 'em. Sure is one helluva lot nicer
name than mullet.
So many words to reassign meanings to, so little time...
So, I submit to you, this.
Sir Davis Micus;
A true and fine Curmudgeon, that has sworn never
to harass Lisa the mullet, and will never travel
to Italy in hopes of catchin' Influenza!
Enough of this gibberish! (hummm...another word,
perhaps to analyze.)
See y'all next week. ~ Capt. Gary
Gary grew up in central Florida and spent much
of his youth fishing the lakes that dot the area.
After moving a little closer to the coast, his
interests changed from fresh to salt. Gary still
visits his "roots" in the "lake behind the house."
He obtained his captain's license in the early '90's
and fished the blue waters of the Atlantic for a little
over twelve years. His interests in the beautiful shallow
water flats in and around the famous Mosquito Lagoon came
around twenty-five years ago. Even though Captain Gary
doesn't professionally guide anymore, his respect of the
waters will ever be present.
Gary began fly fishing and tying mostly saltwater
patterns in the early '90's and has participated as
a demo fly tier for the Federation of Fly Fishers
on numerous occasions. He is a private fly casting
and tying instructor and stained glass artist,
creating mostly saltwater game fish in glass.