No, no, I don’t want to whisper any secrets or anything like that. What I’m on about is a word, such as the individual ones in this sentence.
We all use words whether we are plumbers, salesmen, astronauts, taxi drivers, clerks, sailors, toilet attendants, or anything at all. Aquarists can go on the list of course. Without all the words (I wonder how many there are in the dictionary) it would be a bit hard ordering that burger – maybe someone would invent a colour system or something similar. It would have to be complicated. Question -red black red black red. Reply – black black black. Translation: do you know where the toilet is? Answer: haven’t a clue, sorry.
We need words to express ourselves, all of us. Some are action words, some are descriptive. Aquarists have much use for descriptive words, immediately one comes to mind and that is ‘beautiful,’ used with reference to colourful fish and stunning captive reefs.
Another use of words came to mind the other day. At the moment I am engaged in a garden project, mixing concrete and the like. I needed to dig areas out where the concrete needed to go and, as luck will usually have it, right in the way there was some old buried concrete. No problem, thought Mr. Do It Yourself, I’ll simply get my steel chisel and lump hammer. All went well using these caveman weapons, bits of concrete breaking away just as they should. Then I missed with my aim – instead of there being the metallic clang as several pounds of hurtling steel hit the end of a steel chisel there was a dull thud. The dull thud was my finger. I hopped around like a demented kangaroo for a while, my wife looking a little alarmed but not overly so – more than once she’s observed peculiar antics.
It was a bit like that cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry.’ Jerry usually manages to wallop Tom, who often goes red in the face and exits skywards. I don’t have that amazing ability – I just went red in the face and held a throbbing finger under the cold tap.
Now that was a situation where a descriptive word would have been more than useful – I can think of some very appropriate ones starting with particular letters of the alphabet! Unfortunately, appropriate as they may be, they are not acceptable to the fairer sex generally speaking. Worse, they are most definitely not acceptable to the ears of children, who must continue to live in the land where blue birds sing and parents and grandparents never utter any inappropriate word that their inquisitive little minds could latch on to – “What does ……. mean?”
Aquarists have their moments. My aquarium is under open stairs and fairly regularly there is a dull thud as my head comes into contact with the hard edge of the stairs underside. This is very amusing to my wife; the usual suggestion is to wear a hard hat. Never mind that I might be in some pain or be in the process of developing a headache (which would be worse than anyone else’s of course).
What about carrying a bucket of seawater, only for the handle to slip and the pristine carpet becomes a habitat suitable for crabs, or coming down the stairs and attempting to create an indoor water feature? Then of course there’s when the aquarist’s hand is in the aquarium – a good bite from the egg guarding clownfish just to remind the aquarist who is in charge. Or a scrape on the sometimes decidedly sharp edge of a coral rock. Or stretching just a little more down into the seawater only for a soggy sensation to give a reminder to roll the sleeve up. There are lots of circumstances.
So back to words – I’ve got one that suits a timely situation well. It’s the B word. I’ve used it many times. It usually is preceded by ‘Oh!’ and is spoken at high volume. It works well, strange how a word can relieve a situation all on its own to an extent. It must be the instantaneous release of emotion, a cry that never fails to obtain attention when anything else usually gets a response of “In a minute, maybe.” Yes, it’s a clarion call to anyone within earshot to pay heed. They do too, and how satisfying it is.
So when I whack myself with gay abandon, or pour seawater where I shouldn’t have poured it, I have my acceptable release. My B word demanding attention. Not for over use or the impact will diminish.
The great emotional call “……Oh, buns!”