This is one blog post that I will not edit by reading the draft aloud. Not even whispering it. Technically, not even shape my lips to the vowels and consonants of it.
I have taken a vow. The vow is something on the order of 20 years old by this point. So that makes it a “solemn” vow. It is a vow of silence, of a sort. That makes the vow sound even more solemn, doesn’t it?
Roughly 20 years ago, I made a wager. The wager centered around the proper pronunciation of a proper noun. I have been known to fancy myself as something of a connoisseur when it comes to words. A sommelier of words. If words possessed umami, I would profess a preternatural ability to taste and perceive that umami. “Gun metal finish?” I’m not sure I can pick that up in a wine, no matter how pricey. But the proper way to pronounce “ennui?” I am your man.
At least I believed I was your man 20 years ago. When I manufactured the aforementioned wager, recklessly slapping my long-barreled revolver and fancy gunbelt on the sticky-Whiskey table with a thud and puff of sawdust. Walrus-mustached gunslinger. Or wordslinger, rather. You get the picture. That’s how I pictured myself.
Unprompted and ill-advisedly, I announced to our table that there is only one proper pronunciation for “Reese’s.” Only one. It rhymes with “pieces,” not “feces.” (This last sentence I did not say at the time. I wish I had, it may have ended the debate before the debate even got off the ground. But alas,….).
So confident was I in this pronouncement, unsnapping the top of my custom-leather holster, not breaking eye contact with my table mates, that I elected to throw down the gauntlet. “If the waitress pronounces it my way–the only proper way–I win. If she pronounces it your way–the improper way–I vow that I will never again say that word aloud for the remainder of my living days.”
Things did not break my way that day.
My fellow wagerers (as I recall, my future wife and future in-laws) walked away with my Colt Peace Maker, hand tooled leather holster, and cartridge belt. Had I slapped my chaps on the tabletop, they’d have confiscated those too. (Had I worn chaps, this would be a blog post of a different sort.). I twisted the ends of my walrus mustache, fingers tipping the brim of my ten-gallon, and then backed my way slowly out of that particular saloon. One backwards shuffle step at a time, not taking my unblinking eyes off of them. Not even for even a moment.
Well I’ve clearly beaten this particular metaphor to a pulp. I admit that.
However. I have also kept up my end of the hard-struck bargain. Faithfully.
Those bars made of chocolate-coated peanut butter? The candy bar name that has not been spoken, and will not be spoken. Count on it.
Thanks for reading.