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15 August 2012 @ 10:02 pm
Use of "You Idiot"  
My parents returned home not long after finishing that entry on my brother.

As a very special homecoming, my brother broke a glass bowl in the sink and couldn't figure out how to clean it up. I helped him and finished up the cleaning.

My brother then informed my father, "The hot water's out." This is a fairly frequent occurrence in the household and requires a trip down to the disgusting basement, back to the farthest room, to hit a little button on the boiler.

I said, "Welcome home!" with a cheeky grin on my face. My mother instructed my father to teach my brother how to Hit The Button.

My father, wearing his Good Suit, heads for the door; my brother, wearing no shirt and no shoes, heads for the door. My mother and I look at each other and roll our eyes as we turn to our respective boys.

"Put some shoes on!" I tell my brother.
"Take that jacket off!" she tells her husband.

That is, in our family, a silent "you idiot". (My father turned to my brother and said, "I shall take my jacket and shirt off. We will do this without shirts, as men.")

A silent "you idiot" is when the "you idiot" is implied: "Put some shoes on, you idiot!" or "You idiot, take that [expensive and difficult-to-clean] jacket off!"

This evolved from the spoken "you idiot", which is still used frequently within the household.

The first incident occurred in our cabin in Maine. My father was cooking pasta, or some such, and needed to strain whatever it was that he was cooking. Instead of finding any arrangement to safely strain the foodstuffs out of boiling hot water, he proceeded to hold the strainer and pour the hot water over his hand.

My mother watched this happen. Now, some wives are kind and sympathetic and will stroke a man's ego when he has so clearly bruised and burned it; my mother, in this instance, was not--not for a moment. She looked at him as he stood there howling and cussing in pain and she called out, "You idiot!" Not in anger or to be mean, but to acknowledge the stupidity of the action and the humour therein. (My uncle was taken aback by such a response and jumped in to help, which of course my mother did as well.)

After that, "you idiot" became the family motto for when something terrible but stupidly funny happened; even my uncle joined in.

Other such examples:

  • My brother deciding to slide down the front of the minivan and cracking the windshield everywhere with his arse right before our relatives, visiting from England, were off to see Canada.

  • My father coming into the house and telling my mother, "The car hit a rock." "You hit a rock?" "The...er...the car did. I wasn't in it." For he had not put the car in park, and it had reversed down the driveway until it smashed into a 'rock'. My mother came outside and screeched something about it being "a boulder"; I have to agree with her on that one, for the English understatement did not do this huge, hard mass justice.

  • The time I was in a Super Hurry to get to senior youth with my brother because we were Super Late...and I scraped one of our cars with the other of our cars, despite usually being very good with reversing (parallel parking being a favourite activity of mine). Lesson to learn: our family is dangerous with reversing vehicles.

    I can't think of one for my mother at the moment, although she is not immune. It's true that my brother and father tend to get the most "you idiot" moments, but we all end up with them. The men of the household just have more space-cadet moments. (That's what we say for being zoney/out of it: you've gone space cadet and lost your head in space.)

    I just like to explain, from time to time, the odd family that is mine. That said, please note that if I ever do something stupid and hurt myself because of it, I will be put far more at ease by laugher than I will by warm and immediate action.

    TL;DR: I effin' love my family.
    CaroRulescarorules on August 16th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
    Men can be.. well idiots sometimes!