Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lili Marlene's Glossary of Useful Terms

Prevision - reading the set texts for a university or school course during the holidays before the start of the term, like revision, but done before rather than after the course. The invention of this term is attributed to Gareth of the Aspies For Freedom activist group. Autistic students, students with Asian ancestry, and intellectually gifted students are especially likely to do prevision.

Excess Brain Activity - our family's term for epilepsy. It sounds so much nicer.

Gilbert and George Syndrome - when two friends of the same gender and similar age wear identical or very similar outfits. This disorder is especially common in teenage girls, young women, and weird gay artists who have autistic tendencies.

Pinkbow – A predominantly salmon-pink coloured rainbow that happens opposite a sunrise or sunset, which is so coloured because pink light is the only available light

Attentional Deafness – There is little point in putting on music to listen to while working on a task requiring concentration, as not a note will be heard. It is a pity that some school teachers do not understand attentional deafness. They reprimand children who do not respond to the teacher’s commands in class, when sometimes the poor kid is only doing what they are expected to – concentrating with head down on their set school work.

Domestic Blindness – When someone in the family angrily demands to know where an item is, and it is sitting there right in front of them. The majority of sufferers of this disability are male.

The Law of Instantaneous Convergence – Whenever Lili Marlene attempts to cross a road by foot or pull her vehicle out or into her driveway, her progress will be impeded by all manner of people, vehicles and livestock appearing as if from thin air, at any time of the day. As I approach our driveway late on a Friday night after collecting offspring from a party, what do I see in my way as I anxiously anticipate getting rear-ended by a drunk driver, but some old lush in shorts and T-shirt weaving his way around the footpath with an esky in hand? There is not another soul in the whole streetscape. I wish to cross the road to go to the shops. Look right, a car there. Wait. Look left. More vehicles. Now a tool in a ute is turning onto our street, screeching his wheels. Watch out, here comes a minibus full of sullen Islamic kiddies in brilliantly white caps and veils on their way to another apparently joyless day at their special school. Oh wait, now a fire engine, with lights flashing and sirens sounding. And the f***ing fire tender. With a police escort.

The Wedding Inverse Law – The length of the marriage is inversely proportional to the amount of money spent on the wedding. I got married in a dress I made myself. We are still together after all these years. Can’t say the same for some friends who got married in a basilica. What was her name again?

The Perverse Law of Employment Conditions – The lower the pay is in a job, the more likely the employee will be mistreated at work. Thus I was making $14 an hour as my grand reward for some of my most unpleasant experiences in the world of paid work.

The Advertising Inverse Law – When a company launches an advertising campaign to sell a specific message, this will be because the reality of that company’s services or products is in fact the opposite of the positive message being sold in the advertisements. An empire of variety stores will promote themselves as the cheapest when they find competition at the bottom end of the market. A junk food empire that lies about how much artery-clogging palm oil it uses in its French fries will show children eating wedges of fresh fruit in its advertising, knowing full well that no one actually buys their healthy product lines. The Advertising Inverse Law is not limited to explicit advertising - it is the reason why politicians have the word "Honourable" in front of their names.

Tongue-assisted Dexterity – When left-handed people do weird things with their tongues when they are attempting a feat of manual or verbal dexterity. Almost by definition lefties do not have dexterity – the word “dexterity” has an alternative meaning of “right-handedness” and the word derives from the word “dexter” meaning “on the right”. This is why the tongue as a counter-balance needs to be recruited for some much-needed assistance when lefties attempt feats of hand-eye coordination. This is a photo of a classic example of tongue-assisted dexterity in a left-handed Australian politician:

The Law of Gravity and Urgency – The most urgently sought after item in a bag will be the most difficult to locate. Thus an umbrella will withdraw to the bottom of a tote as a rainstorm breaks, and a ringing mobile phone will prove most elusive in a crowded handbag.

The First Law of Silence and Inconvenient Truths - The person who has the most to lose personally from the acceptance of the truth of the correct answer to a question will be the person who is the least likely to respond properly, if at all, to the question. (Ignoring my emails again professor?)

The Second Law of Silence and Inconvenient Truths - Questions that have the most disturbing answers will be the ones least likely to attract a proper response. (Journalists who interview politicians will be very familiar with this law.)

Mushroom Cloud - the catastrophic chain reaction and massive explosion that results when two or more autistic people direct their "meltdowns" at each other.

Sheeple – People who behave like a herd of mindless sheep. This word was not my invention, but I do love it so, as it is so widely applicable.


Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

I love the Wedding Inverse Law.

For both my weddings, I got married in a used dress. The first time, it was from a vintage clothing store and cost $30. My father paid for the wedding, 60 people came, we rented a place with a view, we had catered finger food, and we hired a photographer.

For my second wedding, the dress was from a Salvation Army store and cost $4.99 (and I had to argue about whether I could even buy the dress because the tag had fallen off). We got married in the home of the woman who performed the ceremony, ten people attended, the food was prepared by three of the people who attended, folks took pictures with disposable cameras, and we paid out of our own pockets for the meal ingredients, the officiant's fee, and the gas it took to drive from our house to the site of the wedding.

The second marriage is going much better than the first.

Lili Marlene said...

You've put me to shame with the cost of your wedding dresses. Mine probably cost around $40.00 including the cost of the pattern.

In Australia the Salvos also have a "no tag, no sale" policy on their secondhand gear. At the moment I'm wearing silver/gold bangles and gold earrings from the Salvos and Save The Children.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

They have the same policy here, but I appealed to them by saying that I was getting married on Sunday and really had to have that dress, so they took pity on me and found someone to put a tag on it.

Nearly everything I wear comes from thrift stores and free boxes. The only things I buy new are socks, underwear, and shoes. :-)

Lili Marlene said...

Did I mention that the floral arrangements at our reception were made with weed flowers and greenery that I collected from public and semi-public places? There are some great-looking and great-smelling environmental weeds growing here in the springtime.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

Lili Marlene, you are definitely my kind of person! :-)