Thursday, August 10, 2006

Jesus H. Christ, and other Tales

I think a lot of people like to believe they invented something... Like in the movie Michael, when one character tells another, “You know the little hole in the top of a to-go coffee cup; makes it easier to drink? I was the first one to do that…”

Yuh huh… Anyway, seems the lion’s share of this type of claim comes down to phrases or words more than inventions, and I’m no exception - Except that I really did invent a couple... No, really...

My wife calls them Ebenisms, and uses several regularly. Unfortunately, she has recently watched several classic movies with me, during which she turns to me and says, “Pretty much all this stuff is your shtick, isn’t it? This is where you got all that stuff I thought was original…” Busted… Of course I didn’t really claim to have invented all the phrases, I just made ‘em mine. A friend of mine once said about a moniker I laid on him, (Bitch Kitty), “I like that… The first few times I use it, I’ll give you credit – then it’s mine!” That’s kind of how I worked…

So, what are Ebenisms?

Christ on a Crutch is one, but truth be told, I got it from my Pop, (And it's widely used, of course, in fact there’s even a punk band named that). Using the Risen Lord’s name in vain has been popular for centuries, frankly… Dad also used the derivation Jesus H. Christ frequently, which is also a wildly popular blaspheme.
It is interesting that the middle initial used is always the same, isn’t it?
Fans of the Blues Brothers movie will recall a great Belushi line, “Yes, Yes, Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, I can see the light!” Or maybe you prefer Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket, who was very fond of the oath…
Now, Dad’s full-bore variation on this, (Used on special occasions like whanging his thumb with a hammer), was Jesus H. Horatio Algiers Christ, (A mouthful, needless to say). He did this, I believe, trying to avoid a full-out DFW during such times, as a courtesy to our young ears… What? What’s a DFW? No, it’s not Dallas-Fort Worth; that’s Dance of the Fuck Warrior - the most common response to smashing your finger with a hammer – You know, when you hop around holding the damaged digit, screaming, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” at the top of your lungs? That’s a DFW…
So, anyway, what is Christ’s middle name? My favorite explanation is that it’s Harold, (As in, Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name…) Arr, Arr, Arr! (Sorry). A more likely root is the common southern U.S. oath; Jesus Holy Christ. Of course, we can’t discount the New England version, either - Jesus Hebrew Christ, now can we?
Roguish biblical scholars claim the H stems from the Christogram, the IHS symbol found on a whole lot of Christian stuff and representing the Latin, Jesus Hominum Salvator, or Jesus, Savior of Man… By the way, if you’re wondering how one gets IHS from Jesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus' name in the Greek is Iesous, the J is a relatively new development; only a few hundred years old really. Anyway, that’s why you might see the JHS instead of the IHS occassionally.
Others believe the mysterious H stems from the INRH placard placed on Jesus’ cross by sneering Roman Centurions, meaning Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Hebrie – Or Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews. The problem here is that the most common inscription given isn’t INRH, it’s INRI Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Indaerum – Same translation, but no H, eh, so there ya go…
Then there’s the Unbeliever/Science major version – The H stands for Haploid, referring, of course, to the claimed Immaculate Conception… Get it? Having no bio dad, The Risen Lord was only given half the normal number of chromosomes?... No? Never mind…

But enough about that… I also lay claim to Holy Dog Water as an expletive, and a Google search of that yields one website named the same and nothing else. The website is… esoteric – http://www.holydogwater.com/. So let’s just say that it was a simultaneous yet not synchronistic discovery of the phrase and leave it at that. Score one for Eben…

Hmm, using simultaneous and synchronistic in the same sentence leads me to one of my favorite words; sesquipedalian. This is, of course, the propensity to overuse big words in a ponderous manner… And the definition does not speak to whether or not there is proper usage. I have, believe it or not, occasionally been accused of sesquipedalianism, an allegation to which I object strenuously and with abject pontification as to the erroneous, incongruous, deleterious, and profound falsehood of said charge…

On we go – I further laim the pejorative term Worm Boy as my own – A Google search here yields one and only one use of the term in said manner, and as such, I maintain my discovery claim thereof – It was a lucky shot, and he probably got it from me anyway.

Next comes Butt Weasel, (And more specifically, the Ronco Butt Weasel, with apologies to Ron Popeil) – It's Mine! Granted, there is the ChickenHawk Butt Weasel Award, http://www.seedsofdoubt.cmo/distressedamerican/Chickenhawk.html, (Which is a great site!), but it’s not a pure use as a singled out depreciatory, so I’m still calling it mine.

And finally, I offer Sell My Clothes, I’ve Gone To Heaven – Yes, mine again. Even though Monterey Jack, the rowdy cartoon mouse, has indeed said exactly that, I said it first and I swear to God, I've been firing that one off since my 20’s….

In other words, they got it from me, the butt weasels...

1 comment:

David C. said...

Christ on a bicycle! How did we ever live without Google?