Thursday, April 10, 2008

Uncle Mortimer the Tang

At a very early age (and even now) when I heard voices, sounds, or sound effects, I usually felt compelled to try to imitate or mimic them. As it were, the sound of the Road Runner was particularly memorable and challenging; MEEP-MEEP, followed by that springy sound effect--you know, MEEP-MEEP-pa-TANG....

So young Bean could often be found wandering about, sputtering cartoon voices and sound effects, a Tourette's-like cavalcade of happy sounds... MEEP-MEEP-fffffffffssshhhhhhwooooop-pa-TANG! tang! TANG!.
Well it wasn't long before my brothers picked up on the "tang" suffix, adding it to various words and phrases--such-and-such-the-tang. One such concoction was the regular ice cream truck driver, known, creepily I now think, as "Uncle Marty"; Uncle Marty quickly evolved into Uncle Morty, which wasn't far from Uncle Mortimer. Well, Uncle Mortimer was OK, but he really needed a bit more, after all, we weren't shortening things at that point. So Uncle Mortimer became Uncle Mortimer the Tang.

EPILOGUE: ironically, in spite of all my linguistic twists and silly mimicry, I still couldn't bring myself to say the name of the ice cream treat which came in a paper cone and had a gum ball at the bottom. I remember walking up to Uncle Mortimer the Tang and asking him for that particular item, knowing full well what it was called! I just couldn't say it...




(You can google it if you want. I'm still not going to say it.)

3 comments:

Lindsey said...

ice cream treat with bubble gum on top? I googled it, but nothing came up. Maybe I'm just too young to remember. You know us country bumpkins--we didn't have ice cream trucks.

Andree Kehn said...

Screwball? That's what I googled. :D

Mastro said...

"Screwball?"

You said it, you can ask for it;-)