The promenade in Santa Monica is always loaded with street performers. Recently I was there with some friends and there was one kid (maybe about 7 years old?) singing and dancing and hamming it up in between songs with her rapier schtick.
Actually, she wasn’t very talented at all and it was a bit embarrassing watching her. The kind of embarrassed where you are embarrassed for the other person or what I like to call “counter-embarrassed.” Although her “manager” (probably also her dad) clearly thought she was a budding Whitney Houston. (Hope she can avoid the drugs and Bobby Brown phase.)
Bizarrely, she attracted quite a crowd. Were they actually impressed? Were they counter-embarrassed like me? Why the crowd?
The ManagerDad had a sandwich board out for her, promoting her skills. These skills included, “singing,” “dancing” and…wait for it…”rageous.” Once I saw that, I too was enthralled. I’d seen the singing (not good); I’d seen the dancing (equally bad). I wanted to see the rageous. What was it? Was she better at rageous than she was at singing and dancing? How will I know rageous when I see it?
Time went on and counter-embarrassment set in again and I wanted to move on. But I couldn’t stop thinking about “rageous.” Did the dad mean “outrageous?” Was another of her skills hosting “rages” and the dad had poor spelling skills? If so, should he really be pimping out his adolescent daughter for rages?
I’ve been using the word every chance I get since then, trying to find where it fits. I’ve used it as a verb, a noun and an adjective and so far nothing has stuck. (I haven’t tried adverb yet, but let’s be honest, that is OBVIOUSLY not the answer.) Today I am going to attempt to use it as a gerund, and if that fails I’m going straight to onomatopoeia (but I am fairly sure that’s not right either).
(Doesn’t seem to work as a valediction.)