I ran across one of my favorite columns today when I was looking back through my file labeled “Off the wall.”
I liked it so much that I decided to share it again. I hope it gives you a giggle.
I spackle, you spackle, he, she or it spackles: Conjugating the word spackle is much more fun than doing it.
I’ve been spackling — yes, against my son’s orders — and while I was finger-painting the white stuff into thousands of nail holes in my walls, I couldn’t keep from saying the word over and over again. Spackle, spackle, spackle.
Say it. See? It’s fun!
My son, Chris, is painting three of my bedrooms, and he is a perfectionist. When I offered to help he ushered me out with a reminder of that whole me-painting-the-bathroom-cabinets fiasco a few years ago.
Well, yeah, but he finished one room and left me alone for a week with eight more holey walls that needed to be gooped. So I’m clandestinely spackling. Don’t tell.
And I’m thinking. “Spackle” is such an amusing word. I smile every time I say it. And I’ve been planning to clean up my mouth, from which shocking words sometimes emerge without first checking with my brain.
What if, when I wanted to say one of those ugly words, I substituted “spackle.”
“Spackle you and the horse you rode up on.”
“What in the spackle were you thinking?”
“WTS?” (text message)
I’d smile because it was so much fun and the spacklee would have no idea he was being cursed.
“Mother, have you been in the eggnog again?” came the message from my daughter at work when I sent her this notion.
But she shared it with her co-workers, and I think it caught on.
Kim came in from dispatch, where she had a lively discussion over a work problem.
“She walked back in, plopped down and said, ‘Well spackle me up against the wall!’” Christi wrote a few minutes later.
Her supervisor looked puzzled at the idea of Kim glued to a wall with a batch of hole filler and smiled. “Do I want to know what that was about?” she asked.
I doubt it.
Police Detective Craig Fitzgearld, one of the best cops I know, tells me you can say anything you like to a supervisor as long as you preface it with, “With all due respect.”
So the next time my editor spackles me off, I could tell him, “With all due respect, sir, go spackle yourself,” and smile, and he’d just think his hearing had taken a turn for the worse.
You could substitute it for any mot mauvais that could get you in trouble. What co-worker could take offense? What if I told Bj Lewis, “Spackle you and the Denver Unicorn you rode up on?” That Cowboy-hating, Bronco-loving spackler wouldn’t have a clue.
Think of the gesture possibilities. People have been shot at for making a baroque Italian gesture and I know this. But my fingers seem to have minds of their own when another driver cuts me off in traffic.
Now, you apply spackle with your index finger. So if you held it up in a “We’re number one!” manner when you felt like saying “spackle you,” only the spackle wise would get it.
The spackle-finger. Shooting the spackle. Oh, I love it.
After years of hanging stuff on my walls with anything from a pushpin to a tenpenny nail, they’re holier than a busload of monks. I even had to spackle a bearskin-rug-shaped batch of holes that marred most of one wall. I filled holes you could hold a poker tournament inside. I spackled over nails that refused to vacate the premises.
And it will all be done when my son comes back to finish painting. I can just hear him now when he sees my handiwork:
“What in the spackle happened here?”
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.