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Acronym puzzles

Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs


Many of us remember Elfrida von Nardroff’s wins, Charles Van Doren’s disgrace, Sputnik and Nixon’s dog. Now such once headlined topics are all trivia; good only for the final Jeopardy question.

Great memories and understanding of the past are often of no importance to the younger crowd. I, for one, face constant ridicule for my less than perfect knowledge of certain current events. For example, TV advertised a program entitled “Temple at Memphis.” Naturally, I assumed, as anyone would, it concerned Egypt. When I commented on its historical and archeological value, hilarity ensued. It was gleefully explained, as if to a child, it pertained to a football game. Who knew?

The same treatment greets me whenever an iPhone or computer is involved. I seldom face or twit, so on venturing into those mysterious realms, I invariably reach a point of having no idea what is being referred to. The fault lies with the plethora of acronyms thrown at me. I was stumped by “stfu” for ages and was shocked to find it means “shut the f*** up.” More shocking (and rude!) was how often I received it. The puzzler “rotflmao” kept me awake. A twelve year old relative graciously translated “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.”

Acronyms have long been utilized by the government and military. The current media favorites are “POTUS” and “SCOTUS” which took me some time to decipher: President of The United States and Supreme Court of The United States. My history class covered the 48 states clearly and understandably, but the only initialed office I recall was the FBI which was featured in a radio program. Things were so much simpler then.

Memories and mom

Belated Happy Mothers’ Day to all you mothers out there. My mother was definitely of the old school and was one of those referred to as “a lady.” The word seems to be out of fashion now; actually derided by some.

In the long ago however, it was a helpmate highly sought as a wife: mother, housekeeper, chauffeur, cook, baby-maker and acceptable companion at business affairs and the boss’ cocktail parties. Not an easy job, but less than fashionable today. Mine was a Father Knows Best family in which we ate (together!) at six on the dot and a “damn” or a “hell” was never heard. Mom suited her role perfectly. With certitude I declare her unfamiliarity with the f word. A baby came as a “gift from God.” She knew no more and I’m sure was content to leave it that way.

We all have images and memories coming forth when Mothers’ Day rolls around. Mine focus on often returning from school to find her knitting mittens or darning socks with that ball-on-a-stick thing (Ask a senior).

Looking at her photo on my bureau, I find it hard to realize I am older than she is in the picture. I regret the lost opportunities to ask about her family, her youth, events she had witnessed, the first time she saw a car, an airplane or did she ever want to be or do something different in her life. Too late. I’ll never know.

If you still have your mom, dad, family members or friends from another generation in your life, listen to their stories while it is possible. Don’t worry about disturbing them. We seniors are never too busy to talk about our past. We don’t, because we think no one is interested. Once we realize your curiosity is sincere, you’ll find us hard to shut up.

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Posted by on May 25, 2017. Filed under Bill's Briefs, Latest Issue. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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