The Gift of My Dear Friend’s Catch Phrases

If I were a tree and beneath my branches lay gifts adorned in lovely holiday fare, I would hide the small collection wrapped in gilded sheets of friendship tied with bows of years together.

They are from my friend Cathy, and I would hide them because I know the contents. They fall into the priceless category; not for sale.  Only to be distributed at the perfect times, and with Love’s careful delivery.

The contents are no secret, however, because they have been shared among her family and friends all her adult life.  They are the gifts of her prolific and perfect catchphrases.  Let’s open one, shall we?

Her Exclamations

If we were a comedy team, I would normally play the straight man and she the comic relief.  Cathy wears her emotions on the frayed ends of her sleeves and they are generally punctuated with exclamations such as…

“Coo-Coo for CoCo Puffs!”

“Cripes!,” or “Ye GADS!”

Sometimes she’ll see something, pick it up and exclaim,

“Gad zooks!”

Other times some mission has been foiled and it’s, “Arrrrg!”  Or, perhaps a mission has been accomplished and in her sing-song, deadpan tone I’ll hear, “Yippee Skippy”  or  “Oh joy, oh rapture.”  These exclamations, delivered in perfect monotone, then make said accomplished mission all the richer.

“Hali-Tosis!” makes me giggle. And,

“Groovy, Marcia”

is one of her favorites. I’ve heard it in a hundred different versions.  Go ahead try it. GROO-vy, Marcia.  Groovy, MAR-cia…see?  It works.

And then, for all the injustices in the world there are two:

“For crying a bucket!” and,

“Criminey hatchet!”

A point of history is in order for these. Her father said Criminey Hatch, and she’s added the “et” to ensure copyrights have not been infringed.

And then, there are her Responses…

We’ll be sitting somewhere, making a plan and when we’ve agreed upon some strategy or course of action, she generally chimes in with this:

“Fine with me, and dandy.”

Sometimes, she’ll interject the comment with a lateral lisp.  She’s a master at speaking with a lateral lisp upon a whim.  If you wish, you could re-read the entire list to this point with a lateral lisp and get close the effect that comes out of her mouth from time to time.

Say, we’re Going somewhere…

“Tally hoh?”  (It’s never Tally Ho!  It’s always, Tally hoh?”…Like, we’re going, right?)

Telling a story…

“So there I was, see…”

When she needs the world to stop so she can think a moment…

“Hodeephone” (This one is generally accompanied with one finger in the air).

When she doesn’t know the answer to questions someone has posed…

“I am not knowing,” or,  “I can’t know.”  And when I hear them, I believe her.

Body language…

Middle finger scratching the center of her forehead says miles.  When she raises her eyebrows as high as they can go with her reading glasses propped upon the end of her nose and ducks her chin, most everyone in the room gets the message.  I would say this last one is like a human bull-hockey detector reaction.

Ongoing middle-aged torture…

“Is it hot in here? It’s really hot in here.”

Non-word words

When Cathy is reading, sitting by me in church, sitting across from me in Sunday School or anywhere there is some kind of message to continue the ongoing personal growth in her heart, she emits non-words.  They sound like this…

“Mmm. Mmm-HMM.  Hmmm. MMM-Hm. Ohhhh…”

I don’t think she’ll ever run out of these noises, and I count on them desperately.

And, Susan Mrosek “Pondering Pool” quotes

But perhaps one of the most special gifts of all is Cathy’s ability to quote C.S. Lewis, whomever she happens to be reading at the time, or a Susan Mrosek greeting card at precisely the moment when it is needed the most.  Here.  I’ll share a few Mrosek quotes and perhaps you’ll understand why these gifts are so incredibly meaningful to me:

“You moot the point on my head that snags all the troublesome thoughts from the worry tree.”

“An overall spiritually moisturizing day.”

“Grieve not, for I am at your side, laced through your ribs, reaching for your heart.”

If you visit Mrosek’s website or purchase her greeting cards, then you’ll understand why my dear friend and I are somewhat like rock-star roadies when it comes to being fans.  She’s so, “Groovy Marcia.”

And so, “There I was see,” writing this post about how “Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs” I am about the gifts of my dear friend’s catch phrases.

They are worthy of sharing, but worthy of treasuring as well.  So if I occasionally lower my branches or hide them at the back, I hope you’ll understand.



Note – I am part of a blogging community that is writing daily for the moth of December.  Just in case you are wondering about this sudden prolifity…