Quips, Quites and Alot of Jokes

December 1, 2011
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“Families are like potatoes, the best parts are underground” ~Francis Bacon. Catchphrases, one liners from movies, and speech mistakes made comical are what keeps a light humorous sentiment in the air of my family’s living room and dining table. The stories behind the outlandish sounding, seemingly arbitrary quips and quotes uttered after certain actions or moments are how we reminisce upon a memory or a hilarious moment. Because of the amount of awesome times that are related to an amusing memory or family trip, catchphrases of the Sworan household are used habitually. A good laugh in my family can make the day or even disperse the tense moment.
What‘re you doing?
Said quickly and with a gruff voice, if heard by any member of my mother’s family, thoughts and memories of Grandpa Joe Hlavka will pop into their heads. Joe Hlavka’s grandchildren were often scared by the phrase, usually used when someone wasn’t doing something they were supposed to. All of the family picked up the habit and it was the expression of the family. No matter where or when, if a family member were to over hear it, laughter ensues.
No I’m Dirty Dan!
Any person who knows a yellow sponge that lives under the sea should know the reference being made. SpongeBob Squarepants was on at 7:00 in the family living room on a Saturday morning, the light streaks shone through the shutters and sleepiness was still being rubbed from eyes. My brothers Keegan, Kyle and I had just woken up for some temporary relaxation in front of the tube before the day’s progressions started. *Click* and the oh-so-familiar theme song involving a porous yellow critter and this undersea life came on. The episode involved a clash between the main character and his friend where they were at variance of who got to pretend to be an outlaw named Dirty Dan. Back and forth quarreling ensues and my brothers and I caught on fast, completely ignoring the show, an all out mock brawl started in the downstairs room. Repeating the line until our parents went crazy. Now a days, if there’s a small squabble, a bystander of us three will mumble “no I’m Dirty Dan!” just to alleviate the mood.
Me Neither
Definitely the most obscure of the family catchphrases, is mainly only used by myself and Keegan. While walking home from the bus stop in 7th grade I wasn’t truly paying attention to what my brother was saying, mind on other things (videogames and soccer and such), I just said the first thing that came to my lips after he said “You know what I mean?” I mumbled “Yeah me neither dude”. He instantly broke out in laughter that lasted for hours once I understood my comment. Now as a witty remark to a serious statement, one will reply “me neither” erratically, dumbfounding the other but getting a chuckle out of both.
Ya You Betcha!
A common saying in Minnesota or Canada, involving a heavy northern accent and a first-class sense of humor, conotates the phrase “yeah duh!” or “yeah sure!” “Ya you betcha” were my first words, I had no idea what it meant but everyone at the yearly flock of families at grandmas and grandpas thought it was side-splittingly funny. “Damian can you say ‘ya you betcha’?” Grandma would instruct, and after the entire week of being coaxed to speak those words I was saying it like a native Minnesotan. Any time a cousin or aunt or uncle would amble up to me they’d say it and I’d repeat it back like a little parrot, now a days it’s a common phrase when I visit Minnesota, anyone and everyone repeats it regardless of the situation or amount of joking involved.
Look Something Shiny/ Squirrel!
Coined by Uncle Warren Ogden, and implemented when an easily distracted member of the family would stray from the current conversation or task. Uncle Warren would yell “Squirrel!” a line from “UP”, the Disney movie where the dogs get distracted and run off when the word is spoken. Other times he would utter “look something shiny” to the persons still in the conversation or paying attention. Now anytime that the entire family is meeting, and anybody gets sidetracked by another chore, anyone who sees will say “Look something shiny!” and the surrounding family that’s listening will laugh in irony.
I’m Not Even Mad, That’s Amazing!
If you overhear my mother or step dad and myself discussing the day’s events, you will hear this extract from the movie Anchorman, when the main character is “talking” to his dog and the dog apparently eats an entire wheel of cheese and poops in the refrigerator. My family took that line and distorted it to our likings. Now, whenever we hear an astonishing thing or a slightly devious action that took place it is said and any tension that was made is swept away.
Now What Made You Think That Was a Good Idea?
Said a large majority by my step dad, whenever I do a dumb thing or don’t think about an action and end up hurting myself or breaking an object he looks at me in a condescending manner, then asks me what made me think that was a good idea. Mostly I say “I dunno” or try to think of a half valid reason to why I did what I just did. The words first were said when I hit a tree with my quad in a joking manner trying to knock the tree down and injured my neck. He will say it no matter if I meant to do what I did or not, the question still lingers into the air and a laugh is had by both of us.
My family’s dialect is different from a lot of other “normal” families, the actuality that we like to laugh ends in a lot of funny moments, making more humorous proverbs and jokes. Our outlook is “don’t sweat the small stuff” which ends in an everlasting essence of hilarity in the room. Others listening in on standard conversations would get a smile off of the amount of movie quotes or relations that are used. No matter how my family’s words and phrases change, there will always be room for more quotes and events that make catchphrases a part of our daily lives.





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