I’m Seriously Considering Shipping All of My Kids Off To “Sergeant Bollocks Crusher’s Military School For Discipline & Respect

I got a text from Heather Graham the other day that read “Your son is grounded for life.” A few things struck me as I contemplated this cryptic message. First, why does he always becomes solely the spawn of MY seed when he does anything unspeakably bad as if her actually giving birth to him was no longer relevant to the subject at hand?

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Second: I wondered about the wisdom of grounding him for life. How much of this behavior could I really take and do I want to endure it for another 50 years or so until either I’m dead or I’m too senile to care anymore? Only after I had contemplated these two points was I even mildly curious as to what he actually did.

Sometimes, as a parent…frankly, I don’t really care anymore. The monotony of the routine has dulled my wrath a bit over the years into a steady diet of: first offense =grounded for an hour, second offense = grounded for another hour + loss of video game privileges, third offense = grounded for an hour + loss of video games, Netflix and bike riding for the day and so on and so on. After awhile, I tend to forget what was actually done in the first place. I just can’t keep up.

So, I decided to make a list of just a few of the offenses my children have committed in recent memory. Keep in mind, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Just the ones I could jot down off the top of my head:

1. One sibling smacking another sibling across the face with a lightsaber

2. All three hiding from their mother in the clothes rack of a department store and pretending to have disappeared.

3. One sibling hiding a precious article of personal property belonging to another sibling in an obscure location somewhere in the house, and then forgetting where they hid it.

4. Telling the Gym Coach at school that he “stinks really bad.”

5. Telling a new substitute teacher that “This school was perfect before you were hired.”

6. Stabbing another student in the arm with a pencil. (In my child’s defense, I think he was actually sword fighting with another kid while my son perfected his lunge and parry fencing skills. But the other kid still got stabbed and my son was sent to the Principal’s office)

7. Displaying disrespect to the same Gym Teacher when the class was told to go grab their balls to play a game…and my son obeyed to the letter of the law.

Looking over this list, I’m wondering why in the world anyone would want to buy a book about parenting from my wife and I. Sounds like we are doing a bang up job so far.

But, I soldier on, doing the best job I can with the information I have at the time. There are times as a parent that I’m called to judge a dispute between two or more parties represented in our home. I sit there in my chair and blink at them while a list of offenses are rattled off for me to evaluate. The funny thing is my kids think that I’m actually listening to them, wisely weighing each argument before rendering my ruling. The truth is, I’m feeling like God tricked humanity with this whole “Procreation” thing he designed for a man and a woman to mate. The idea seemed good to me at the time and the act of procreation was great and all, but I think I missed something in the fine print that covered all of this stuff.

Honestly, I’m out of ideas on how to punish my kids anymore, so I could use your help. If anyone has any ideas they would like to share, feel free to reply and toss out your thoughts. I will take the best one and wrap them on tiny 4″ X 2″ strips of paper and fold them into a fishbowl. When my kids do something wrong, they will have to reach into the “Bowl of Sorrows” and pull out their punishment.

I will Tweet a picture of their reaction. (Shameless plug: you will have to follow me on Twitter to catch this)

One of the best ideas I had in awhile came when my son decided to move out of the house. He spewed a litany of charges against his mother and me and declared his independence. He hates me, he hates his mother, and he hates his life, and he just wants to move out on his own and be really happy. Now parent, POP QUIZ: How Do You Respond?

Do you:

A) Ground him for an hour to his room, like we do for every offense?

B) Slap the little urchin until he swallows his own teeth

C) Send him to Grandma’s house for the weekend

D) Tell him “Ok, you can move out and I’ll help you pack.”

I contemplated C for a long time, but my parents wouldn’t return my text. I need to stop beginning texts with “What are y’all doing this weekend?” every time I want them to keep my kids. They have learned and always seem to have something going on. No, I decided on D.

Like I said, why anyone would want to buy my parenting book baffles me.

But perhaps I should explain myself a little bit. I had a very good reason why I chose to help my son find his own place at the age of 10.

You see, a few months ago I taught my son how to grow sugar crystals in a cup with a cotton string. We experimented by adding dye to the water to create all kinds of cool colors that made the crystals look like jewels such as red rubies, clear diamonds and blue sapphires. We even did a batch of green Kryptonite.

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This was a huge hit at school and every kid in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades wanted one. So, my son started a business and had a waiting list of paying customers. I think the going rate was about $5 per crystal and the kid could have the color of their choice. To a 10-year old, that was like a 6 figure income.

Anyway, he had a steady business going there for a few weeks until the school cracked down on his little sugar crystal ring and closed him down. Evidently, it violated some district code or something. I told Gavin that he couldn’t sell his crystals anymore. To my surprise, he handled the news rather well. I was actually quite proud of him.

I should have known that it was too easy.

A few weeks later, I received a call from the Principal. Gavin had been caught selling crystals again. Evidently, he had been smuggling them in his backpack and selling them for kids’ lunch money at recess.

“But Dad,” he argued with me when I confronted him about it. “I promised my friends I’d deliver their crystals to them before you told me to stop and it takes 3 weeks to grow them.”

“Gavin, it’s against school policy. You can’t do it.”

“Yeah, but now I can get $10 each instead of just $5.”

My son had become the kingpin of the 4th grade.

Not too long after that my son got mad at me for something. I think I did something really bad like made him clean his room. He decided that my home was just too much pressure with all of the rules and expectations. He decided that if he had his own place, he could go to bed when he wanted and could keep his room in whatever condition he felt like. I listened to him rant at me for a minute as he told me all the ways his life would just be better off if he could move out.

This is where I opted for D. I told him “Ok, I’m fine with that but you will have to pay your own rent.”

“I can do that,” he agreed. “I can still sell my crystals.”

“Well,” I reasoned, “You’ve been warned that you can’t do that anymore. If the school found out, they might take all of your money. I’d suggest doing something that won’t leave you broke when your rent is due.”

“I could mow lawns,” he decided.

“Ok, well let’s see what you need to do.” So I took out some paper. “I have a neighborhood company that advertises to mow our lawn for $20, so if you want my business you would have to be lower than that.”

“I’ll do it for $10,” he replied.

“Fine, so you will make $10 per lawn. Now, you are limited in where you can live because you can’t drive yet. So you have to choose one of these luxury apartments by the school so you can still ride your bike.” I helped him look online and the cheapest 1 Bedroom apartments were about $1,200 a month. “Don’t forget about utilities, food and entertainment. I give you all of that here for free, but on your own you’ll have to pick up those costs too. To be safe, I think you will need about $2,000 a month to live.”

I pushed the paper to him. “Now you tell me how many lawns you will have to mow each month to make $2,000.

It took him awhile struggling with basic math to come up with 200.

“Ok, so you will need 200 clients who will let you mow their lawns. That means you will have to knock on doors. In sales, if you have a close rate of 1:10 for cold calling, you are doing well. So figure you will have to knock on 2,000 doors to get 200 people to agree.”

I let that number sink in, but I think I was already overwhelming him. I pushed on:

“Now, once you get 200 clients, it will take you about an hour to mow their lawn, but you still have to go to school, so you can only mow lawns from 4:00 in the afternoon until about 8:00 at night when it gets dark. That only gives you 4 hours each day. If you do this each day after school, you will have 20 houses done. If you work from 8:00 in the morning both Saturday and Sunday and don’t stop until 8:00 at night, you can get another 24 lawns mowed each weekend. That is 44 lawns in a week, multiplied by 4 gives you a total of 176 lawns you can mow in a month to pay your bills.”

My son just looked at me.

I pushed on. “Now, 176 lawns at $10 each will give you $1,760 each month, which still isn’t $2,000. I tell you what, I’ll give you $200 a month to cover the difference-until you are 18-since you are still my son.”

I let this sink into my son for a moment before I finished. “So, you have a choice. You can go to school each morning, and then work every day until dark, never seeing your friends, and work from sun rise until sunset all weekend without ever getting a break…or you can clean your room.”

“You choose.”

Friendly Tip: Please Proof Read Your Texts BEFORE You Hit Send

‘m always on the lookout for something funny on the internet. I used to have a rule that I would not start my day until I found one thing that made me truly, deeply laugh. I must admit, I don’t do it as often as I should, but there are days when finding those hidden gems online is like a treasure trove of “ROTFLMAO”

So, I stumbled on this site called damnyouautocorrect.com and it was pure gold! What could be better than laughing at someone else’s “smart” phone blunder? Just when I fear that technology is progressing to quickly and I might find myself wishing I had taken the blue pill, my fears are temporarily relieved by the fact that our smartest phones still can’t quite keep up with human wit. Sites like this proves our technology is not quite intelligent enough to pose any real threat of machines becoming smarter than us and launching a campaign of World Domination. Right now…our machines are not all that smart after all.

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So we can laugh in perfect security at other’s misfortune. Take for instance, poor Jake. He seems like a nice guy. Jake seems like the kind of bud who actually WOULD lend you his truck to help you move and not make a big deal about it. Not only that…he even decided to help paint Jason’s Living Room.

Poor Jason didn’t realize what color Jake picked out:

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I wonder what the poor girl at Home Depot said when Jake took that in for one of those guaranteed color matching.

Then there is Chris. I can relate to Chris. He finally catches a date and the chick actually texts him first to tell him what a great time she had.

Until his damn “Smart” phone started being too cute:

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I wonder if Chris ever got to touch those nipples?  Vote below on my comments if you think he did…hell, if you think he even got a second date.

Back during my “dating days” I took a trip to Europe for about a month and left my girlfriend behind with nothing to remember me by except for my Lava Lamp (which I still have to this day) and some of my clothes to comfort her in my absence.

Evidently Charlie found something else to cling to late at night:

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Sorry Charlie.  I bet he hates his IPhone now.

Finally, we come to my favorite. I love my mother. They say no one knows you like your own mother. Matthew’s mom knows him better than he knows himself..Poor bastard:

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Shedbellyfatfast.net LOVED My Last Post!

Remember the other day when I wrote a small blog about the rumors of my demise being greatly exaggerated? As you recall, I found that out by reading through the searches that brought people to my blog. Let me find it for you…here it is: “Aaron Graham Cause Of Death

Then, I launched my NaNoWriMoABaDMamMaJaMa Month off on my own and had a few posts about how well…err…not so well I’ve been doing with my 30 day writing challenge. I posted a few updates about my progress, but I think we’d all agree the past few weeks have not been a shining example of the kind of deep intellectual discussions you faithful readers have come to know and respect from my insightful and well researched posts. Heck, as you recall I totally blew my wife’s snort scale.

Nope. These past two weeks have not been my best work by a long shot. (Although, strangely enough I think I collected 4 more followers…go figure)

But fear not. Just when I might be a little depressed with my writing over the past few weeks, I logged in this morning and decided to read some comments that were pending moderation. Never mind the fact that all of these were found in my spam folder. My ego needed some stroking and since no one has commented on my blog for awhile, I thought it would be good for a “Pick-me-up”

I was not disappointed. Here is what my faithful spam readers felt about my last article when I delved into the scientific formula of my wife’s snot scale:

That was some scholarly article…”

 “There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure nice points in characteristics also.”

And my personal favorite:

That is exactly what I needed. Tnx for the post. IMHO, other posts are not so interesting. Please don’t be offended, simply try to keep quality at this level.”

Yes, evidently my post about my wife’s snort scale was EXACTLY what Tom Craudfield from Printable Nike Coupons needed this week. (And apparently all my other posts just suck)

Oh, and for your information, the person who thought my Wife’s Snort Scale was “some scholarly article” was from shedbellyfatfast.net.

No kiddin! I would not make up things about people searching Google for my obituary, nor would I tease you about this. (Oh, I just misspelled obituary. So I used Google to help me spell it right and I learned something new. According to the “Urban Dictunary” an “Obitchuary” is a term used to describe a location where the residents will harm a prostitute per a pimp’s request. A ghetto pimp might use it as a noun, as in “Yo, bi#ch, do that again and I’ll send yo’ fat a$$ to the obitchuary!” I suppose this is like a prostitute’s “Time Out Chair.”  Wow…learn something new everyday when you misspell words and search Google for the correct meaning.

And yes…I did originally spell obituary “Hood Style”

But I digress.

As I was saying, those comments so made my day!

Speaking of making my day, I was approached by a friend of mine who asked me if I would be willing to review a book from a friend of hers. Since the ebook is fantasy (and since I know a thing or two about fantasy such as old men in grey beards make great wizards and the little forgotten race of Halflings usually win in the end) she thought I would be a great choice.

I was just flattered that my friend, who is a professional author, remembered my name.

In any event, I have agreed and I look forward to reading it and reviewing it for you here…sometime in the near future.

P.S. I can’t help but think of the final scene in Fan Boys when the Star Wars fans go through 1.5 hours of twists and turns to illegally steal a copy of Episode I so they can see it BEFORE it is released because they otherwise had no life to speak of. The last line of the movie is a panoramic shot of a crowded theatre of excited movie-goers dressed up in various costumes as the lights dim and the Lucusfilms fanfare begins. The crowd goes wild and one of the characters say: “What if the movie sucks?”

BLACKOUT

I donno…you connect the dots. I’m just sayin…

Great Movie For Star Wars Geeks

What Piece of Work Is Man? In 1,000 Years Civilzations Will Marvel!

TGIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday makes me proud to have a job because I wouldn’t enjoy the weekend as much if I were unemployed. What would be the point of Friday if it felt the same as Wednesday? Having a job makes me proud to be an American because in America there are no cats. Being an American makes me proud to be a Human being because:

 “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god!”

Yes, how noble in reason indeed. Like the Columbian doctor who was just sentenced up to 8 years for a peculiar buttocks enhancement procedure. Tragically, the patient died during the operation, but the doctor may need to remember the surgery when he goes upstate. It may come in handy. I’m just sayin’.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/colombian-couple-sentenced-to-up-to-8-years-in-nevada-prison-in-vegas-plastic-surgery-death/2011/10/20/gIQAjwpy0L_story.html

Oh, the things we are capable of when we set our minds to it! How infinite in faculties!

Such as our fascination with midgets. From a Munchkinland to Minnie-Me, we have turned these unique expressions of our DNA into icons of the 20th century. Like the little guy on COPS who didn’t want to go to jail.

http://www.break.com/usercontent/2007/8/5/midget-on-cops-doesn-t-wanna-goto-jail-344265

We have always liked Midgets. Even if it’s just to watch them climb a pole. But I have noticed business owners using this fascination to draw a crowd. Recently, a bar in the Dallas Ft. Worth area advertised “Midget Wrestling” to entice a crowd.

Is this exploiation? If it’s ok to watch two Midgets wrestle (For a $10 cover charge at the door) would you also pay to watch a 280 lb regular sized adult bouncer hurl a Midget across the room and market it as “Dwarf Tossing?” I think tossing these little guys across the room is going a bit too far. Evidently in New York and Florida, the State Legislators agree with me and have made it illegal to toss a Dwarf in a place that is licensed to serve alcohol.

In form and moving how express and admirable!

On the other hand, have you ever read some of these bizarre laws that were passed a hundred of years ago and are still on the books? You wonder where they came from, such as in Texas it is still illegal to shoot Buffalo from a second story hotel window.  Yep. I ain’t kiddin. Now, mow ‘em down all you want with your automatic riffle from the ground floor, but don’t you dare shoot ‘em from the second floor.

That’s not fair to the Buffalo, after all.

In a hundred years there will be a Blogger (or whatever they use in a hundred years to keep a running log of an individuals thoughts on a variety of subjects) and this futuristic Journalist will read this law about not being able to toss a Dwarf in a place that is licensed to serve alcohol and think, “Who were these crazy Americans that needed to pass a law that made it illegal to toss a Dwarf?”

In a thousand years, some Archeologist will run across this law and write a ground breaking book in which he/she reveals that our National Pastime was not Baseball, but in fact Midget Tossing. (Until a Prohibition movement was started in New York and Florida that banned this barbaric practice)

“In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god!”

Some People Should Not Breed

It has been 18 days since my last blog.

So much has happened since I last posted something, I don’t know where to start! 

Since April 13th NFL players had been locked out, let back in, and then locked out again.

A Prince was married and I saw Sir Elton John dab a tear away as he sat in the front row. (Mr. Bean was there too, but I didn’t see him cry) Royal Wedding’s guests of nobility have come a long way since the glory days of Sir. Lancelot and Sir. Drake the Dragon.

Oh yes, and in France, a telecom worker set himself on fire.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-telecom-worker-sets-himself-on-fire-2275786.html

Yes, my friends…so much has gone on, I feel like we are reacquainting ourselves.

I did not intend to abandon you for so long. I’ve been busy. Work. Being a Daddy.  Popping bubble wrap online:

http://www.virtual-bubblewrap.com/popnow.shtml

(This is a strangly addictive website, btw)

While I took my small sojourn, my wife has become more serious about her writing career, which I completely support. She is working to build her platform as a commentator of parenting. She has a good voice for it too and it can relate to a lot of moms out there who might feel isolated and alone. A good friend of hers, who is an accomplished freelance writer, even offered to help introduce her to a few contacts who may help in this endeavor.

I’m very proud of her.

My wife even had a great idea for me. “You know, there are a lot of guys out there who could use your perspective, too.”

The idea has merit and the wheels in my head started to spin. I could dedicate a portion of my blog on parenting stories told from my unique perspective. So, off I went on my own personal writing junket to research some guys who I could network with. I met father’s, handed out my business card, and took some snap shots of my perspective platform. Instantly I saw the need. Men could use some help when it comes to being better boyfriends/husbands/fathers. Honestly, most men need some help no matter what role they happen to fulfill at any given point in their lives.

So, off I went to dig up some research.

First, I found Carl. His wife asked him to hold Jr. while she got some snacks. Like the good guy he is, Carl maned up to the challenge:

“Honey, could you hold Jr. while I go get some Funnel Cake?”

I offered my business card to Carl but he just threatened to kick my ass.

 
I continued my journey up north to the land of 10,000 lakes in Minnesota. I refuse to visit Minn-e-soooo-cold between the months of November through March, but since it was April I figured the weather might be ok.
 
I met Bob and Patricia heading out to enjoy a nice spring day in the upper Mid-West region of our country. A balmy breeze was whipping up off the water and they politely asked me to take a picture of them.
 

"Mommy, look at the pretty boats!"

I think Bob and Pat are heading to Niagara Falls next.

Being a parent is a tough job. It stress you out and sometimes you are not thinking as clearly as you should. I don’t know who this woman is. I didn’t give her my card because I try not to slip women notes with my cell phone jotted down on the back. I tried that once and got an angry call from a husband telling me to leave his wife alone.

Another time I got a call from a mother who told me all about her husband who is not nearly as sensitive and understanding as I obviously was.

Anyway, I was encouraged for my wife because there is a market out there for stressed out mothers who might need some advice.

And sometimes, mothers just have more money than sense:

When you know it’s time to hire a nanny to take the kids out.

It was an eventful trip, but I’m glad to be home, and back into my routine with all of you.

In the end, I reviewed the notes from my trip and realized there were a lot of parents out there who were just beyond help. So, I think I’ll stick to what I know and leave the child watching to CPS.

UPDATE#1

panovision101 already commented on this post, but I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it. (I know sometimes I’m guilty of skimming over the comments) He had a great solution for this on a post he worte a few weeks ago. Check it out:

http://lastexittoreality.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/pedestrian-vs-pram-and-the-case-of-serial-breeders/#comment-23

A Bodacious Post of Gobbledygook. Get Ready To Be Gobsmacked On Your Tookus!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she told me to change one of the widgets on my profile. That’s when it hit me: I love that word.  It’s just so freckin’ funny!  (I love the word ‘freckin’ too, btw…‘freckin…rhymes with ‘lickin’ in case you didn’t know)  There are just some words that make me happy. I can be having an ‘Oh So Crappy Day’ but when these words pop up, especially in casual conversation, my day gets instantly better!

Since I’m always on the look out for things I can tuck away for those rainy days when I just need to smile, I thought to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it make a freckin’ cool blog (there’s that word again)if I took the funniest words I could think of and have it on one convenient list?”

Sweet!

So, I made some notes. I went to Starbucks and eavesdropped on casual conversations, jotting down funny words as they came up until a manager kicked me out. I got my hair cut twice in one day just so I could sit and listen to woman prattle on about nothing. (I love the word  prattle, as well) I got some great words there!

I’ve already given you three: Widget, Freckin & Prattle. See, don’t you just feel happier? 

My stylist used the word “Jiggle” twice as she was leaning over me to cut my sideburns. That went to the top of the list, but it’s probably the male part of my brain adding innuendos to words where none was intended. Kinda like Bosoms. Just find a way to use bosoms in casual conversation and I promise I will feel better.

Speaking of sex, I learned something while preparing for this blog and it became one of my favorite words: Roger.  Yep, that’s right, Roger. Evidently it’s an English word for sex. (Or so this website said)  Anyway, this made me really laugh when I thought of my Cartoon Sexual Fantasy: Jessica Rabbit.  Now, everyone knows that the word Rabbit is stuffed with double meanings and innuendos. (so is stuffed, come to think of it) But, if Roger truly means sexual intercourse, than I’ll never be able to watch my favorite cartoon, Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the same way again. 

“Plplplplplplplease Eddie!”

Now, I write fantasy which is rooted in mythology and Medieval history. You can’t read much medieval literature before you will run across a peculiar word: Cuirass.  What’s so funny about that, I hear you asking?  Well, honestly I didn’t find it very funny myself until I heard it pronounced. You see, there are some words you can read a 100 times, and say it to yourself in a modest, morally upstanding way, like “Kur-ess.”  Yep, that is a word I would use with my mother in the room. Evidently I was wrong, though. It’s pronounced “Queer-ass” 

And that is just funny on so many levels, it starts to become disturbing.

Which brings me to words like Nosegay, Diphthong, and Scuttlebutt.  All very gay words, but oh so funny!

My mom used to use words like Persnickety and Flabbergasted a lot, which always made me snicker. I remember one time she was telling me how “Flabbergasted she was at my awful behavior” and it took all the self control my 13 year old mind could muster up not to laugh with visions of my mom’s uncontrollable flatulence.  Yep…flabbergasted is a doozy

I like Quid Pro Quo too, but I’ve already talked about sex.

Pirates and little old Jewish ladies from Brooklyn have great words!  Like Tookus. I’m glad my grandma wasn’t 4’8″ and wore spectacles on the end of her nose,  talking about beating my tookus. As for pirates, I suppose it is a good thing I don’t live in 1723 of the coast of North Carolina either. I’d be walking the plank for sure as soon as Captain Dread told me that he didn’t care for my skullduggery.

“Ay, Captain, lets blast those scallywags to Smithereens!”

Yeah, I’d be locked up in the brig for disrespect for laughing at the captain for sure.

So, just to recap, save this date, March 9, 2011. When you are feeling pissed off at life, go to my blog, dig up this article out of the archives and say the following words out loud:

Widget, Freckin, Prattle, Jiggle, Bosoms, Roger, Stuffed, Cuirass, Nosegay, Diphthong, Scuttlebutt, Persnickety, Flabbergasted, Snicker, Flatulence, Doozy, Quid Pro Que, Tookus, Skullduggery, Scallywags and Smithereens.”

See, don’t you feel better?

Now, it’s your turn. Help me add to my list!

UPDATE # 1

I already have a few additions my readers have given.  Here are YOUR favorite words.  Keep them coming!  Flippin, Fiddlesticks, Gosh Dang It, Yonder, Gibberish, Heebie Jeebies, Paroxysm, Flaxen, Whirl, Evocative, Shimmy, Etherial, Twilight, Gloaming, “Little fog feet”, Wispy, Tawdry, Whoosh, Wiggins, Giggle-snort, Shiny, Thing-A-Ma-Bob, Squick, Humdinger, Doppelganger, Flibberdijibet, Gnosh, Gnome, Ineffable, Sassafrass and one who even likes Gobsmacked from my title.

UPDATE# 2

I think I have confirmation that “Roger” is an old English word for sex as well as a few golden nuggets of vocabulary humor from my friends across the Big Pond: Yonks, Yanking, Buffing, Pootle, Chuffed, Toodle-pip, Toodle-oo, Tickety-tock, and Cheerio

UPDATE # 3

And two more international additions from my new friend ALIGEORGE: Twangling and Spurtle