Thursday, 19 April 2012

Entirely cracked

Fracking.  Now there’s a word to conjure with.  Not a new portmanteau word meaning 'breaking into your brother's computer' (fraternal/hacking), or even a new expletive, as in: ‘that fracking so and so has just run over my dog’.  No, fracking is a new way to destroy the planet —something to do with using water to smash rock (underground, where it doesn’t matter because we can’t see it), in order to get at the natural gas.  There may be little side effects—like fracturing or irrevocably polluting aquifers (no problem, we here in Scotland will simply sell  our rainwater to the parched south--a convincing argument for independence if ever I've heard one) or really, really small earthquakes; harmless ones, which we are not to worry about because they will stop before they cause a really big earthquake (or so the reasoning goes—tell that to people living in Japan or New Zealand.  As someone who grew up in Southern California and woke up one morning to find my bed sailing majestically across my bedroom floor  and my street transformed into a Salvador Dali painting, I am having difficulty with the risk assessment on this—surely you will only know you should have stopped when you are already gone too far?).
Fracking is such a harmless sounding word; comical almost.  A splendid idea though-- portmanteau words.  Two dirty socks and a string vest thrown into a  French  bag become a stylish new thing called a ‘strocking’.  It seems particularly apposite, in this instance, that Lewis Carroll first wrote about 'portmanteau words' in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ with  Humpty Dumpty explaining to Alice those strange, scrambled egg words in Jabberwocky.  It is truly a strange sort of Wonderland where we think fracking is a good idea...although I suppose as a culture we do have a tradition of liquids exposing our fault lines. 
 I was riding the bus up the Easter Road when a gentleman boarded the bus who was so well fracked he slid off the bus seat on his first attempt to sit down.  He was deep in conversation on his mobile phone, earnestly trying to convince the woman at the other end that he was not intoxicated.  "No Doll, I’m not drunk.  How can you say that?  I've only had two halves of shandy; you couldnae say anyone could get blootered on that."  This proof was repeated several times, apparently unsuccessfully, so he went on.  "Why are you going on at me, Doll? Why are you saying I’m drunk when I’ve just been all romantic and bought you a pressie.  Not just one pressie--two  pressies!  I didnae just buy you one deodorant--no, I bought you two deodorants as a pressie.  Now, would a drunk man buy you two deodorants as a pressie?"
The phone call must have ended abruptly, because he held his phone away looking at it in astonishment, then appealed to us all to agree that his reasoning vis a vis the correlation between drunkenness, two deodorants and romance, was irrefutable. 
You could say he was suffering from logorrhoea: an excessive flow of words, especially when incoherent.  Another portmanteau  word?   I  leave it to your imagination where or to whom you might like to apply it, but I can think of a few frackers where one might wish to begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment