Category Archives: Words

Steam & Stress

Header photo by Olaf Tausch

I actually found it quite troubling to learn that saunas protect middle-aged men against heart attacks.

Apparently the evidence is irrefutable. It’s at a climate-change level of certainty – the Finns have been right all along about their culture built around a box of heat. Regularly sweating in the sauna can, for a time, forestall the reaper.

As a man well into the prime heart-attack years, I am suddenly faced with a discouraging and stressful choice between going to sit in a stifling room for a time nearly every single day with a bunch of strangers – other drippy men in towels struggling to breathe the same super heated moist air – or an early death.

As Jack Benny replied when told by a mugger, “Your money or your life!”, the answer is … “I’m thinking.”

And for Trail Baboons this will immediately remind you of early Keillor – the strange saga of The Finn Who Would Not Sauna.

You can only choose one – excessive heat or painful cold. Which will it be?

Symptomatic Chronic Re-titling And Brain Baffling Linguistic Exercises (SCRABBLE)

I admit to having Compulsive Acronym Tendencies (CAT).

That is, when I encounter something that interests me, I tend to get drawn into a cycle of First Letter Observation And Transfer (FLOAT), re-arranging the Name Of The Entity (NOTE) until the first letters of that name Spell Another Word Depicting Unanticipated Semantic Tendencies (SAWDUST) of that thing.

Having this condition all too often leaves me with a feeling of Helplessly Arranging Titles Endlessly (HATE),  and if I had to give it a name I’d go with Involuntary Titular Series Unit Composition Key Syndrome (ITSUCKS).

Really.   Acronyms are the only thing the military does that I might actually enjoy.

For instance, if you’re at a party and you happen to tell someone that you’ve got a condition where you Mentally Examine And Switch Linguistic Expressions Serially (MEASLES), they tend to suddenly Forget Leaving Elements Elsewhere (FLEE).

And when I resolve to stop doing it, like So Many Other Knowledge Indulgent, Noxious Games (SMOKING), this bad habit of mine is made worse by the Internet, which seemingly was built to keep open the Possibility Of Relapse Narrative (PORN) by providing things like the online Acronym Finder.

I was reminded of this when Wes mentioned in the comments section of yesterday’s post that his date and his dancing at a the high school prom made him a BMOC, which he used to mean “Big Man On Campus”.

But all you have to do is go to the Acronym Finder to discover it also represents the British Motorcycle Owners Club, the Basic Medical Officer Course, the Battle Management Operations Center, and the Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad Committee, among other things.

So It Goes, Huh?  (SIGH).

What’s your favorite word game?