I pulled into a parking space in the parking garage at work the other day, turned the key to turn off my car and gathered my belongings for the day. Just before I opened my door to exit, a blue sedan pulled into the previously empty spot next to me. As I made my way to the stairs, I noticed the woman in that car was putting THE CLUB on her steering wheel. I did not meet this woman, but here is the conversation we had in the parking garage.
ME: Excuse me. Is that The Club?
THE CLUB: Yes. It is the world’s most trusted automobile anti-theft device.
ME: My friend once used The Club on his Ford Probe. Which was also blue. Are you worried about your car being stolen? After all we are in a secure private parking garage.
THE CLUB: Are you saying my car isn’t nice enough?
ME: Eh. It’s fine I guess. It’s a sedan.
THE CLUB: Yea. It’s really nothing special is it? Truth is, I don’t even lock the device. I just put it on there for show. People get a kick out of it and I think it’s a hoot.
ME: A “hoot” you say? I like that. We should bring that word back. It’ll be the cat’s pajamas.
THE CLUB: Now you’re just trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a huge fan of the old-timey slang, but I’m not too keen on shoehorning it into conversations. It makes you sound like a real rube.
ME: I enjoy the word “swell”. I say it often in the place of good. Or I’ll say “fine and dandy”.
THE CLUB: I know the guy who started “radical”.
ME: What do you mean? You’re telling me one guy started “radical”? One person doesn’t start slang. It has to be a movement by a group of dedicated people.
THE CLUB: Believe what you want.
ME: Never doubt a small group of dedicated people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
THE CLUB: One guy can start “radical.”
ME: Who do you think started “cool”? I feel like “cool” is the longest lasting slang term in the history of slang terms. It hasn’t gone out of style since it was first used. In fact, “cool” has such longevity that it almost ceases to be slang at all.
THE CLUB: That dude is the bee’s knees.