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Elizabeth Woodworth: 'Whatever' deemed the most annoying word in America

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 1/11/2018 7:39 PM

The moon's weak position should soften the Jan. 10 weather system. Farm and garden seed normally reach retail outlets about this time. Spring moves from New Orleans at a rate of about five miles per day, or one degree Fahrenheit every four to five days. Lunar apogee on Jan. 14 decreases the likelihood of Seasonal Affective Disorder for the next two days. (We who long for sun will be grateful for even that little bit.) Unfortunately the new moon on Jan. 15 is likely to strengthen the cold front due to cross the Mississippi near that date. (Countryside)

The Family Circus kid says to a friend, "My mom is mad cause my dad gave her a blender. She says she wanted one, but not for Christmas." I don't know why this happens. I remember one year when we kids gave mom a mop for Mother's Day. We thought it was a great present. She never let on that is wasn't. As I got older, I understood what an awful gift that was. Why dad let us do it, I will never understand, unless he didn't want to make us feel bad that we didn't know what our mom would like.

"Whatever" has been deemed the most annoying word used by Americans. Think about it. To escalate an argument, all one has to say is "whatever" for your adversary to scream, sputter and have a complete meltdown. Almost as good as using a very soft voice. The second most annoying word or phrase is "false news." No explanation necessary.

Dagwood Bumstead's mailman presented him with his special annual award for the most fliers, coupons and inane credit card offers of anybody on his route. The neighbor who takes care of my mail, when I am gone, would say that I should be the recipient of that award. I leave two large baskets on the coffee table. He puts everything that is first class or comes in a small envelope in one. The other is for magazines, catalogs and campaign fliers. If I am gone any length of time, that basket is full to the handle and overflowing onto the table and floor. I win.

I've been thinking about what I would like to say to the person who stole the band trailer. This was not a generic trailer. In huge, purple letters, it said Harrisburg High School Marching Band. Rather hard to miss this, even in the dark of night. If you didn't take the trailer at night, even more reason to wonder. I am sure you can read. Why else would you think this would be worth stealing?

That said, did you really think that when you parked this well-marked trailer in your driveway, your family and neighbors wouldn't wonder why it was there and where you got it? A bright yellow Hummer wouldn't cause as much curiosity. After all, someone might have given you a loan for the Hummer, but not for the band trailer.

I suppose you thought it would be filled with instruments. It's winter, it's frigid, and the trailer was not in a garage, heated or otherwise. Cold is the enemy of band instruments.

Were you planning to pawn the instruments? Did you not think that walking into a pawn shop or music store and asking the clerk, "Hey buddy, want a buy a tuba?" would not raise eyebrows? You'd look pretty stupid with a tuba on your shoulder. And then not knowing how much it might be worth and how much you might get for it.

I don't think you thought this through. Must have been a shock when it was only full of stage props. Not many pawn shops would be a bit interested. Did you break them up and use them for firewood? If so, I hope the paint fumes made you sick. Did you think you might get something out of this caper. Are you holding the sets for ransom? These kids don't have money, so it will take a while to raise. If you call now, they can have a schoolwide bake sale going by Friday. It's winter. You are going to have to wait a long time before it's car-wash weather. Just leave the sets on the school lawn and save everyone a lot of work and heartache.

To all who are helping replace the sets, bless you. The kids will do us proud.

• ELIZABETH WOODWORTH is a weekly columnist based in Saline County.