The other evening, Captain Adventure erupted into my bedroom in a state of extreme agitation. He was so distraught that he lost almost all ability to speak – he was shrieking, hitting himself on the head, and stomping in an agitated circle, caught in a deadly trap of desperately wanting and needing my help, but unable to communicate well enough to get anything more than a startled but otherwise blank stare from me.
When he’d settled down enough to use words again, he informed me (still at a high-pitched shriek) that there was a @^*&@ing fly, it was a stupid, STUPID, @^*&@ing fly!
Now, what I was hearing was the Great Grand-Daddy Bad Word – the F-dash-dash-dash, not-fudge, ohmygah, here it is, my own occasional potty-mouth outbursts coming home to roost at last…!
But at the same time, well, there was just something…I just wasn’t sure that was what I was actually hearing. Himself remains rather difficult to understand at times, and when he’s upset like that even I have a hard time figuring out what he’s trying to say.
So I kept asking, “The what fly?!” and he kept saying @^*&ing and I’d say “The WHAT fly?!?!” and he would look at me as if he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and yell it again.
You can imagine how irritating it was for him that I was so fixed on the word you said before you said fly. This is not the point, Woman. The point is, something about a fly. Focus, dammit, focus!
About four repetitions in, he started making a curious hand gesture as he said the word: He would put his hands to either side of his head and swoop upward.
About the third time he did it, it clicked. Horns. Hat with horns. Viking.
I KNOW, RIGHT?! I too had never realized how much the word ‘Viking’ can sound like that other word until that very moment, when I started to say to myself, Geesh, ‘Viking’ doesn’t sound anything like…oh…wait…you know? it kinda DOES sound like it a little, doesn’t it…and then I repeated it to myself about fifty times until the two were practically indistinguishable from each other and then I said to myself, “Um, Self? Can we move on now, because, seriously? You’ve been fixated on this for an awfully long time here…”
(Random Trivia Moment: Did you know that Vikings did not wear horned helmets into battle [or anywhere else, for that matter]? They wore plain old helmets like anybody else with a lick of common sense [can you imagine how often you’d be at the repair shop if you wore something with sticky-outy bits all over the place, let alone into melee combat?!]. BUT, it would appear that some big shot wore one at some point to some big event and somebody [probably a Roman, because Lord, they recorded everything they ever saw] wrote about it and thus it was that somehow, we collectively decided that all Vikings wore helmets with horns, and that’s how you knew they were Vikings, DUH.)
“There’s a Viking fly?” I asked.
“YES! A STUPID, STUPID VIKING FLY!!!!!” he screamed.
Much confusion later, it turned out that there was a fly on his window. He had smacked said fly into Fly Valhalla, but, the mortal remains had fallen onto his bed…and disappeared.
And the thought of spending the night cuddled up with a dead fly did not appeal to His Bossiness (picky, picky, picky). So he wanted me to come find the fly, and dispose of it.
Which I did by the simple expedient of changing his sheets, because they needed it anyway and I wasn’t too keen on the idea of trying to find a dead fly among dark blue sheets.
And I chuckled to myself the whole time. Viking fly. Heh.
Now mind you, I’m pretty sure what he meant was the other word, and definitely the sentiment was the other word, and that we simply got a free pass thanks to his own speech-and-language issues; somebody says ‘^&@^*ing,’ apparently he hears Viking.
(dramatic music begins to play in the background…eventually, we all know the boy WILL pick up Bad Words and begin to ‘season’ his sentences with them, and we will be faced with trying to instill Socially Acceptable Language Rules on him and he will be all like ‘la la la I’m autistic and I don’t understand what the problem is, it doesn’t bother ME that I put the word ‘@^*&@’ in front of every.thing.else.I.say….)