Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other   Leave a comment

Okay, to understand why this comment is hilarious to me, you need some background.

My brother and I had a roommate at one point. We’ll just call him W. It’s close enough. Anyway, he was a total weirdo. He smoked way too much pot (which pissed me off when he owed me rent money), and when he wasn’t smoking that, he was smoking cigarettes. The only thing he really contributed to the household was Tech N9ne, who’d I’d never heard before then and really liked. He had an annoying habit of leaving his stuff laying around wherever, and I was a little freaked out by the fact that he would sit on the couch and just stare at the TV. When it wasn’t on.

The thing is, he was constantly saying “Six of one, half dozen of the other.” Really. Constantly. It got to the point where I would mentally giggle every time he did it. It made his loser roommate habits easier to tolerate. He was the only person I ever heard use that expression, and anytime I’ve been tempted to use it, it always makes me want to laugh. And unfortunately, it also makes me think of him and the nearly $500 he still owes me since he stopped paying rent and then moved out when no one was home (have I mentioned he was kind of a loser).

So, having not heard this saying in about 5 years, I nearly burst out laughing when the guy who was sharing the shuttle from Kia with me said it. I managed to hold it in, because I know the guys in the van would not have understood. And really, he seemed like a nice guy (or at least, a guy with a real job). But it made me think of my crappy old roommate and about how there are now two people in the world that I have heard use that phrase.

It also makes me think about all the weird things people say. My husband frequently makes fun of me for saying things that he thinks sound old (as in, something old people say). And there are some people that you can be chatting about, and when you say that one thing, everyone knows who you’re talking about. Any time me or my brother bring up “Six of one, half dozen of the other,” we both start laughing. Or there’s his best friend, who we always talk about by including “Ezacly, dawg,” in the conversation (yes, that’s how he pronounces it). Or the quote that’s generally applied to me. Though it’s not something I actually ever say. But people say it to me enough that it is apparently my catchphrase. “Dammit, Debra. Too far.”

They really should put out a memo or something when the joke has reached its limit. I never seem to stop until it’s one step too far.

I don’t really know why any of this is important. Except that, as a writer, I should be thinking about this stuff. If all the other characters in my book were sitting around joking about Character A, what would they say? What would be that phrase that Character A says so much that it’s practically a part of their name?

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Posted March 11, 2009 by Maidenfine in Writing

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