Shuttlecocks

“Shuttlecock” is probably my most favorite word ever.  It’s that or “Omaha.”  Then again, I really like “Texture,” too.  It’s possible I just like words.  And excuses to say shuttlecock.

While it's not Central Park, it's still quite lovely.

…which brings me to today’s story.  Yesterday we had yet another open house (this time TWO WHOLE PEOPLE showed up) so the boy and I decided to stroll down to the Pier and enjoy the nice weather.  Rocco parked himself on a bench and perused the newspaper while I sought out a clear chunk of grass on the highly populated lawn.

Eventually I found a sunny spot free of both pasty wall-street brokers and petrified goose poo.  Remembering my current tan lines and the halter cut of my old married hag of honor dress, I wormed my arms through my bra and tank top straps, freeing my shoulders from future white streaks, then tucked the loops into the cups of my bra.  For good measure, I hiked up my skirt and leaned back to collect my vitamin D.

After twenty minutes of watching an awkward man in a suit try to pick up a bombshell in a bikini, I flipped to work on my back.  With the smell of fresh cut grass filling my nose and the warm sun beating on my back, it didn’t take long for me to drift off.  I flitted in and out of consciousness as different sounds enveloped me – salsa music on a boom box, skateboard wheels against cobblestones, two female voices giggling, the sniffing of a dog near my ear, a cell phone ringing, the crisp snap of a can of soda being opened, a helicopter passing overhead.

…and then a cool springy something flew under the hem of my skirt and lodged itself between my thighs.  My eyes flew open in the darkness beneath my ball cap.  I wasn’t expecting THAT. I pulled off my hat and looked towards Rocco for some sort of visual cue.  My noble protector was fingering his belly button while engrossed in whatever was happening on his cellphone screen.

That's what she said - wait that doesn't make any sense.

I signed, rolled over, and retrieved a shuttlecock from my crotch.  A giggling, middle-aged woman with wild curly hair and thick plastic glasses was walking towards me with a badminton racket tucked behind her back.

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess this is yours?” I smiled while extending the shuttlecock toward her outstretched hand.  (Seriously, it doesn’t get less fun no matter how many times I say it.  Shuttlecock.  Now you try it.)

“Yeah.  Sorry about that.”  She erupted in laughter, trying to cover her mouth with the shuttlecock.

“It’s cool.  You just caught me by surprise.  Normally I score a free drink or two before I’m pulling shuttlecocks out from under my skirt.  I’m pretty sure you owe me a drink.”

“Technically, my daughter is the one who…hit the shut…hit you.  She just took off running after impact.”  I followed the ladies pointing finger until I saw a young girl cowering on a blanket, surreptitiously stealing glances in our direction from behind her racket.  She pulled the blanket over her head a mere instant after she met my gaze.

“I’m fine, I promise.  I went to college, after all.  That area has seen far worse.  In fact, you might want to boil that thing.”  She pulled the shuttlecock away from her mouth reflexively, then caught herself and laughed.

As the woman wandered back towards her daughter, I put my straps back in place and walked over to Rocco’s bench.  “Way to defend my honor, Babe.”

“Huh?” he asked looking up at me.

“I just took a shuttlecock to the crotch,” I scolded.

“I was reading the paper!  I wasn’t watching…wait.  What?  Say that again.”

“I just took a shuttlecock to the crotch,” I repeated.  (And I’ll repeat it as many times as you’d like because shuttlecock, shuttlecock, SHUTTLECOCK!)

He gave me the usual sometimes-I-swear-you-make-my-head-hurt face and said, “In Ohio, we call those birdies.”

“Why on Earth would you do that?” I asked, incredulous.

“We tend to avoid using the word ‘cock’ unnecessarily,” he replied.

Add Ohio to the list of places I should probably never live.


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36 thoughts on “Shuttlecocks

  1. maybe if you weren’t showing all that skin, you wouldn’t have been assaulted by a shuttlecock. i mean c’mon ms. lonon, weren’t you asking for it just a little bit? of course, i’m glad you were because i got to learn and say shuttlecock. what a GREAT fucking word.

    i also like cacophony, tomfoolery, iota, kerplunk, and villainous.

    love me a word nerd.
    .-= pattypunker´s last blog ..10 important factoids about me =-.

    1. I LURV kumquats. That’s what Dad used to call we kids as in “come here you little kumquats.” I didn’t find out they were a real thing until college!

  2. Shit, in Michigan we call ’em birdies too. Damn. We miss out on all the fun. And I don’t ever want to be grouped in with Ohio. So it shall be “shuttlecock” coming from my mouth from now on, thanks.
    .-= Andrea´s last blog .."Baby" =-.

  3. fingering is a fucked up word for a verb. how surprising to learn that your husband is soooo proper as to find ways to avoid “unnecessary” use of word cock.

    i enjoy the word twat…mostly in reference to someone “unnecessarily” upsetting
    .-= magda´s last blog ..What it is…what it isn’t =-.

  4. I don’t think I’d want to be hising my laughter whilst covering my mouth with the shuttlecock that had been wedged between your legs… but hey, that’s just me.

    I have just started playing badminton with some guys from work… I’m even more excited now about the possibilities that lie ahead!
    .-= Eternally Distracted´s last blog ..A warning to the Balinese… =-.

  5. “I went to college, that area has seen a lot worse..” Classic! Too funny. I love saying, “chimes”, and neer’-do-well, not usually together tho’, well, only if I really need a boost.
    .-= Shrinky´s last blog ..Time and Tide =-.

    1. I’m SEEN cornhole in action. They play that in Illinois, too. I bought died when my cousin invited me over for cornholing. I mean, I expect it from my southern kin but…

  6. I must tell you that this is hilarious.

    The comment you left on my blog still makes me laugh too, FYI.

    Here we call them birdies too. But that’s because we have a college sports team called the Gamecocks and everything is already cocks this and cocks that. I even have two t-shirts in different colors that simply say COCKS in giant letters across the chest. I love wearing them out of state because people get all weird.

    That is one of the reasons I’ll probably never move.
    .-= Alyson´s last blog ..Keepin’ it classy =-.

  7. Only you would attract a shuttlecock to your crotch. You have some wicked magnetic powers I think. And only you would say exactly what you were thinking to a poor stranger. Yeah, you’re right, I would too. But it wouldn’t have been as clever. I’m going to Ohio next week and after I get done cornholing, I’m going to walk around asking people for shuttlecocks. Go ahead. Dare me. You know I will.

    ♥Spot
    .-= Spot´s last blog ..The one where I’m a floater and sharks don’t eat us… =-.

  8. Can we call it hot liver in a vice?
    No?
    Okay then.
    Like your wonderful husband, while covering this particular chapter in Phys. Ed. the nuns obviously called this the “birdie”. When we got wind that it was also referred to as the shuttlecock we began crackling with excitement and anticipating where we could use this gem in everyday conversation.
    While I’ve never had one invade my nether regions it sounds quite nice.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Postcard From Paradise =-.

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