Imagine my surprise when I discovered that “unawesome” is a valid word while playing Facebook Scrabble last week. The online dictionary didn’t give a definition, so allow me to illuminate the meaning with some examples that compare and contrast it with “awesome.”
AWESOME: Receiving an unexpected dividend check from an oil company for some land my father owned in Texas that the “bubblin’ crude” was found on. UNAWESOME: The check was for 52 cents.
AWESOME: Discovering a long-lost letter my mom wrote to my dad, then overseas in the Navy, when they were both passionate young lovers in the 1950s. UNAWESOME: Actually reading that same letter. Ewwww!
AWESOME: I was emcee at the March Red Carpet Gala for the Downtown Theatre recently and did the live auction with Robert Brudney. Robert announced the next item, an exclusive dinner for eight at the Green Valley Country Club. He asked the chef to stand, but the chef, who was evidently enjoying local wines at the fundraiser, bounded onto the stage and started talking. The only onstage microphones were wireless ones Robert and I had attached to our ties so the chef leaned in near Robert’s neck to talk to the crowd while Robert turned his head away awkwardly. Repeatedly. It was hysterical and when Stage Manager Jeff Bristow walked out and handed the chef his own handheld mike, it about brought the house down. UNAWESOME: I could write for 100 years and never come up with something that funny.
UNAWESOME: Last week’s “The Last Laugh” column was interpreted by at least a couple of people as me bragging about being a horrible employee at Carl’s Jr. as a teen and then receiving the Employee of the Month Award. Not my intention at all. AWESOME: Having the idea to turn it into an object lesson for my daughter (and myself) by giving my undeserved reward back to the same Carl’s Jr. – which I did last week.
AWESOME: One of my favorite TV shows, “30 Rock,” bowed out gracefully, employing the final episode protocol, instead of morphing into a watered-down version of itself like “Sanford Arms” or “Archie Bunker’s Place.” UNAWESOME: The penultimate show was better than the finale. AWESOME WITHIN AN UNAWESOME: Getting to use the word “penultimate” and use it correctly. The last time I used it I thought it referred to that “Seinfeld” episode about the Astronaut pen that writes upside down.
AWESOME: Months ago I was at the Jack in the Box in Vacaville with my daughter Kaci and some teens from Vacaville High were there. I asked Kaci for a sip of her shake, but she refused. I then told her if she didn’t give me a sip, I would embarrass her by singing loudly. She asked what I would sing and for whatever reason I instantly said “Yellow Submarine.” She still refused and I began bellowing: “In the town, where I was born . . . ” She quickly slid the shake toward me. Now whenever I ask her for something in public and she refuses, I immediately start: ”In the town . . .” and we both laugh. UNAWESOME: There is something inherently wrong about using a Beatles song as a weapon.
UNAWESOME: Finally realizing that no matter how many times I intentionally walk around blind corners eating a huge chocolate bar, no one will ever be coming from the other side at the exact same moment with an opened jar of peanut butter so we’ll collide and discover it’s delicious like in those classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials. AWESOME: I did, however, teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and then gave them a Coke.
AWESOME: Getting a digital download of Jimi Hendrix’s “new” album “People, Hell & Angels” 43 years after he died. UNAWESOME: Receiving no album cover or interesting liner notes. AWESOME WITHIN AN UNAWESOME: While listening, I used the cover of Janis Joplin’s LP “Pearl” to fan myself and discovered yet another reason why albums are superior to their digital descendents.
AWESOME: A woman I met at the March Red Carpet Gala gushed about her love for my columns. UNAWESOME: Her last three words: “Take care, Kelvin!”
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.