Pound This

I wonder if there’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow? Or Skittles?

Today’s Vocabulary

Verbal Diarrhea:

1. (n) Annoying tendency to say in 500 words when 10 will do.

2. (n) Seizing on one innocuous factoid and turning it into an overly long screed.

3. (n) www.nitnats.com

            This past week, I’ve been watching my cousin’s dogs and house while he takes his family on vacation in the middle of nowhere.  It’s a lovely, quiet place (his house, not the middle of nowhere.  Which I’m sure is lovely in its own way) with a beautiful waterfront view, relaxing pace of life, and clean sheets.  Too soon, though, I’ll return to the rat race of home.  Of course, since I’m retired, said rat race consists of little more of waking up for breakfast before it’s time for lunch.

            It’s a struggle.

            Anyway, this peaceful solitude has caused me to be reflective on many issues.  You know, when I’m not taking advantage of the many streaming services he has on his television (in case any of you are interested-you pigs-no porn).  Those things cost money, yo.

            For instance, what is the meaning of life?  Is the president a demented muppet with oatmeal between his ears?  Should I bother watering the plants when a tropical storm is on the way?

            And, most importantly, why is the “#” on a telephone keypad called the “pound” key?  Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call it the “number” key, instead?  I can certainly understand why “*” is called the “star” key, because it looks like a star (even though I think it looks more like an asterisk).  In any case, the asterisk looks a helluva lot more like a star than a “#” looks like a “pound.”

            Isn’t the symbol for “pound” supposed to be “lb?”  Yes, I know, Mr. Smarty-Pants Dead Language Guy, it’s an abbreviation for a Latin phrase, “Lardassius Buttocks” or something like that.  I could be wrong, though.  But, as anyone who knows me, I’m generally too lazy to figure out the exact meanings of things.  Which is pretty darn pitiful in this day and age of “Google,” “Yahoo,” “Duck Duck Go,” and “Bing” (which surprisingly, has nothing to do with the deceased crooner).

            Even so, I’m guessing that sticking an “lb” on a keyboard already cluttered with numbers and letters would be confusing.  You could imagine the mix-ups which might ensue while trying to dial phone sex (as I’ve heard some people do).  You might end up with a “Lardassius Buttocks” breathing heavy in your ear, asking, “Are you gonna eat that?”

“DON’T HANG UP! DON’T HANG UP!!”

             Still, it bothers me that it’s called “pound.”  Although, I must admit, it could be confusing calling it what it really is:

            “When you’ve completed your transaction, press the ‘number’ key.”

            “Number key!!??  What the hell are you talking about??  They’re all numbers!!  Which one do I frikkin’ press!!??” 

            Considering this, I realized that the good folks at AT&T, Bell Atlantic, and Wal-Mart had to call the “#something.  The word “hashtag” hadn’t been invented yet.  I mean, use of the word “hashtag'” not the word “hashtag” itself.  You know what I mean.  Shut up.

Although, it’s probably a good idea that in places like Twitter, that cesspool of hatred and butthurt censorship, the common practice is to use the word “hashtag.” Can you imagine if something like #sand was pronounced “Pound Sand”?

“Or #womenssoccerteam!!!”

            Since calling it the “TIC TAC TOE” key would be silly or calling it the “Cartesian Grid” key would be both silly and pretentious, they flipped a coin and went with the “pound” key.

            I’m just happy they didn’t go all metric on us and call it the “kilogram” key. 

            USA!! USA!!

            What I’m saying is, go right ahead and continue to press that “pound” key with confidence.  All things considered, it’s probably a good thing your phone uses “#” instead of “lb.

            Because, if it did, you might have to worry about dialing up the ghost of Orson Welles for phone sex.

UPDATE:  Because I couldn’t resist, I did look up the origin of why it’s called the “pound” key and how the word “hashtag” came into common usage.  Not surprisingly, the internet once again held the key to great knowledge.  It really is a fascinating write-up (okay, not particularly) and has something to do with the British and, no shit,  the “lb” designation.  Still, I don’t feel like getting into that whole mess here.

            After all, I’m going to double check whether my cousin has a porn streaming service hidden somewhere go outside and revel in the glory of nature.

            Okay, this was well over 500 words.  Sue me.

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