Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I digress

francl, v. intrs., /'fran səl/ to discursively digress with minimal prompting. Usage, "Did you know that you can use purple cabbage to make an acid-base indicator?" interjected into a conversation on coleslaw.

It's cold at night in the California desert - though the daytime temperature hovered near 100o, the nights were in the low 50s. One night last week, we were sitting around the fire at my brother the Irreverent Reverend's house, roasting marshmallows (Do you know how many different types of marshmallows Campfire makes? Hint: it's more than just mini marshmallows and regular size.) Facebook Nephew wondered if we would see any meteors from the Pleides shower (without any humidity or significant light pollution, the viewing at the Reverend's is pretty amazing).

I responded (undoubtedly chirpily, but I'm taking the fifth here), "Do you have any idea how many objects the size of a minivan enter the earth's atmosphere in a year?"

From the darkness on the far side of the fire came the Boy's deep voice, "To francl, a verb. To describe in great detail. To answer questions no one has yet asked...." His monologue included a drop-dead perfect imitation of me, soon we were all laughing so hard we had tears on our faces.

His cousins and sib wondered if they could reproduce the "frindle" effect (from the book of the same name by Andrew Clements) and coin a new word. The Boy has threatened to add it to Urban Dictionary. He has high hopes; fueled by a text from a friend not present at the fire using the new word.

Update: The Irreverent Reverend has submitted "francl" to Urban Dictionary.

Bonus point: How many times did I francl in this piece? (Not counting the example in the definition!)

Come to think of it, this is why I keep another blog - it's a place to work off my urge to francl without driving my family crazy.


  1. Perfect. I love that the invention of the word included an imitation.

    This reminds me of my younger son when he was 5 asking me "Mom, why are you always telling us to look at this and look and that?"

    Your post got me thinking of how to serve bluish-green) coleslaw made with red cabbage. It probably is not safe to eat at that pH though. The rainbow demo is the one reason I keep an overhead projector in my classroom.

  2. I counted four. Do I get a cookie?
    Also, did you know that the chocolate chip cookie was invented by accident in 1930 at the Toll House Inn?

  3. Reverend11:23 PM

    Nice francl Rebecca. It's been submitted to Urban Dictionary by the Reverend.

  4. That made me grin. I think if a roommate hadn't been there, a laugh would have cracked.

  5. That is beautiful, here I sit smiling and not counting the # of francls...

  6. "Paulify" to comment excessively on a tangential point...

    You wonder about the different types of marshmallows out there? At work, to illustrate a point, one of our most creative souls brought dozens and dozens of different flavored Japanese Kit Kats. Almost every flavor you can imagine.


  7. I LOVE this: To answer questions no one has yet asked.

  8. Hahaha! In my case, it's the opposite: I am the Asker of All Rhetorical Questions, like:
    --Who left this here?
    --Whose is this?
    --Why is there a plastic Army Guy on the bathroom shelf?
    There are never answers for these great mysteries.

  9. you mean other brains don't operate this way. How sad for students who do not have teachers who francl. and for spiritual directors who don't have to wait patiently for a story to get around to where it may have been headed when it began