Plumbing, typing, crickets and hyphens


John, the late husband of my late friend Frieda,  said that if he believed in reincarnation he wouldn’t want to know anything about plumbing in his next life.

Of course, if he came back as a cricket or some other such creature, plumbing skills would be a moot point anyway. Right? Can you picture a cricket carrying a pipe wrench? Me either.

But never mind. John probably actually enjoyed doing all those plumbing fixes around the house and just wanted to be appreciated for his efforts. My guess.

Meanwhile, if you’re a reincarnationist (a non-word per my computer Spellcheck), please overlook my simplistic take on your belief system and my use of a non-word to describe you. That said, “reincarnationist” can be found in some dictionaries, if not the one on my laptop. Just don’t try playing “reincarnationist” in a Scrabble game. It’s not Scrabble-approved.

Yeah, I know. The chances of fitting all six syllables into the scheme of things on a Scrabble board are slim indeed, but it could happen, like maybe in a movie. You’d start with “a, then “at” and then “nation” and on it would go.

We digress.

Not that I’m sure what we are digressing from. Perhaps the oddball concept that some people think they’d be happier not to be as smart and skilled as they really are? Does that ever happen?

Typing comes to mind.

If you enthusiastically enlisted in the army to rid the world of Adolf Hitler through selfless heroic undertakings involving you and your machine gun, and they found out you could type, that might have meant office duty instead. Peck, peck, peck instead of rat-a-tat-tat. Typing skills have surely kept some soldiers out of harm’s way even as they wanted to be on the front line instead of behind a desk.

But whatever the situation, plumbing to typing, most of us don’t want either to hide our skills or to de-learn stuff. And there you have it – another non-word. De-learn. I managed to get it past spell check with a hyphen.

Hyphens work magic. Stick one in the middle of whatever, and you’ll have an acceptable word. What-ever.

Don’t spend too much time thinking about whatever.

De-learn is a better example of the magic hyphen phenomenon. Hyphen-less delearn does not pass muster, but de-learn does.

If you’re following me, good for you. I’m having to read all this stuff twice.

Through it all, I suspect spell check would like me to use the ordinary word “unlearn” when “de-learn” is really what I want to say.

De-learn has more punch. Unlearn seems rather mundane.

Final thought:

If I believed in reincarnation, I’d want to come back as a hyphen. You’d never know where you might be going next. You’d probably get to crash parties meant only for real words. What fun.

Second final thought:

There’s a South Florida company called Cricket Plumbing. The cricket in the logo is so handsome I’m going to have to think twice before I step on my next one.