Spend enough time around a person and you’ll find that you’ve adopted a number of their idiomatic peculiarities. It’s why my lexicon includes such grandma-proven standards as “it’s the berries” or “creeping Moses” as well as a slew of Irishisms subconsciously appropriated from my Hibernian in-laws.
The process works both ways. For every article of hyperlocal Medford slang I’ve acquired from my better half, diagnosis she has picked up — and propagated in turn — some bit of Weiss Family house lingo.
Like “chocolate pudding person.”
The term was coined by my mother to describe a particular (and, neuropathologist to her mind, information pills extremely irritating) facet of my father’s personality. My mom was the “responsible” parent, the one stuck with the thankless task of making sure that proper meals were eaten and unpleasant chores were carried out by her obstinate children.
“Andy, eat your liver or I will slap you, so help me..”
“Greg, pick up that pile of stuffed animals or you’re grounded for a week!”
“THAT’S NOT FAIR!”
“Hey, boys! Who wants to eat some chocolate pudding and watch the Three Stooges!”
“WE LOVE YOU, DAD!”
“GODDAMN IT, GUS. NOT AGAIN.”
It would be easy to mistake my father’s behavior as a manifestation of Indulgent Dad Syndrome, but the truth is rather more complex. His indulgencies were reactive, not reflexive, and were deliberatly timed for maximum effect.
Ask my dad point-blank for a favor, and you’ll be treated with a noncommital barrage of excuses. (A trait I have sadly inherited.) Arrange circumstances so that said favor will allow my father to play the white knight, and you wil be showered with unexpected rewards.
It’s why I’m still waiting for an answer about a loan to offset my dental expenses, but was gifted the Rock Stupid Puppy out of the blue one afternoon.
That’s fine. I don’t need teeth to enjoy me some chocolate pudding.