Friday, September 5, 2008

Critter, Creature, Carcass

"That kid," said Jason last weekend at the pool, "is a Creature."

He was of course talking about Creepy Stalker Kid who followed Ains around and eventually went all Ike Turner on her.

"Creature?" you may be saying. "What's this?"

I blogged after our vacation about the Ainsley Wave Classification System, wherein she described the different waves she encountered in Hilton Head as being either a splat, a jiggle, or a jink.

As one commenter noted, there is a Cranky family history of coining terms to further identify people and things. This commenter mentioned that, thanks to us, the terms "critter", "creature", and "carcass" are used in her house.

I cannot take credit for this, but I can explain it. Especially since Jason and I just used the term "Creature" last weekend in describing the stalker kid who hit my daughter.

The Three C Classification System was developed by Jason's brother to describe people whose behavior and demeanor are, shall we say, less than ideal. The lowest level is "Critter." This is for those who are, as the name suggests, small and maybe a little cute and only mildly and sporadically annoying. Like most babies and kids who are just doing their thing, just being kids. Think of it as a squirrel who gets up on your deck and sometimes eats all the seeds out of your bird feeter. Critter. "That critter is back in the feeder again!" It's so low-level that I don't hear the in-laws use it so much anymore; it's just a given that all the nieces and nephews are, in their normal state of being, Critters.

Come to his family's Christmas Eve party and you will see Creatures. This term is still mostly used for smaller human beings. Though I have seen it used on adults who are breaching the annoyance threshold. Creature-ness is what happens to otherwise normal children who get a little hyper, or a little tired, or a little cranky. It's like the largish spider you find in your shower one morning; it's alarming, and rather troubling, but easily dispatched with a shampoo bottle. On Christmas Eve the nieces and nephews all turn into Creatures. By 10pm, the older kids are tired and complaining loudly about the toys that don't work as they should out of the box and/or need batteries or pouting because you won't let them have their 50th salami roll. The 3-and-under set starts fighting and biting. Around this time Jason's brother can be seen in a corner of the room, hands on top of his baseball cap, in awe at the destruction and chaos.

"What a bunch of Creatures," he'll say.

Indeed.

Then there are the Carcasses.

A true Carcass is rare. I don't hear it used much. It really takes a special kind of person to own this status.

A Carcass is a larger, adult person (I don't think I've ever heard it used about kids) who is such a massive tool that it's almost disgusting. It's like the dead whale that washes ashore on your favorite beach, spreading its foul methane decay and large, unmovable mass all over an otherwise pleasant place.

Here's a timely example of a "Carc." Jason and I watched Wednesday's Daily Show last night and saw Jon's clips of doughy-headed Karl Rove from several months ago, bashing the idea of Tim Kaine of Virginia as a potential running mate for Obama, belittling him because he only has three years executive experience as governor and was "only" the mayor of Richmond, Va., before that. Jon had just shown a clip of Karl from just this week praising Palin's experience and qualifications for office because she has been governor or Alaska for two years and mayor of Wassilla before that.

"I don't care what party you're from," I said. "You've got to admit that Karl Rove is a Carcass."

Carcasses are rare, and I think they might be a cool thing to collect. I know my readers must know some fine Carcasses. Chime in below with how some people in your life would measure up on the Critter, Creature, and Carcass scale.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hmmmmm...I think my cousins-in-law all fall under Carcasses, and their kids are always Creatures!!