There Are No Words - Susan Hunter

There Are No Words

  • May 17, 2020

My husband Gary is a man of action, not words. In fact, he doesn’t waste a lot of time searching for the right word, or even sometimes for any combination of consonants and vowels that is actually a word at all. Any verbal utterance that will take him from one idea to the next will suffice, or so it seems. As a word person I find it odd, but also hilarious. You might enjoy some of them too.

Gary’s favorite flicks involve action and one of his long-time favorite stars/directors is Clint Eastwood. When I asked him which Clint Eastwood movie topped his list, he said Pot of Gold. I’m not overly familiar with the Eastwood film output, but I was pretty sure that wasn’t one of his movies. The correct title of course is Fistful of Dollars.

One Saturday morning, Gary was taking inventory of our freezer stock before going grocery shopping. He came in from the garage to tell me, “You have two iotas in the freezer.” Yes, it was true. I did have two bags of Ore Ida potatoes in the freezer. On another grocery-related occasion, I sent him to the store with a list. Upon returning he informed me, “I couldn’t find the albatross. I got the light tuna instead.” A wise choice. I find albatross is no substitute for albacore tuna.

Once when we were going out to dinner (in those long-ago days when that was possible), I commented on how nice Gary smelled. He said “Thanks, I used face deodorant today.” Now, I did have to reflect on that for a few seconds, until I realized he was telling me that his new after shave accounted for his pleasant scent.

A few years ago, Gary told me that he didn’t think a woman his friend was dating was a good match for him. However, he had decided not to say anything, both because it wasn’t his business, and because the friend was obviously deeply under the woman’s spell. Only the way he expressed it to me was: “It wouldn’t do any good. He’s just too mamortized with her to listen. Enamored + mesmerized = mamortized.

When he came home from having coffee with friend who does a lot of air travel, he said that his friend had recommended wearing special socks on long flights to prevent blood clots. “They’re called concussion socks.” No. No they’re not. They’re called compression socks.

The thing I enjoy so much about Gary’s special take on words is that he utters them fearlessly and with complete confidence. There is no hesitation, no searching for the right word or turn of phrase: there is just thought and immediate expression. When we were running one day with our usual heavy, struggling tread, I mentioned how effortless some runners who passed us seemed. Their strides were so graceful and smooth, they looked as though they were floating. Gary said, “Yeah. They call them light bodies.”

No, no ‘they’ do not call them ‘light bodies.’ Only Gary does. But maybe everyone else should.