By Curtis K. Shelburne: Guest columnist
The English language is a strange and wonderful thing. And, at times, rather mysterious.
I’m not sure if Paul Harvey and his listeners ever quite got one English mystery figured out, but, long ago, they spent a good bit of time trying. According to the news report that he read, a woman had been shot. She’d survived, but it was reported that “the bullet was in her yet.”
The mystery centered on the fact that no one seemed to know the location of the bullet. Where, exactly, anatomically speaking, is a person’s “yet”? I don’t think they know yet.
Perhaps what follows is the same sort of English mystery, and we may never find a real answer for it.
But this I know for sure: If you happen to find a wheelbarrow full of gruntles, be sure to hang on to them!
No, I haven’t the foggiest idea of what a gruntle looks like.
Yes, it does sort of sound like a lower GI sort of thing, but I know of no particular evidence to back up that view.
More mysterious still: I know people who’ve lost their gruntles, but my dog has never once lost hers. This begs for research.
And, speaking of gruntles, things get even more complicated.
If you find a bunch of the gruntles that people have lost, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with them.
How do you know whose is whose?
And how are they taken, ingested, or attached? Are they swallowed? Grafted on? Plugged in?
Can lay folks do the job, or does “gruntle-attaching” or “gruntle-grafting” or whatever the technical term is, take some sort of specialist? If so, is that a particular specialty in and of itself, or would you go to a gastroenterologist, or a dermatologist, or a neurologist, or . . .
I have no idea.
But I do know that losing one’s gruntle is a very bad thing for everyone involved. Even if you’re not the lossee, if you spend too much time around folks who have lost their gruntles, you can end up as a loser of sorts yourself and, yes, I’m afraid it’s true, lose your own.
We’ve all seen it happen.
One person in your home/ business/school/church/office/ club loses his or her gruntle and everybody else is just sort of expected to tiptoe around them. The person. Not the gruntle.
Yes, it’s a deep loss, and, no, you wouldn’t want to step on one, and maybe break it, and lose all hope of the person who lost it ever being re-gruntled, but the tiptoeing does get to be kind of a pain. So much so that, even if you’re not sure where your own gruntle is or how to take care of it, you just sort of feel it slipping a bit. And you become really concerned that you yourself may wake up one morning and find that you’ve joined the ranks of those sad and saddening folks who’ve already lost their gruntles.
I’m still not sure about gruntles, but I think when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But be of good cheer! I have overcome the world!” he was saying—maybe even commanding—“Hey, folks! It wouldn’t hurt to smile occasionally. People of faith should not give in to being . . . d-i-s-g-r-u-n-t-l-e-d.