CATCH PHRASE “I’m here with the members of the NRA — would you like to say hello?”
ORIGINAL CONTEXT The weirdness of Rudy Giuliani’s little moment in front of the National Rifle Association has yet to be fully parsed. In the middle of a blustering, meretricious speech, the message of which might be summarized as “All right, yes, you can keep your frigging guns,” the former mayor of New York City received a cell-phone call from his wife. And answered it, smirkingly. “Hello, dear,” he said. Was it a joke? An attempt to hype himself as a virtuously married man? Or a specimen of the dictatorial bad manners we can expect from him if (God forbid) the moron electorate makes him president? Only Rudy knows.
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS an indicator of preoccupation (telephonic).
EXAMPLE “Melinda! At last I get you on the phone! Is this a good time to talk?”
“Hi, Keith. Listen, I’m here with the members of the NRA — would you like to say hello?”
CATCH PHRASE “My face is in hot scones.”
ORIGINAL CONTEXT “Where’d Suzanne Somers go? Hello, has anyone seen Suzanne Somers? Where’s Suzanne?” Shivan Sarna, co-host of the Home Shopping Network’s In the Kitchen with Suzanne Somers, looked around with theatrical anxiety. Where was Suzanne? Ah, there she was! Wacky Suzanne, hiding her face behind the lifted napkin of a basket of baked goods! And as the 61-year-old memoirist and former sit-com star sighed in delight, huffing the aroma of fresh scones, a catch phrase was born. Somers, whose 2005 one-woman Broadway show The Blonde in the Thunderbird was brutally panned by critics, is the female Chuck Norris: she has survived an alcoholic father, breast cancer, and a stint as the official spokesperson for ThighMaster. Minutes before Sconegate, she was laughing — laughing! — as she described the accidental incineration, in January of this year, of her Malibu home. Would that we could all achieve such cosmic gaiety.
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS an expression of sensory fulfillment, an exaltation of pleasure over responsibility.
EXAMPLE “Doug, I know you’re enjoying that shiatsu-massage cushion you bought at Bed Bath & Beyond, but it’s time for our harassment training.”
“Dude, what can I tell you? My face is in hot scones.”
CATCH PHRASE “Por qué no te callas?” (Translation: “Why don’t you shut up?”)
ORIGINAL CONTEXT The sight of a hot-faced monarch upbraiding the leader of a New World socialist nation might be expected to arouse one’s republican sympathies, but not when the personages in question are King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Venezuelan motor mouth Hugo Chávez. At the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago, Chile, Chávez got on the mic and wouldn’t quit, interrupting the Spanish prime minister with accusations of fascism, conspiracy, and all-purpose nastiness. “Less human than snakes,” he said! Juan Carlos, who supervised Spain’s transition to democracy in the ’70s, saw off a military coup in 1981, and has basically done nothing since but go yachting with a drink in his hand, was roused to regal ire. Using the insultingly familiar “tu” form, he brought a crushing, ancien-régime scorn to bear on the uppity Chávez. It had no effect whatsoever.
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS a piece of verbal overkill, designed to stun your interlocutor into silence.
EXAMPLE “So I was thinking you might want to go for the blond streaks on top, and then lose a little of this length around the back and the — ”
“Por qué no te callas?”