For those of you who don’t know me so well, I use the word ‘dude’ quite a lot. I use it occasionally as a term of endearment as in ‘hey dude’ meaning ‘hello my friend’ but more often I use it in lieu of the words ‘for fuck’s sake’
I figure that by using the camaraderie of the d word no one will be able to haul me up on the subtext and punch me. Examples:
‘dude, you just cut me up’
‘dude where are the keys?’
‘dude where have you been? I’ve been waiting in a hot car with a screaming child for hours.’
The funny thing is that until now I never figured what the subtext was. It took an episode with our friend Jay to realise. He and Natasha, parents of Lula’s crush Egg and her nemesis/conspiritor Noah (it’s like baby vampire diaries watching them all together) have just moved into a stunning jungle top house perched over the champuan river, complete with maid and cook. But no pool. Which is why we decided to go swim in the river. I’m thinking all natural essences and run off to don my bikini and grab my shampoo bottle. I flip flop my way down the slope with Jay.
The first dude occurs within 60 seconds.
‘Dude where are we going?’ I say.
‘Just down here’ Jay says.
I frown at the tangled undergrowth and follow after him. A flip flop gets sucked into the abyss. My foot is covered in slime and coated in mosquitos. I am Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone.
‘Dude, where’s the path?’ I yell surveying the sodden, dank ground – haven for cobras and pythons. My heart rate is upping frantically. A friend’s daughter got bitten four times by a python not two weeks ago, very near to here.
‘I’ll go ahead and see if we can get down,’ Jay shouts over to me and off he goes, leaving me with just my panic and the mosquitos for company.
A minute later he calls to me that he has found a way down. I take a breath. He is not my husband so I cannot go hysterical. I cannot swear or yell or turn back. No I have to act all Nancy Drew about it. I follow until I reach him and when I do I look around at the foot deep undergrowth and the twenty foot drop to the brown, churning river below and then I look back at Jay and say, yeah you guessed it, ‘Dude, where is the path?’
Jay hacks a way down and I slip and slide after him until I come to rest on a rock overhanging the muddy rapids. Acollection of rubbish has dammed the river in front of us.
‘So you coming for a swim then?’ Jay asks.
I look at him carefully, ‘Dude, you have got to be kidding.’