A teacher once told her children that they could use profanity, just as long as they wrote an essay about the word or words before using it. “You should know your vocabulary,” she stated. “Write about the word’s etymology or history, where it came from, and why it is considered to be profane.” Needless to say, her children waited until they had their own abodes before expanding their language skills to include cursing.
Eighteen years later, the same teacher, now retired, was watching a television movie with one of her children when a cell phone advertisement appeared. “That is so silly,” remarked the child. “Why?” queried the mother. “James Earl Jones has a voice like black velvet or maybe rich ebony silk. Malcolm McDowell could read the menu at McDonald’s and make it sound like Shakespeare. I loved it.” “Were you listening?” continued the child. “They were talking like teenagers!” The mother had to admit she really was too enthralled with the actors to even notice what company they were representing.
A few weeks passed and again the two were watching a program on television. Suddenly the same advertisement appeared and this time the mother paid strict attention. “Oh, how cute!” she exclaimed. “Rather like a modern-day Dr. Seuss. Totes McGrotes!” The child disdainfully glared at the mother and then offered a piece of cake. “Thank you, dear,” said the mother. “This is …Totes McGrotes!” She reached for another bite when the plate was snatched out of her hand. “You may not use that type of vocabulary, young lady,” admonished the child, “until you have written an essay on what it means, where it came from, and then maybe you will understand why it is so silly!”
The circle of life is complete! With the curiosity that characterizes most teachers, the parent did indeed study the new wordings. She learned that Totes McGrotes meant “totally the best”, also spelled McGoats, having originated in a 2009 movie starring Paul Rudd. Totes Adorbs was someone who was totally adorable and Totes Presh was used to describe something totally precious. A gossip Internet columnist claimed “amazeballs” to be his own but actually fashion blogger Spiridakis used it several years earlier as an updated form of pig-Latin.
Parents are urged to know what their children are saying and to what music they are listening and singing. I lost count of the number of speeches and political commentaries given in the past year, both by candidates and news agencies but also by world leaders and columnists. On any given Sunday in the United States approximately 450,000 sermons are given. They are not be promoting something to make your life easier or make you look better. They discuss living fuller, feeling better about yourself, the sacrifice of the deity who always thinks you are Totes McGrotes, regardless of what you do.
No one has released the numbers for what advertising cost for each of the presidential debates in this past year but I am certain they were not inexpensive. The commercials for the Super Bowl are often the highest advertising costs a company could spend. If costing the same as a Super Bowl ad, those 450,000 sermons, based upon a twenty minute homily, would value $159,999,999.60. How many lives could be saved with just one-tenth of that spent on medical research or for programs that ensure meals for the world’s starving populations? What if we used that money for bettering our lives instead of spending it on accessories? Think of the good that could be done. Amazeballs!
What if we listened to the message of ding good in those 450,000 sermons as intently as we will those thirty-second advertisements? What if a person’s life of faith was as widely followed as the World Cup games? What if each idea to do good received an audience of the 164.1 million that watched Super Bowl XLVII in 2013? There are usually thirty minutes of advertisements during a regular Super Bowl. If we substituted those advertisements for a sermon and charities got paid, agencies designed to help others would receive, based on the current pricing, approximately $239,999,999.40.
Our living should be about balance – balance between offense and defense. Today we will all go about our daily living, encountering obstacles and needing to make important decisions. We will face our own game of life with its call for offensive moves and defensive plays. As we approach this holiday season, we need to remember to live in balance and value each day for the goodness we can find therein. Life is Totes Presh if we make it so.