Job Description

A Dialogue Doodle

Scene: The seafood counter of my local supermarket. I’ve just ordered a fresh trout for dinner and the clerk, a young man, is removing the head and tail.

Characters: Male Seafood Clerk; Female Produce Clerk. The Produce Clerk enters from stage left and speaks first.

Produce Clerk (to Seafood Clerk): Where’s Tishea at?

Seafood Clerk: Oh, she went and got another job—administrative assistant to some bigwig over at the YMCA.

Produce Clerk: Frosty! The girl can proper that.

Seafood Clerk: That’s right.

Produce Clerk: That Tishea—she can proper her act real fast.

The above text is a recreation of a snippet of conversation overheard by Your Faithful Blogger. What intrigued me about the exchange were two words I had not heard used in this way before. It took me a while to figure out that in this case “frosty” was meant as an intensifier, becoming “cool”-squared. And “proper,” an adjective, becomes a verb indicating Tishea’s ability to act out any role she’s given—and doing so in ways my dictionary defines as, “Displaying exaggerated propriety or gentility.” This small slice of grammatical time has been slightly edited and/or expanded, and rendered in script form for your reading pleasure.

Copyright © 2008 Jim Sizemore.

One Response to Job Description

  1. shirley says:

    interesting that the writer had ordered a trout to prepare…

    get frosty is a term used back in the 2004-5 years by our
    troops in Iraq. Meant ,slow down man, just as you observed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s