My wife mentioned to me that my genetics were gradually defeating all of the training that she had put into me. By genetics, she was referring specifically to the genes that came from my dad, Jim. Now, both my wife and I love dad very much but it’s not unfair to admit that he does have a certain quirk he’s famous for. Dad can get easily distracted. While this sounds harmless enough, allow me to crack open the pages of family lore to share an example of dad’s quirk.
One day, Mom sent Dad out to the garage to get something. On the way from the house to the garage he passed our ancient bird bath, as he did many times each and every day for the 20 some-odd years they had lived at the house. Since we lived in a centuries old former farm house, I’m quite certain that the bird bath had been placed there by early settlers to Canada fleeing American persecution before Canada was even a nation. It was that old and it looked that old. But today, for whatever reason, Dad looked at the bird bath and figured that two and a half centuries of weathering needed to be cleaned from it. Immediately. For the next few hours, he lovingly scrubbed the age from that pedestal with likely no less that 3 acid solutions, each carefully custom mixed, applied and improved upon. At the end, he proudly brought my mom out to look at the now pristine altar of bird libations, waited patiently for her praise and heard this. “That’s lovely, Jim. But I needed the squash for dinner hours ago.”
So to celebrate Dad’s quirk, our family has adopted the verb “to Jimmy”.
Jimmy (verb): to be sent on a short errand and enroute become distracted by a much longer and less important task completely forgetting the original errand. The completion of the second task, while glorious in your own estimation, will not be appreciated by the person whose task was forgotten. (e.g. “Sorry dear, I totally Jimmied. I know that you totally needed those tampons but look… the car is so shiny now!”
So to honour my Dad, whose genes are steadily eroding 18 years of conditioning, I charge everyone to go forth and embrace their Jimmy. You’ll still end up doing twice the work and be in trouble, but now you’ll have the words to explain how it happened.