Do you remember when Dad helped me make a list of items I needed for camping? On the list he had a number of things including a "Spachler". I didn't have a clue what he was talking about and asked, "What's a spachler?" He tried, without success, to describe to me what he meant, then gave up and drew a picture. I looked at the picture, and said "Oh, you mean a spatula, right?"Robert pronounces this word spach-ler (rhymes with bachelor). He has revised spatula, a three consonant word into a two consonant word. Interesting. Why say more than you have to, right?
And having brought up the word bachelor, I am reminded of another one of Robert's alternate word uses:
On his 60th birthday we had some friends and family over to celebrate. After we ate, we all settled in the living room where Robert commenced some lively story telling. He told us all about a house he lived in during his bachelor days. He called it a "depression house" and described it as having no foundation. Rather, he said, "It was raised up off the ground and sitting on cylinder blocks". As soon as that was out of his mouth, the room exploded with laughter. My brother-in-law yelled hysterically, "Cylinder blocks?" Don't you mean cinder blocks?"
Now if you know Robert, he laughed harder than anyone. He thrives on this kind of communication and what it results in - lots of hilarity. We've all heard people say, "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you." But that's not true in Robert's case. Actually, when he blurts out one of his Robert-isms and everyone starts laughing, they are laughing at Robert, not with him, because he isn't laughing to begin with. He starts laughing when some very amused person asks the inevitable question, "Didn't you mean to say....?"
And I guess that's one of the reasons why I love this guy so much. This kind of fun is no threat to his ego. He laughs at himself so unreservedly, and to be able to do so is a very freeing thing. We would really be freed up from our pride if we didn't take ourselves so seriously. I don't know that I could do the same thing so effortlessly.
We love you, Robert. Keep us laughing!