We’re doing some spring cleaning here, and I’m trying to wrangle all the books back into their respective homes. The baby books we can’t bear to part with go in the basement (Carl’s Birthday, anyone?), the books we love the most go in the living room bookcase, the kid books and the books I don’t want to part with but probably won’t read again go upstairs. We’ll sort through the stacks on the coffee table and by everyone’s bedside and fit them in where we can, but in a few days they’ll start creeping out and multiplying on every possible surface.
It’s not the house they take over, either — key phrases and lines have infiltrated daily speech around here, too. I realized this the other day when I asked one of small fry how they were feeling, and they answered “Respectabiggle.” (We’d just finished listening to “The Silver Chair” by C.S. Lewis.) It’s become the new catch phrase, joining several others that have become a part of our daily speech. Favorites include:
“Word of knightly honor,” from Igraine the Brave (Cornelia Funke)
“Nobody likes a wet dog,” slightly changed from To a Stranger Born in a Distant Country Hundreds of Years From Now(Billy Collins)
“Hop it!” spoken by the mother trying to get the kids moving. I think we stole it from Peter and the Starcatchers (Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson)
The last two are cheats, coming from movies based on our favorite books:
“You think that, Jane, if it gives you comfort,” from the A&E production of P&P. (Used by my husband when I am being overly optimistic about someone.)
“What about second breakfast?” Elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them doesn’t he?” (Said when the small boy is complaining about being hungry. Again.)
What phrases have made it out of the pages and into your life???