Sometimes siren songs tempt us to tantrum. Tempestuous, roiling, blood boiling, temple thumping, let-it-all-out meltdowns. And plenty of fulcrums there are upon which to leverage our angst. Plenty of targets toward which we might train our metaphorical missiles. And for an all-too-brief interlude, we feel better. As if we’ve accomplished something. Settled a score. Rebalanced justice. Vanquished evil with good. But often the victorious feeling fades, and we’re left with steaming cinders and a sour spirit. And this brings me to cocky pop and poppycock…
For now, let’s assume that “cocky pop” is the body double for a recent Rosslyn icehouse OPUD whose fumbling and bumbling would appear comical if we weren’t paying it, depending on it, wasting time and digital ducats endeavoring to communicate and coordinate with it, and generally enduring its disfunction and dyspeptic demeanor.
Why cocky, you ask? Because braggadocio and cocksure are too complimentary for this dissembling braggart. They allude to at least some semblance of merit deep beneath flatulent artifice.
Why pop, you ask? Because it’s a fizzier and friendlier alternative to washed up geezer, of course. Or cranky codger…
At this point let’s pause for a public service announcement. No, a disclaimer. Caveat emptor. You are five paragraphs into a lyric essay masquerading as a prose poem with nary a semblance to anyone or anything real at Rosslyn, in Essex, or on the Adirondack Coast. Any similarity is unintended coincidence. So, please, disavow yourself of any verisimilitude. This post is pure trifle. A lyric illusion. A carefree confection sans moral or message. If this perturbs you, feel free to abbreviate your read. Here. Now.
And this brings us to poppycock. Such a savory syllable salad!
poppycock (noun) pop·py·cock ˈpä-pē-ˌkäk
empty talk or writing : NONSENSE(Source: Merriam-Webster)
After a senseless volley of text messages this afternoon with the fictional cocky pop headlining this peculiar post it’s more apparent to me than ever that too often the aforementioned sirens seduce us into a senseless singalong. And that leads to plenty of poppycock!
Etymology intrigue you? Perhaps you’ll appreciate this nifty nubbin.
Dutch dialect pappekak, literally, soft dung, from Dutch pap pap + kak dung(Source: Merriam-Webster)
Fortunately I came to my senses in time to pull the ripcord. A war of words? Pure poppycock!
And in the quiet calm that follows the rushing plunge once the chute plumps, slowing the perilous descent, a warm wave of compassion swept over me, through me. Poor cocky pop, I felt. What a pathetic, needy nebbish. How could I have allowed anger and disdain to fill me when pity was appropriate? I reread the words we’ve exchanged, the vitriolic volley, the unproductive pokes and parries, and the realization rises within me. Poppycock. It’s all poppycock.
And so I pause in the garden to enjoy a momentary antidote to the poppycock. A perfect poppy.