Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of 75-degree days and homeless foot fetishists trying to convince me to take my shoes off in Clark Park (West Philly, I love you so much). Steven’s response to the text message I sent about that? “You should have asked him for $$$$$$!” My boss, ladies and gentlemen. Encouraging park prostitution since 2010. All of this is true.
So let’s talk for a second about how I now sound like every other middle-aged punk and skate kid in the city of Philadelphia. The first week here, I had no idea what anyone was talking about roughly 60% of the time. There would just be these words, and people would say them to each other and nod like they made complete sense while I sat in the corner with what I’m sure was a really attractive confused look on my face. Yes, of course, I understand what you’re saying. Except for the part where I don’t, not at all.
Steven finally noticed that one day when he did his whole pointing vaguely and asking me to do whatever thing and I just looked at him. He took pity on me and tried to break down the lingo so that I could a) understand what people were saying and b) actually respond without sounding like an idiot. Here’s what I learned:
- jawn – functions kind of like the word “widget,” used to refer to a random thing; can also be used to refer to a girl; i.e. Can you get me that jawn over there? or Damn, look at the jawn in the purple cut-offs.
- punk – used to refer to anything cool or widely accepted as being awesome; i.e. Fishtown Pizza delivers for free? That’s punk. or Ticket surcharges are so not punk.
- hoagie – what people in Philly call their sandwiches
- bummed out – frequently used to express disappointment, sadness, mild anger, or frustration; i.e. Man, Chicken would be so bummed out if he saw this.
- yo – always an acceptable form of greeting or way of grabbing someone’s attention
- stoked – really excited; i.e. I’m so stoked for the Post Post show in August! That band is rad.
- man – the regional replacement for the word “dude,” which people will make fun of you for using
If you go visit KFN’s Twitter or Facebook pages (it’s my JOB to promote, okay?), you will see these phrases in constant use. As much as it pains me to admit it, they are being used constantly by me, and now I can’t seem to stop. They’re slowly creeping into other areas of my life – my text messages, my e-mails, my wall-to-walls – so be forewarned. I will probably use them in everyday conversation and you will probably be confused. Or annoyed. Or maybe both? And if you express those feelings of confusion or annoyance, I will probably grin sheepishly and point you again in the direction of this post. Blame the people of Philadelphia. Blame the punk kids. Blame the fact that I work in a bar with all dudes, all the time. If I start using excessive exclamation points, however, please for the love of all things, Radio, come and smack me in the face because I will deserve it.
On a different note, I would also like to take a moment and explain the not very long or interesting but mildly amusing story behind the title/header of this column. The other night, I decided to take the rare luxury of staying home and not going to the bar to stand around awkwardly for hours doing random menial tasks while a band with far too many amps to be legally played. So of course, I spent my time lurking on the Internet (read: Facebook). Matt, my favorite sound tech genius, uploaded a picture of the ridiculous set-up he had to attempt to do sound for (I think he eventually gave up and went outside to smoke). I went to check it out, blah blah blah, and lo and behold, I found the gem that was my boss commenting on the picture and screen-capped it because there really is no more perfect way to sum up my life/job here in Philadelphia. He still thinks it’s hilarious.
Moral of the story: if you say things on the Internet, they will end up as fodder for this column. The same holds true for real life, but I can’t really screen-cap that so it’s not as fun. Speaking of fun! It’s going to be awesome when the guys find out that I’m writing this column. I’m actually genuinely hoping that they all read it and take it as the twisted love letter that it is, a significantly less-than-Shakespearean ode to the family that opened its arms to me the second I stepped foot in the city of Philadelphia. Either that, or they’ll give me shit about it for months. I would be okay with both.
With affection, good humor, and a dying computer battery,