Sunday, November 27, 2011
I first heard the word "BLOVIATOR" years ago from that Ragin' Cajun James Carville. I had to look it up:
"BLOVIATE: verb, int.: to discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner, making outlandish, strident statements thinking that the average person would care about the statements."
Recently I have come in daily contact with an 88-year old BLOVIATOR!
As he's a retired military man, I was ready for "war stories"! I thanked him for his service to his country and was genuinely interested to hear about his World War II experiences. He told me that his father had been in World War I and as an aside, I told him that World War I was not called that until World War II happened, but it was always called "The Great War"; he disputed that and said that everybody called it World War I.
It was THEN that I should have known not to believe anything he said. The BLOVIATOR told me a great number of "war stories" to which I suspended disbelief. However, some were so egregious that I had to make corrections to which he said, "Even though you know some history, I was there so I think I know better than you." I said, "Oh, those pesky history books I've read!" I think he missed the sarcasm. He said he retired when Eisenhower became President; as there was no war, there were too many officers and he had no chance for advancement.
Of course I didn't believe him.
The BLOVIATOR told me about his trip to England and I was truly interested and asked him if he had gone to the Lake District and he said that they had. I asked which poets' homes, etc. that they had visited and he said they went to Longfellow's grave. I asked, "You do know that Longfellow was an American poet, don't you?" He calmly said, "Yes, but they have a place for him there."
Of course I didn't believe him, but since he was so self-assured, I looked up about Longfellow's resting place in Cambridge--MASSACHUSETTS--not Cambridge, England!
Yesterday the BLOVIATOR told me about his good friend who was an "Appellate Judge" in Northern Ohio. He told me about the Judge's four children who are remarkably accomplished people. For instance, he said that the Judge's oldest son was an MD at the age of 16. I said, "Like Doogie Houser!" The BLOVIATOR did not know the reference to Doogie Houser. The BLOVIATOR continued by saying that the 16-year old doctor was on the FIRST heart transplant team. I asked, "You mean he went to South Africa?" The BLOVIATOR asked, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, Christiaan Barnard was the first heart transplant surgeon." He answered, "No, he was on the one in America." I said, "Wow, you mean he worked with Dr. Shumway?" He said that he did.
Of course I didn't believe him. I knew that the first heart transplants had happened in the late 1960's and if the Judge's kid were 16 then, he would now be around 60 years of age. I asked, "So, he's around 60 now?" He said, "No, he's not that old."
Of course the Judge's son wasn't on the first heart transplant team!
My wise sister-in-law told me to just let him have his fantasies; let him go on with his tales, let him bask in his glory, just nod and occasionally say "Hmmm"!