Saturday, January 28, 2017


This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
Webster's Dictionary does not list "disperfect" as a word, but my Royal Father does. I heard him use it in the early 1980's, and my family was in the car on the way to a hotel in St. Louis for a weekend stay. Dad was having trouble finding the right turn-off to get to the place. "The directions they have given me have been, so far, disperfect."

It's not technically a word, but it should be. "Disperfect" represents those times when everything is working except for that one small thing that doesn't. Disperfect disses on perfect. Often, it represents a situation more than just flawed or fateful; it describes an abnormality we did not think we would have to account for or one small oversight on somebody else's part that throws everything out of whack.

Some examples of disperfect situations:

  • A cupboard full of delicious soup and no can opener.
  • Parking the car under the awning to avoid rain, birds, and high heat only to have to put up with the gnats that swarm in front of the sodium-vapor light that's above it at night.
  • Having the toll for a highway out of Dulles International Airport in Washington, but not having exact change at a time when the toll booths are unstaffed. (Been there, done that.)
  • Cooking up a candy-store full of treats for a kid's birthday party and then finding out the best friend of the guest of honor has a long list of food allergies.
  • Trying to pay the rent when you realize you've run out of personal checks.
  • Writing a killer book report on the wrong book.

The common thread through all of these is that we are prepared or we put forth effort, but some glitch complicates or ruins what should be a routine and practically flawless exercise. It reminds us life isn't fair or even completely rational.

No comments: