By Darryl Mason
The line at the 7/11 reaches halfway up the shop. Everybody seems to be using their credit cards these days, even for the most minor food purchases (a loaf of bread, juice, milk). People in line have time to talk. Which is weird in itself, conversation breaking out between strangers in a place that was designed for no-nonsense, "Hi! Bye!" lightning quick transactions.
Anyway, a rough approximation of an overheard conversation between a man in his late 50s/early 60s and a kid of about 13 or 14 does now follow.
The man coos in delight over sports results in the back pages of the paper while he waits. The kid watches assorted, muted, street violence vids on his phone.
Old Bloke : "Look at this! They blew it! What a pack of losers. Epic Fail!"
The kid visibly flinches.
Kid : "Grandad, you know how..."
Old Bloke "Dave...is fine, you don't have to call me that."
Kid : "Whatever. You know how when you were a kid in the 1960s? Do you remember how majorly grim it was when your grandad used words like 'That's cool'...."
Old Bloke : "....yeah. He sounded like a dag."
Kid : "That's how me and my friends feel when people your age say 'Epic Fail'."
Old Bloke : "But...that's....you don't...."
Kid : "We don't even say it anymore 'cause you all keep saying it."
Old Bloke (actually, and suddenly, outraged): "Hey, you use 'cool' all the time! That's our word."
Kid : "No, it's not. Aristotle wrote stuff about being cool....whenever ago. And black jazz musicians used 'cool' in the 1940s, it's their word. You all stole your best words from obies."
Old Bloke : "What's....obies?"
Kid : "Obies. Obama, Obies. Black people. You stole 'cool' from them."
Old Bloke : "How do you know about Aristotle and the jazz thing?"
Kid : "I'm reading it off Wikipedia. I knew you'd say 'Epic Fail' today a few times and I wanted to say something to you about, you know, how you say it all the time. It's tragic."
Old Bloke : "I don't say it all the time. Do I?"
Kid : "Yes, lots."
Old Bloke : "....right."
Kid : "You stole 'cool' from black people, and now you lift 'Epic Fail' from us. Why can't you guys come up with your own stuff?"
Old Bloke : "That's bullsh...rubbish. You don't own 'Epic Fail', you know. Other people have said those two words together before."
Kid : "Yeah, but you old grocks (?) only say it now 'cause we do...we used to."
Old Bloke : "What do you say instead, now?"
Kid : "That's So 9/11."
Old Bloke : ".....you don't. Really? Do you?"
Kid : "Yup."
Old Bloke : "You say '9/11' or 'That was so 9/11'?"
Kid : "That's so 9/11."
Old Bloke : "That's....so wrong."
Kid : "If something turns out to be majorly grim, you say 'That's so 9/11'."
Old Bloke : "That'll never catch on....Is it just you saying 'majorly grim' or is that....anyway, I like Epic Fail."
Kid : "You can keep it."