Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tick a lock

You all know how kids can be... blurting out things they overhear, questions that beg to be asked. Sometimes the parents are mortified, other times a bit embarrassed. More often than not, what is said is the most obvious... that which adults artfully dodge. This type of 'communication' is something we are taught as small children, in a variety of ways. Before I could embarrass him, my father, sensing that my mouth was about to shape the words he was trying not to say, would look at me, shake his finger and say "Angie, tick a lock."

As a child I knew that meant 'shut the hell up'. But now, as a grown woman, it's come to mean something entirely different. It may very well be an odd turn of phrase, 'tick a lock'; I've never heard anyone else say it. In any case, to me it now signifies a need to keep quiet. To concentrate. Think before speaking. Because once something is said, it's no longer yours. It may lose whatever meaning it had for you.

I guess that I've been ticking a lock the last month or so.

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