February 2, 2007

Take Five--Let’s Leave (As In Iraq)

[Take Five. Every Friday, Fire on the Mountain picks a category and lists five cool things in it. It's up to you, dear reader, to add your own in the Comments section. Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the piece and you're off to the races.]

With the Bush administration escalating and the Congressional Democrats dithering, it’s once again time to amplify the drumbeat for immediate withdrawal of all US troops and bases from Iraq. Or, in the vernacular, Bring Them Home Now!

And because we have to belabor the point, it’s nice to have a number of ways to say, “Let’s go.” And there sure as hell are a lot of ways to say it. Here are five of my favorites—add your own.


Let’s make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here—My personal fave in the “make like a” pantheon, because when you’re in elementary school it’s awfully funny. [before my time]

Let’s cop a mope—This is here because I like how it sounds. This was around in NYC in the ‘70s, and I have a hunch it may have come from police slang, though not because of the “cop” part (that’s related to “copping” drugs, a feel, and so on, and more specifically to “cop a squat” for sit down.) [1970s]

Let’s book—Beating out “Let’s went” by a hair because I like books even better than I like fucking with grammar. Why are there so many one word—one short word--slang variants for this concept—let’s jet, let’s jam, etc.? And has anyone ever done a study of when and where they have arisen and spread out from? And why “book”? [1960s]

Let’s get in the breeze—This is my favorite among ones that differentiate between indoors and outdoors. Kinda poetic in a haiku-y way. [?]

Let’s absquatulate—I love this one for its archaism, though I read someplace that Tom Pynchon uses it in his new book, which means it loses its coolness points for obscurity—still rolls nicely off the tongue though. [pre-Civil War]

Bonus—Color my ass gone! I include this as a bonus simply because it doesn’t lend itself to collectivity—I’ve never heard anyone say “Color our asses gone.” The first time this one ever stuck deeply in my mind was in the early ‘80s when I heard a band at the Rat in Boston do a punchy song with this title. Same bill with SS Decontrol, but I can’t remember who it was.

Okay, now it’s up to you. Kick in your favorites. History, ruminations, reminiscences, and so on are welcome, but not required. Just drop your favorite phrase.

And don’t stop working to end the occupation!

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