The American language, as Webster called our brand of English, is fun
and, at times, a little confusing. Our everyday language changes just about
every day and it’s not everyone who can keep up. I once stood and listened
to a black kid in a newly integrated school tell her instructor that she was
“the baddest artist in this class” which, naturally, was misinterpreted.
Of course, in my peer group bad is just, “bad”, and “baddest” is just poor grammar
but that doesn’t make it any less descriptive for those for whom baddest is goodest.
Another term which has changed while I watched is “badass”.
When I was a lad, “badass” meant an aggressive individual who was a formidable fighter,
usually of the street and bar variety_ not what my associate, Jo, had in mind when
she referred to the Sexy Granny as, “badass”. That lucky woman is “badass” in part
because she rides her own bike (in any weather), is capable and skilled and pretty much
marches to her own beat.
One of the things Jo thinks makes my missus look badass is her badass chaps.
Jo thinks those chaps look so badass that nothing would do but she find some
for herself. Now, both women wear badass chaps even though, in my personal opinion,
they are “good ass” chaps: tomato, tomato.
Even before Nurse Jo picked up her badass chaps, she came across, and acquired, the
now-famous “Killer Pussy” helmet sticker. Yeah, that one threatened to set me back on my heels;
killer pussy, what a horrifying concept! It read like the title of a scary movie from the 1950s.
I recall, however, a recent incident wherein a young man came by the bandstand
during a break and told me, “Sir, your music is killer!” Killer music, killer pussy_ OK, I get it.
Now, about Killer Whales: I think it’s time they were renamed.