While I don’t necessarily like to be either one of these things, I am very fond of flabbergasted and flummoxed. To surprise greatly, and, to be completely perplexed. Respectively.
They may go hand in hand. “I was flabbergasted by the sight of the big white rat in the bathtub, and completely flummoxed when he asked me to hand him the bubble bath.”
As you can see.
But, the reason I like these word rests in the way they sound.
It is the F-L combination of sounds.
They remind me a little bit of Sylvester the Cat and his spitting speech impediment.
Flabby. Flagrant. Flamboyant. Fleshy. Floppy.
I like to say them out loud, in Sylvester’s good voice.
Flaky floozies flatter flautists.
Please excuse me for a moment while I wipe the spittle from my screen.
I haven’t thought about Sylvester in quite some time. He wasn’t my favorite Loony Tunes character, but I sure did like the way he talked. His full name is Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. Believe it or not this guy is a three-time Academy Award-winning kitty.
But he wasn’t just a cat. He had many anthropomorphic qualities. More human-like than cat. Most of his time was spent chasing Tweety Bird, or Speedy Gonzales. On rare occasion, he preyed upon Hippety Hopper. In general, he was completely unsuccessful in his endeavors.
More often than not, he could be heard saying “Sufferin’ succotash!” — which is not an F-L word at all. He was voiced by many different men over the years, but it all started with Mel Blanc. I bet Mel spit on his screen a lot too. Except, for back then, he most likely didn’t have a screen.
Sylvester appeared in 103 cartoons during those incredible golden age of American animation. It truly was a magical world. He was popular too. As the Looney Tune gang goes, he appeared only behind Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck. By the way, he was born on May 20, 1939 when he showed up in the cartoon, “Naughty but Mice.” That was the beginnings of his mischief.
Which often left him flabbergasted. And flummoxed.
Fleeting. But it all comes full circle.
Just get a bag and drop a dream in it, and you’ll be surprised what happens. — Charles Nelson Reilly
To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. — Jose Ortega y Gasset
“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
― Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat