Friday, October 05, 2007

You Say Tomayto, I Say Geetock

I was IMing with a friend yesterday and we hit one of those amazing Instant Message Speedbumps that brings the entire conversation to a crashing halt. I was describing the detritus that seeps out of the Children's rooms and onto the living room floor on a daily basis: backpacks, school books, non-school books (MORE non-school books, thank you Book Child...), papers, pencils, several dirty socks and, even though it's October, flip-flops.

Only I didn't say flip-flops or even thongs (which is unfortunately all too easy to confuse with another item of clothing altogether), I used the name I was taught as a child - Geetocks. I don't even know how to spell the thing, I just know how it sounded. Every summer my sister and I would be bought a pair of plastic, foam soled geetocks. No one else used that term and I have no idea where it came from but yesterday it bubbled up out of my subconscious and typed itself into the message.

Needless to say it turned the conversation a little bit.

Friend: erm... what?

Me: Geetocks, you know, geetocks. GEEEEEE-tocks.

Friend: Which are... no, it sounds like some kind of food. Something green and a little slimy but with stringy bits as well.

Me: Like okra?

Friend: Yeah! Only it's plural isn't it... maybe it's an illness.

Me: Oooh - with phlegm, because there's something about geetocks that just implies phlegm. Plus it's fun to type together... hey, gotta tissue? 'cause I got the geetocks and I'm all full of phlegm...

Friend: Nah, I think it's like an infestation of something, some sort of horrible little animal that scuttles.

Me: I HAVE to call the exterminator. This place is simply crawling with geetocks.

Friend: So... what are they anyway?

She was terribly disappointed when I told her.

Wait until she finds out what I mean when I ask for a rubber policeman.


Kellan Rhodes said...

This was sooooo funny. I've never heard of geetocks either - by the way, I think you're just making that up. I loved where your friend said, "horrible little animal that scuttles," cute and funny. My mom still calls things by names that no one recognizes, like she calls capri pants - pedal-pushers. I keep telling her the "real" name, but she still calls them pedal-pushers. This was very funny and I'm so glad you shared it (not just the IM, but your writing!).

For Kirk said...

I'm stunned - Google has let me down! I can't find Geetok, geetock or even gietok. Maybe this is all a product of my fevered imagination... I will ask the Mother asap.

Oh, and she says pedal-pushers as well! Haven't heard that one in ages.

Anonymous said...

I'll bite. What's a rubber policeman?

For Kirk said...

It'll come as a let down I'm afraid - it's my father's word for a spatula, the scrapey kind rather than the flippy kind. No one else I've met ever calls it that BUT if you're in the kitchen and you need one fast it's darn sure you'll be handed the right utensil if you rap out (to a well trained staff) "get me a rubber policeman darnit!"

child said...

it kind of scared me the first time you said it... i wasn't sure what EXACTLY you wanted. *snicker*

Cheryl Gillis said...

Yes my grandmother called flip flops geetocks

Anonymous said...

Some time between 1955 and 1960 my father was in Hawaii for work. He came back with a pair of what we call Flip Flops. He called them Geetocks. That was what my family called them for a number of years until we realized no one knew what we were talking about if we used that name. I also have no idea whether "Geetocks" is the correct spelling.