I had this God awful dream at 4 a.m. today. I dreamed about the British Foreign Secretary Hague. He was acting all splenetic, and I was desperately trying to find the right piece of information to please him. I woke up drenched in sweat, and I could not fall asleep after that.
I honestly think that the British government is conspiring to take over my life. It seems like I cannot pick up a rock and throw it anywhere without hitting a Brit. I mean, there is a British guy who kicks my ass in CrossFit in the mornings. My toddlers play with a British toddler at their childcare center. I could swear I even heard a British accent when they gabbled recently. There is this British guy here at work, and my desk is next to his. I have to register every time I hunt with a British lady that works at my military base. A British landlord takes my money for rent every month. Even my GPS speaks to me with a British accent, for crying out loud.
I should have started seeing indicators that this was bound to happened back in 1998, when I saw real Brits for the first time in my life. They were the instructors at the British Interrogation Course that I attended, and I could not understand like 90% of whatever they were saying. You see, I had been only speaking (American) English for six years at that point of my life.
I will never forget the final exam at that interrogation course. We were to do a complete interrogation, from the start to finish. We were to interrogate our instructors, so they can properly evaluate our tradecraft. A complete interrogation always starts with a full body search. When I told my “detainee” to drop his pants so I could search him, it turned out that he was wearing thong underwear, and the front part of it had a happy elephant face. I am talking, the elephant was complete, with a long trunk, at the end of which there was a little cute jingle bell. And it is not even that my British instructor was some handsome chiseled Secret Air Service guy, because he wasn’t; he was a middle aged male with a prominent Guinness belly. I think I have been traumatized for life that day.
Word of the Day
splenetic \spli-NET-ik, adjective:
1. irritable; peevish; spiteful.
2. of the spleen; splenic.
3. Obsolete. affected with, characterized by, or tending to produce melancholy.
1. a splenetic person.
You see, she stoutly maintained the belief that beneath this splenetic and ogreish exterior there beat a heart of gold, though this I imagine was something she had to do, the idea that her father was splenetic and ogreish all the way through being just too grim to contemplate.
— Patrick McGrath, The Grotesque, 1989
It is true, when the wind is easterly, or the gout gives him a gentle twinge, or he hears of any new successes of the French, he will become a little splenetic; and heaven help the man…that crosses his humor.
— Washington Irving, Samalagundi, 1807
Sharing its root with spleen, splenetic entered English at the turn of the fourteenth century, and comes from the Proto-Indo-European splegh-.