“The what?” I asked.
I wasn’t trying to be difficult, and even though my hearing is really and truly shot, I thought I’d heard him okay. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be sure because what John had just said didn’t make any sense whatsoever.
“You know,” he replied. “The rankstankle.”
“What the hell is a rankstankle?” I asked.
Obviously – well, to me at least – I didn’t. John, however, was absolutely certain that I knew just what a “rankstankle” happened to be. Everyone should. After all, it had been on TV.
I suppose I should back up just a second…
You see, John was a guy a worked with. In fact, this was back in the days of T & W Typewriter and Computer Repair… And just as I have explained before, NO, the T didn’t stand for Typewriter and we didn’t spell computer with a W. Those were the owner’s initials. But, I digress… My point here is that this was eons ago, back when I worked in the computer – printer repair field. This is the company where Chris worked (see Whoa! Was That A Sasquatch?). Mike too. And Bill. In fact, the owner used to call us the “bearded wonders,” because we could fix just about anything and we all had beards. Except Mike and Bill that is. But, they were the new kids on the block, relatively speaking.
Anyhow, there we were, in the shop, working on stuff and chatting about all manner of inane crap. It’s how we would pass the time while waiting for the three or four pieces of equipment we had on the bench to finish testing, or formatting, or whatever. And that’s when John mentioned the “rankstankle.”
You see, we were talking about stuff from our childhoods. Television shows, games, and all sorts of other crap. Like I said, just passing the time. The thing that really made this all surreal is that “rankstankle” wasn’t the first thing he’d said that had us all scratching our heads. It had actually started out with one of his favorite shows when he was a kid, that being, “The Sea Hag”…
We’d never heard of it. Of course, that didn’t mean much. They’d never heard of “Cousin Fred” either. He was the host of a morning kids show back home in Kentucky. I suspect nobody outside Paducah and surrounding area had any clue about “Cousin Fred.”
However, John claimed that “The Sea Hag” was one of those big time national shows on a major network. And then, he came up with “rankstankle.” It seems that the “rankstankle” was an integral part of a board game he’d played as a kid. So integral, in fact, that it was prominently mentioned during the commercial for the game.
After pondering all of this for a while, I asked, “What game was this again?”
“You know…” he said. “The one with the fat guy and the tweezers.”
“Fat guy and tweezers?” I asked. Obviously, there were all sorts of places my warped mind could take this, but since we were talking about a childrens board game I knew they wouldn’t fit.
“Yeah,” he said. “And his nose would light up.”
Pieces fell into place – figuratively, that is – and I put two and two together to come up with seventeen. “You mean, Operation?”
I kept putting two and two together with the seventeen, trying to remember the commercial. Finally, after running through all 206 bones in my head, it dawned on me.
“Do you by any chance mean, wrenched ankle?” I asked.
“Oh,” John said. “I always thought it was rankstankle. Guess that’s why it was shaped like a wrench, huh?”
And, “The Sea Hag”? Well… Turns out that was “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.”
More to come…