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This Fill-In-The-Blank Moment

20 April 2010 Lies and Entertainment 10,780 views One CommentPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

“It’s just so exciting to see kids’ expressions when they get it, to see that look on their faces — the aha moment.” – The New York Times, July 1, 2009

“‘Teachable Moment’ Observed With Beer.” – The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2009

“‘Precious’ Writer Geoffrey Fletcher’s Cinderella Moment.” – Vanity Fair, February 26, 2010

“(Filming ‘Forrest Gump’) did give (Tom) Hanks his eureka moment.” – Time Magazine, March 15, 2010

Don’t worry: I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to use this piece to attack “the aha moment”. I’m not going to roll my eyes and groan, “Just say you had an epiphany.” Nor will I give Oprah Winfrey the business for popularizing the phrase; I admire her too much to do that. For every thing Oprah’s done that has rubbed me the wrong way, she’s done two things that have changed the world for the better, from giving away all those cars to helping to put Ezell’s on the map.

Unfortunately, Oprah’s well-intentioned embrace of “aha! moment” has inspired copycats who don’t really get it. Those headlines and story excerpts at the top of this piece are only a few examples of the fragmentation now taking place. Other, less-inspired variants, such as “uh-oh moment” and “douchebag moment,” are showing up here and there. Last month, on the train from downtown Seattle to the airport, I overheard someone lamenting the TSA’s screening procedures: “I’m soooo not ready for that ‘bend-over moment’.”

Is this the new way of things? Are we going to say “(fill-in-the-blank) moment” whenever we arrive at a simple realization? If that is indeed the case, then we’re rolling with it. This is Monkey Goggles’ “teachable moment.” (Never mind that the words “teachable” and “moment” don’t really belong together, not in any way that makes sense.) What follows is a list of “…moments” that you’re welcome to use in polite conversation, in the titles of blog entries and in inspirational Power Point presentations. In Oprah’s name!

“An uh-uh moment.” Use this when you’ve made up your mind not to hop on a particular bandwagon. (Like this one.)

“An aaahahaha moment.” Use at the dentist’s office, or on the set of a softcore pornographic film.

“A yub-yub moment.” Use when confronting Ewoks.

“An Eyjafjallajökull moment.” Use when you finally figure out how to pronounce the name of the volcano in Iceland that’s scuttled your travel plans.

“A ‘hey guys’ moment.” Use shortly after beginning a video post on Facebook or YouTube.

“A double-over moment.” Use one hour after eating Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new double-meat, double-cheese “sandwich.”

“A Conan O’Moment.” Use when you’re dismissed from a job you’ve held less than a year.

“An Uwajimaya moment.” Use when you’ve a mad craving for Pocky.

“A Kajagoogoo moment.” Use whenever you’ve convinced yourself that a musician/article of clothing/movie/hairstyle/font/politician is somehow cooler because its style approximates that of a 1980s antecedent.

“An upsetsy moment.” Use to describe the realization that you’ll never make any real money selling your art on Etsy.

“An iPad Moment.” Use when you have made up your mind to hop on a particular bandwagon.

“An Abe Vigoda moment.” Use after erroneously reporting the death of a celebrity.

“A dirigible moment.” Use one hour after drinking a large Starbucks latte.

“A yaka-wow moment.” Use when you’ve accidentally mixed two internet memes.

“A no-pants dance moment.” Use to describe those moments when your inner Apolo Ohno meets your inner Lady Gaga and gets into a “West Side Story”-like, impeccably choreographed knife fight.

“A Ballmer moment.” Use when it dawns on you that even though Windows 7 was your idea, Steve Ballmer still wants you to pay for the upgrade.

“An ‘also in 2-D’ moment.” Use at the precise moment when hype dies hard.

“A ‘Yo, Adrian’ moment.” Use when you realize that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

“A Monkey Goggles moment.” Use when everything in your life is unbelievably awesome. What?

Geoff Carter


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One Comment »

  1. This piece is very much Of-The-Moment, but nonetheless very funny. (Erm…”How many no-pants writers can dance on the nib of a pen?”) And now, it’s surely time for a Pillow Moment.

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