Dribble is a silly word.
Maybe not when we’re talking about the Harlem Globetrotters—or kids in a schoolyard testing their prowess by bouncing, bouncing, bouncing that ball on unforgiving asphalt, then arcing skyward toward a topless/bottomless structure seemingly stitched by a gargantuan spider.
Or a baby’s slo-mo Vesuvius after imbibing squished bananas and squashed squash from a teensy spoon dipped too generously into a tiny glass jar by a harried automaton-a-mama whose patience is now pandemic-thin. In such instances, the word bib, found conveniently nestling within the words dribble and imbibing, is very useful indeed.
Or the moistened sand transformed into architectural castle-wonder, dropletted with exquisite precision by small fingers onto a soggy mound, defying the waves in what was once as close to ecstasy as a five-year-old could fathom.
Those three dramatic exceptions aside, dribble makes me giggle.
Giggle is also a silly word.
Giggle also makes me giggle.
Giggling, at my age, is better than dribbling. Giggling can still be age-appropriate. But dribbling?
It is fine to giggle when alone indoors. Funny fauna and flights of fancy courtesy of Google make me giggle. Philosophizing canines and condemnatory felines make me giggle.
Sometimes, the images projected onto the inner walls of my cranium, like bunnies made by silhouetted hands, make me giggle.
It is fine to giggle on phone calls or Zoomfests. It is OK to faux-giggle when old friends tell old jokes that once upon a long ago yesterday evoked a natural giggle—indeed, a full-throated chortle. After all, my own stories have surely outlived their shelf-half-life as well.
It is not fine to giggle when ambling alone in 90 degree heat around one’s neighborhood while dodging others who are far too near. It is not tempting to giggle then either.
But if one is tempted to journey outside one’s yard, appropriately masked and distanced, and one finds the absurdity of our contemporary lives so bizarre as to be ticklish, there are always earbuds.
Whether attached to a cell phone or merely ornamental, protruding earbuds provide the appearance of sanity. Of normality. Of stasis. Connected only to oneself, while appearing otherwise.
Earbuds are the last refuge of the solitary giggler—assuming said person cares about appearances and wishes to avoid arousing neighborly concerns.
Once in a while, with timely intervals intervening, the heaviness of political/pandemical events is outweighed by the ineluctable desire to allow the mind to enter stream-of-drivelness.
Any time now, I just may surrender to that desire.