Saturday, February 28, 2015


Words are our friends. Numbers are stupid, unless we use numbers to count words, then numbers are pretty okay. The following is a discussion of one of my favorite words: Monger. Not used enough, completely overlooked in the popular vernacular, I’m bringing monger back. 


1. a person who is involved with something in a petty or contemptible way (usually used in combination): a gossipmonger.

2. Chiefly British. a dealer in or trader of a commodity (usually used in combination):
fishmonger. verb (used with object)

3. to sell; hawk.

Let’s face it; there is a lot of mongering already going on in the world today. My grandchildren are the biggest mongers I’ve ever met. They’re whine-mongers. Not wine. Whine. They can whine strong men under the table and educated women into hysterics. I’ve seen it. 

They’re like union members chanting endlessly around the capitol rotunda. The basic message being: Give us what we want or we will whine until you cry blood.

When I was a young mother I put a stop to the whine-mongering by being . . . well . . . er . . . umm . . . a MOTHER. 

We weren’t rich. My husband worked full time and went to college part time (sometimes full time) while I raised and educated our four children. All year we would save up our pennies (literally pennies) to go to Disney World. We went once a year. Period. It was a very big deal. 

Traditionally and before we entered the magic kingdom for our yearly excursion, I would deliver my anti-whine speech. “We are going to Disney,” I said, pacing in front of the assembled thumb suckers, while slapping the side of my leg with a riding crop. “We will be there all day. We will eat at lunchtime. There will be one scheduled snack time. We will not be purchasing an endless amount of anything, up to and including: soda, frozen bananas, balloons shaped like a mouse, things that glow, or pointless stuffed stuff. When you get thirsty, drink water out of a water fountain or swallow your spit. There will be no crying, arguing, fussing, complaining, or whining. I hear one person whining, whimpering, or moaning and I will abort the whole, darn mission. Clear?”

They would all nod, knowing I was something of a discipline-monger and an I’m-not-kidding-monger.

And it worked; a little too well it turned out. 

One year we trudged, marched, skipped, hopped, and dragged our way all day—up, down, over, and around the most magical of magic kingdoms. As the day progressed Maren (probably four-ish) sucked harder and harder on her favorite sucking knuckle, but on and on she walked, no complaints, not one. Turned out when I took off her teeny-tiny little pink shoe before bedtime that night, she had a hole in her foot, because she’d picked up a tack in the sole of her teeny-tiny little pink shoe. 

I still feel bad about it! I mean what kind of place leaves tacks all over the place for little kids to step on and drag around all day. Which brings us to lawsuit-mongers.


Monger. It’s a great word. We should use it more. 

Linda (Double Time) Zern 

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