You would think that someone who was in his forties during the Sixties would remember what a hippie was, but it was not the case with my father. Here is the email transcript of the conversation we had when it became clear that “hippie” had been erased from his brain space:
He said: what’s a hippie?
I said, “Ma, tell Dad what a hippie is”
Grandma: Hippies wore old clothes
Grandpa: They had closed noses?
Grandma: No, old clothes.
Me: Anything else?
Grandma: and long hair; and they were mostly friendly
Grandpa: Mostly pregnant?
Grandma: No, mostly friendly
Grandpa: What’s a hippie?
The Moe Howard key-chain I have on my wall at work drew this remark from my Romanian colleague. “Why do you have a Chinese guy on your wall?” No surprise, I suppose, that he didn’t recognize one of the Three Stooges. A Chinese-born colleague walked by. He looked at Moe, saying, “That guy looks like my Dad or some angry Chinese old man.”
My gas station attendant greeted me with the following phrase the other day: “Guten tagen on your noggin!” After Googling the phrase I was able to report to him that he is the originator. He was pleased.