Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fuzzy Memories: Jerk Store

This Fuzzy Memory keeps with the current themes of Zack's departure and TV quotes.

When I first got out of college, I moved into a house with four other friends (loose term) in a nice part of DC. It was a big house, so for the most part we all got along, but we were often crossing paths and therefore picking up each other's sayings and such.

I'm sure everyone has noticed this in their own circle of friends. Someone will see a movie or TV show where there is a funny or useful saying, and they'll begin using it. Next, someone else will begin using it and before you know it, everyone appears to have accepted the new line as part of every day conversation.

Well, my buddy Zack was notorious for rapidly picking up on these new sayings (most of them exclamations) and basically beating them into the ground by using them constantly. And when you live with someone, constantly means... constantly.

At the time of this Fuzzy Memory, Zack is in the habit of saying either "Frogs!" (he just learned that this was an offensive term for French people, I guess. I never knew) or "Go home, Faggots!" (I believe he picked this one up from Allen Iverson, though I could be wrong) Needless to say, both of these sayings didn't work so well when we were going out drinking, which encourages Zack to yell.

So my other roommate, Scott, and I decided it was time we ran an experiment. As a psychology major, I proposed that if we began using a new phrase with religious diligence, Zack would rapidly pick it up and begin using it. The thought of this was quite amusing, so we pushed it a bit further and decided that we wanted to see if he would pick up one that didn't even make sense or have a purpose. The experiment was hatched, and all we needed was our word.

I don't quite remember how we came about it, or if there were even other options, but we decided on "Jerkstore." For those who don't know what a Jerkstore is, go watch Seinfeld re-runs for this classic dialogue:

(George is devouring a plate of shrimp cocktail at a meeting)
Businessman guy: Hey George, the ocean just called; they said they're running out of shrimp.
George: Well, hey so and so, the jerkstore just called, and they said they're running out of you.

I can't think of a better exclamation for our experiment than this. Truly classic. Try it out for yourself. But how long would it take to be accepted?

We started out with rapid exposure. Playing video games in the main room was common place and with it comes yelling. With Scott and my own discipline, "Jerkstore!" was the exclamation of choice for several days. But it was barely within a day and a half that the transference began.

The first time Zack used the expression, I nearly shit my pants. IT HAD WORKED. IT HAD WORKED. Within days, it was fully accepted into Zack's repertoire and continued for an extended period of time.

As with any experiment, we debriefed Zack as to our study and our findings. This basically consisted of a lot of laughing, but he got the picture. We really should have posted our results in a psychological journal, but this Blog will just have to suffice. Future studies could examine how long the new word lasts; if difficult to say lines are rejected or require longer exposure; or if Scott and I are terrible friends for mocking our buddy.

Feel free to expand from these studies or just make your friends use the word "Jerkstore" as a common exclamation. It's definitely very entertaining.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I still had the email about the running tally from Zack's cursing throughout the maryland bball game.