When I watch ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, I start to think and sometimes talk like Larry David. In last night’s episode (the first of season eight, finally!), Larry used the phrase ‘I like the cut of your jib!’
Today, I went to Starbucks to do some reading and writing. The girl behind the till was friendly and asked how my day was. I shrugged, said it was alright, and asked how hers had been. She said that she’d been at work all day, but was planning to zone out on the sofa with a movie and lots of ice cream later.
'Ah! I like the cut of your jib!' I said.
All amusement dropped out of her face, before asking, ‘What’s a jib?’
Some kind of muscle memory kicked in at this point, and I remembered a quotation from an episode of The Simpsons:
Homer: Is a poop deck what I think it is?
Captain Tenille: [laughing] I like the cut of your jib.
Homer: What’s a jib?
Captain Tenille: Promote that man at once.
I assumed that she was quoting this, which was awesome, and made me actually fancy her quite a bit. Do people still say ‘fancy’?
I laughed a lot and almost replied with ‘Promote that man!’, but realised that she wasn’t quoting: she was actually asking me.
Firstly, I already looked like a maniac for laughing so much at her question. I might even have seemed belittling. Secondly, I had no idea what a jib is! I would hazard a guess at it being a kind of pirate sword, but I had no idea.
Instead, I just said, ‘It doesn’t matter’, and moved on, with a face like a stop light.
BONUS EMBARRASSMENT: As I picked up my drink, three nearby women with prams stood up. One of them looked at me at mumbled something. She was looking me dead in the eyes so I assumed she was talking to me. I said, ‘Sorry?’, but just recieved bewildered stares from all three mothers. She hadn’t been talking to me at all.
I sat in a corner where no people could see/embarrass me further.