Sep 19, 2016

The retro phrase.. "Light a match"

Light a Match
[ lyght - a - mach ]

retro phrase
  1. The act of striking a match and letting it burn after one is finished expelling bodily waste. A means of bathroom etiquette used to eradicate unpleasant lingering odors produced by ones own excrement.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  I sometimes challenge myself to use various retro phrases in my daily context five times during a day.  Surprisingly, I found that the phrase "Light a match" wasn't too hard to work into conversation.  Living in a house with a family of five, and given some of the guys I work with..  the task was indeed all too easy.

I remember this phrase being used quite a bit when I was a young boy.  I also recall lots of people practicing this nearly extinct form of bathroom etiquette.  As memories go, family gatherings and parties stand out the most, in regards to this.  When my family used to get together, the house would literally be bursting at the seams.  We'd have spreads of food big enough to feed a small army, and everyone always ate their fill.  Shortly after dessert was when foot traffic to the bathroom steadily began increasing.  In fact, it's probably safe to say that the commode was pretty much occupied for the rest of the evening.

I remember some of my aunts telling their husbands discreetly to "light a match" after they were finished.  My uncles on the other hand, would not so discreetly say things to the kids like..  "Geezaloo! Get back in this bathroom and light a match!".  That type of bathroom humor always got everyone in earshot laughing their heads off.

Mind you, the smell of sulfur dioxide burning from the tip of a match isn't the most pleasant odor.  However, it sure beats what lingers in the air after a person is done making a deposit, or.. taking a load off of their mind.  The sulfur overpowers and even knocks out the toughest of stench.  Although.. I've known a few folks who could stand to light an extra match after they're done vacating the premises.

I can only relate the decline in this practice to a matchbook shortage.  Back in the day, virtually every business gave away free matchbooks.  My old man always had matchbook's in his cars, the garage, the junk drawer, the medicine cabinet, and he didn't even smoke.

I've got to say, this is one of my old man's habits that has indeed rubbed off on me, and yes.. I keep a matchbook in my bathroom at all times.  On occasion, the kids walk into the bathroom, hold their nose, and complain about the smell of a struck match.  I just laugh and kindly remind them that they should be thanking me for doing this.

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