Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
Writer's note: I am growing weary of writing these snipnets. In this hub I have mentioned the "X-Files," seen in the latter 1990's and I am in no way asking you to watch this show whenever it may be broadcast or try to buy a box set of X-Files simply because you read it here. Thanks, Kenneth
Let's spend a few minutes discussing human tics? Not ticks, like those found on dogs, but tics. Now. What's a tic? What is a tic? (did you get that tic?) Nervous tics are repeated involuntary, repetitive and unwanted contractions of one or more muscle. Many parts of the body can be affected, but tics occur most commonly in the muscles of the face, arms and shoulders.
I'm no doctor, but even the mild description of a tic make me feel icky. Icky? That might be a new tic. But with all things being equal, this is one man's opinion: some people for some reason, maybe a nervous person, just has to "work" their body parts to get rid of excess energy and using their feet, teeth, legs, and hands are handy tools to do that.
Until now, maybe earlier because I cannot measure just how many publications, TV and radio shows and emails who have already talked about tics until they're weary of the enitre thing. This hub is a first for me and quite frankly, I do not see any danger, earth-shaking news, or a news bulletin that will change mankind. Tic's have nothing to do with Superman. Now he didn't have tics, if he did, he didn't show them to his gal, Lois Lane or anyone else. He was one cool super-dude.
Over my adulthood I have traveled to and through many of our 50 states and was blessed to walk on such soverign ground. Suddenly in a motel lobby waiting to secure a room, I'd hear feet tapping every so softly, and slowly turn to see this very pretty woman who looked like a lady lawyer (whom I admire) and for some mysterious reason, she was tapping her right foot almost in a musical rhythm. But not a rhythm such as "Day Tripper," by the Fab Four. What a shame.
Then, as if irony was trying to talk to me, my wife and I were at a table in the restaurant inside the same motel and found it to be quite exquisite. We loved our food order and just glanced at a middle-aged man two tables across from us and he was either in a hurry or was displaying a finger tic as his right thumb was beating the table and he was gazing out the window. His wife, who obviously witnessed his tic many times, just ate her food without giving him any attention. But finger tic's are a reality.
Speaking of fingers, here's one for you. When I was in the fifth-grade, one of my few best friends had this "habit," but later discovered it as a tic, of cracking his knuckles. You've seen this. You're probably guilty of it as well. But my friend, "Herman," (we'll call him) would wait until our room was quiet and then we would hear the distinguishable sound of walnuts being cracked by people (with implements such as a hammer) because they love walnuts. No harm in that, but cracking one's knuckles can cause irritability for others. But through the school year, "Herman" was never scolded by our teacher.
One day at break, I just had to ask, "'Herman, why do you crack your knuckles when class begins?" "It's a lot of fun. A lot of fun to see our teacher, this Mrs. Nell Handley, her real first name, start looking upset and to see her face turn from peaceful to angry, yep, this was the best part of the day." He added.
Honestly speaking, I have been known to crack my knuckles, but only when I am alone and there is no one who will thrash me. You cannot beat respect like that.
Then there was this incident who worked in one of our retail stores where I live, Hamilton, Ala., and this man, although he was "the salt of the earth," had this tic of somehow snapping his teeth together and smiling at the same time. Did I ask him why? Are you kidding? It would have been easy for him to be one of those aliens who "Fox Muldder," David Duchovny and "Scully," Gillian Anderson chased on the X-Files. Then what would have happened to yours truly?
Drumming one's fingers and snapping one's teeth seem to be the most-popular tic that I have known. I worked with a man who would talk to me or anyone near, and with each statement or question, he would snap his fingers. Not lightly, but very loudly. At first, when he met me in the first days of my new job, he met me in the break room and I introduced myself and before I knew it, I heard this sound as loud as a double-barreled shotgun. I cringed when I heard his fingers snap. He laughed. Explained and went on about his day, but not pointing at me to tell me how good it was to meet me--then left with another loud snap. I would say at this juncture, his finger-snapping is in the lead of Best Tic Ever.
What about feet? Sure. Did you know that some women, even those of those higher echelon? I can tell you that I witnessed this once. I was at my doctor's appointment when this attractive female lawyer-type walked in and registered. I was not ogling her, but when she crossed her legs, (still not ogling), in a moment, her right leg was literally stomping the floor and almost losing the high heel on her foot. She did look around and halfway smile. No. I saw no reason to ask her about her tic. She also looked to be a woman who could tear me from limb-to-limb.
In the early 70's, I had a good friend who had attended high school with me and now we were working together and one day at lunch time, just making small talk, I asked him what was his routine upon his arriving home after work. He said that he sat down, pulled his shoes and socks off, then cracked his knuckles on his feet. Do you want to know more? I didn't find out.
Then there are hair-flipping tic's like you see in a bar room when a gang of gorgeous gals are here for a drink and some dancing, will, for some reason, sit at the bar, sip their drinks, and every so often, they flip their long hair down their left or right shoulder and smile at some guy who is ogling her. Not me. When I was out-manned and out-gunned, I kept my mouth shut.
I saved the last for, not really the best, but a tic that you can (please?) relate to. In the early 1990's, when I worked for our local newspaper, when an display ad rep would sell a retail display ad and turned it over to me to design, I would (not on purpose) gaze into my screen on my computer and when my neck was aching, I would stop and move my head to the right, then to the left until my neck cracked.
Did it feel good?
It felt great.
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