Nanny, nunny, ninny … and hell

The person who says she loves me called me a ninny the other day.

At first I thought she said skinny, but then I saw my profile in the mirror and knew that wasn’t right.


She used the term when I mentioned something about possibly, maybe buying a 2020 Corvette.

“That isn’t happening, you ninny.”

I didn’t even know what it meant.

Nanny, yes.

Nunny, most certainly. For you non-hipsters in the crowd, nunny, according to the Urban Dictionary, means “the hottest guy in the world who’s got a nice style with the sexiest smile that you’ve ever seen.”

While I most definitely fit the bill, nunny puts me in mind of nuns and a rather tragic incident in which I struck a nun across the face.

Yes, I’m going to hell. I was in the 8th grade when it all went down. We were practicing for the Christmas play at my little four-room schoolhouse on the prairie of tiny Harrisburg, Ohio. We only had maybe 60 or 70 students in all (my 8th grade had but 12) and we everyone needed to participate. For some reason, I was chosen to be the Star of David. Except we had no star so I would be carrying a borrowed oil lamp, which was old and fragile, across the stage, leading the 3 Wise Men to the stable where Jesus lay in straw, amongst pigs and chickens and donkey dung, and reaching up to the sky with his fat little baby Jesus arms that you see in all those Renaissance paintings, and crying out to his heavenly Father, “Really?”

It was about two seconds after Sister Mary Joseph Margaret Theresa Hildegard Antoine instructed me to be “extremely careful” with the lamp, that I accidentally kicked it over, shattering the glass chimney.

Sister Mary Joseph Margaret Theresa Hildegard Antoine is the same nun who, the year before, called me up to front of the classroom and tried to rip my left ear off because I had the audacity to sit next to a girl on the bus to a school outing. “You’re not even wet behind the ears!” she shouted, confounding me because even at the age of 14 I knew that girls didn’t find wet ears all that attractive. So, when Mary Joseph Margaret Theresa Hildegard Antoine saw the broken lamp, she was enraged and went for my other ear. Reacting instinctively, my blazingly fast reflexes deftly swatted her arm away, but in doing so I raked the back of my hand across her cheek.

Sister Mary Joseph Margaret Theresa Hildegard Antoine’s eyes immediately filled with tears and in the watery reflection there I saw the fires of Hades awaiting me.

But I digress.


Webster’s defines ninny as “an incredibly foolish person.” Not just foolish, but incredibly foolish. A dope. A nitwit.

As the author of three wildly somewhat almost could be successful mystery novels (SHAMELESS PLUG: TEARS IN THE RAIN”TEARS OF GOD” “MY GRAVE IS DEEP”) I protest. I’m not a ninny. Not.

But, as it turns out, I am now wet behind the ears.

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