I don't remember when these cheapo summer shoes that you can still buy for around $2-$6 at any discount department store started being called "flip-flops."
I do know that they used to be called "thongs" when I was a child and a teenager and that you could say, when walking with a group of friends, "Just a minute. My thong fell off" or "Whoa, I've got a rock in my thong" with everyone obligingly stopping and waiting while you fixed your SHOE and without everyone jacknifing at the waist and staggering around, helpless with gasping laughter.
My daughters have taken great care to educate me in this new way of speaking, partly so that I won't embarrass myself, but mostly so that I won't embarrass them. I heatedly told them that I'd never be caught wearing one of those new-fangled thongs anyway, since my rear end has reached such proportions that even if I could put one on, I'm not sure if I'd ever get it back again. But I do still wear the shoes. The shoes that used to be called thongs, but which are now called flip-flops and HEAVEN HELP YOU if you ever happen to be in Wal-Mart and casually remark to your children in a thoughtless moment that your new THONGS are really comfortable and that you'd like to buy a few more in different colors.
Because? They will claim in vehement whispers that you have killed them, you have ruined their lives and that they wish huge craters would suddenly form in the earth and swallow them up and that fire and brimstone would rain out of the heavens and strike you down, so great is the level of their killedness and life-ruinage.
For those of you who have been living under that particular rock with me, all you children of the 60s, 70s and 80s, "thongs" are now called "flip-flops" and what we all used to call "indecent underwear that doesn't cover even half of what your Mama gave you" is now called a "thong" although some devastating wits call this garment "butt floss."
Please remember this, especially if you are the parent of teenagers. Because it would just be awful if they got swallowed into gaping abyss in the crust of the earth.
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