Don’t Fan the Covers

My family regularly gives me a hard time because my knowledge of slang is somewhat limited. Occasionally, I will pick up what the kids are saying, and inadvertently incorporate it into my own vocabulary. For example, the other day I said to hubby, “Imma need you to stop leavin’ your socks on the floor.”

In this instance, I correctly used the shortened version of “I am going to.” However, when I decided to use one of those snazzy acronyms to text my son, he replied, “I am deeply sorry, mother, but I do not understand what you are trying to say.”

Apparently, JCIIHYAHAGDILY doesn’t convey, “Just Checking In. I Hope You Are Having A Great Day. I Love You!” I was disappointed because texting is tedious, and I hoped to save time by turning everything into an acronym.

parent texts

It was much easier when I was a teenager. Eighties’ slang made sense. I mean, yeah, my mom looked at me funny when I told her that her new shoes were totally tubular, but she was always a bit out of touch. I’m not like that. I’m a real cool cat. I was doing cool things before they were deemed cool. I even held firm to my belief that ultra cool big hair and neon green leggings would eventually make a comeback. Have you looked at a fashion magazine lately? It’s like they just reprinted the 1986 version of Seventeen.

17 80

So, since the 80s are back, it made complete sense to text my daughter some exciting news and share that, “I am totally psyched!”

Daughter responded: LOL

Mom: What? This is really exciting!

Daughter: Yeah, but you said psyched.

It took five minutes to text my response: That just means I am really excited. Sometimes, we would say something we didn’t really mean, like to play a joke on someone, and then yell, “Psych!” to demonstrate that we were teasing. But in this instance, I mean I’m excited.

A split-second later, daughter’s response: I know what it means, mom, but nobody says that anymore. Ever.

Last night, hubby and I were lying in bed when he said, “Frank told me he is thinking of starting his own consulting business and charging $250 per hour. His concern is the cost of insurance. I told him, insurance is only $1500 per year, don’t fan the covers.”

I lay there in the darkness, thinking about how proud I am of my husband. How great it is that people respect him, and want his opinion on their business ideas. I was impressed not only by his industry savvy, but also that he was able to casually throw out slang business phrases like, “Don’t fan the covers.” I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant, but I assumed it had something to do with not missing a good opportunity due to a relatively insignificant cost concern.

I was so overwhelmed with love for this brilliant man that I decided to scoot toward him and wrap him in my arms. My sudden migration allowed a foul odor to roll from the depths of the blankets. I let out a string of slang, “Dude! Like, gag me with a spoon! That smell is grody to the max! I am like totally wiggin’ out! You are such a hoser!”

Hubby calmly replied, “Take a chill pill. I said, ‘Don’t fan the covers.’”

“I thought you told Frank not to fan the covers!”

“Why would I tell Frank not to fan the covers? What is wrong with you, woman?”

“I thought ‘don’t fan the covers’ was some sort of business slang for don’t miss a good opportunity.”

Hubby began to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. He finally composed himself long enough to slowly, somewhat condescendingly, explain, “’Don’t fan the covers means, ‘I farted, so don’t fan the covers.’ Duh.”boys fartHe laughed himself to sleep, while I continued mulling over this odd misunderstanding. I wanted to be mad, but I couldn’t. He had warned me. I decided that in the morning, I would locate the slang flashcards my young sister had gifted me for Christmas. Imma need to get into the groove of today’s generation. After all, YOLO!

About Ginger Truitt

Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Her award-winning newspaper column appears weekly across the Midwest. Recently, she was also published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood.


  1. Donna Patrick says:

    You never cease to make me laugh!!! Think I’m good for the whole day :-)

  2. Zula Hollingsworth Ruckman says:

    Ginger, since you still have children living in the home you are more up to date on today’s slang than I am, my children have had homes and families of their own for about 15 years. I had to look up YOLO. I started my day with a smile!

  3. Oh my word that was hysterical! I was totally trying to figure out “don’t fan the covers” haha. Thanks for the laugh :)

  4. Ginger, I first read this in your column in The Oldham Era. Reading about your attempts at the current slang cracked me up! And when you wrote about how proud and impressed you were with your husband’s “slang business phrases”…oh my!!! THANK YOU — you made my day with this column!!! Keep up the great work…really enjoy your writing!

  5. Kenneth Barnhouse says:

    This is so funny, I can relate. I have to go to the Urban dictionary every day to understand what the younger generation are saying.

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