This one's going to be a rager.
In addition to the other obvious draws -- epic games and mystical magic among them -- was the promise of a "gerbin' pancake breakfast." I had to know what "gerbin'" meant. M and I practiced using it in sentences, replacing a multitude of words:
"Can I get some gerbin' water back here?"We went to bed laughing until our sides hurt and dreaming of frolicking gerbins, whatever they are, eagerly anticipating the next morning's big reveal.
"I'm so tired; I can't wait to get home and gerb."
"I guess we should just have some tea and gerbinate tonight."
"Let's rent Gerbinator Salvation tonight!"
"I gerb you, girl. I'm so happy to be up here gerbin' around with you."
The next day, we did, in fact, attend the fair. We saw canes with fabric heads on them and baskets made of dried kelp. We looked at books about astrology, reflexology, nudity, art, and plants. We encountered a stage and a flea market, where I acquired a cornucopia basket for 50 cents. We accepted the cinnamon-sugary fried confections of which I have forgotten the name from the Hispanic ladies. We even passed the big, hulking lumberjacks who were spraying pancakes onto a griddle from some sort of batter-dropping contraption and cooking them up... but there was not a single mention of the sacred word. No signs pointing to gerbin' pancakes or a gerbin' breakfast or a gerbin' anything. We were too afraid to ask the gerbin' lumberjacks what specifically was gerbin' about the fair. We didn't want to sound like idiots; what if we had dreamed the whole thing?
We went back. We had not made it up.
This is a real thing, but why?
Naturally, I have a lot of questions:
- Is that apostrophe for real? GerbinG?
- If so, how does one gerb?
- Can anyone conjugate that for me?
- If the apostrophe is a mistake or trying to be cute, is it slang for "German"? For "gerbil"?
- Can it only be applied to breakfasts and/or pancakes?
- If Gerbiny is a country, do you refer to its natives as Gerbese?
- Do seeds gerbinate?
- Is it an ancient, foreign, forgotten cuss? "Go gerb yourself!"
- Can you get rid of gerbs by washing your hands?
Can you help? What do you think it means? And most important, can we bring this word into common parlance?