Proper Names

Our weekend in Chico was spent with our longtime friends, Mike and J. While part of the weekend was spent working on professional endeavors, we made time for the more pressing issues of the day. Cocktails. Shopping. Cocktails. Reality TV. Beer. Shots. Poolside Lounging. Cocktails. Urban Dictionary. Cocktails. Old Crow Medicine Show. And...tasty tasty Don Julio. He is a friend of mine, unlike José Cuervo. José and I don't see eye-to-eye since that incident at my 8th-grade graduation.

We make a great foursome. The details of how long Mike, Janell (J), and I have known each other are fuzzy. Puberty, small towns and alcohol will do that to longtime friendships. Bob entered the picture later, but slid right into friendship bus. J and I briefly worried about introducing them, but for the wrong reasons. We wondered if they'd get along as well as we did. We thought they sounded similar, that our relationships and parenting styles seemed eerily familiar, but didn't think it could really be true.

We should have worried that having two of them, identical twins, separated only by a gene pool and a mountain range, would make for non-stop hilarity (in their minds). They think they're funny. Occasionally, they are. What makes them funnier is their identical wit (or lack thereof). It's like Stereo Smart-Ass. Add me and J to the mix, throw a mic on us and we're the reality show that no one's filming. If no one else finds us amusing, we do. More often, we draw a crowd (of one or two). One of our favorite things to do together (after J and I are done with girl-time) is eat. We just never seem to want to do it at a predefined mealtime.

Our foursome, with a collective age of under 160 years, was never consulted on the naming of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or even, Brunch. Over the years, we have been working on naming the other mealtimes. The mealtimes of reality. We blame it all on Brunch, that combiner of Breakfast (already a compound word, let's rip it apart, but just borrow the initial blend) and give it the rest of Lunch (after we knock the "l" out of it). Because, really, Brunch is so much closer to Lunch, anyway. Who has ever had Brunch at 9am? But, you've certainly had it at 1pm on a weekend, happy as all-get-out that the restaurant was still serving omelettes and hash browns.

Some years back, Mike and Janell managed to instill a family mealtime that has become a staple in our house. The name has taken on a slight regional variation. In Nevada, it's Lunner. In California, it's better known as Linner. Could be a dialect thing. Who knows. Either way, you know right where it falls, between Lunch and Dinner.

Lunner/Linner is perfect for that meal after Brunch when you aren't hungry again until well past 3pm, but ravenous by 4pm. Lunner/Linner is what a farmer's dinner used to be...that meal between Lunch and Supper. I've not had hay in the cuff of my Chemin-de-fers on the school bus nor spent my morning measuring grain for my lamb and writing it down in my award-winning 4-H Record Book in over 2 1/2 decades , we don't do Supper 'round here. We do Linner when Science Club runs late and Back-to-School night starts early. We do Linner when therapy appointments just make you hanker for a giant smoothie at 3:45pm.

So, the mealtimes seem to be covered, right? We have the three main ones. We have the mid-meal options of Brunch and Linner/Lunner. But, what do you eat on a Saturday night after 3 hours of dancing in the orchestra pit to Old Crow Medicine Show? It's 10:45pm. Not a lot is open in a place like Paradise, CA. Wireless map software leads you to nonexistent places, long-boarded-over doors, and a mirage of trucks parked beneath a neon sign which turn out to be a mechanic closed for the weekend, jalopies left stranded until Monday or next month. What meal is that? You don't want a snack. You're starving. You want messy food you can eat with your hands like the hungry animal you are.

You want that meal that you used to eat in college at Denny's, around 2am when the bars had all closed or you'd been studying so hard you forgot to eat earlier. You want the meal that comes between Dinner and Breakfast. The meal of night owls and shift-workers, prostitutes and bookworms -- an adults-only meal and the name reflects that. What you want is Dickfast. The meal of champions.