2017 was a year of many inventions far more conspicuous than The Wright Brother’s first attempt at flight, or the light bulb or…further back still to the famous math wiz Archimedes who upon making a phenomenal discovery we know as the’ Archimedes principle’ of water displacement, oblivious and shamelessly jumped out a bathtub, butt naked, screaming ‘eureka!’ all the way home!
2017 on the other hand, far surpassed them all in the category of jargon/slang/… whatever you choose to call it. Social media was awash with memes about slaying, ‘slay queens’ who posed in loud attires that crossed between tacky and slightly inexpensive, their left or right leg jutting out and curving inward at an arch; there was the slay queen ponytail pose with the long tuff of hair tugged back giving the head and neck a sultry angle ; plum matte lipsticked lips parted slightly in what seemed like (pain? because pulling on that ponytail especially if you have fresh braids can be a nightmare!)
I then discovered a newer word; it felt like a word competition on who coins the best jargon there is in 2017, hence the birth of the word snatched ! Which I found nestling in caps lock amongst a sea of adoring comments on a picture I posted of myself trying to catch up with the ‘slay-age’ . At first, I wondered if the person meant my clothes looked identical to hers, hence I ‘stole’ her look. But Google is my friend, and there in the urban dictionary did I find what had happened to the throne of ‘on fleek’. Your guess is as good as mine, It is a new slang revolution out here!
We lived in a ‘Bye Felicia’ year, where ‘No chills’ are given and those Bye Felicia Memes were a racquet, some of the best I ever saw. I would google oodles of them just for laughs. then the word ‘bae’ evolved (actually means poop in Dutch) but we use it to mean ‘babe’ lazy English speak is what it is but the theatrics of Salt Bae, upgraded this stinky word and placed it amongst our most cherished beloved indulgences and they all became ‘bae’. well, coffee is bae for me.
Wooing and courtship lost all meaning and are now translated into vibing, checking out and hooking up… wait that’s the 90’s…2017 hookup lines are ‘Slide into my DM, nobody uses their phone faithfully to call anyone anymore, what with social media psssh! there is a new thing called ‘DM’ don’t get left behind.
Language is shrinking exponentially as well. I don’t know who will have time to read all this verbiage when I possibly could have found ways to shorten them into alphabetical letters that work, right? From ‘y, c u, af, ttyl, idk, wya’ and more…there is a need for a new concordance in the Merriam Webster to help us decipher these millennial codes, we might save the world a nuclear war.
Which brings me to my own ‘eureka’ moment at the cusp of 2017 concerning another 2017 slang code word ‘Extra’ it’s just an under the top explanation for an over the top reaction/action- my term ‘extra ‘ has a better connotation to it than what it is… dramatic with a reason.
The urban dictionary says, it’s a person who is overly dramatic, way too up.
We all can be extra, but I bet it’s in our DNA (If you take creation as gospel truth-pun intended)the first ever extra being is GOD. Seriously, going through the Bible from cover (and you might say its fairy stories) to cover, it becomes apparent that God is so extra. I could point out everything from creation to parting red seas, to bringing down whole armies, to a beautiful garden to Jonah being swallowed by a whale to Noah and the ark and the flood to the dreams the prophets had, especially David and then the apostle John, to the heavenly creatures an their strange features- frankly things that can give you nightmares; to Jesus being conceived by a virgin, death resurrection and beyond. All Very, Very, Very Extra. If all the gods people worshipped were lined up according to the things they have done, Yahweh would be the platinum award-winning God of Extra-ness!
One of my favorite stories, in the book of Kings is about Elijah the prophet, who stands out as arguably the most unforgettable Prophets that displayed an ‘extraness’ of God that is undeniable amidst a fallen Isreal nation, lured by their rulers to worship other gods. No one knows where he came from and how he came but the moment his name was mentioned, Kings knew who he was and trembled. the particular most eventful ones of them all- I mean with Elijah, they all were- being carried away in a chariot of fire? now that is something else. Elijah did not just die, he was picked up like he was waiting for an uber and at the time his spiritual phone pinged, he was up and out in a woosh! like a VIP.
BUT the event I am talking about that literally everyone mentions when speaking of Elijah is the ‘Who-is-GOd faceoff challenge’
God was grieved by Isreal’s sin, first off they told him they did not want him to be King, they wanted human Kings, He said cool and now they had human kings but these kings were not being true to him and instead were turning the hearts of the Israelites to worship other gods. God was like, enough. Lessons need to be taught, who better to send than Elijah the Tishbe. Elijah goes and confronts King Ahab about this evil thing he is doing, hurting God’s feelings and leading his people astray but it seems everyone wanted to worship this small god Baal , so Elijah proposes a face-off ‘ the who is God faceoff challenge’ It was going to be a showdown between 1 man -Elijah of Yahweh against 450 prophets of Baal. The rules of engagement were simple, right there, in the presence of the people and the King, they would have to prove who is God so the Israelites could worship that God for good.
One; each camp would be presented with a bull they would slaughter for the hour of sacrifice (there was morning, noon and evening)
Two; pray to their God to receive the sacrifice with the evidence of fire falling from the sky (heaven) and consuming the slaughtered bull
Everyone was in agreement. Fair deal , right? right.
Elijah let the Baal Worshippers start. These guys laid their sacrifice on the altar of Baal and started to call on him to rain fire from heaven. No answer.
They did this all morning.
They proceeded to invoke incantations and spells and chants and cut themselves and still by noon, no answer. Baal was NO show. Elijah stretched out on a rock nearby and mocked them- asking if their God was sleep or on vacation or possibly taking a walk- as their fervent need for Baal to show up escalated to fever pitch. By the time of the evening sacrifice, it was clear, Baal had stood his prophets up.
Worn out, dry-mouthed 450 bleeding prophets stepped aside when Elijah winked at them ‘my turn’
Now, this is when things get really extra!
Elijah took his time, rebuilt the altar for the worship of Yahweh, then slaughtered his bull, cut it up and placed those chunks on the altar, the same drill like Baal’s prophets-
He turned things up a notch- built trenches leading away from the altar, then got a few people to fetch water and pour it over the altar and sacrifice, not once but thrice until that whole Altar area was drenched and soaked to the trenches. Then he got ready for the evening sacrifice.
Elijah stood before that super wet altar complete with super wet stones, super wet carcass chunks and called on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -And God… hmmm…God, made a stellar entrance- that fire fell. hard!It not only consumed the carcass of the bull, but also the stones, lapped up the water in the trenches and even the sand around the sacrifice area!
Honestly how extra is that!
Now Slay queens and ‘snatched’ folk may try to acquire an extraness that possibly does not warrant fanfare but in God’s defense he made a point and stressed that he had done more than winning the ‘who is God faceoff challenge’ because he went the extra mile.
If smartphones existed then Elijah might have snap-chatted that event, had that on the ‘gram with the hashtag #My God Is Better than Yours #Bragging Rights #Extra-ness #God is Bae.
If you read the account though, Baal’s prophets were all murdered thereafter, I mean, who needs prophets of no-show-God. Read the story.
So the point was that word extra in this account is; bending over backward to prove your love for someone in the most unmatched way possible- and how I realized God has and will always be extra in showing us his love, correcting us and proving himself over and over that He is.
It will always be Extra-