Secret Language

December 11, 2017



Yesterday I “booped” my wife.


It’s not what you think. We were Christmas Shopping and she got lost. She says I was the one who got lost, but that’s beside the point. I couldn’t find her—so I booped her. A few heads turned, but no one said anything.


It all began when CJ was around two years old. Our family room couldn’t have been farther from CJ’s bathroom and in the evenings, during bath time, Mrs. Chatterbox and I took turns checking on our son, who loved spending hours in cold grey bathwater with a floating model of the USS Missouri. Stories of children drowning in bathtubs were high on our minds so we were quite diligent about checking on him.


Eventually, I got tired of dragging my butt from the couch to the tub, so one day I yelled out as loud as I could, “BOOP!”


There was a moment of silence, followed by a tiny, plaintive, “b-o-o-p?”


Mrs. Chatterbox’s eyebrow’s shot up. “Aren’t you going to check on him?”


“No. If he can ‘boop’ us, he isn’t drowning in five inches of cold grey bathwater.”


I doubt that I need to expand on the conversation that followed, one where my parenting skills were called into question and belittled, but over the next few weeks I noticed Mrs. Chatterbox “booping” our son instead of hiking down the hall to the bathroom to check on him.


Our son is now thirty-seven and isn’t likely to drown in five inches of bathwater, but the booping continues. I’ve read that many married couples develop their own unique way of communicating, and over the years “booping” has become a second language for us. Our home has three levels and I can blast out a boop that penetrates walls and floors. I can analyze Mrs. C’s mood just by listening to her boop. I know the sound of a happy boop as opposed to a bored or irritated boop. She often calls me to dinner with a boop and I have a special I-LOVE-YOU boop.


We’ve been booping for over forty years and, as a language, it works extremely well. Although a few weeks ago, while meeting a new neighbor we share a wall with, he asked us what kind of bird we owned.


“Bird?” I asked.


“Yes. I hear it booping from time to time.”


We just smiled.


Do you and your “significant other” have a special way of communicating?




Follow my blog with Bloglovin



No, we just run around like chickens with our heads cut off until we bump into each other in the mall...finally.
By: Tabor on December 11, 2017
My wife is constantly chattering. That's her normal, conscious mode. If she's chattering, she's OK. I have no idea how she keeps up with me.
By: scott park on December 11, 2017
My wife is short so I've thought about putting one of those bike flags and bells on her. No magic word. Fortunately in stores, we can text to locate each other.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on December 11, 2017
That's a clever way to ping each other without a cell phone. Kind of like sonar for submarines.
By: PT Dilloway on December 11, 2017
Are husbands & wives SUPPOSED to communicate?
By: fishducky on December 11, 2017
After Lana reads this we'll have a chat about adopting something similar or not. Presently we use a kind of "Hey or Hey Ho?" when arriving - determining where the other of us may be, upstairs, in the studio, study, kitchen, on the deck, etc. I'm concerned that "booping" could disturb our cats who seem more habitual and set in their ways than aging boomers. Obviously it works you and Mrs. C-you are the original Booping Boopers!
By: Tom Cochrun on December 11, 2017
Sweetie and i do not boop, but our kids started a Bee-oo-woop! one year when we were at Disney World. It worked for the first couple of days, until other people caught on to what they were doing and started answering it.
By: messymimi on December 11, 2017
I did something similar with my nieces and nephews. I taught them the Army marching song. A yellow bird (they echo - A yellow bill) Landed on My window sill I lured him in with crumbs of bread Then I stomped his little head. I know it's stupid, but the kids loved doing it. IF they ever got out of my site, I would say A Yellow Bird.....
By: Rick Watson on December 11, 2017
This is how language develops! :) Now I look back, when I was young I used to like holding my breath and lying back in the water with my face covered, just looking at how the water distorts the world above, but I bet I used to give my parents heart attacks whenever they checked on me!
By: Botanist on December 11, 2017
Aw, this is sweet! It warms my heart. No, we have no special language. It's hard enough for my husband to hear me when I use normal words!!
By: jenny_o on December 11, 2017
No, we're not cool like that. Most likely, it's because we don't want to find each other.
By: Val on December 11, 2017
We don't have any special expressions. We can misunderstand one another in ordinary words.
By: Keith Kline on December 11, 2017
You are so entertaining! I grew up in a home where you never called from room to room. Jerry did not. So he yells MITCHELL... and I pretend not to hear him. We do have some special expressions/nicknames. I will not share them here.
By: Mitchell is Moving on December 12, 2017
no 'booping' but back when the husband and I actually went out and socialized we could communicate with facial expressions.
By: Ellen Abbott on December 12, 2017
Stephen, you need to post an audio of your 3 booping calls... so we can hear your voice. Secondly, the intonation of your boops. Here at home I use French expressions and she uses English... which is all Greek to me.
By: Daniel LaFrance on December 12, 2017
Cracked up at your neighbor. Bet he Googled the heck out of birds that go boop..
By: Arkansas Patti on December 12, 2017
No significant other, but the next time I visit you in your home, I would like a demonstration of the "Boop." I think this is something that I would like to hear for myself.
By: Michael Offutt on December 12, 2017
When we lived in Mexico we adopted the sst-sst common down there in stores to get the partner's attention. It still works.
By: Catalyst on December 12, 2017
I love this! We call each other Bob (short for sweetiemabob) so every now & then you can hear a plaintive "bob?" somewhere in the house :)
By: The Bug on December 13, 2017
Long may you and Mrs Chatterbox boop! Booping needs to be added to the list of languages.
By: Bryan Jones on December 14, 2017
Kind of the same thing goes with my blood sugar, when we are in a group of people for many years Cindy would ask me how my blood sugar felt, meaning did it feel high or low, and did she need to bring out the glucometer, this lead to explaining to the crowd what my numbers were or having to demonstrate how to check it. Now Cindy simply holds her index finger and thumb together and I respond with a thumbs up or down, this also works when I am out of shouting distance and it's time to check it.
By: Jimmy on December 15, 2017
Haha...this made me laugh. We don't have a special language, but both my husband and youngest son tend to be conversation-challenged (in other words, they are quiet people). When our son still lived at home I used to joke that if I ever were to die young, they would just communicate with each other by leaving sticky post-it notes for each other on the kitchen counter. You know, "Milk is low," "Have to work this weekend," "You need to buy toilet paper."
By: Pixel Peeper on December 24, 2017

Leave a Comment


Return to Blog Main Page

Join 3000+ in the Bull Pen
Stephen Hayes
(a.k.a. Chubby Chatterbox)
has been published!


Order from your favorite book retailer

Another Easy Way to Follow

Type Your Email Here:

Visit our Store


-0001 (1) 2011 (5) 2012 (76) 2013 (200) 2014 (155) 2015 (140) 2016 (140) 2017 (141) 2018 (3)

RSS 2.0   Atom