Idiot magnet (AMF, Part V)


Here's more help from Ammon Shea in clearing my Word Fugitives backlog. Ammon is the author of Reading the OED, and if anyone would know words that actually exist to meet the needs of fugitive-seeking readers, it's probably ..., um, he.

Jaye Stevens, of Stockton, CA, writes: "I have this uncanny (albeit annoying) knack of being a magnet for every rude idiot whenever I go to a movie theatre.  Is does not matter where I sit -- back row, front row, in the middle, on the aisle -- I always manage to get my seat kicked, or it's the couple with the baby, or it's the dork sending text messages, or the one answering their phone, or the ones who just won't shut up.  Is there such a name for such a dreadful ability to attract the worst patrons?"

Ammon Shea replies: "Although I am tempted to say that the word you are looking for is stomaching (prone to cherishing anger or resentment), I'm afraid that it's not quite correct - it just happens to be the word that springs to mind when I read your letter.

"Aside of a highly colloquial term that I am fairly certain you do not want to hear about (it has something to do with excreta and magnets) there are no single specific words for your particular talent.  Since I am unable to supply you with this word I may as well join the ranks of those who ceaselessly annoy you, and tell you of some words that you didn't ask for.

"What you need at the movies is your very own silentiary (a person who asks for silence, a professional shusher, if you will), of perhaps even an exclosure (which is an area from which undesired animals are excluded) that you can somehow carry about with you.  Should you be unable to procure either of these things before your next trip to the movies, act as your very own silentiary, and by the end of the evening you with doubtless be pelted with popcorn, and happily forplaint (tired out from complaining)."
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