This morning, while I was waiting for the girl we carpool with to get in the van, I called Kendell to ever-so-gently chide him for not taking the garbage can out to the curb. (This is part of an ongoing dialog/ running joke we have: I make a pointed remark that belies my generally-feminist leanings and then he replies with proper 50's-era decorum. Usually.)
"Dude," I said (because "dude" must also be worked into the conversation), "you do realize that you failed me this morning, don't you?"
"You didn't take the garbage can to the curb. It's Tuesday, remember? Garbage day? I can't be bothered to take the can to the curb. I might chip my nail polish, and it's awfully heavy. Plus, it smells funny. YOU ARE THE MAN! You're the dude. The dude should take the garbage can to the curb."
I then proceeded to tell him that yes, I had remembered to gather up all the garbages before I left (shouldn't that be his job?), yes, even the one in the laundry room (don't only wives from the 50's worry about such laundry-related items?), and that I had Jake take the garbage to the curb (mostly because I was trying, as always, not to be late).
"Oh, that's good. Jake's a boy—he can be a dude, too. In fact, he's the backup dude."
Just wanted to write that down, so I can always remember the origin of "backup dude." Because it has now joined his arsenal of nick names!