Today’s terms: wack / wacky / for kicks / kicks / get a kick out of
It was a chilly evening, crystals forming on the light posts – unusual for this time of year. Charles thought it better to get out of the streets. As he walked under the spots of the lamps high above him, his shivering cheeks turned his attention to a big dull building.
—What’s in there? he thought.
Normally, these things wouldn’t catch his attention. There was a hum coming from inside this place that looked like a massive shoe box. Written on the side was a big “World Maxum.”
—In we go … And through the doors he went.
Upon stepping in, he was struck by an outer-space rhythm with a pounding bass and electric sounds. Strobe lights and disco balls glowed on his shoulders and, occasionally, into his eyes. Ladies were rolling here and there on skates with notepads or menus in their hands; boys were everywhere with helmets and knee pads on. A small pod of adults could be seen in the faraway dark corners. It was a setting like nothing he’d ever seen before.
—Woah, dude! Get your board and a helmet. Stop looking around in the sky like you’ lost!
—Jonah, what? You skate?
Jonah was a classmate of Charles’s. They talked usually while getting lunch or before heading home. It was a surprise to see him in this noisy hole at the center of the action like this.
—Hell yeah, man. Look over at those guys. They’re some of the best skaters in the whole city. Well, that’s if you ask the experts. To me they look kinda wacky, I mean, I got better tricks than they do.
Charles agreed but with a hint of doubt.
—I’m sorry, it’s a little loud in here. You said they look tacky?
—Nah, man. They look wacky. Like, “wack,” “silly,” “goofy,” Jonah tried to explain.
—They look stupid, bro. Wacky or wack is, like, a way to say something looks “silly” or kinda “dumb”. My parents say “goofy”, but it’s the same thing. I guess you kinda use it to say something is off, like it isn’t all the way right.
—But you mean stupid and dumb, like, not smart? Charles suggested.
Jonah giggled at the statement.
—Nah, I mean, sometimes if something is stupid or wack, it doesn’t make good sense. Most of the time, it’s just not right, not cool, not good in some way. Like these so-called “pro’s” here. Most people skate just to get a kick out of it, but these fools do it for the attention. Bunch of …
—Wait. You mean they skate to kick people?
—Goodness man, where are you from?
He didn’t allow Charles to answer.
—They get a kick out of it, I mean, they “have fun.” Why do we skate? For kicks, I mean, for me I do it “for fun.” You get me? It’s just for fun.
—Ah, I see, said Charles, distracted now by a cute woman with a plate of sizzling food whizzing past him on skates. He nearly fell trying to grab a piece off the speedy dish.
—But not like kicks, as in “shoes”. I don’t let anybody step on my kicks, you get me?
—So, kicks can be your shoes, and for kicks is for fun, I think.
–Exactamundo, correcto, and yes, sen-yor!
The two guys laughed together while taking in the lively vibe of the venue.
—Enough talk! Let’s get you some gear so we can show off to these wack bunch of fakers. You skate, bro?
Charles shook his head as a definitive “No”.
—Welp, I guess you’ll be doing it for kicks, then.