Saturday, August 14, 2010

Watch for Armadillos

Ever notice something obscure—say, for instance, armadillos—popping up in daily life and conversation, even though you hadn't previously thought about that thing for months or years?

I was sitting in a restaurant, waiting for friends and idly contemplating an abstract painting in orange and yellow. Hm, thought I, that shape on the right looks like a mitonchondrion. The friends arrived and began talking about how another friend's health problems were finally diagnosed as mitochondrial disease. Now, I do not spend all day thinking about the thingies inside cell bodies. I can't even remember what mitochondria do. But there they were, twice in ten minutes. That's an armadillo. Possibly even an atomic armadillo.

My sister invented the concept after an armadillo involving—you guessed it—armadillos. Particularly spectacular armadillos are called atomic armadillos. Armadillos which, upon further examination, have some logical explanation are called near-armadillos (e.g. an armadillo involving vampires probably has its roots in Twilight advertising).

And now you have a word for those experiences! Next we need a word for how, when you say a word (like "armadillo") a whole bunch of times, it starts to lose its meaning and look ridiculous. Armadillo, armadillo, armadillo...

Have you ever had an armadillo? Do you think "Vampire Armadillos" is a good name for a rock band? Share!

Photo from


  1. Charming post! Armadillo, armadillo...

  2. Not terribly like, but consider looking up armadillo as a "totem". Native Americans believed that when animals or animal spirits visit or weigh on you to an unusual extent, there is often a symbolic message attached....

    I'm life long active Mormon and didn't believe a word of it, until it happened to me...twice. (And I don't even like animals). Just sayin'.


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