Army Inside Out

Army Inside Out

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my hobby of playing with language and inventing new words.

Once, while walking down a series of “people mover” moving sidewalks in the Minneapolis airport, I was in such a hurry to get to my gate that I didn’t notice the next moving sidewalk was not working.

When I stepped on that sidewalk, I suffered from disorientation due to “anticipation bias” because I expected it to be moving when I stepped on it.  Having mentally and physically prepared for the motion of the floor under me, landing on that stationary floor caused me to become so disoriented that I nearly fell down.

After recovering from my disorientation, I thought to myself that there must be a word for the odd sensation I had just experienced.

Dizzyness?  No.  Even the highbrow “vertigo” didn’t seem to do it, but was close.

Finally, I came upon “Horizontigo” which to my unusual mind seemed perfectly descriptive of the spatial confusion I felt earlier.

So last night at bedtime, I was so tired that my venerable and threadbare grey Army PT t-shirt, pressed into service as pajamas, ended up on my upper torso inside out.  I didn’t notice until morning and when I did, the needle on my give-a-BLEEP meter didn’t rise enough to convince me to make the effort correct my error of the evening before.

I let the sleeping inside-out dogface lie, so to speak.

After achieving a level of consciousness that made me aware of my need to visit the “Little Writers” room, I made the first visit of the morning.  Having finished my business, I noticed the faded out letters of the word “ARMY” on the (inside) front of the shirt as I walked by the mirror.

But something wasn’t right.  I was instantly confused.

I turned around and walked back to the mirror and it took a second or two to figure out what was the discrepancy my mind had noticed a moment before….

Finally, it dawned on me that I should be seeing the word, “ARMY” backwards because I was looking in the mirror but it was perfectly frontwards.  Why?  Because the shirt was inside out, making the letters backwards before the image hit the mirror.  So the image I saw in the mirror was the corrected image, as I should see a right-side-out shirt without a mirror.

It didn’t register right in my mind and I had to stop and look again because I was, again, disoriented but this time mentally.

And it wasn’t long before I determined that there is now a need for a new word to describe this new flavor of spatial confusion.

And the word I came up with was….

Wait for it….

“INvertigo”

I crack myself up.

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