Tuesday, August 06, 2013

2044 Huey Louie and Gooey

Let's talk gooey. Gooey is one of those great words that encompasses a whole range of tactile and taste sensations. When something is gooey it's a little bit wet and a little bit sticky.
Not sticky like your skin feels on humid day. But sticky like tacky. A more viscous and yet resistant sort of sticky.
Viscosity is a term that describes slipperiness. But a fluid's viscosity is actually a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress. Which is to say that honey is more viscous than water.
So is motor oil. But it's better to use it in your engine than water since at high temperatures water boils away. Anyhow, while motor oil may be slick and sometimes sticky we rarely refer to it as gooey. Gooey is usually reserved for edible sticky things. Like honey. Or the hot fudge on a hot fudge sundae.
Gooey is also usually reserved for sweeter items. Honey is gooey. Gravy is not. One does not wax rhapsodic about the gooeyness of a lovely dish of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Likewise ketchup. Slow enough to challenge the patience of a fairbooth burger eater it's still not normally included in the list of preferred gooeys.
Remember too, that gooeyness has to maintain a certain liquidity. Slick stickiness alone is not the defining factor. Too much solidity and gooey becomes gummy.
So given those facts; sweetness, stickiness, a touch of runniness. Why did we name the largest clam in the northwest a gooey-duck? Yes, I know it’s spelled G-E-O-duck. But we don't pronounce it like a defunct Chevy division product. Only newbees to Washington call them Geo-ducks.
But we all should. Because the not-so appetizing picture I get of a gooey duck conjures up roadkill, sugar, and blenders.
America, ya gotta love it.

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