My Favorite Kind of Loony

The word “loony” has many different meanings; the common one being “crazy” or “foolish.” It is also the short version of “lunatic” as well. And then there are these synonyms from Webster’s Dictionary:

  • absurd
  • asinine
  • balmy (or ‘barmy’)
  • brainless
  • bubbleheaded
  • cockeyed
  • crackpot
  • crazy
  • cuckoo
  • daffy
  • daft
  • dippy
  • dotty
  • fatuous
  • feather-headed
  • fool
  • half-baked
  • hare-brained
  • half-witted
  • inept
  • insane
  • jerky
  • kooky (also kookie)
  • foolish (also looney)
  • lunatic
  • lunk-headed
  • mad
  • nonsensical
  • nutty
  • preposterous
  • sappy
  • screwball
  • senseless
  • silly
  • simple-minded
  • stupid
  • tomfool
  • unwise
  • wacky (also whacky)
  • weak-minded
  • witless
  • zany

Just look at all of these wonderful words to describe someone who is, shall we say, one sandwich short of a picnic, one who does not have all their fish on one string, and so on. I really don’t think we have nearly as many interesting phrases, words or synonyms for regular ‘normal’ folk.

But that aside, I rather like the term ‘loony.’ It brings to mind an older lady of some means, sitting on her front porch in the early evening, having a cup of tea in an English china cup and sparked with a gracious plenty of “C’mon Baby Light My Fire” whiskey. She would be wearing one of her old but well-kept floor-length kimonos with matching silk slippers.

Tonight she would be wearing the ivory, scarlet, turquoise and black kimono, with scarlet slippers turned up at the toes. Her long silver hair would be braided and wrapped at the base of her neck, with an ivory and gold comb to hold it in place. Large jade and gold rings would bedeck her fingers, and her nails would be painted a glittering gold. Creamy ivory drop earrings trimmed in gold would dangle from her ears.

Her large Samoan manservant would have tenderly seen to her dressing, hair and nails, and would be sitting opposite her, enjoying a glass of shandy. Having been together for many decades, the silence between them would be comfortable, and occasionally they would catch the others eye and smile. He would have been witness to her days of dancing atop pianos, drawing crowds in her salon as she read her own poetry aloud, seen her through her five marriages and also would have loved and cared for her endless parade of black cats over many years, all called Disraeli.

The children in her neighborhood suspect that she might be a witch, but they can’t deny the allure of her home with its wide porch, stained glass upper windows and hedges clipped to look like upside-down ice cream cones. Nor can they turn away the delicious brownies and cookies that the manservant bakes and leaves in large plates for them on the front steps.

Some evenings you can hear her play her violin, and often her manservant will accompany her on a curiously carved wooden flute. The music would lazily coil out of the windows and into the street where the neighbors might start tapping their feet or putting down their newspapers to let the sound roll over them as they close their eyes, enjoying the free concert.

So, having said all that, this is how I choose to view the word “loony.” In fact, I’d like it very much if, 10 or 20 years down the road, people call ME “loony.” I can’t promise I’ll have a manservant, but I will have the Crankee Yankee by my side…..and I probably will be wearing bright kimonos, too. And definitely lots of jewelry.

Yup, that would by my favorite kind of loony.




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