Most babies' first words are something sweet and nice, like "mama" or "dada." It makes sense. A baby spends most of its time with someone who refers to themselves as Mommy or Dad, and finally comes to mimic the expression. This weekend my parents came over and we looked at a few baby albums and then they dropped the bombshell on me: my first word.
It wasn't a rich epithet, or an effeminate "thimply fabulouth!"
It wasn't even "baba!" or "papa," both common contenders.
My first word, according to both my parents and attested to by an overlooked entry in my baby album, was "K-Mart." Apparently pronounced something like "kay-'Maht."
It may further amuse you—since my pants are currently down—to know that I worked at K-Mart for three years during high school. I suppose we aren't the complicated evolutionary matrices that Nova programs would make us out to be. As a tot I was endlessly wheeled around the bargain bins of Sebastian Kresge's low-caste vision, apparently forming a deep and lasting bond with the cheap white laminate tile floors I would one day pace, and the red vest I would one day assume.
Not only did the house I grew up in burn down, but my K-Mart has since become a Gottschalks. Maybe John Cusack needs a writing partner for Grosse Pointe Blank II. I have some ideas.