Our theme for the month of November is “the periodic table.”

Long car rides meant the world to me as a child. Long car rides meant vacations to distant places. Long car rides meant visiting dear friends seldom seen. Long car rides meant naps and stories. It may come as no surprise that this last one was the most meaningful to me.

My dad read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to us in the car (also when we did the dishes, but seeing as I had to be reminded of that fact, it wasn’t as impactful). When his voice got tired or we reached an acceptable stopping point, we’d switch to either books on tape or one of our favorite radio shows, Jungle Jam and Friends, of which we had all the cassettes.

It was probably Jungle Jam and Friends which started another time-honored tradition of the Koning household: incessant quoting. There wasn’t a lot of activities to do in our hometown, so we had to make our own entertainment (some of my other personal favorites involved the creation of special celebrations such as Gasp, Grunt, Yell Day [a day where no form of communication could take place besides the aforementioned three], Eth Day [where we added the suffix “eth” to every word we said, hoping to sound medieval], the Mug Dance [a series of ever more complex and ridiculous maneuvers, set to their own music, of which I only remember three] just to name a few).

Quoting was one of the few games all of us boys enjoyed playing. We’d try to insert quotations wherever we could and to set others up to finish what we started, all for a good laugh and the pleasure of seeing if others could recognize our lines.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite or most quoted lines from my childhood. Bonus points if you can identify the speaker and place of origin:

“Burn it.”


“It’s a highly efficient tongue; you can fit a whole book on a napkin.”


“Begone, queen of darkness!”

“I am not the queen of darkness!”

*lights suddenly go out and kids run away screaming*


“I’d like to go to the party, but that would compromise my identity as Radioactive Squid Woman.”


“Because I am the master of the human psyche.”


*in French accent* “Assistance!”

“I didn’t know Jaune Claude had a sister.”


You keep using that word. I don’t think you know what it means.”


“An only child. A lonely child is what you’re going to be when I sell you.”


“You see, I am only waiting around here to kill you.”

“That does put a damper on our relationship.”


“I’m talking about a sinister menagerie of climatically inappropriate vertebrae.”

“Uh, you lost me.”

“Weird animals.”


“You can’t write that. Kids will get the wrong idea and send their evil robots to attack people.”

“What kind of kid has an evil robot?”

*kid attempts a nonchalant whistle*


“Oh, are you having CAKE?”


“Have fun storming the castle!”


“Have you ever realized how frighteningly easy it is to manipulate someone into doing whatever you want?”


“D. Minus. I’d fail you but then I’d have to see you in summer school.”


“Card please.”

“Don’t have one.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so? Sign right here.”

“All right, there you go.”

“This card has expired.”

“They don’t last long, do they?”


“Now let’s get something straight. I’m way out of your league. Way out. If your league were to explode, I wouldn’t hear the sound for another three days. So let’s just keep a companionable silence, shall we?”


“Miners, not minors.”


“Are you insinuating that I’m to blame?”

“No, I’m saying it outright. You’re to blame.”

“Well, at least you aren’t insinuating.”


“They have more people than we do.”

“You can get more people.”

“They have sticks and chains.”

“You can get sticks and chains.”

“They have big, bulging muscles.”

“You can get sticks and chains.”


“Hold on my little tater tots!”


“First you, monkey. From Strunk and White’s, Elements of Style, give me a sentence using two pronouns.”

“Who, me?”

“Correct. You pass. Now you, aardvark. Can you tell me the chemical symbol for sodium?”




  1. Avatar

    Mom and Dad laughed our way through this! Dad remembered most of the quotes and mom only the ones from Jungle Jam because we heard them over and over!!! This was a famous past time…but we don’t remember the other days like Eth Day? You guys must have played them under our radar!

  2. Avatar

    I know the queen of darkness one is from Arthur, but for some reason I can’t remember who said either of those lines.

    Such a fun piece, and I really like how the last one underscored your clever take on the theme. Quotes are such a great way to bond with others. When I was at Calvin and lived in KE, my roommates and I compiled a book of funny things we said that we can still quote (and laugh about) to this day.

    • Kyric Koning

      It was from Arthur! (Actually, a lot of these are from Arthur…). It was Buster saying it to Fern and her reply.

      Haha. Thanks. Quotations are great regardless. That is super cool what you and your roommates did, though. Inside jokes are always fun.

      • Avatar

        Ahhh yes. I can picture it now. Wow, I didn’t realize it during the first read, but now I do recognize others from Arthur. “Oh, are you having CAKE?” is a classic. Lol.

  3. Avatar

    I love the Gasp, Grunt Yell Day! Was this celebrated only in your household or through your school/town?

    I didn’t recognize any of the quotes. If it were Down Gilead Lane, I would recognize them. 🙂 Our family loves to do quotes to each other as well.

    Fun story!


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