16 December 2005


Courtesy of a comment by Doris, Zilla asked what 'sussed' means.

I can't think of another word in the English language that means exactly the same thing as suss. It sort of means to comprehend; more 'knowing how things go'.

Relating to people, as in 'you've been sussed' it means that your motives have been discovered, you have been caught out. Relating to information, it means that the fact has been established, or that you have worked something out (worked out a piece of information, worked out how to do something, etc.)

Example one: John sussed how to work the washing machine. He has that machine well sussed, now.

Example two: The kids finish school today. I've just sussed that I can't do any Christmas shopping now, unless I take them with me.

Example three: Don't even try telling me you are sweet and innocent, because I know better, I've got you sussed.

The root word is suspicion. At one point the British police were allowed to stop and search anyone looking suspicious. It was called the Sus law. If you looked like a hairy unkempt college student and were driving your beat up old car through a posh area, you could be stopped on suspicion - 'on sus'. The law was changed when statistics showed that the colour of a person's skin was influencing police decisions on whether or not they 'looked suspicious'. Nonetheless there were some successes, some youths thwarted and moved on, even if not finally arrested. From there the phrase slipped into the vernacular - "Ha ha, you were well sussed" meaning 'They saw right through you, mate." The reference to sussing things, facts and procedures developed from sussing people and their motives, once the word was in common use.

So, Ella, yes the bin day is the trash collection day; you sussed it.


Right - in answer to the question about what we are throwing out, here - lets start with everything on the children's bedroom floors. OK well, not everything, but that means allowing them to pick the 'must keep' items out from between the old homework, drawings et al, plus salvaging a few odd dirty socks might be handy.
I also refuse to have to move laundry to reach the dinner table on Christmas day, nor the piles of paper jokingly referred to as my in-tray (in tray, out tray, procrastination tray and WTF tray, really), nor to stand on said items to hang decorations prior to the event.

Father Christmas doesn't deliver a damn thing to kids if he sees last year's stuff all over the place. I mean, what's the point?

Sadly this means that I have to also personally live by the rule I set - everything gets tidy or Christmas doesn't happen. I never put up a decoration until this place shines without them, and it only does that once a year. That's why decorations have been known to go up at 2 am on Christmas morning. Yes, some years Santa even brings the deccies, and nobody notices if I'm a zombie - I mask it under cooking the dinner and avoiding being in the photos, after which I mask it under a couple of large drinks.


Darling eldest son is making a brief appearance today, so I am stuck indoors. He was prompted to phone by the death of the crew from that other trawlerthat upturned off Beachy Head, so close to Eastbourne Marina. I should imagine (but didn't ask) that the vessel he was on that day actually saw the other ship on its radar and never thought anything of it. There was no distress beacon so by radar alone, everything would have appeared normal. So many 'if's.

Down here they are all small, four to six man vessels and amongst the fishermen, everybody knows everybody. Basically he rang to let me know he was safe, but it shook him up. He is ADHD and bluffs a lot, and I guess he is coming to see me because I understand. The louder his jokes get, the sillier he becomes, the more it means something inside him is going round in smaller and smaller circles doing the 'oh fuck oh fuck' dance. Its a brilliant act - everyone else just thinks he's invulnerable to the point of being callous and a bit of a prat. I sat through an hour long call yesterday as he bragged and joked about how crabbing (what he does) is the most dangerous job in the world. Then he told me someone had tried to bite his ear off, but that it was OK, the guy is already due to 'go down' in a few months for doing the same to a policeman a while back. But he had dirty teeth. The tooth holes have all been glued, but it's infected, and I am not to faint or go apeshit, under orders.

As to the upturned boat - the gizmo that floats to the surface and automatically starts sending a distress call just never worked. The kid who survived managed to grab hold of two of his friends/family at one point but just didn't have the physical strength to pull them up on to the hull. Poor, poor little sod. His uncle drowned inside the boat, underneath him, during the five hour wait to be spotted.

I was going to go shopping. I was going to play house and tidy up. Instead I will be comforting my son by his rules - never forcing him to say he is in shock. All the real communication will be a subliminal undercurrent (fuck, wrong word;) all in the eyes, and tea and biscuits and comfort food, and extra big hugs at coming in and leaving. Officially he is running past with money for presents for his little brother and sister, and that's the way we'll play it, but knowing his knack for sorting out gifts and occasions six to eight weeks after the event, if at all, we both know he just needed half a day to 'come home'.


Host of Spirits said...

Aww, Nice being a mom ain't it - being seen as the panacea for the little (and big) aches, pains and emotional upsets our kids go through.

Prayers for the folks lost on the boat and their families.

Astryngia said...

The peaceful connection of mother love that really does soothe the soul. A gift. I can see you have it 'sussed'! ;-)

BTW I so loved your WTF tray. Our whole house is full of WTF!!!! ;-)

Milt Bogs said...

Things like that should help to get all the petty, nothing things into perspective.

JustSue said...

dropped in via BE and ended up staying for more than the alotted 30 seconds! Loved your post! Merry Christmas.

doris said...

I'm glad you mentioned the sus laws. Only this week I was talking about it with a friend and recalling a lovely guy I knew in the 80s who's life was crushed by the sus laws just as if he was a harmless little old lady being picked up by the police against her will just because the police could.

As for your son, it hits home when lives are lost doing the same thing as he does. You have your priorities right putting aside whatever chores you thought you were going to be doing :-) Christmas has arrived!

bart said...

sussed, as in "figured out" i can follow... good explanation, thanks :D

zilla said...

Interesting. Sussed in New Zealand is used differntly, I think, if I remember right. It's a great word, either way.

Cheryl, I think you're being a bit brave, aren't you? Even without the perils of crabbing, being at sea this time of year --

Well, as my dear friend Hildreth would say, "I'll envision your eldest wrapped in the white, protective light of the Lord."

Meanwhile, his mum who knows him best will allow him to process things the way he needs to.

Mum-to-mum hugs, Cheryl.

fineartist said...

My kid does that dance too, as a matter of fact, I have known myself to do the oh f#ck dance every once in a while. I have never seen this feeling articulated so well. It rings so true.

Hug that handsome kid for me too.

You do have this mother hood thing sussed. I will be over using the heck out of that word for the next week.

The Editter said...

Ooh, I never knew about the Sus law, although I use "suss" all the time.

Maybe you could use the dirty socks, old drawings etc as decorations?