Ken said “Wowsers” in response to… something. Probably an attractive woman walking by or something. Yes, actually, I’m sure that’s it.
I replied, feeling kinda rhyme-y, much like Fezzik, “Bowsers!” But then I added “…but that’s not really a word.”
“Yes,” Ken said, “it is.” He pointed out the window, in front of us. I saw a large tanker-type truck. “That’s a ‘bowser’.”
“Really?” I was excited at learning a new word.
“Yep,” Ken said. “I drove bowsers all the time in the Air Force. It’s basically a big tank on wheels.”
“Oh, I see. Is that just military slang? I’ve never heard that word before. Is it new? Old?” Anyone who knows me knows I love learning new words.
“I don’t know. I don’t think so. We had these tanks on wheels, fixed in the back, steerable front, and we’d fill them up with fuel and tow them around with trucks.” He paused significantly. “Hence, we called those fuel bowsers.”
“Oh. Oh, cool.” I thought a moment. “So that one” I pointed at the truck, still ahead of us “is a milk bowser?”
Ken nodded. “Yes.”
“And one filled with…” What, I thought, would be an outlandish liquid that you’d cart around in a truck? “…canola oil, would be a canola oil bowser?”
“Right. Though that could also be used as biodiesel.” Ken’s a big proponent of alternative fuels.
We arrived at the restaurant and the conversation shifted to other topics.
All of this is prologue to explain why I sent Ken an email, containing a link to this story from the Oregonian, with nothing else but the phrase
“Pig’s blood bowser!”
in large, friendly red letters.
I hope he laughed out loud when he read it.