Who uses it: Shark fishermen
What it means: Dropping or trailing chopped-up bait -- the bloodier the better -- in the water to attract sharks.
How you can use it: When someone's being deliberately provocative.
Of course, any right-thinking person will answer the question, "How do you fish for sharks?" with another: "Why would you want to?" But people do, and you can read all about it right here.
Chumming was the obvious metaphor yesterday afternoon, when Patrick Fitzgerald discussed the indictments against Scooter Libby. This isn't a political blog, and I'm not going to comment on any of that, except to say that this whole saga has been a case of the press missing the big story because they were so obsessed with the next hourly deadline.
The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly includes two full-page advertisements that I consider new signs of approaching Apocalypse. One, for the Palm Treo, reads: "We will talk less but say more. We will speak multimedia. We will send interesting memos." The other, in eye-catching hot pink, advertises "The world's first phone with iTunes."
I could rant about this, and tell you why these things are destructive to our basic humanity -- but if you don't already know, I'm not sure I can explain it.
Jen asked me yesterday what I wanted to do for my birthday. What I want for my birthday are some quiet dinners with friends -- one in New York, on November 17; one in Portland, the week of the 21st; and one in Montreal on my actual birthday, with the radiant Claire Bea. If anyone wants to show up for any of those, send me an e-mail and I'll give you details. No cell phones, Palm Pilots, or Blackberries will be allowed, and if I see you pull one out, you will be off my list of friends forever. I'm not kidding.