Though not intentionally eavesdropping, snippets of the girls' conversation did occasionally waft my way, and at one point I heard one of the girls say, "He said I've got plenty of slap".
I looked up from my work. Plenty of slap? I'd never heard that expression before and figured it must be a new addition - or maybe not so new, for all I knew - to the lexicon of the younger generation. But I liked it, I thought it sounded cute and snappy even if I had to guess at what it meant: Was the boy telling the girl that she had plenty of spunk? Or nerve? Was he inferring that she had plenty of money? Or maybe it was idiomatic slangage for a good sense of humor? Or might it even refer to some youthfully inappropriate behavior the two might have been engaged in or were discussing becoming engaged in?
I unobtrusively tuned in to the girls' continuing conversation on the subject and immediately realized that I had misheard: what the girl had actually said a few seconds earlier was that the boy had told her that she had a funny laugh, not "plenty of slap".
I felt a brief twinge of disappointment that the zippy little phrase I thought I'd heard did not, in fact, exist. But then it hit me: Yes, it does exist! I just invented the saying "plenty of slap"!
I invented it but now needed to decide how and in what situation to use it.
I personally liked the idea of the word "slap" as a surrogate for "money", as in:
Donald Trump may be a billionaire but those others have plenty of slap, too.
Though both agreed that "spunk" was a good definition for "slap", after playing with the word a little they concluded that "slap" actually sounded more like a sports-related word, one that an announcer might use, as in: "Wendel was definitely off in last week's game, but he's showing plenty of slap today." Or maybe as used by a couple of coaches discussing a potential recruit: "Marzetti doesn't have the size or speed but you put that kid out there on the court, he's got a helluva lotta slap".
I had to admit that, used in that context, "slap" was a good word.
Well, whatever, I'm announcing that "plenty of slap" is now officially out there in the lexicon. Use it as you will,
I was wrong. It turns out that I didn't invent "plenty of slap" after all.
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this post I received a message from my nephew Randy. In a spirit of meticulous curiosity he researched the use of the term "plenty of slap" on Twitter. Here are the results which he forwarded to me:
And I probably did hear that girl in Panera right the first time.