The inside joke manifested fairly early on in Darrel and Heather’s relationship.
It was a warm Sunday morning amidst a brutal winter, and the happy couple decided to spend it on the patio. During a lull in the conversation, Heather pulled out her Burt’s Bees lip balm and smeared some over her dried lips.
“Would you like some cha –”
A songbird, who up til then, was silently sheltering underneath the awning, decided it was its turn to hop into the conversation.
“CHAA peee CHAA peee CHAAA peee,” it trilled, before promptly flying into the woods.
“Was it just me, or did that bird really just say ‘chapy’ like in chapstick?” asked Darrel.
“I definitely heard it too,” Heather quickly replied.
And so it was born. For the remainder of the cold winter, the two never called it a “lip balm” or the corresponding proprietary eponym “ChapStick” anymore. Rather, whenever one of their lips were dry, they would yodel “chapy chapy” at each other followed by an inevitable giggling.
But Darrel and Heather didn’t last. She wanted someone who was more assertive, and he wanted someone who would open up more. Or so it went. When they finally split up two winters later, the silly little inside joke had nowhere to go, and so disappeared alongside the conjunction between their two names. Still, even now, whenever Darrel or Heather pull out their individual lip balm, their internal dialogue still yodels that silly little sound bite; their minds wander to dry winters long ago.
“Why do you always smile at your chapstick after putting it on?” their current partners would ask.
“Oh, it’s nothing.”