When I was little my mother came up with a family code word. That word was "Bushes." It referred to the family who lived across the street from us. My mother's reason for inventing this code word was to help me screen potential picker-uppers to be sure they were safe. Like, say some one I've never seen before comes to pick me up from dance class. "What's the code word?" I ask. If they say "Bushes," I get in the car with them. If they say "Tippy-toe, tippy-toe," I run away screaming. Like I said, this was the REAL reason for my mother's decision to have a family code word.
Now, in MY childish imagination, our code word existed for one very important, and very specific reason only: it existed in case my mom ever got her head stuck in our dishwasher. It really must be said that our dishwasher was a hazard. If fully loaded, with both trays fully extended, it would usually fall away from the wall and land on the dish doer's foot. So, naturally, I assumed that the dishwasher would be the source of a family crisis in which the special code word would be used. Just imagine: the dishwasher is starting to fall, and my mother, playing the naive hero, sticks her head in it to see what the matter is. Disaster strikes! She can't get her head out, and in a desperate voice calls out "BUSHES!" Seeing only her backside, I realize what has happened, run across the street to get Mrs. Bush, and she returns to help my mother. Seemed totally plausible to me, especially when comparing it to a stranger trying to pick me up from dance class. Who would do that?