Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One – IV

Comstockery – overzealous moral censorship of the fine arts and literature, often mistaking outspokenly honest works for salacious ones – related to
bowdlerism, which entails removing all the ‘naughty  bits’ from every book – except the Bible

Cri de Coeur – an anguished cry of distress or indignation; an outcry
used (occasionally) in English, but imported wholesale from French.  Oy Vey!!

Fractious – refractory or unruly; readily angered, peevish, irritable, quarrelsome
I don’t know how people can get like that.  I’m so mellow and easy to get along with.  I never argue.  I just explain why I’m right.

Hemidemisemiquavermusic; a sixty-fourth note
a half – of a half – of a half.  It happens so quickly, you don’t even notice it – like Speedy Gonzales said to his girlfriend, “This’ll be quick – wasn’t it?”

Hobbledehoy – an awkward, ungainly youth
1530–40; variant of hoberdyhoy, alliterative compound, equivalent to hoberd (variant of Roberd Robert) + -y2 + -hoy for boy
I am so glad that I am not a teen.  Now I am an awkward, ungainly old codger.  Don’t ask how I managed to trip over my own cane, or I’ll whack you with it.

Interrobang – A printed punctuation mark, available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question
She added an Interrobang at the poem’s end to signal both excitement and confusion.

Jannock – also jonnick – honest, fair, straightforward
British/Australian informal – origin uncertain – 1825/1830…. And then there’s its Scottish cousin


Bannock – a flat cake made of oatmeal, barley meal, etc., usually baked on a griddle.
Word origin – before 1000; Middle English bannok,Old English bannuc morsel <British Celtic; compare Scots Gaelic bannach – which brings us to
Bannockburn – which, despite Mel Gibson’s pack of lies inventive movie, Braveheart, is where the Scottish clans finally got together enough to hand the English army its ass, and achieve independence.  They did not scorch the wee cakes by leaving them on the griddle while they fought.  The word ‘burn’ in Scottish means a rivulet, a small stream.  This means that the ancestors of Scotland’s poet, Robbie Burns, came from a place where many small streams flowed.

Martinet – a strict disciplinarian, especially a military one: someone who stubbornly adheres to methods and rules – 1670–80; after General Jean Martinet (died 1672), French inventor of a system of drill

Mondegreen– a word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of another word or phrase, especially in a song or poem
We’ve all heard these.  Some of them are just hilarious.  C’mon, we’ve all created one…. Or more.
Excuse me while I kiss this guy. or  Slow-motion Walter, the fire-engine guy.
Not knowing much Spanish at the time, I thought the song ‘Guantanamera’ was about one ton of metal, and ‘I Fall To Pieces’ said I call you peaches.

Pogonip – An ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western United States.

Suspiration – A long, deep sigh
It is with heavy heart that I have to admit I did not know this word.   aaaaahhhhhh

Silver-Tongued – persuasive, eloquent, well-spoken
which is not the same as being a cunning linguist.  She said, “I didn’t want to go out with him, until I learned that he had a wart on the end of his tongue.”

Tommyrot – nonsense, utter foolishness, balderdash (which is a short race for guys with no hair)
1880–85; tommy simpleton (see tomfool) + rot  See also, tomfoolery
British soldiers were not thought well of, and called Tommies.  Rudyard Kipling came to their support, in his poem, Tommy.

Ziggurat – (among the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians) a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces.

I wasn’t going to include this word, because I thought it was just a pyramid scheme.  I have a scheme (it’s more rhombozoidal), to bring you back in a couple of days.  CU then   😀

Rave On

A Flash Fiction about a rave in a park, brought questions from ‘Old Fogeys’ about WHY.  I responded that I once worked with a young fellow who said that, after work, he was going to the big bar down the street, to party with 300 strangers. He was strange enough to fit right in. I didn’t see the attraction.

The answer may lie in the ability to make a drunken (and/or drugged-out) fool of yourself in anonymity.  A second layer to that answer may relate to ‘Good Christians’, who want to engage in (to them) SINFUL behavior, without friends, relatives, or neighbors finding out.  It’s how my Father and Mother met and got married.

During the 1940s and ‘50s, in my area, it was not considered wise to go drinking (and perhaps, pursuing the company of young females) in a local establishment.  I heard the axioms, ‘Don’t Shit Where You Eat,’ and, ‘Don’t Mess Your Own Nest.’   During the war years, young men of Armed Service age, who were  drinking in a bar, might be loudly and forcefully accosted.

My Mother’s younger brother and a pal, used to drive 30 miles north, to my Father’s home town, to do their drinking and Hoo-Rahing.  My Mother returned from Detroit, sans husband.  When my Father returned from Naval Service, her brother was quick to point out that she was single and available.  Introductions were made, and soon, a marriage was performed.  Don’t start counting on your fingers.  I was born 14 months after the wedding date.

Even after he was married, the local undertaker/furniture store owner used to drive 30 miles south every Saturday night to go anonymously drinking.  The town was a mile off the north/south highway, and the access road used to come out to a T-intersection.  Drinking and driving must have been an Olympic sport.  So many cars wound up through the fence, and into a farmer’s field, that the Department of Highways added a 90 degree curve merge ramp.

One Saturday night – actually Sunday morning – he went screaming around the merge ramp at highway speed.  Normally, at that time, the highway would be empty, but this night there was a young family returning from a visit to his parents.  If he even noticed them, he still slammed into the side of their car, spinning it out of control, first into a tree, and then a deep drainage culvert.

The mother and young boy were killed instantly.  The father survived, but was so badly smashed up that he could never work.  The dark joke around town was that the undertaker was just making more business for himself.

You want to party?  You want to get drunk?  You want to do drugs?  You want to do it –not at Cheers – where nobody knows your name?  You have the right to be stupid.  Just carry ID, so the cops know who to notify – either for a funeral, medical treatment, or bail.

Click to hear Buddy Holly going to a rave, back in 1958.

Pooling My One-Liners

Hear about the snowman who had a big temper-tantrum?….
….It was a real meltdown

I was going to make an anti-masker joke….
….But my parents taught me not to make fun of the mentally disabled.

Why was the anti-vaxxer’s four-year-old crying?….
….Midlife crisis

How do we know that the Corona virus wasn’t made in China?….
….Because we’ve had it for almost a year, and it’s still working.

The spread of COVID depends on two things….
….How dense the population is.
….How dense the population is.

What sound do sheep make?….
….If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

I have a few jokes about unemployed people….
….But none of them work

My teachers told me I’d never amount to much because I procrastinate….
….I said, “Just you wait.”

Will glass coffins be a success?….
….Remains to be seen

The guy who survived both mustard gas and pepper spray….
….Is a seasoned veteran now.

I can tell people who are judgemental….
….Just by looking at them

A backward poet….
….Writes inverse

C, E Flat, And G walk into a bar….
….The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve Minors.”

The constipated mathematician….
….Worked it out with a pencil.

I know the voices aren’t real….
….But they come up with some great ideas.

My name is Microsoft….
….Can I crash at your place tonight?

Man gets hit by rented car….
….Said it Hertz

Cosmetic surgery used to be such a taboo subject….
….Now you can talk about Botox, and nobody raises an eyebrow.

I called my specialist to make an appointment….
….His receptionist answered, “Urology, can you please hold?”

I’m so cheap that, when I die, and go toward the light….
….I’m going to turn it off

As I suspected, someone has been adding soil to my garden….
….The plot thickens.

My ‘good old days’….
….Were when I wasn’t good, and I wasn’t old.

My friend claims he can throw a stick 5 miles and his dog will retrieve it….
….I think that’s a bit far-fetched.

The first annual meeting of the Camouflage Club was a disaster….
….It looks like no-one showed up.

Venison for dinner again?….
….Oh deer.

A cartoonist was found dead in his home….
….Details are sketchy

A man tells his doctor, “Doc, help me. I’m addicted to Twitter!”….
…. The doctor replies, “Sorry, I don’t follow you…”

A dentist and a manicurist got married….
….They fought tooth and nail.

A will is….
….a dead giveaway.

Remembrance/Veterans Day

No matter what you call it, this is a little reminder that today is Remembrance/Veterans Day.  Take two minutes at 11:00 AM to stand quietly and remember, respect and honor those in the Armed Services, past and present, who have given so much, so that we can have peace and security.

Take some time today – Hell, take all day if you want, and take a bit of time any other day, whenever it’s possible – to shake the hand of a veteran, or current Serviceman, elbow-bump, or otherwise COVID-acknowledge them.  Smile behind your mask, and say, “Thanks!”

 

‘17 A To Z Challenge – T

Challenge2017

letter-t

You just know that a darkness-loving troglodyte like me would be fascinated with being underneath things, and by;

TUNNELS

With tunnels and the like, I am intrigued not merely with the fact that I am under, but what (specifically) is over.

At a place in England, it is necessary for a narrow-boat canal to cross a river. It does so on a multi-arched aqueduct.  It is fascinating to see photos or video of a west-bound river steamer passing directly beneath a south-bound canal boat.

When we had tired of going from Windsor to Detroit, or back, on the big bridge, and driving above ships in the river, I decided to try the tunnel. While it’s a little more distance, back then, the connection to I-75 was quicker and easier.  I never worried about the tunnel collapsing, but it was interesting to think that I might be driving directly under a 1000-foot-long lake freighter.

When we used to go to Niagara Falls, down at the other end of Lake Erie, I took the opportunity to return home via a tunnel under the Welland Canal. It’s possible that I drove under that same freighter from Detroit.

It costs a lot of money to dig a road tunnel, especially through rock. Most of the American Interstate system, at least in the eastern mountains, goes around them.  One exception is I-40, from Knoxville, Tenn. into North Carolina.  There are two tunnels within a few miles – but only if you’re travelling East.  If you’re heading West, at one of the tunnels, the divided highway hangs along the side of the mountain.  Being in the tunnel there, only means that you’re under pine roots and raccoon shit.

Skyline panorama

We came through Pittsburgh one time, following the Interstate down the edge of the river, 30/40 feet higher than the water. I-376 suddenly crosses the river, and plunges into the side of a 150 foot stone cliff on the other side, and doesn’t seem to come up for air until you’re almost into Indiana.

It’s one thing, especially at spaghetti-junction highway interchanges, to be driving underneath other cars or even big transport trucks. On the west side of town, the Conestoga Expressway passes under not only several surface streets, but the main railroad line, so I’ve driven under trains.

To accommodate our new street-railroad system, two of the major, downtown streets have been excavated under the rail line, so I’ve had even more opportunities to drive under trains. A couple of blocks from the daughter’s place, there is an old, shallow underpass, where I’ve often driven under trains.  I try to be sure that, when I drive under something, I can get all the way out the other side.  Despite signs warning of “Low Underpass,” a couple of times a year, THIS happens.

Tunnels

There’s an underpass like this, somewhere in the States, that’s so famous that it has its own website. With a name like ‘elevenfootsix.com’, you can access it and watch live video from a traffic-cam, or access archived footage and photos.

At least twice a week, some big-rig, or local delivery truck like the one above, rips the top off and gets stuck. There must be a Ryder truck-rental agency upstream, because every second truck is a (now-damaged) Ryder.  It’s (almost) amusing to watch RVs swoop under it, but peel off roof-mounted canoes or air-conditioning units.

I have finally driven under an airplane. One day, coming around the Expressway, on a sunny, cloudless day, suddenly I was in a shadow, and then out again.  What was that??  Ah….a 20-passenger commuter plane, heading for the local airport.  But it’s mid-afternoon, and the sun is off to the west, so I wasn’t directly under it, merely in its shadow.

All that changed on my most recent drive to Ottawa, to visit the Grandson. The highway goes past a Canadian Forces Airbase, and there were two big military transport planes angling in for a landing, 45° ahead and to my left.  Can I?  Can I?  I hope!

The first one crossed the highway and went to final approach.  A minute later and a mile further east for me, and lower and nearer for the second….VOOOM!  I went right under him!  When a C-16 cargo plane passes 200 feet above you, there’s no mistake.  The sonic vibrations pounded me and the car.  I could see his nose out the passenger side, while his tail was still on my driver’s side.

Small things do indeed amuse small minds. It’s better than being under suspicion, under investigation, under the influence, under arrest, or under a misapprehension.  What things would you admit to being under?   😕

***

By the way:  Happy New Years guys.  The best of good wishes for the coming year, and thanx for your ongoing company and support.  😀

11/11 Remember!

With the exception of a little explanation here at the top, and some added notes at the bottom, this will be a republication of last year’s November 11th post. I may not have said it the best that it can be said, but I’ve said it as well as I can say it.

remembrance

No matter what you call it, this is a little reminder that tomorrow is Remembrance/Veterans Day. Take two minutes at 11:00 AM to stand quietly and remember, respect and honor those in the Armed Services, past and present, who have given so much, so that we can have peace and security.

Take some time tomorrow – Hell, take all day if you want, and take a bit of time any other day, whenever it’s possible – to shake the hand of a veteran, or current Serviceman. Smile, and say, “Thanks!”

Canadian Flag

veterans

Times, and social situations change. Wars are no longer only fought by going to the other guy’s country and shooting him, or just blowing up his shit till he stops being an asshole.  In addition to the Vets and current Armed Services personnel, mentioned above, we should also remember to thank and think of (because of the job they do, and the way they must do it, they’re invisible, but invaluable) Intelligence and Internal Security Officers, as well as the folks building SkyNet, who feed info to them, so that they can keep us safe from gas attacks, poison and biological assaults.  They also prevent attacks and loss of service to our increasingly technologically-dependent Internet lifestyle, with their Ninja-like handling of all those little 1s and 0s.

poppy-flower-red-remembrence-day-artificial

Remembrance/Veterans

remembrance

No matter what you call it, this is a little reminder that tomorrow is Remembrance/Veterans Day. Take two minutes at 11:00 AM to stand quietly and remember, respect and honor those in the Armed Services, past and present, who have given so much, so that we can have peace and security.

Take some time tomorrow – Hell, take all day if you want, and take a bit of time any other day, whenever it’s possible – to shake the hand of a veteran, or current Serviceman. Smile, and say, “Thank You!”

veterans

Canadian Flag

Skirting The Issue

Little Black Dress

It may be local. It may be temporary and fleeting.  It is definitely from a small sampling, and a completely personal study, but I believe that women are beginning to regain some of the sophistication and elegance of bygone years.  Many women, including many young women, are once again wearing skirts or dresses for everyday situations.

Women wearing ‘men’s clothes’ became common during World War II, when women took factory jobs to fill in for menfolk in the Armed Services. After the War, working women, dressed comfortably and modestly in shirts and pants, became common, and acceptable.

Even in office settings, skirt/blouse combos were usually outnumbered by slacks and jeans, and dresses were reserved for parties and dates. The ratio of skirts or dresses seemed to be about one in twenty, or fewer.

I recently spent a day at Niagara Falls, followed by a day with a couple of hours at a mall, followed by a Saturday morning spent at the Farmers’ Market. Suddenly I was amazed at the number of females wearing skirts or even dresses.  The odds now seemed to be one in five, or even more.

Of course, I’m not counting the Mennonite females, who always wear dresses, which look like they’ve been made from rejected couch upholstery fabric.  They look neither elegant nor sophisticated.

While I appreciated the views, I didn’t feel Niagara was a good place to wear skirts. There’s a lot of breeze, and up-and-down, and climbing – hills, stairs, escalators, even the tour boats in the river.

Granted, while there were a lot of them, not all of them were sophisticated or elegant. Many, and not merely the younger ones, wore barely enough fabric to hang the ‘For Rent’ sign and price list.  One 40ish woman wore what I originally took to be a sock.  The color of safety-cone orange, it was a knit dress, primly covering her from chin to kneecaps, but it was so tight, that even I had trouble breathing.

It clung tightly to her, from below chandelier earrings, to above cork-wedge-soled sandals with 4 inch heels.  Not what I’d wear to a tourist trap.  Knitter daughter says there’s a knitting term for knitted clothes that look like they’re painted on – maximum negative ease, alternate pronunciation – If you’ve got it….flaunt it!

The next day – a hot, sunny one – at the mall, I expected lots of shorts. Again, I was surprised.  Skirts were common, and ranged from office wear, to pencil skirts, to baby doll.  Poodle skirts are back, although I imagine they’re called something else now.  Lengths ranged from barely legal, or moral, ‘wide belts’, to floor-length.

There were grandmothers in comfortable, conservative, kneecap-length dresses, latter-day hippies in swirling, diaphanous kerchief dresses, young mothers in cool caftans and airy muu-muus. Asymmetrical hemlines were evident.  Angled cuts hung down front, side and back.  Cut-outs were on chest, arms and backs.

The biggest surprise was at the food court. (You didn’t think I’d leave without eating, did you?  All that looking made me hungry.)  There were at least 12 young women having lunch – or at least coffee – wearing some form of ‘The Little Black Dress’, which I thought was reserved for more special occasions, plus four more in the same high-fashion style, but in rose, gold, robin’s-egg blue and pastel green.

What’s happening with women’s-wear in your neck of the woods? Are skirts and dresses becoming more common?  My female readers will already know, because they always keep an eye on the competition.

For the guys, if you get caught staring, assure any eye-candy that you are not a lascivious pervert, but merely performing a scientific study for a famous blogger.

Extra points if you can do it without snickering – or drooling.   😆

 

Noble Savage

Indian

I recently read an American Thanksgiving-related post about the candy-coating of the Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving story, bemoaning the ill-treatment of the Indians (We’re indigenous – and it’s not India.), by the White Man.

They robbed graves, stole our land, enslaved us, murdered our children, forced their Christian religion upon us and gave us smallpox.”

I already question, and have problems with most of these claims, but the argument is adversarial.  If the Whites are portrayed as ‘Bad’, then the Indians must be ‘Good.’  I simply do not believe that.

The stereotype of the Red Man as friend to Earth, steward of Mother Nature’s glories, is bullshit.  This tale comes from White Man’s Guilt and media, and has been eagerly accepted and rebroadcast by the Natives.

Some years ago, there was a ‘Give A Hoot, Don’t Pollute’ TV ad, showing a bag of garbage being flung from a car onto a highway, and a proud Indian, complete with feather, weeping at the spoliation of the pristine landscape.  Problem was, the ‘Indian’ was really an Italian actor.

When the white man arrived, the Indians didn’t own the land.  They had freehold use of it by right of occupation or right of conquest.  This was the law of the land at that time.  The Whites didn’t steal it.  When they took it, they did it exactly as the Indians had been doing for centuries.

A tribe of Indians would settle in a fertile area, and begin to rape Mother Nature.  It might take several years, but, like a colony of army ants, they would strip it clean.  They would over-hunt and over-fish, until there were no deer, moose, bear, geese or fish.  Population would go up and available food would diminish, until children and old folks were starving, then they would pack up their teepees, and move to (literally) greener pastures.

If there was another tribe where they wanted to resettle, war would break out.  Men, women and children would be tortured and slaughtered, till one group or the other moved on.  The Hurons ousted the Eries.  The Iroquois forced the Hurons out, and they all took slaves from those they conquered.

In exchange for smallpox, the Indians gave the Whites syphilis, a disease unknown in Europe at that time.

Preserving culture and heritage is a great thing, but the world will move on, with, or without you.  My small hometown abutted an Indian reservation.  Back when there were still manufacturing jobs in Southern Ontario, we had four small factories in town.  Indians with sufficient pride and initiative got jobs in them, to purchase food, clothing, TVs and cars.

This was not a matter of ‘the White Man’s way’ versus ‘the Indian way.’  This was “The Canadian Way!”  Those who didn’t take jobs didn’t dress in buckskins, and hunt and fish, or gather roots and berries from the forest.  They sat around in dirty, worn clothing, on the front stoops of decaying hovels that Mississippi Negroes wouldn’t live in, waiting for their next Government cheque, so that they could buy booze.  They weren’t enslaved, or prevented from working, and most of them weren’t Christian.

One proud young Indian joined the Canadian Army, and served in Cyprus, keeping Greeks and Turks from each others’ throats.  He felt he’d like to come back to retire, and began building a house.  Every time he came home on leave, he and his friends and family worked on it, first an excavation and foundation, then framing and roof, later, walls, plumbing and wiring.

After about three years, he came home, and entered his little jewel.  While he had been away, a bunch of the stay-at-home thugs had broken into it and partied – hard! – several times!  They had built a campfire on his unprotected living room rug, burning a hole in the floor, to the basement.  At least they didn’t burn it down.

Beer bottles were smashed.  Broken glass was everywhere.  Holes had been kicked in the wall boards.  There was a large pile of excrement in one corner, but it had been smeared, by hand, on most of the walls.  He threw up his hands, said, “I don’t want to live here anymore.” and never came back.

A mile offshore in Lake Huron, there was a particularly rich area where fish fed.  For years, 3 or 4 fishing boats went out every day, set nets, and brought back hundreds of pounds of fresh fish to sell.  Finally the white man completely fished out this ‘mud hole.’

When the White Man signed a treaty with the Indians, a clause was included allowing them to hunt and fish.  Since fish boats didn’t exist here 200 years ago, it seems clear that the intent was for personal or family use.  The Indians drove a loophole in the contract.  A group of them bought one of the now-retired boats, and proceeded to scrape up the last few surviving fish.

The history of European immigration does not always show the White Man in the best of light, but a close look reveals that the Indians are neither the heroes nor the victims that many would have them be.  Because of population pressure, white men did wholesale, what Indians did retail.

 

Flash Fiction # 72

Graveyard

PHOTO PROMPT – © J Hardy Carroll

CHILDISH INNOCENCE

C’mon Carol!  Ya don’t gotta be scared.  There’s no ghosts out here, an’ even if there was, they’d be good ghosts, that’d help you.

This is where they bury Army sojers who died gettin’ us peace an’ freedum.  Daddy says they went all over the world.

Some peepul put up little flags to honor them.  Daddy says up in Canada, sometimes they put up little red flowers called poppies.

It’s okay, we can play here.  They don’t mind.  In fack they’re happy that we can.  Whenever I come here, I always feel nice an’ safe an’ potected.  Happy Veterans’ Day!

***

Childhood innocence, and the freedom to play, and feel safe and protected, perhaps some of the most important, but only a few of the many things in my November 11th post, that we should remember are guaranteed to us by the selfless actions of those in our Armed Forces.  SALUTE!

***

If you’d like to try this 100 word Flash Fiction, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete story in the hundred words, (More or less) and join the Friday Fictioneers.