’22 A To Z Challenge – K

 

I went looking for sauerkraut, –I don’t know why.  I should be able to smell it – and found a Cabbage-Head instead.

I am sometimes sooo… happy that I am saddled with the simple name of Smith, when I research the meanings of other people’s.

A reader made me aware of surname.com, but it only concentrates on English, Scottish and Irish names.  Bing has become more reliable, offering results from several sites.  One of them often does the job.  I also rely on Google Translate, though it does have its drawbacks.

I recently ran into a new, female blogger, who had married a man by the name of Kohlhepp.  This is a rare German name that I had never run into, here in ex-Berlin, Ontario.  I had to look it up.  The biggest problem with Google Translate, is that it does so literally, word by word, rather than idiomatically, with the meaning of the entire phrase or clause.

When I entered Kohlhepp, I got back cabbagejerk.  Now, does jerk mean a sharp tug, or is he the guy with the big desk in the corner office?  Another rare, local German name is Dreisinger.  I know that it means Three Singers – but which three?  The Magi??  Larry, Shemp and Moe??  A Christian-based name from a church choir??

I may snicker a bit to find that Kohlhepp is a cabbage harvester, but in Germany, that’s an important job.  Somebody gotta make all that sauerkraut.

Here in Canada, we have an up-and-coming Federal politician named Poilievre.  In French, pois are peas, and lievre is a form of ”lever,” which means to lift or raise.  If Tennessee Ernie Ford were still alive, he would Bless his little pea-pickin’ heart.

’22 A To Z Challenge – H

 

Benny Hill!  Benny Hill!  Benny Hill!

What can you say about Benny Hill?

He was a mediocre actor, a funny TV comic, and a brilliant writer and comedian.  To be the writer and comedian, he was also a brilliant linguist, sometimes making puns and jokes in two and three languages.

He got “Son of a bitch!” past the BBC censors by claiming that a French skit character spoke of, ‘Ze sun, over ze beach.’

He talked about having a bent wood chair in his dressing room.  Not a Bentwood Chair – but a bent wood chair, because his dressing room was in the damp, BBC basement.

With the moving of a couple of letters on a sign, he turned
Dr. Johnson
the
rapist

Into

Dr. Johnson
therapist

Not only was he familiar with French and German, but quite knowledgeable about regional British accents, where, if you travelled 50 miles, the common folk could not be understood, and bread rolls had changed names.  Sometimes he used words and phrases that those born on this side of the pond didn’t recognize.

Once, he wrote a bit, making fun of a commercial from Cheer detergent, which had just begun selling in the UK.  We’ll take two dress shirts, and pour blackberry juice on both of them.  Then we’ll wash one of them in Applaud detergent, (So no-one could accuse him of making fun of Cheer) and the other one in Ben’s Cleanso.  Flash out – flash in.  And there you see it friends (Both shirts still badly stained)  Not a haip o’ the difference.

HAIP

haip = “wattle, sheaf or heap of straw etc.”
(Therefore – something small, or inconsequential)
And you thought that the word for H was going to be Benny HILL.

I took its meaning from context, but I had to wait for Al Gore to invent the Internet, and then wait some more until stable genius (Like Mr. Ed), Donald Trump perfected it, to meet its parents online.  I still haven’t, really.  I finally found one word-site which gave the definition, but only said that it was British dialect, and very rare.  It did not say what area dialect, although I suspect Northumbria/Yorkshire – up north, away from London and the universities, where the poor folk live.  If this word were coined in the US, it would be from Appalachia.

Helpful fellow-blogger and word-nerd Daniel Digby, just introduced me to wordhistories.net, a Frenchman living in Lancashire, who blogs about etymology.  At first I shook my head about a Frenchie in England but it makes as much sense as a Quebecois in Ontario.  It’s 300 miles from London to Paris, and 300 miles from Toronto to Montreal.  Perhaps he’s more successful wrestling search engines than I am.  When I get back from Merriam-Webster on Wednesday, we can have a few laughs.   😆

Tweets For Twits – Just Deserts Course

If you didn’t know yet, God is on Twitter.  He has a few more things to say about the human condition, which He takes no blame or responsibility for.

In an ideal scenario, the President of The United States, and the worst person in the world, would be two different people.

I genuinely can’t remember making you all this stupid.

To paraphrase me: Being gay is not a choice.
Being an asshole is.

America: Where a black man can’t take a knee on a football field for 30 seconds, but a cop can take a knee on his neck for eight minutes.

Most people who doubt a woman’s claim of assault, do NOT doubt that I had a son who rose from the dead.

You should not vaccinate your children – unless you are absolutely sure that you want them to live.

Next time, no people.

There is life in outer space, and it is intelligent, and that’s why it is staying far from you.

If gay people are a mistake, they’re a mistake that I’ve made hundreds of millions of times, which proves I’m incompetent, and cannot be relied on for anything.

The idea that you evolved from apes is disgusting.
Isn’t it nicer to believe that you all descended from one couple and their incestuous children??!

Just because Jesus died for your sins doesn’t mean that you should keep committing them, assholes.

THE FIVE STAGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Denial
Guilt
Depression
Acceptance
Drowning

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he’ll contribute to the global over-depletion of the oceans.
So give him a salad, maybe??!

The answer to the question, “Can people really be that stupid?” is always yes!

If you can’t get along with CANADA, you’re not human.

Standing up for what you believe in isn’t a virtue, if what you believe in is awful.

I am now the most unverified account on Twitter, and the biggest unverified entity in the Universe.

150 different species go extinct every day.
You keep not being one of them.

Six feet away, or six feet under.

I apologise for this virus interrupting the global catastrophe already in progress.

Saying “guns don’t kill people” is like saying “defibrillators don’t save people.”

Artificial Intelligence is not a threat to Humanity.  Natural stupidity is!

Somewhere in China, there’s a bat getting high-fives from every other animal he meets.

It’s only been a short time, but Steven Hawking has already proven, to My Face, that I don’t exist.


Fuck you!

Marriage is between a man and a woman – except gay marriage, obviously.

The people who call out my name Sunday morning aren’t as much fun as the ones who call it out Saturday night.

These are not His final words, just the last ones in this post.

Flash Fiction #283

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

THERE’S ONE IN EVERY JOCKSTRAP

Yeehaw!!  It’s Canada Day, and, as usual, the city was celebrating with a big Multicultural Festival in the downtown park.

Bruce had spent most of the afternoon sampling the food and drink – perhaps too much.  He approached another food truck.  “Gimme two crispy tacos.”

I tell yu befoe, we no sell tacos.  Yu go way now please.

Okay, okay, don’t get yer serape in a twist!  Gimme a chicken quesadilla.  You got any’a that Japanzie beer, Kirin, in one of them kegs?

We no sell beer.  We sell flowah.

Sir!  Park Security. Please come with us.  You need a rest.

***

If you’d like to join the fun with the Friday Fictioneers, just go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Anti-Anti-Gun Post

It felt like a very bad time to be firing a gun.

Not long after the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a local gun store invited the media to drop by on Saturday, June 4th, to shoot at some targets, as a part of National Range Day.

A newspaper reporter accepted the offer.  After getting a safety talk, he entered the range and fired nine rounds from a 9mm handgun.  His hands were shaky, and his aim was poor.  The manager made it perfectly clear that the gun culture and laws in the United States are completely different in Canada.  He told a personal story to illustrate the point.

Years ago, when he wasn’t in the gun business, he and some of his clients went to a Florida restaurant with a no-gun rule.  “So, just like your coat-checks up here, they had a gun-check at the restaurant.  My clients opened up their jackets, got their guns out, got their little chit for the gun-check, and the lady said to me, “Sir, you need to check your gun in.”

I said, “I’m not carrying” and she looked at me and said, “Come on sir, you need to check your gun.”  I said, “Honestly, I’m not carrying.”  She looked around and said, “You’re not carrying?”  I opened my jacket and said, “I’m from Canada.  We don’t do this up there”  And she couldn’t believe it!

Friends in Michigan have told him they can’t understand why he doesn’t carry a gun.  I said, ‘Here’s the difference.  Where I come from, we had six homicides last year.  They were all targeted, either gang-related, or domestic.”  They said, “That happened in Detroit yesterday.”  That’s the big difference.

In some states, almost everyone can buy a gun immediately.  This is not the case in Canada.  You’ll have to wait six to eight months.  You must take a 16 hour safety course, provide references, and be vetted by the RCMP.  It involves answering some intrusive and serious questions.  Have you been on medication in the last five years for depression?  Have you had a job loss, or a divorce?

Any red flag means No Gun!  If you do get one, it can only be used for hunting or target shooting.  Automated background checks are run on gun owners once a day.  We have to recognize that we are a different country than the United States.  We have a different gun culture and different processes.

He said, “Mass shootings in the US have nothing to do with Canada.  I refuse to be blamed for the actions of a madman.  It’s that simple.  There is no connection.

The Saturday event celebrated the lawful ownership of guns in Canada.  About 2.3 million Canadians are licensed to own a gun.  At the start of the COVID pandemic, the store was stampeded by people looking for guns.  “They felt like things were going to go bad – lockdowns were going to cause people to go crazy.”

Many were surprised they needed a licence and had to take a safety course, and pass a background check.  They said that they needed a gun immediately.  He told them, “If you are panicking, and the only thing that is driving you to buy a gun is panic – we need to have a longer conversation.  You don’t buy a gun out of panic, and you don’t buy a gun for self-defense.”

Many Canadian gun-control laws miss the mark.  Most guns used in crimes are smuggled across the border.  There is a serious problem at the border that needs to be solved.  Targeting businesses like his and their livelihood, and law-abiding customers, is not going to solve the problem of violent crime.

It was pleasant to see such a well-researched and thought-out article for a change, instead of the typical Chicken Little, The Sky Is Falling, Big Brother Save Us rants.

’22 A To Z Challenge – F

 

Poor overworked English-language words!

Like, I don’t mean words like, like.  I mean words like the poor word, run.  The dictionary definition for that one runs to a page and a half.  Its somewhat less stressed and overburdened country cousin is

FLAG

Seems simple enough – a colored, often patterned piece of cloth, representing countries, provinces, states, corporations, etc.  A visit to my American friend revealed that, of 14 houses on his cul-de-sac, 8 of them proudly, patriotically displayed the Stars and Stripes.  But….

To my gardener wife, a flag is an iris, or similar, broad-leafed plants

To a landscaper or paver, a flag is a thin flat stone, used to create walkways or driveways.

To a hawk or falcon, a flag is a tuft of feathers on the leg.

To a hunter, a flag is the tail of a deer, or of his hunting dog.

To a journalist, a flag is the nameplate of his newspaper or magazine.

As a verb, flag can mean to affix a flag(s), as on a ship or building.

Flag can mean to signal or warn – as to flag a taxi or a bus.
My Father used to describe scantily clad females as, “Not wearing enough clothes to flag a handcar.”
The meaning of the term handcar will be provided upon request, at no additional cost.  I have ridden on a handcar several times, sometimes assisting to propel them.  Their gasoline-powered replacements came to be known as jiggers.

Flag can mean to mark a file, or other, for attention.
I’m going to flag his tax return for an audit.

Lastly, flag can mean to diminish in strength, energy or interest.
My enthusiasm for this project is beginning to flag.
I am going to wave the white flag for now, but I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Bakers’ Dozen Fibbing Fridays

Pensitivity101 and her Loss Control Officer were distracted by a troupe of Polish folk-dancers, so I was able to make off, undetected, with another list of ten chances to win the Paul Bunyan Tall Tale award.

  1. What did the Three Wise Men bring as gifts to the babe in the stables?

Watermelon-flavored bubblegum, a Hello Kitty backpack, and a bunch of those pine-scented car deodorizers.  Do you know what stables smell like??!  And He’s not helping matters any.  He’s being investigated by the EPA for air quality violations.  “Holy shit” may be what He produces, but it still reeks.
2. Band Aid had a Number One hit with the same record 3 times. What was it?

A catchy little ad-jingle that goes I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.
3. Why is Rudolph’s nose red?

Santa can’t possibly eat all the cookies and drink all the milk that people leave out for him, all by himself, so Rudolf helps out.  Approximately 40% of the milk – and almost all of the egg nog – are chemically enhanced with rum, rye or vodka.  The night barely begins before Rudolf’s bloodshot eyes start to leak down to his nose.  The bright glow helps tell where they are, but soon Rudy has no idea where he’s going.  Santa has to attach a Garmin mini-GPS unit to his antlers, even to assure they get back to dead-drunk North.
4. Who was Santa’s Little Helper?

They were some special little ‘stay-awake’ pills that Santa got from Walter White of the Breaking Bad TV show.  Pound a few of those down with a king-can or two of Monster© soda, and stay awake and alert for the 24 hours that it takes to chase the sunrise, and deliver seven billion toys in 24 hours.
5. What will you find on Quality Street?

Snooty bitches like Posh Spice, (GOOP) Gwyneth Paltrow, and Oprah Winfrey, believing their own press, and looking down their noses at lesser beings – anyone other than them.  What you won’t find, is the likes of the Kardashians, Nicky Minaj, or Cardi B – who all believe in quantity, over Quality.
6. What is egg nog?

According to the translation of the French side of Canadian cartons, it is “Chicken Milk.”  I don’t know how you’d milk a chicken.  You must need a very short stool.
7. Who is Saint Nick?

He is my neighbor, Nicholas Dunning-Kruger, whose wife is an obsessive shopper.  She only has two complaints – “I have nothing to wear.” and, “There is no room in my closet.”  She will contentedly spend 12 to 14 hours of a Saturday, going into every shoe store within a fifteen-mile radius, and still return home with nothing more than a smile.  Nick obligingly, obediently, uncomplainingly drives her around and patiently waits for her.  He is the inspiration for my Beothuk Flash Fiction.  I don’t know why he hasn’t smothered her, or slashed her wrists with a sharpened credit card.  He truly is a saint.
8. Where is Christmas Island?

It’s at the seaward end of the Happy Holidays Archipelago, just across the Incensed Christians Strait from Lovingly Inclusive Key.  There are lots of shopping and party places, but be careful if you want to visit.  There are a bunch of religious nut-cases who try to block access with large crosses, and insist that they own the entire island, when they only hold title to one small area.
9. What does Feliz Navidad mean?

It means that you’re living too far south in the United States.  Move somewhere far enough north that people say Merry Christmas – or at least, Happy Holidays – or your festive meal will be arroz con pollo. (recipe)
10. What is a gobbler?

That would be my divorced uncle, Fred, at any Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas family gathering where someone else is providing a home cooked meal.  Free is his favorite flavor.

 

Fibbing Friday Noon

Sshhh!   Pensitivity101 wasn’t looking, and I had a chance to snaffle another list of things to lie about, which is better than just being a lazy lay-about lout.

  1. What is rolling stock?

It’s what a stoner keeps in his pocket – a little more openly, now that Canada has decriminalized the shit – some BC Gold, or Maui Zowie if he can afford it, and Zig-Zags.  I used to buy my grass from my German uncle.  I would only ask for the weed, just to hear him say, Papers??!
2.  What is a rolling deck?

That’s what a professional gambler uses to shear sheep separate the naïve hopeful from their paychecks.  In the hands of an adept card-sharp, (No, that isn’t spelled wrong.) those playing cards go more places than an IRS auditor.
3.  What is role play?

In the distant past, it was a method of improved, sexual enjoyment.  You put on your teeny bikini, and I’ll pretend to be the pool-cleaner guy.  Nowadays, it serves a more sedate purpose.  I’ll pretend to be Red Riding Hood’s Grandma…. and take a nap in the bed.  Don’t disturb me for about an hour.
4.  What is ‘on a roll’?

It’s how I want my garlic pork pâté, and baked Brie and red-pepper jelly, served.  Fancy crackers are okay, but they should be reserved for cheddar or Oka cheese, or smoked oysters.  After I finish grazing my way through the hors d’oeuvres, it’s where my elastic-band track pants rest.
5.  What does a rolling stone gather?

It used to be underage, willing eager groupies.  These guys have been around so long that recently, a spirit-channeller got a message from a T-Rex, saying, “Enough, already!  Retire!”  Now, it’s bionic joint transplants, an obituary notice for the one who can read a calendar, and one member’s father’s cremains.
6.  What is a rolling boil?

It’s what I reach, listening to/reading these scientifically-illiterate, anti-vaxxer morons.
I don’t want that stuff injected, because Bill Gates will insert tiny robots that can track me and know what I’m doing.
Do you own a Smart-Phone??!
Yeah.  Why?
Ha-ha-ha-ha!
7.  What is a rolling pin?

 

It’s what I hope to see after I toss a ball down a bowling lane.  Of course, whereas Canadians are nice guys, (sorry) we don’t have the balls to be bowlers like Americans.  Many of us use metric-sized balls to bowl five-pin games.
8.  What is a steam roller?

In the big-hair days of the 70s and 80s, it was what stylists used to create body.  They wrapped women’s hair around cylinders as big as a beer can, and stuck their heads into a space-suit helmet kind of thing that spewed hot vapor.  The beauty-seekers came out as fluffy and moist as rice buns at a Chinese buffet.
9.  What is a roller coaster?

Something like the patented Rolls-Cunardly children’s Curb Blaster scooter.  It Rolls downhill quite easily, but Cunardly make it up the next slope, so the rider remains just a coaster until the little screen addict actually puts some energy into their transportation.
10. What is a roller skate?

He’s a seldom-seen flat-fish character in the Sherman’s Lagoon comic strip.  He’s related to my earlier beach-ape Cruiser character , but didn’t have the ascendancy to evolve into a land creature.  He would love to be a high roller – sex, drugs, rock and roll, booze and gambling – but winds up breaded and deep-fried.

I decline to make any more statements, or answer any questions, until my lawyer gets here to inform you that I will be back on the straight and narrow in a couple of days – HONEST!  😉

Book Review #27

Through no fault of my own, I managed to read another book which is older than me.  It is over four decades older, though to categorize it as a book, is perhaps generous.  It was only 68 pages, a couple of them being photos from a trip.  It is said to be the first English-language book produced in this German-speaking town.  I did not acquire it just to tick off a reading challenge sector.

The book:  A Canadian’s Travels In Egypt

The author:  Ward H. Bowlby K.C.

The review:  If you Googled ‘Vanity Press,’ there would be a picture of this ego trip about an Egyptian trip.  A local historian publishes a weekly newspaper column.  He mentioned that he had a pdf file of a carefully-scanned 1902 original.  He would forward a copy to anyone who asked – so I asked.

Ward Bowlby was a big noise here in then-Berlin, Ontario, at the end of the 19th century.  He had attended Ontario Law College in Toronto, being first in his class each year.  He came from a well-to-do family.  Besides generous fees, paid by other local captains of industry, he owned a large timber/lumber company during a significant period of city growth.

In the winter of 1898/99, he felt that he had earned a little vacation.  This was not your average on-the-cheap tourist-class jaunt.  Ward, and 8 of his family and friends, took a four month getaway from a cold, Canadian winter, including two months on a Nile houseboat.

They went by train from Berlin to New York City, and boarded a steamer.  Over 11 days, they visited Gibraltar, Pompeii, and Naples.  Then they transferred to an Italian steamer for a trip to Alexandria.  After eight days in Cairo, which included a visit by the two men in the party to an ‘Arab music hall,’ where they were suitably scandalized by half-naked belly-dancers, they chartered a Nile tour-boat.

They got as far upstream as Aswan (Assouan), and then returned, visiting village markets, Luxor tombs, the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramids.  Bowlby kept a daily diary of the Egyptian portion, later turning it into a published travelogue.  After Egypt, the party spent 10 days in ‘The Holy Land’ – Palestine, long before the (re)creation of Israel.  Sadly, Bowlby kept no notes about that segment of the trip.

He had 56 copies printed, and bound with leather with gilt lettering.  He autographed each copy, and gave them to people he wanted to impress.  I don’t know how common these travelogues were at that time.  This one has the feel of the quiet bombast of, This is something that I could afford to do, and you can’t.  The K. C. behind his name, above, indicates, not merely a lawyer, but King’s Counsel.  He suffixed each autograph with ‘Esq.’

The manuscript itself was as tedious as the year-end newsletter you might receive from any bragging almost-friend.  The basic story though, was like watching the Hercule Poirot movie, Death On The Nile, an interesting historical glimpse into the period actions of some monied Canadians.

’22 A To Z Challenge – D

 

A number of word-nerds often wish that some older, arcane and archaic words were still in common use, if only to provide insults for the office prankster, the Karen supervisor, and the sneak-thief who steals lunches from the break-room refrigerator.

Then there are terms that even word historians wonder how and why they came into existence, and no-one misses when they’re gone.  Such a one is

DELIVERLY

When I first ran into it, I thought it was just a misspelling.  Even when I checked it on a dictionary site, there was the red underlining, but it admitted that it was real, and meant
adverb Archaic. quickly, deftly.
A Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

If we had quickly and deftly, why did we need deliverly??  It is related to the old command to, “Stand and deliver!”  This was not about a parcel, or a speech.  It referred to a quick, deft, armed response to the challenge.

Everything old is being used for something new.  People are not shopping at bricks and mortar stores anymore.  Instead, they buy online, and have things delivered to them.  I occasionally see FedEx, or Purolator, or DHL, or even Canpar (Canadian Parcel Service) trucks in the neighborhood, but there’s not a day when I don’t see a local, Intense Delivery Service, Mercedes Sprinter van, delivering up and down the street.

Sad to admit, it has stopped at our place more than a few times.  The wife will say, “I wonder if that knitting pattern book that I ordered, will be delivered today.” – and her tablet will chime, with a photo of the package on the porch.  So, if you want your delivery deliverly delivered, use an Intense courier company.  😉

How was my delivery of this post?  Please be quick and deft with your responses.  😀