WOW #49

Dandle

I’ve got another old-fashion-y word, as this week’s Word Of the Week. It’s

DANDLE

verb (used with object), dan·dled, dan·dling.

to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms.

to pet; pamper.

Isn’t that a lovely old word, as warm and nutritious as Scottish oatmeal; as enfolding and supportive as a flannelette blanket? It’s not officially extinct, but it went on the endangered species list in the 60s or 70s.

Nobody dandles babies anymore! There’s no time! Instead, fit, young, Spanx-clad, Bluetooth-sprouting mothers race past, with bewildered, wind-burned children in $4000 Kevlar and Carbon-Fiber walkers, on their way to enrol the kid in pre-pre-pre-kindergarten, or snaffle the last spot in some preppy Day-Care.

I believe that I may have found a preventive for, at least some of, the multiple-killing gun violence. Perhaps if Mom (Or grandma – she remembers how) dandled her child more, he would be more likely to grow up to return love for love, instead of being estranged from society.

Please note that the word is dandle, not diddle. 😯 The Catholic Church seems to finally be getting the word, and that pedophile, Epstein has taken himself out of the game.

Stop back in a couple of days for some more comedy, and the beginning of my (hopefully) final dash for the 200th Flash Fiction milestone.

I’m Working On It

office-worker

A young woman had been pounding the pavement in search of a job with no luck. Frustrated, she asked her Dad to look at her résumé.  He didn’t get much farther than the first line of her cover letter before spotting the problem.
“Is it too generic?” she asked.
“I doubt it.” said her father.  “Especially since it’s addressed ‘Dear Sir or Madman.”

***

My friend’s hour-and-a-half commute to work got old quickly – the time spent stuck in traffic was sending him over the edge. So I was happy for him when he found a new job closer to home. “That’s great,” I said.  “What are you doing now?”
“I’m a bus driver.”

***

A secretary liked to yammer on the phone to her friends. One day her boss was going to interrupt her chat to tell her to get back to work, when she looked up at the clock and put an end to the conversation.  “Sorry, I have to hang up now.  It’s time for my break.”

***

Applicants at a company were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Among the things that candidates had to list was their high school, and when they attended.  One prospective employee dutifully wrote the name of his school, followed by the dates attended – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

***

A worker at a new company was annoyed that the company’s automated telephone directory had seriously mangled her last name. She called the person in charge and asked that he fix it. “Sorry,” he said, “All requests must be made by email.”
“Okay,” she said, “just tell me how to email the correct pronunciation of Zuckschwerdt.”

***

Winding his way through the office cubicles, the young boss spotted one of his employees playing a video game on the computer. “Why aren’t you working?” he asked.
The employee had an excellent excuse.  “I didn’t see you coming.”

***

“Good morning.” I said to a co-worker in the parking lot. He mumbled something back, and continued toward the door, obviously distracted.  As we walked, I got close enough to hear what he was muttering to himself.
“It pays the bills. It pays the bill.  It pays the bills.  It pays the bills….”

***

One office manager was a tyrant when it came to keeping the printer area clean. A co-worker printed something, but when he went to pick up the document, it was gone. “You know I throw out anything more than 24 hours old.” the manager told him. “But I just printed it.” my friend insisted.
“Sorry,” she said, “But I’m not in tomorrow.”

***

A business-writing instructor read lots of résumés. Inevitably, he ran across some students with skills no employer could pass up, such as; The young paramedic who makes ‘life-threatening decisions’ every day. A child-care worker who can ‘overlook up to 35 children at one time.’ An entertaining young woman who is ‘flexible enough to perform all manner of positions if the situation gets desperate.’

 

Oh Yeah? Name One!

I’ve done a post about meanings of family names, and son-/daughter-of names.  This is just a collection of odd/interesting names that can be encountered in North America.  I was talking about this sort of thing with “Long”, my ethnic-Chinese, Thai-born co-worker.  Asian names have strong bonds to family.  Clan name is given first, and member name follows.  This is often reversed here on this side of the planet, but family name is always family name, entirely separate from personal names.

Long had a problem coping with a supervisor being named Todd Craig, when I explained that either Todd, or Craig, could be a surname, or a given name.  He as easily could have been Craig Todd.  I recently met Carson Arthur, whose name rests in the same pile.  Arthur Carson is actually more likely.

Names like these often happen when mothers wish to memorialize their surnames, by handing them to their sons (usually), as given names.  An old James Garner movie had him as a financial wheeler-dealer/gambler named Cash McCall.  Everyone assumed that the money-man had been given a money nickname, until he revealed that his mother’s maiden name was Cash.  The famous Western-writer, Zane Grey was born to a woman of the Zane clan who founded Zanesville, Ohio.

The son works with a man named Bradley Joe.  He’s on Facebook, but you can’t find him.  “Did you mean Joe Bradley?”  He also works with Marc Terry.  A man named Tom Nobody was roughed up by police in 2010’s Toronto G20 summit.  I suspect his name has been translated from another language.  Perhaps his distant ancestor was Odysseus, who told the Cyclops that “Nobody had blinded him.”

Side note: After more than three years, the officer charged, was given a 45 day jail sentence.  I’ll believe he’ll serve it when I see it.  Ten minutes after the case closed, he was out on bail.

Another man with police problems is John Vroom.  That sounds like a name he picked out for himself when he was eight, but is simply an uncommon variant of an Anglo-Saxon name which now includes Frum, From, Frome, and the owner of a local printing shop, Froome.

I worked, for a while, with Gerry, Bert, and Wally – all women.  Gerry had shortened the archaic Geraldine, Bert had done the same with Roberta, after being named for her dad, Bob, and Wally was a German immigrant named Waltrout.

Hyphenated names came into being in the Middle Ages, when one self-important minor aristocratic family married into another.  Smith married Jones, and became Smith-Jones.  What is overbearingly humorous, is when the compound name becomes Smith-Smith.  It is possible to be born into a hyphenated name but they usually occur nowadays when a certain type of woman gets married.

These gals are usually well educated, and have well-paying careers of their own.  Their families often have money and power.  Sociologically, they are often doers, running this charity or chairing that board.   I had seen a photo in the local paper of nine women, involved with Feed The Aardvarks, or some silly such.  Seven of the nine had hyphenated names.

With my usual humorous social acceptance, I told the young lad I was working with, that they’d got their hyphenated names because they wanted to show that they were powerful, modern women, who could take care of themselves, yet weren’t such ugly, nasty bitches that they couldn’t get a man.  He plaintively protested that his wife had taken a hyphenated name when they married.  Intrigued, I asked him why.

The answer was that, she had written her University paper under her maiden name, and wanted to maintain it, in case anyone wished to contact her later.  Not being one of my favorite co-workers, I told him that there were two problems with that.  Nobody cared in the first place, and nobody cared now.  She took E.C.E., Early Childhood Education.  She was a baby-sitter at a day-care facility.  You don’t need two names to do that.  Nobody’s going to follow up to get your opinion on disposable diapers.

Another male co-worker had been adopted as a baby, taken away from a pair of druggie-drunks, and given his adoptive parents name.  When he turned 21, he managed to locate his birth-father, who had significantly turned his life around.  He loved and respected his foster-parents, but wanted to get to know his bio-dad.  They remembered only the loser from 21 years ago, and raised an outrageous, continuing fuss.  He became so disenchanted, that, when he married, instead of his wife taking his (adoptive) name, he took hers.

We gave our daughter a single, hyphenated first name.  Since we had an extra one lying around, we gave our son three first names, partly to honor my maternal grandfather.  She only uses the first half.  In fact she’s adopted an archaic diminutive.  Son never presents the third name because it’s not needed, and just confuses clerks.  It’s the clan name which, like the above, can be used as a first name.

The most extreme I’ve seen so far is a woman in the paper, with a hyphenated first….and last, name.  She’s Marie-Elizabeth Richards-Collinson.  She has to order checks as big as Publisher’s Clearing House, to have room enough to sign.

Charles Dickens’ works are inhabited by a plethora of strangely-named people.  Fortunately few of these names seem to have crossed the Atlantic, and have mostly died out in England.  The English still have strange, multiple-lettered names which they can spell – but not pronounce.  James Bond once pretended to be a Mr. Saint John-Smith, which he insisted was pronounced sin-jin-smythe.  Featherstonehaugh becomes either festun-haw, or fanshaw.  Pemberton shrinks in the wash to become pembun, and Chumondeley is pronounced Chumly.

Out at the edge of town, near a plant nursery I sometimes take the wife to, is a mailbox with the name Hawthornthwaite on it.  Some day I’m going to work up the nerve to leave the wife spending money on gardening supplies, and walk up and ask just how they pronounce it.

I’ve still got some strange names lying around.  Any of you guys got some weird ones you want to trade?

Racism Hurts – Both Ways!

First, a word from the wordsmith.  The word is, *Discrimination*.  Not too long ago, the word discrimination had a good sense to it.  A discriminating man ate Fine food, not fast-food, drank Fine wine, not cheap plonk and wore well-made clothing, not K-Mart, Blue-Light Specials.

If I wished to hire a person for a position, and gave two people a test, and the brown guy scored ninety and the white guy scored a hundred, I’d hire the white guy.  I would discriminate against the brown fellow, not because he was brown, but because he didn’t do as well on the test.  Say the test was devised by a white man.  Say that the test reflected a white way of life.  It’s still My company and My customers I have to think of.

Ted@SightsandBytes seems upset at my most recent post.  He doesn’t say why, but I feel that he may think, if I call one a Paki, I call them all Pakis.  Or, perhaps he feels I shouldn’t call anyone a Paki.  I’m out to prove both those assumptions wrong.

I have lived and worked with quite a number of Indo-Asians.  Many (most?) are nice.  I used to work with a young Pakistani woman who invited me, and another worker, to her home several times, for an ethnic-food lunch.  She later invited me to her wedding and reception.  The saris and jewelry were gorgeous.  I would never call her, or anyone like her, a Paki.  Paki is a term reserved for some a**hole, so abhorrent that he deserves the approbation.  Maybe I lived beside one for ten years.  You decide.

He bought the house beside me.  I didn’t mind; I’m not racist.  Then he built an illegal mini-apartment in the basement, contrary to building and safety codes, so that he could move his 60ish parents and his two younger sisters in upstairs, And Charge Them Rent!  Contrary to grading and water-flow by-laws, he filled in his side of the swale (valley) between our houses with gravel and sand and topped it with paving stones, washing out parts of our gardens, and endangering our air-conditioner, and almost diverting water over the top of my foundation and in my basement window.  He put plastic barrels on the pavestones to collect rain water, for his mother to carry inside, by pail, to do dishes and laundry.  Despite requests from me and the neighbor on the other side, he refused to put mesh over the tops to prevent breeding of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Next, he had built, a full-width, rear, roofed deck.  Told me it was to improve the resale value.  Like the basement apartment, he did not obtain a building permit, submit plans, or have it city-inspected.  If he, and my wife, were in their respective backyards, he would refuse to reply to her if she spoke, because she was a woman.  That didn’t stop him from telling the consummate gardener what flowers and shrubs she should put in, and where.  He liked blue.

When his father retired, and the older sister got married and moved away, the other three had some problems paying his rent.  He knew people who needed day-care and babysitting so he arranged for his 63-year old mother to take kids in.  The final count was nine, breaking another city by-law restricting unlicensed day-care facilities to a maximum of four.  What a thrill it was, having all those vehicles in front of my house each morning, blocking my driveway, or beeping car horns goodbye, after I’d worked a late shift.

It all came to a head one day, when some whirly-gig seeds from the maple tree in my back yard blew onto the roof of his new deck.  He demanded, not asked, and definitely not nicely, that I come over and clean them off, AND, cut down the maple tree. Even after almost ten years of this shit, I still didn’t get nasty.  I nicely declined and told him that God had put them there, and he could ask God to clean them up.  Then he got nasty.  He told me that, if I didn’t comply, he was going to phone The City.  I saved him the trouble.  I called by-law enforcement, and reported every infraction.

An inspector came around and had a look at everything.  There was nothing he could do about this douche charging his own family rent, but, the daycare stopped.  He was told to remove the sand and gravel and return the runoff to its original slope.  He was to get a retroactive building permit for the back porch, submit drawings and arrange for building inspection.  The basement apartment was declared unsafe and either had to be removed, or an outside exit had to be installed.  If any portion of my tree extended over his fence he was allowed to lop it off, without further damaging the tree.  If my maple keys blew on his property, he was to take it up with God.  And I didn’t even prime the officer with that comment.

The City officially told him to do all this, so he did it, right?  Sure he did!?  What he did, was, he immediately put the house up for sale and palmed all these problems off on the unsuspecting buyer.  He located an apartment for himself and told his parents and sister that they’d have to find their own place to live.  Pakistanis are usually pleasant, friendly folk.  The parents and sisters were nice people and great neighbors.  Actions and attitudes, this pile of putrefied dog-dump, and others like him, are what I refer to when I use the pejorative, Paki.