Superstitious Fibbing Friday

It was Friday the 13th so last week, Pensitivity101’s selection was based on superstitions.

Make up your own reasons for these please:

  1. Why were people given middle names?

So that children could know just how pissed Mom was at them this time.
Margaret Elizabeth Robertson, you get in here this minute.

2. Why do we cover our mouths when we yawn?

To keep all the stupid from leaking out.

3. Why do we say ‘Bless You’ when somebody sneezes?

It’s a code phrase, meaning, Keep it down.  I’m trying to quietly enjoy a mint julep here.  One of my cats complains almost every time I sneeze.  It’s a ritual begun by vocally-impaired southern belles.  If a Georgia matriarch smiles, and says Bless you, or Bless your heart, you can translate it as F**k you very much.

4. Why do we wear a wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand?

Because, if we wore it on the middle finger, it would impair our ability to converse with taxi drivers and politicians.

5. What was the original use of wind chimes?

Obviously, to irritate those irritating neighbours.

6. What was the original purpose of bridesmaids?

It was a way to screw over poor Jacob, in the Bible, and get another 7 years of free labor from him, by substituting Rachel for Leah in the marriage-bed, following a drunken spirited wedding celebration.

7. What is the significance of the first butterfly of the year you see being white?

Probably that you live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and you can thank your cotton-pickin’ lucky stars that you do.

  1. What does it mean if your right ear itches?

That you’re going to have to listen to another fool, and probably kiss your pension goodbye.

9. Why is Good Friday a good day to cut your hair?

For forty days, you’ve been cut off from good food and drink, and maybe even sex.  Cutting off a little hair is the thing you’ll feel and miss the least.

10. What should you give a friend who gives you a knife as a gift?

A wide berth!  😳

’22 A To Z Challenge – T

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my continuing program of offering as little useful information as possible, I present another little present from my Scottish heritage – not a Tartan, but a

TARTLE

Scottish dialect: a hesitation when introducing someone, because you forgot their name,
What does “pardon my tartle” mean?

From Scottish, it is also; to hesitate in recognizing a person or thing, as happens when you are introduced to someone whose name you cannot recall; so you say, “Pardon my tartle!”  They have you, coming, and going.

If you are wondering – as I do – where I get all this useless minutia, we can blame the wife’s Italian forebears.  The Romans had gods and goddesses for just about everything.  One of their lesser goddesses was

TRIVIA

Two roads diverged in the wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Trivia
Trivia, the Roman goddess of crossroads and guardian of roads. Her name is derived from the Latin word ‘Trivia’ meaning “three ways” from ‘tri’ meaning three and ‘via’ meaning way or road. In Latin, ‘trivialis’ appertained to the crossroads where three roads met, which came to be known, in towns, as the ‘trivium’, or the public place. As the guardian of roads, she watched over the public paths and roads and protected travelers. She was also recognized in three aspects as part of a triad of goddesses consisting of Trivia, Luna the moon goddess and Diana the goddess of the hunt.

While you rest your probably aching brain, I’ll get a little loony with Diana, and hunt up a theme for Wednesday’s post.

***

Bonus Trivia

Where it says, “all this useless minutia,” above, Grammar Checker wants me to write, “this entire minutia,” which is not the same thing at all.  😛

Eight Teen Fibbing Fridays

Every time I publish one of these, Pensitivity101 emails me a calendar.  Ever since that Mayan one didn’t work, I don’t really care anymore.  Procrastination is the only project that I’ve ever started on time.  And now, without further adieu, here’s another friggin’ Fibbing Friday list.

1.What kind of dog was Lassie?

Lassie was a boy dog with a girl’s name.  Because of that, he was a lightning-rod for, and the local distributor of, bad luck and karma.  Timmy got lost in the woods??  Lassie was there.  Timmy fell down a well??  Lassie was there.  Timmy was trapped in a burning barn??  Lassie was there!  I’d have traded him in for a hedgehog, or at least got his name legally changed.

2. Who was Toto’s owner?

He was the mascot for the band, Kansas.  He was even smart enough to play drums for them for a while, but he lost his edge, and started dogging it, and they had to let him go.  They said, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

3. What breed of dog was Beethoven?

He was a Dutch Chocolate Labrador Retriever.  He had a minor role in the movie, Amadeus.  He played a harpsichord – but it took a lot of prosthetics and makeup.

4. Who was Goofy’s best buddy?

I was, for a while.  We were both in that Dumb And Dumber movie together, but the string on our tin-can telephone broke, and he never calls me anymore.

5. How many dogs starred in The Incredible Journey?

None!  They both think that they were stars, but it was really the cat that made the movie.  Without his wise guidance, Arf and Woof would still be wandering around, looking for a fire hydrant.  Focus guys!  Focus!

6. What made Superdog super?

He ate some chili con carne that Walter White made up, on the TV series, Breaking Bad, the day of “the incident.  Between the hot peppers and the meth, ANYTHING was possible – higher, faster, longer.

7. What is meant by Dogma?

That is narrow-minded, non-critical-thinking claims made by religious fundagelicals.  My Karma ran over their Dogma.

8. What is ‘flyball’?

That’s the mess of insects that you accumulate when you hang sticky insect strips in the cheap two-week vacation cottage that you rent.

9. Who introduced ‘WALKIES!’ into their training programmes?

The now-ex-pitching coach of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.  The strike zone is 17 inches wide, and about two feet high.  Would it be too much to ask, to get the guys to put the ball through that, once in a while??  They were giving so many opponents a base on balls, that it looked like the world’s slowest conga line.

10. What is frontline used for?

That’s a product also known as Invisible Fence.  It’s a cable that you bury at the edge of your property, which emits a radio signal.  You put a collar on your dog with a receiver.  If he/she gets too close, they get tasered behind the ear.  Now, if I could just slip a couple of those on that Jehovah’s Witness pair who keep waking my dogs and me on Saturday mornings….

’22 A To Z Challenge – Q

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small-town policemen, especially Police Chiefs, come and go with disturbing frequency – often one short step ahead of ‘Resign or be prosecuted.’

With manpower shortages immediately after WW II, my idyllic little town of 1800 – plus an abutting Indian reservation – had one policeman – 24/7/365.  By default, he was the Chief.  Even Sherriff Andy, of even smaller Mayberry, had Deputy Barney Fife.  It worked during the off-season, but with 10,000 tourists in July/Aug, the town soon had three officers.

Police chiefs came, and police chiefs went.  Their tenure averaged about 3 years.  The longest term was an older gentleman who bought a home, rather than renting.  He served just over 8 years, and retired in tourist heaven.

Finally, we got Chief

QUESNELL

That’s originally a French name meaning from the oak, or oak trees.  The French pronounce it like keh-nell.  He, and the Anglophone town, pronounced it queh-nell.

The summer tourist influx was now closer to 20,000, often street-smart, big-city residents.  Even the chief pulled weekend, and night patrols.  My brother was one of several unpaid volunteers for Ride-alongs.  He received minimal training, no equipment, and no authority, but two people stepping out of a cruiser can quickly change the dynamics of a tense situation.

The brother had been a snowmobiler for a few years.  The tread on a snowmobile can take a lot of wear, depending on where you ride it.  One year, just as he was pushing his machine into his storage shed in the spring, the tread snapped.

In late August, he was thinking ahead, and mentioned to the chief that money was tight, but it seemed that he would have to buy and install a new tread if he wanted to ride.  The chief replied, “What you could do is, when it gets cold and snows, don’t go out for the first couple of weeks or a month.  Then you could contact your insurance company and allege that you hit a rock or log, make an accident claim, and get them to pay for it.

The brother didn’t think that he wanted to chance that, but mentioned the conversation to our Dad.  “Why would he tell me that I should do that?”  Dad explained that this was like entrapment.  He didn’t say that you should.  He merely said that you could!  He was testing you.  This is a moral judgement.  If you’d gone ahead, he wouldn’t have trusted you – at all – especially to patrol with.

Brother said, “If he’s that sneaky and devious, and doesn’t trust me, I don’t trust him.  I’m not going to patrol with him any more.  By Canadian Thanksgiving, in early October, he was gone, and the town had yet another new police chief.  👿

Thirty For Fibbing Friday

No theme this week, so pensitivity101 wants to see where your imagination takes you with these.

  1. What is a bandana?

That is the industry term for the female leader/singer/writer of a rock musical group – someone like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, lamenting the loss and urbanization of rural Ohio, in her song My City Was Gone.
2. What is a rum baba?

It’s what alcoholic sheep drink.
3. What is a marinade?

It’s a new flavor of cooling, summer drink, that tastes like seafood.
(And seagull shit, seal snot, whale sperm, and rotting kelp – sales are not good!)
4. What is an asset?

A pre-pubescent female Kardashian child.  They usually have names only a drug dealer, or psychotherapist could love – like Chicago, Psalm, North, Saint, Penelope Scotland, True, or Reign)
5. Who was Apollo?

He was the male half of the former American pop singing duo, Paul and Paula, best known for their 1963 million-selling, number-one hit record, “Hey Paula”.
6. What is meant by BYOB?

Times are tough, and finances are tight, even among the monied elite.  Unless you’re someone like Randy Andy, attending a NXIVM party, where all the willing female company is paid for, it means you have to Bring Your Own Bimbo.
7. What is a pekingese?

It’s my favorite variety of Chinese cuisine.  The duck is tasty, if a bit dry and chewy.  It’s hard to find a restaurant that serves it though.  They only exist where stray cats are plentiful.
We no see you cat.  You stop ask.
8. What is a crockpot?

This is the ridiculously wrong information, answers and opinions that you will receive from someone who just had their medical marijuana’ prescription filled at one of the now ubiquitous cannabis dispensaries.
9. What is meant by upbeat?

This happens mostly, though not exclusively, in Southern, Appalachian, America.
(High School is open agin.  Y’all git yer lazy ass outta bed and go, or ah’ll whup ya good!)
10. What does it mean to recycle?

It’s when you’ve had to give up working from home for a day and rode your bicycle all the way to the office – only to find that you’ve forgotten your office key at home.

’22 A To Z Challenge – L

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was going to be sure that I had an L of a post for this letter, then I thought, “Why be satisfied with half-measures?  Let’s go for a Double L version.  Words with two Ls in them are fairly common, but I have several which begin with two Ls.

I recently read a user strongly questioning silent letters in English words – particularly the silent G in words like ‘sign.’  Often, silent letters perform the same functions as accents in French, or Spanish.  They tell you how to pronounce the word.  If there were no G in sign, it would be a sin.

The Welsh language is well-known for its rather cavalier, creative spelling.  It has used a couple of its superfluous Ls to build names with.  There is (Desmond) Llewellyn, who was James Bond’s Q foil in several 007 movies.  His name means that he is a leader.

There is also the Welsh name, Lloyd.  Lloyd is a Welsh surname originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning “grey” but with other meanings as well. The name can be used both as a given name and as a surname.  There is Lloyd Bridges, who went on a Sea Hunt, and then for an Airplane ride, and Doc Brown – Christopher Lloyd.

Not to be out-done, South American Spanish has also given us a couple of double-L words.  The funny animal that lives in the Andes is a Llama.  The funny animal that lives in the Asian mountains is merely a lama.  When you descend from the Andes, you might come out onto the llano, which is a flat plane.  It started as a ‘plano,’ but spelling drift is inevitable.

I’d like to blame these double initial letters on something like pronunciation rules, but I find no such basis.  😀

’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.

Smitty’s loose Change #18

Live a good life.

If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.

If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.

If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

***

MSN Headline
City in Ontario may be the most miserable in the US.

Can you tell me what’s wrong with that sentence?   😯

THE PIPES, THE PIPES ARE CALLING

They called one company ‘Sider Plumbing.’  Putting siding on homes or buildings occurred long after surnames were assigned.  This is not likely an English name.  Here in ex-Berlin, it seems that it might be German, but research tells me that it (used to be spelled Seider) is Yiddish/Jewish, meaning prayer book.

Less than a week later, they called another, ‘Teahen Plumbing.’  I know what a peahen is.  She is a female peafowl.  Only the males are properly called peacocks.  What is a ‘Teahen?’  It’s a surname that began as Teahan.  Irish (Kerry): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Téacháin ‘descendant of Téachán’, a personal name probably derived from teitheachán ‘fugitive.’. Many regard plumbers as crooks.  It is not a name for one to brag about.

***

If you want to know why we are here or what your ultimate, divine purpose is, you should accept that the answer is either 1) unknowable or 2) nonexistent. Either way, demanding that your worldview include answers to these types of questions, completely unvetted by reason, is childish and irresponsible. The universe doesn’t owe you answers and is not obligated to make sense to the likes of you. These questions will never be answered (even if an answer actually exists). Stop pretending you’re important enough to deserve an answer, and that you’ve found the answer when you haven’t.

***

Like Father – Like Son

Once upon a time in the dark mists of the past, I published a vignette about how I inconvenienced a gold-crucifix-wearing young woman into removing a shopping cart she’d abandoned in a handicap parking space.  Channeling his Father, the son recently got a chance to duplicate the feat.

Coming home after a long night at work, he stopped at the local supermarket.  Even with a stiff/sore leg from a hard shift, and a Handicap Permit in the car, he didn’t park in any of the reserved spots, nearest the store, instead, pulling into the next one in a row.

As he came out, a man ahead of him pushed a cart with a green, plastic You-Pack bin, and a bag of groceries into the middle of a handicap spot.  Abandoning the cart there, he carried his haul to the next lane, and put them in the trunk.

The son was aghast!  “You ignorant, arrogant, selfish, thoughtless asshole!  He grabbed the cart, bumped it over a curb, placed it broadside in front of the guy’s car, and stood beside it, glaring.  The Asshole came bustling out of his car.
What the Hell are you doing?”
“I’m abandoning this cart here, just like you abandoned it in a handicap spot!”
“What do you expect me to do about it?”
“Put it away, where it belongs, either in the cart corral, or back in the store!”
“I’m busy.  I have places to go.”
“I’m not.  I just got off work.  I have all day.”

It turned out that Mr. Abandonment Issues wasn’t nearly as busy as he claimed.  The son detests confrontation.  He said, “I was shaking all the time – but it felt so good.”  Not bad for a second-generation Atheist!  😎  I am so proud of him!

***

Church: “Our church is on fire!  Please send help.”
911: “All our engines are busy helping tax-paying customers.  Have you tried praying?

***

When the wife’s OCD spills over into her cooking,  (Less and less these days.  I am making more and more one-pan meals) the exactly correct utensil must be used.  We can’t measure out one cup of milk in a graduated two-cup measuring cup.  We can’t whip up a small amount of sauce in an easily-accessible, large bowl.  And cutting boards…… 😯

I just donated three lightly-used cutting boards to Goodwill.  How many do we have left??!  Is it one?  Three?  Eleven?  Or Oh-My-God??!  That’s a trick question.  The real answer is somewhere between eleven, and Oh-My-God.

We have them in pine, fir, maple, ash, poplar and bamboo.  We have soft plastic, rigid nylon, glass, and Plexiglas.  We have them with holes, and hang-up handles, but nowhere to hang them.  We have them with rubber feet, so that they don’t slip on a counter.  We have them from a tiny, pâté or soft cheese server, barely larger than my palm, up to one that covers the double kitchen sink and lets us carve a 25 lb. Christmas turkey.

Flash Fiction #285

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

WOW

My creative git up and go has got up and went.  (What, again??!)  😳

Much as I would like to, I can’t always rely on Fibbing Fridays to end the week with.

My writing skills have flamed out.  Rochelle’s picture this week has left them as sere and ravaged as Yosemite after a wildfire, so this will have to be a WOW post.

The Word Of the Week is

Ischia

This is a Latin word for the name of an island in the Bay of Naples.  It is called that because it resembles the bones at the back of the pelvis.

***

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

’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.   😆