’21 A To Z Challenge – N

I AM THE LORD OF DARKNESS!

I COMMAND YOU TO READ AND HEED!

A scientific psychological study that I read on the Internet (So it must be true) says that people who stay up late are more creative, intelligent, and better at making decisions.

HOO – Doesn’t go to bed when the sun does??

HOO – Stays up all night, to greet it when it rises in the morning??

Ooh!  Ooh! Pick me!  Pick me!

The once, and future, perpetual

NIGHT-OWL

My night-owl sister and I were born to a pair of Protestant-work-ethic parents who rose each day before the dawn even cracked, like Medieval serfs.  My Mother would put my brother and me to bed at 8 PM, and wonder why I was still keeping him awake, telling stories and jokes, when they were ready to retire at 11.

As a teen, I often watched Friday- and Saturday-night movies on TV (with the volume down) from 11:30 till 1:00 AM.  In the summer, when the beach bowling alley closed at 1 AM, I often drifted home – quietly – after 2.

When I was sixteen, instead of going home one Friday night, a bunch of us rowdies hiked a couple of miles up the riverbank, into the woods, made a campfire and some noise no-one could hear, cooked some hotdogs and soup made with river water.

I trekked back to the beach to have a swim as the sun came up, got home about 7 AM, and was frying some bacon and eggs when my Father got up.  7 AM??  He’d slept in!  He was so happy that I’d got up ‘at a reasonable hour, for once.’  He was a little shocked/perplexed when I told him that I just got home and was having a late snack.  I told him that I was going to bed, and for him to call me about 2 PM, and I would get up and mow the lawn.

I sometimes wonder if I was just born on the wrong side of the planet, but I think that, even if I lived in Japan or Malaysia, I’d still wind up haunting the dark shift.  It probably made it easier for me to work 3 to 11, and especially the 11 to 7 shifts that others had trouble with.  One young co-worker came in for each midnight shift with three king-cans of high-caffeine Jolt Cola to get him through the night.

I could get up early for the day-shifts, but it was the ‘not all cylinders firing yet’ early-morning inattention that caused me to nudge the rear bumper of a bus that was slowing, as I tried to pull in behind it on my motorcycle, to make a turn.  I broke my bike, my left shoulder, and my wallet.

I know that many of you are happy, breezy morning people.  (Curse your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed diurnal cycle.)   The son is following in my nocturnal, but low-traffic level, footsteps.  He is approaching twenty years straight, on the midnight shift.  Another generation of Dark Lords – I’m proud of him…. or I would be, if I could just find him in the darkness.

I have a sweet post scheduled for Wednesday.  I’ll have it published and ready to read, yesterday, before you get out of bed today.  I’ll see you (later in the day) then.   😎

Lost And Found – In Translation

“WARNING; the following publication contains opinions and statements, disparaging to the French language and culture, which visitors of Gallic ancestry may find disturbing.  Reader discretion is strongly advised.”

Non-Spanish-speaking Americans, especially in southern areas, are being forced to acquire a working knowledge of that language because of a continuing influx of immigrants – some of them even legal – from Mexico and points south.

Mexico recently observed Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of the defeat of politically interfering French forces.  Of course, if we celebrated for every time French forces were defeated, we’d probably all die of liver failure by the first of August.

Up here in the Great White North, the little cultural terrorists are constantly pushing the rest of Canada to revere the version of French (?) they speak which confuses both Anglophones and Parisian-French speakers alike.  They insist that they are “pur laine” (pure wool) French Catholics, ignoring the fact that even the king of 250 years ago, thought so little of them, that he shipped them boatloads of Protestants and prostitutes.

I know of no other language whose spelling and pronunciation have been so totally changed because of the stupidity, laziness and incompetence of engravers, who could not create the letter S, when movable type became common.  These were replaced by accents, and French words like scole (school), became école (eh coal), and beste (beast/animal) became bête (bet).

Things in Canada, like signs, notices, Government documents, and especially packaging, must be bilingual English/French, everywhere except Quebec, where French-only is the firmly enforced rule.  Many packages – boxes, jars and cans – have a French side, and an English side.  Hormonal, pubescent grocery clerks just pile them on the shelves, willy-nilly.

Armed with the Maximum Daily Allowance of linguistic intolerance and OCD, I can often be seen wandering store aisles, turning the English sides out.  I want peanut butter and oatmeal.  If some Frog wants beurre d’arachides or farine d’avoine, let him look through the clear packaging, or turn the French side out.

When I first began studying French in high school, the instructor proudly declared that “French is the language of diplomats.”  It wasn’t till later that I realized that diplomats are highly skilled at speaking incessantly, for days, weeks, months, even years, without actually saying anything.  It’s a great language for doing that.

French is a language created by morons, to be spoken by morons.  Every word is modified, and then the modifiers are modified, yay, verily, unto the third and fourth level.  French labels take twice or three times the space to say what English says.  French coconut milk is lait de noix de coco – (the) milk, of (the) nuts, of (the) coco (tree).

When a Francophone drinks water, he drinks “de l’eau” (of the water), because he’s dumb enough to believe that, when he starts, he might drink all the water in the world.  French insists that things which aren’t even alive, have gender, usually with no justification.  A pencil (le crayon) is masculine, but a pen (la plume) is feminine.

If BrainRants is leading a squad of recruits, and they meet a French general and his wife, “les hommes levent le chapeau”, 17 guys raise one hat in respect.  French insists that each man has only one hat.  I think they’re building a float for Mardi Gras.

If you’re smart enough to speak English, you’re expected to be smart enough to understand things from context.  French gives you a walker and a white cane.  If you buy Baby Powder, you know that it’s a type or quality suitable for use on babies.  Ignoring Johnson and Johnson’s survey, which reveals that 74% of talcum powder is used by/on adults, French insists that it’s “poudre pour bébés”, powder for babies.  Apparently that distinguishes it from “poudre de bébés,” perhaps made of freeze-dried and ground, aborted French fetuses.

My manly bath gel is Ocean Fresh, an already questionable English marketing claim.  French describes “le fraicheur de la mer” (the freshness of the sea.)  I try not to think of the French product containing whale snot, seal semen, seagull shit, dead fish and rotted kelp.

People who don’t speak English too well (too damned many), have trouble translating into French.  The makers of ketchup directed the guy in their graphics department to put a warning on the plastic bottle, that it needed to be refrigerated after it was opened.

He spoke that it should happen “once” the bottle was opened, not bothering to think that that referred to the (once) first time it occurred.  He looked up “once” in the English/French translation dictionary, and printed “refrigerer une fois ouvert,” (refrigerate one time opened.)

An American goes into a French bistro in Paris and asks the smarmy waiter, “Do you have frogs’ legs?”  “Oui, oui, m’sieur!”  “Well then, hop in the back and get me a real steak!”

No Francophones were injured or killed during the construction of this post.    DAMN!