’20 A to Z Challenge – W

 

 

 

I recently told a reader that I spoke/wrote all my Scottish Gaelic in English.  I told another that I did the same thing with the Spanish that he contributed.  It seems so simple, yet it’s harder than it seems, because there is no English language.  Every word in the language came from somewhere – everywhere – else.

The English language imports words from other languages wholesale, and then claims them as its own.  Some words are ‘naturalized’ – accepted and commonly used – more, and more quickly than others.  Then there are words that only pretentious wordnuts (with the accent on Nuts) like me, are even aware of, much less occasionally use.  This brings us to today’s (and yesteryear’s) social-commentary word

WEISSNICHTWO

wise-nicked-woe

Its meaning in the original German was, not clear where.  It came into English with the more substantial, definitive meaning of know not where.  In almost two-hundred years, I’m sure it must have been used a few times.  It was dragged, kicking and screaming, into English in 1833 by the British writer, Thomas Carlyle.  It was made famous – or infamous – by its use in his Latin-titled book, Sartor Resartus.

Even back then, he used it to describe a First-World problem.  World cities, especially those in Europe, were losing their visual culture, and were becoming homogeneous, indistinguishable, one from another.  There were Jews in Belgrade, Arabs in Marseilles, and Irish in London.  If you roused from a drunken stupor and wandered into the streets, you wouldn’t know where you were, until you fell into the Thames, or the Seine, or the Moscow River – and with the state, or lack of, municipal sanitation, even not then.

He used the word Weissnichtwo as the name of an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place, like Utopia, Brigadoon, or Shangri-La.  The problem situation has only got worse over the years.  With the ubiquitous McDonalds, Domino’s, and Starbucks, and rampant, often war-driven immigration, a traveler might be anywhere.

I imagine that you’re just over there, shaking your head at this word.  You could be much closer to my next post soon, if you pop back in a couple of days.  I promise not to use any of those big, foreign words.  Might even offer up a few chuckles.   😀

The Better To See You With My Dear

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY!

In case you wonder how I got to be a Grumpy Old Dude – let’s take a quick…. Uh, slow trip through Bureaucroland.

I had three operations on one eye last year – a retina tack, a new, plastic lens installed because of developing cataracts, and a laser scrub when the new lens went cloudy.

Worsening cataracts on both the wife’s eyes were making reading and knitting difficult, and they’re a big part of her life.

Shortly after my third treatment, late last year, the wife finally got an assessment appointment with my specialist.  It was decided that she rated an operation on each eye.  When COVID19 erupted, what should have been a 3 to 4 month wait for a surgical theater, stretched to almost a year.

Finally, recently, we got a call from the Ophthalmologist’s office, giving a date, but telling us we’d have to wait for a time-of-day scheduling.  After another 2-week wait, they called again to tell us that the wife would be the first operation of the day at 9 AM, and to have her to the hospital by 7 o’clock.

For a guy who normally goes to bed at 5 AM, this was not optimal.  Don’t you have something after lunch??  We had some discussion about me sitting in a waiting room for 3 to 5 hours, during COVID.  The day before the operation, the hospital called and said that I would have to remain outside somewhere, until I was called.

The second wave of COVID has rolled into the Region.  We had a one-day count, higher than any day in April.  We worried that the surgery might get cancelled.  It was to be on Thursday.  As of Monday, the Region went to Red-status.

In the first wave, many of the most vulnerable – the elderly, the youngsters, and the breathing-impaired – had died.  In this wave, while the numbers were up, most of them were hardy young partiers who could tough it out in quarantine at home.  The hospitals were actually less busy.  Everything was still a go.

I dropped the wife off shortly before 7, and went back home and got another hour or so of sleep, before they called at 9:40.  I went back to get her, and parked in the pickup lane, by the front door.  👿

The Provincial Government has ordered that masks must be worn to enter any business.  I put mine on, and approached the door, to be met by a Security Guard who insisted that I douse my hands with antiseptic gel.  Then I had to stand back six feet from the woman who entered directly behind me, but who couldn’t seem to operate a pump dispenser.

Next I was ordered to use my newly-sanitised hands to remove my Government-mandated mask, and install a single-use paper one, issued by the hospital.  Finally, I was able to break free and head across the lobby towards the elevators.  Suddenly, a young woman, not wearing a hospital uniform or identity tag, stepped in front of me – well within my 6-foot (Cdn. 2 meters) safety distancing space. I almost knocked her over.

She said something.  I thought she asked why I had come to the hospital.  I answered that I had got a call to pick up the wife.  Oh, no, this is the safety interrogation – the special extended hospital version.

Did I have….
any fever – No
a cough – No
shortness of breath – No
aches or pains – No
loss of taste or smell – No

In the last 6 months – 6 weeks – 6 days – 6 hours…. Did I leave – the country – the Province – my home – my bedroom?  Did I travel to – Hong Kong – Bora Bora – Yucatan – Iceland?  Had I ever had toenail fungus?  Was my Mother left-handed?   no, No, NO, NO!, NO!  Finally, she came to a stop…. I thought.  I stepped past her and headed for the elevators….Sir? I’m not finished.  YOU ONLY THINK YOU”RE NOT FINISHED!

I went up in the elevator to the surgery floor and got off.  The ‘can’t-be-used’ waiting room was to my left, and the surgery suite was behind a locked door to my right.  Perhaps they’ve put a clerk in the waiting room.  I poked my head around the corner.  Three men were sitting in it??!  Two of them simultaneously asked me. “Are you George?/Are you John?”  “No, I’m confused, and grumpy, and it’s getting worse by the second.”

A passing nurse let me into the recovery area.  I collected the wife, and headed back out.  In the hallway to the front door, the wife asked if I would get her a Tim Horton’s Coffee.  There’s an outlet directly beside the main door…. Behind a slalom obstacle course of bollards and straps and signs.  ENTER HERE, EXIT HERE, despite the fact that there was no-one at the counter.

I managed to get to the order window, and the perky little perk-server said, “Sir, please use some hand sanitizer,”  The stuff I slathered on, eight feet away, and five minutes ago, still hasn’t dried on my hands.  I said, “I just did!”  “Sir, please apply some more, to enter the coffee shop.”  You know, the wife didn’t really want a coffee that bad – at least that’s what I told her when I went back.  “Have a nice day, sir.”  OH…. It’s Wayyy too late for that.  👿

And I’ve got another one to look forward to in January.   😯

That’s Cool

A man got a parrot which could already talk. It had belonged to a sailor and had a big vocabulary. However, the man soon discovered that the parrot mostly know bad words. At first he thought it was funny, but then it became tiresome, and finally, when the man had important guests, the bird’s bad words embarrassed him very much.

As soon as the guests left, the man angrily shouted at the parrot, “That language must stop!” But the bird answered him with curses. He shook the bird and shouted again, “Don’t use those ugly words!” Again the bird cursed him.

Now the man was really angry. He grabbed the parrot and threw him into the refrigerator. But it had no effect. From inside the refrigerator, the parrot was still swearing. He opened the door and took him out, and again the bird spoke in dirty words and curses. This time, the man opened the door of the freezer, threw the bird into it, and closed the door.

This time there was silence. After two minutes, the man opened the door and removed the very cold parrot. Slowly the shivering parrot walked up the man’s arm, sat on his shoulder and spoke into his ear, sounding very frightened:

“I’ll be good; I promise… Those chickens in there… what did they say? ”

***

At Penn State University, there were four sophomores taking chemistry and all of them had an ‘A’ so far. These four friends were so confident that, the weekend before finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party. They had a great time but, after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn’t make it back to Penn State until early Monday morning.

Rather than taking the final then, they decided that after the final they would explain to their professor why they missed it. They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final. The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day. The guys were excited and relieved. They studied that night for the exam.

The next day the Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them a test booklet. They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points. Cool, they thought! Each one in separate rooms, thought this was going to be easy … then they turned the page. On the second page was written…

For 95 points: Which tire?

***

A mother and son were washing dishes while the father and daughter were watching TV in the room. Suddenly, there was a crash of breaking dishes, then complete silence.

The girl looked at her father and said, “It was Mom”.

“How do you know?” asked her father.

“She didn’t say anything.”

**

Confucius Say

Woman who goes to man’s apartment for snack, may get titbit.

Man who lays woman on ground gets piece on earth.

Passionate kiss like spider’s web, both lead to undoing of fly.

Man and mouse alike, both wind up in pussy.

Man who sucks nipples, makes clean breast of things.

Woman who dies a virgin, sure to be laid in coffin.

Baby conceived in back set of car with automatic transmission, grows up to be shiftless bastard.

Man who lays girl on hill, not on the level.

Woman who slides down banister, makes monkey shine.

Girl who marries detective, must kiss dick.

Virginity like balloon, one prick, all gone.

Blonde girl has black hair by cracky.

Girl should not marry basketball player, he dribbles before he shoots.

He who cooks carrots and peas in same pot, not very sanitary.

Kotex not best thing in the world, but next to it.

Man who marries girl with no bust, have right to feel low-down.

Girl who rides bicycle, pedals ass all over town.

Man who pee in cash register, find it runs into money.