’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.   😆

Funny You Should Mention One-Liners

If only my cache of completed trivia posts would expand as quickly as my wasteline waistline.  In lieu of some questionable memories and claims, I offer a collection of dubious jokes.

Clowning with One-Liners

The only clowns that I’m afraid of….
….are the ones running for President.

Is your refrigerator running?….
….Because I might vote for it.

All this political talk….
….is giving me an election

If only snooze minutes were….
….as long as microwave minutes.

Step aside coffee….
….This is a job for alcohol.

Does struggling to put on your jeans….
….count as cardio?

Use promo code “Netflix”….
….to get 50% off your social life.

The days of good grammar….
….has went.

Dear Math….
….Grow up and solve your own problems.

The only thing I gained in 2021….
….was weight.

I’m not passive/aggressive….
….unlike ‘some’ people.

No matter how kind you are….
….German children are kinder.

Always remember, You’re unique….
….Just like everybody else.

Six out of seven dwarves….
….aren’t Happy.

I can rise and shine….
….just not at the same time.

Beer is like pouring smiles on your brain.

Parked car conversations….
….are unofficial therapy sessions.

Farts are just ghosts….
…of the things we ate.

My favorite flavor of cake….
….is more.

Yes, I’m into fitness….
….I’m fitness whole taco into my mouth.

Tequila tastes like….
….I’m not going to work tomorrow.

The worst part of parallel parking….
….is the witnesses.

After Monday and Tuesday….
….even the calendar says W T F!————-

Flash Fiction #280

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

UNFOUNDED OPINIONS

Once, I was concerned about what other people thought, and thought of me – principals, parents, politicians, priests and preachers.  When I grew older and wiser – and entered elementary school – I realized that, no matter how smart they are, everyone has one blind spot, where their grip on reality is tenuous at best.  The further from reality, the more desperate and strident they are.

Because I would not blindly accept her religious claims, a Christian therapist suddenly accused me of watching porn and masturbating.  Her problem is not my problem.  I did not descend to insults.  I merely rose above hers.

***

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

Musical Philosophy

I’ve heard that music has things to say.  Sometimes though, what it has to say is not all that nice.  I’ve recently paid attention to a couple of songs, and been disturbed.

Vocal group Home Free has redone Kenny Rogers’, The GamblerOn a warm summer’s evening, on a train bound for nowhere.  So, the gambler has no goal, no destination.  It seems like he left the last town one step ahead of ‘Resign or be prosecuted,’ or being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.  He has no home, no family, and no friends.

He relies on the goodness of strangers.  He is so broke that he has no whiskey for anesthetic against the physical and psychological aches and pains.  He has to cadge cigarettes and doesn’t even have a 1¢ pack of paper matches to light them.  He manages to die alone, un-noticed, unloved, unmourned, yet the song holds him up as the epitome of a compelling source of life-style advice.

Even worse, Home Free does a cover of Boyz II Men’s End Of The Road.  Their arrangement and delivery make it sound great, until you actually listen to the lyrics.

Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let go
It’s unnatural
You belong to me
I belong to you

Girl, I know you really love me
You just don’t realize
You’ve never been there before
It’s only your first time

Maybe I’ll forgive you
Maybe you’ll try
We should be happy together
Forever, you and I

The ‘she’ of this couple wisely wants the relationship to be over.  The obsessive, abuser boyfriend/husband is creepy and scary.  END OF THE ROAD I CAN’T LET GO – YOU BELONG TO ME – I BELONG TO YOU – MAYBE I’LL FORGIVE YOU – WE SHOULD BE HAPPY TOGETHER – FOREVER!   😯   👿

This isn’t a ‘Happy Ever After’ love song.  This is a murder/suicide plot – a prelude to stalking charges, restraining orders, and an application for a handgun permit.  Paul Anka never wrote shit like this, maybe because it’s hard to rhyme Psychotherapy.  😳

Then there’s their version of Travelling Soldier, where a young soldier, about to be shipped overseas, puts the moves on an adolescent, local girl before he leaves.  It says, So they went down, and they sat on the pier.  He said, “I bet you got a boyfriend, but I don’t care.”

This song was previously done by the all-female group, The Dixie Chicks, until Dixie got an injunction, preventing them from using that name.  Now they’re just The Chicks, like the Peeps.  I’ve seen a YouTube video of their concert presentation.   If you’re gonna play in Texas, Ya gotta have a fiddle in the band.  They got a fiddle, alright.  The catgut for the strings sounds like it’s still being pulled out of the cat.

Home Free do a cover of God Bless Texas, with the line – God blessed Texas with His own hand – and all proceeds from the performance of this song will go to aid the Billions of dollars of damage caused by hurricanes and floods, which they show in the video.  Couldn’t take much more of that blessing.

Stop back for some better music soon.  😀

Journey Into Hell

Retail Therapy – And How To Avoid It

I wrote three years ago, about driving almost two hours – one hour of it in some of Canada’s worst traffic – and the two-hour, mirror, return trip, to obtain a vintage IBM Selectric, golf-ball typewriter.  It did not work.

The wife was going to contact a repair shop in Hamilton, which claimed that they could repair it.  We bought a metal typing table for it, at an office-goods recycling shop.

We did not contact the repair shop.
The typing table takes up a bit of the rapidly dwindling free space in the garage.
I put it on a craft table, between two storage bins, by the window in the computer room.
The cats love it.  They use it as a stepping stone to bask in the sunlight.
I own a vintage paper weight.
Anybody want it??  Free to a good home.  “Good” defined as one that will take it.

Powerful One-Liners

If electronic devices can all just charge wirelessly….
….Then more power to them.

My friend kept asking me what my military rank was….
….But I told him it was Private.

Why did the optometrist set his clock to Army time?….
….Because he wanted to see 20:20

A soldier went into an enemy bar….
….He got bombed.

What do you call a Marine with an IQ of 160?….
….A platoon.

My high school basketball team didn’t have ice on the sidelines….
….The guy with the recipe graduated.

Remember, if you don’t sin….
….Jesus died for nothing.

I got fired from my job as a massage therapist….
….My boss said I rubbed people the wrong way.

Don’t ask me about my pan pizza….
….It’s personal

A friend asked, “Aren’t you afraid to eat at those food trucks?”….
….When I eat, it’s the food that’s scared.

Every place is within walking distance….
….If you have enough time.

What do you call a student who cheated on every test through medical school?….
….Hopefully, not your doctor.

I’d like a job cleaning mirrors….
….It’s something I could really see myself doing.

If electricity comes from electrons….
….Morality comes from morons.

I finally decided to start working out….
….I did 15 minutes of cardio, 15 minutes of strength training,  and three days of hospital.

What do you call a tiny mother?….
….A minimum.

My wife is taking our son to a child psychologist….
….He said he wants to grow up just like me.

To anybody who received a book from me at Christmas….
….They’re overdue at the library.

I’m glad I wasn’t born in Germany….
….Because I can’t speak German.

Whoever invented Knock, Knock jokes….
….Should get a no bell prize.

Someone once told me to search for inner peace….
….I’ve looked.  It isn’t in here.

Perfect One-Liners

A perfectionist walked into a bar….
….Apparently it wasn’t set high enough.

My professor accused me of plagiarism….
….His words, not mine.

During the COVID pandemic….
….Is not the time to surround yourself with positive people.

I’m in an open marriage….
….I just found out.

How do you stop a bull from charging?….
….You just unplug it.

The leading cause of dry skin….
….Is towels.

My wife and I had this long, pointless argument about which vowel is most important….
….I won.

People say that time is money….
….I don’t buy that for a second.

My wife asked if I had seen the dog bowl….
….I said, No, I didn’t know he could.

I got assaulted by a mime for having a spasm….
….He thought I was heckling.

I wish everything was as easy as….
….Getting fat.

I asked my therapist if driving my car 100 MPH was an emotional problem….
….She asked me to pay two weeks in advance.

My wife says she’s going to leave me because of my addiction to poker….
….But I think she’s bluffing.

What do you call someone who can’t stick to a diet?….
….A desserter.

Old age is when you’re faced with two temptations….
….And you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.

The trouble with learning from experience….
….Is that you never graduate.

Wait! One day at a time….
….Like, FOREVER??!

I tried starting up a hot-air balloon company….
….But it never took off.

I’m great at multi-tasking….
….I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate, all at once.

My wife said, “Look at this.  I haven’t worn this in years, and it still fits.”….
….I said, “It’s a scarf.”

If only Sarcasm….
….Burned calories

I Was Mesmerized

Better I say that I was hypnotised.

Franz Anton Mesmer, who discovered the phenomenon in the late 1700s, believed that it worked through ‘animal magnetism,’ and treated it like a parlor trick, entertaining the social elite in their homes or small halls.  A hypnotised person is not supposed to do anything beyond their moral limits.  It was revealing and disturbing, the limits that the minor aristocracy would go to.  Eventually, he was booed off his entertainment stage, and the term mesmerism took on a negative connotation.

In the summer of 1958, when I was 14, an entertainer booked the auditorium of the Town Hall for five evenings – Monday to Friday.  He put up posters on lamp posts and handed out small flyers.  He was a stage hypnotist, who promised an interesting and amusing show that included people clucking like chickens.  I HAD to see this.

I attended the Monday show.  I never thought about where he would get willing subjects until he asked for audience volunteers.  I was the first on my feet.  I didn’t feel hypnotized – whatever that was.  I was awake and aware, but felt no drive to do anything but just stand there.  My part came toward the end of the act.  He had me and a girl about my age hold our right arms out.  He lit a candle and passed it beneath her fingers.

She never moved a muscle, while I waggled my hand and acted disturbed.  When he asked me why I was upset, I told the audience that my fingers were hot.  I don’t remember them actually feeling hot, but I remembered that his flyer said that someone would experience it, so I gave him what the crowd expected.

All the volunteers got a pass for a later show.  I was busy Tuesday and Wednesday, but went to the Thursday show.  A University Professor used to give lectures, and when he was done, would tell his classes that psychology inhibited people from being the first to respond, so he always offered to take the Second question.  Thursday night, when he asked for audience participation…. crickets, nobody moved.  I again stood up, and there were five more behind me when I reached the stage.

Some people claim that, “I’m too intelligent to be hypnotised,” but practitioners say that more intelligent people are better subjects, because they are able to focus, and accept the required control.  This night, he saved me for the final part of the act – the piéce de résistance.

He had two of those uncomfortable, tubular steel and formed plywood, chairs placed about four feet apart, and had two of the other subjects sit in them.  He told me, Stand up straight.  You are firm.  You are hard.  You are strong.  You are rigid.  You are like a tree.  You are powerful.  You are as stiff as a lamp-post.  Then he poked me in the chest, and I fell over backward.  Two of the other enchanted assistants caught me, lifted me horizontally, and placed me across the backs of the two chairs.

The one contacted me just below the collarbone and above the shoulder blades.  The other met the back of my calf muscles.  There I hung, suspended in midair, planking, long before it became trendy.  But the show isn’t over, ladies and gentlemen.  Watch this.  He placed another chair in front of me, climbed up onto it, slowly turned to face the audience…. and carefully sat down on my stomach.

Even I was amazed, a scrawny little stick of a kid like me, holding up a 160 pound man.  I was completely aware of what was happening.  I wondered if I had any control over my body.  I allowed my abdominal muscles to relax about a quarter or half an inch.  He felt it, and intoned, Steady!  Steady!  Rigid!  Rigid!

He climbed down to thunderous applause, and turned back to his onstage rogues’ gallery, to begin un-hypnotizing all six of us – and there were only five.  Who was missing?  Where?  When?  How??!  This had never happened to him.  Hypnosis will eventually wear off, but he worried about a suggestible victim being given a direct command in public.

The one missing was a lad, two years older than me.  The hypnotist enjoined us to go looking for him, and take care of him if need be.  I went to his house, and told his father what had happened.  He just laughed, and went back to watching The Honeymooners.  With a 90/95 IQ level, between stupid and stubborn, the boy apparently did not go into a hypnotic trance.

I met him the next day, and he explained.  Nothing exciting happened to him during the show, and he was bored, and felt like a fool, just standing there.  While I was doing my levitation act, he drifted into the wings, down the back stairs, and off to the bowling alley in search of French fries and tourist girls.

I guess that shows like this may still exist in Las Vegas or Atlantic City lounges, but hypnosis has come to be used much more professionally and effectively to aid in combating drug or tobacco use, stress, depression, psychiatric and relationship problems.  My two experiences were all in fun, but it can be quite serious.  Have any of you had hypnosis therapy?

Flash Fiction #259

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

LOCKDOWN KNOCKDOWN

Good grief, what happened?  I hadn’t heard of any tornadoes, especially inside a mall.

The Governor finally signed the bill that ended the last COVID lockdown.  It was like a Taylor Swift concert.  People were lining up at the doors at 4:00 AM.  We had extra security, but Commerce was King.  Some folks showed excessive exuberance in revived retail therapy, getting rid of COVID haircuts at the salons, and walking out with new shoes.  It was all we could do to shove the last of them out at closing time.  No sense repairing it.  It’ll be like this again tomorrow.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Social Medium Humor

People say to me, Archon, Facebook is a good way to connect with old friends.
At my age, if I want to connect with old friends, I need a Ouija Board

***

My doctor gave me three days to give up drinking.  So I picked June the fifth, July 17, and October 9.
I enjoy a glass of wine each night for its health benefits.  The other ones are for my witty comebacks and smooth dance moves.  I’ve stopped drinking for good.  Now I only drink for evil.

***

Don’t bother walking a mile in my shoes; that would be boring.  Spend 30 seconds inside my head; that’ll freak you right out.

***

My wife left for work this morning, and almost immediately I got a call from my next door neighbour telling me to come around quick as she needed my help.

So, I knock on her door, and she opens the door in a robe and immediately drags me into the living room. She then drops the robe to reveal she is completely naked. As my mouth hangs open she says: “Everything you can see between my legs is yours”

Rubbing my hands in anticipation I drop to my knees and say: “Right, I’ll have your TV, Stereo, Coffee Table, sofa, fireplace…”

***

Heisenberg is pulled over by a Highway Patrolman

“Mister, do you know how fast you were going?” asks the cop.

“No,” replies Heisenberg.

“I clocked you at 87 miles per hour!” the cop exclaims.

Heisenberg sighs. “Great, now I don’t know where I am…”

***

A Canadian park ranger is giving some ramblers a warning about bears, “Brown bears are usually harmless. They avoid contact with humans so we suggest you attach small bells to your rucksacks and give the bears time to get out of your way. However, grizzly bears are extremely dangerous. If you see any grizzly-bear droppings leave the area immediately.”

“So how do we know if they’re grizzly bear droppings?” asks one of the ramblers.

“It’s easy,” replies the ranger. “They’re full of small bells.”

***

A 7 year old boy is sitting on a park bench, eating chocolate bars.
An old man next to him says, “Eating that much chocolate isn’t good for you.”
The boy replies, “My grandfather lived to 102.”
“Did he eat that much chocolate??”
“No! but he minded his own fucking business.”

***

A Hollywood producer calls his friend, another Hollywood producer, on the phone.

“Hey, how are you doing?” he asks.

“Well!” responds the friend. “I just sold a screenplay for $200,000. I also wrote a novel and got a $50,000 advance from the publisher. I have a new TV series airing next week, and everyone says it’s going to be a hit. I’m doing great! How are you?”

“OK,” says the first producer. “I’ll call you back when you’re alone.”