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I’m Dyin’ Over Here

Okay, so I’m walking to my car with a small flock of office ladies, and two of them are exchanging stale bread. So I say, “stale bread?” And #1 says, “my husband likes to feed birds.”

And a third one pipes up and says, “you’re only supposed to feed birds puffins!”
And a fourth one says, “what’s a puffin?”
And #3 says, “I don’t know…isn’t that what Mary Poppins said? ‘Feed the birds, puffins a day’?”

I almost swallowed my tongue. I was a huge Mary Poppins fan, incidentally. Here’s a little something you can do that will affect your maternal relationship for life. Ask your mom, in a wistful tone, “Mother, if you died, what are the chances Dad would marry Julie Andrews?” Works a treat!

Oh, hey, and if you don’t read The Corner, you probably missed this:

“That morose day of Napoleon’s surrender…witnessed one of history’s grandest homophonic sentences, a homophone being, we might say, a verbal coincidence….Napoleon stood silent on the deck for a painful while and then muttered with resignation: ‘Cast off, it is time to go.’ Only the Corsican said it in his accented French which he had learned at the age of ten: ‘A l’eau, c’est l’heure’ [literally: ‘at the water, it’s the hour’ — stoaty]. A young British sailor standing on deck knew not the gilded tongue of mankind’s golden race. Under the impression that the fallen emperor was speaking English, the sailor was flattered by what he mistook for familiarity and later reported that Napoleon had the courtesy to address him, ‘Hello, sailor.’”

From a new book out called Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections. Looks like fun.

All of which puts me in mind of the Archive of Misheard Lyrics.
Yeah, I know you’ve been there before…but how long ago?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 27, 2007, 6:11 pm

Here’s another old favorite I haven’t visited in ages. Somehow found myself there last night: Awful Plastic Surgery.

Scroll down to Sylvester Stallone’s mom. And don’t bother to memorize her face; you’ll be seeing it in your dreams.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 27, 2007, 6:01 pm

I didn’t want to take French in Junior High (okay, Retarded School). I wanted to take Latin or, failing that, German. But French is what I got. At least I got a language. Used to read and write it good, speak it bad. Performance anxiety.

The rough pronunciation of Napoleon’s phrase would be “ah-low say-lure”.

Comment from Gnus
Time: August 27, 2007, 8:34 pm

Not to worry, Sweasel. I took Latin in the ninth grade. You didn’t miss a thing.

No, really. Not a thing.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: August 27, 2007, 11:37 pm

Hah! I took Latin in HS too! I can still decline the verb to love: Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant! One nice thing about Latin was it’s increadibly easy pronuciation guidlines: all words were stressed on the first syllable, and all vowels had one sound each.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 7:14 am

Did a necropsy on a wallaby w/ a PhD student originally from France. She said the french word for kidney which is rean (or something like that), personally sounded like she hawked a loogy. Incidentally it’s a variant of the same root word that renal comes from.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 7:14 am

Hey, who saw the lunar eclipse? Way Cool!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 7:35 am

Meh. Couldn’t see the eclipse here; too overcast.

I thought maybe Latin would help me with etymology. Also, it’s just cool and snooty to know Latin. French is gay. Very, very gay.

When I got to High School, we had a Latin teacher, but he was, like, the last very Latin teacher alive in Nashville. He was way, way past retirement age. Senile as a treeful of cuckoos, but a very nice old man. They wouldn’t let him take on any new Latin students, but they let him teach an open etymology course.

I loved that course. He was so blind and so potty, he had no idea that most of the class napped or passed notes or did homework or whatever for an hour. Not me. I sat right up front so I could hear him babble. He used to get things mashed up pretty badly. One day, he told us the story of Jack, the Giant Bean Killer.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 7:56 am

Does potty = dotty, or should he have been wearing Depens?

I have a picture of a tree full of cockatoos (sulfer crested types).

Latin is the one language I should have taken in HS–would definitely have helped w/ all those dang stupid scientific names. Took German instead–at this point I can ask where the bathroom is, for a beer, and cuss fairly well. Guess all is not lost.

The eclipse was cool! The moon got all dark and then it got all red, it was like a vampire moon. My remote sensing prof is a space nut so we actually spent class time on the BEES bldg roof watching it start.

Quick note, I’m running on a bit of a sugar high at the moment, and all of previously typed message sounded like a blond 16 yr old HS cheerleader in my head. Please feel free to read it that way 🙂

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 8:03 am

You were warned in the prior post about my current mental state, but didn’t MP tell them to feed the birds tuppence a day, or was that part of the joke and I just missed it?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 8:13 am

It was “tuppence a bag”…and, yeah, my colleague misheard that as “puffins a day” somehow. And, yes, potty = dotty…and dotty would have been a better choice, actually. There’s a park in London with flocks of wild parakeets in it. I don’t know if they were originally escaped pets or what, but they clearly survive the Winters and breed. They look pretty eerie on a foggy, mizzly day in London.

So, what did you decide killed the wallaby?

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 8:29 am

Lumpy jaw killed the wallaby 🙂

It’s a smooth tissue infection that tends to originate in the jaw and then infects the jaw bone (hence the name). This guy had the misfortune to get it into his lungs. The disease had progressed enough that one of his lungs was actually adhered to the inner wall of the rib cage. Big ouchie! And his spleen was really big. Three possibilities: a.) he died from suffocation, b.) he died from aspriating even more of the ucky gunk into his lungs, c.) most likely the infection was simply too much for his body to handle and it just shut down. Sorry if that was TMI.

The stupid sulfer-crested cockatoos make a LOT of noise. They like to start screaming at about 0600 and they just don’t shut up!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 8:40 am

Not at all. I wanted to be a pathologist when I was a kid, until I worked out that I was temperamentally unsuited to medical school. It was the ‘stupid and lazy’ part that convinced me.

I still do microscopy for a hobby. I have a couple of decent scopes (and several not very useful but pretty antiques).

I’ve had pleurisy. Ouchie, indeed.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 8:54 am

You know a big wide open field at the moment is veterinary pathology. But that would mean some prerequisites and then another masters degree. I don’t wanna do no more school.

Scopes and slides are cool, but they’re not really my passion. Don’t mind doing insect/plant ids under the scope.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:00 am

Heh. Here’s the entirety of Governer Perry’s reply to the EU’s request that he suspend the death penalty:

“230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.”

Via Patterico via Dave in Texas.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:01 am

Nice!! You gonna post it at GCP?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:02 am

Nah, be my guest. I’ve never posted an article there.

Comment from TattooedIntellectual
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:03 am

Sweasel you gotta take that leap at some point. It won’t hurt I promise 😛 I’ll do it this once.

I think my sugar high is wearing off and seeing as it’s after 11pm and I get up early I’m gonna call it a night.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:04 am

That’s what you get for living on the world’s underbelly. G’night, TI.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 28, 2007, 9:25 am

One of the nicest aspects of the Texan rebuff to the EU was that Texans actually get to elect their leaders – so they can stop offing murderers any time they please.

No such privileges are afforded Europeans, who are governed by a self-appointed ‘elite’ which makes the rules in secret.

The audacity is mind-boggling.

Comment from porknbean
Time: August 28, 2007, 11:18 am

Puffins? Silly woman. I would make a comment about turning birds into cannibals, but they are. Scavengers.

We had a cockatiel, who got her own plate of wittles when we had barbecue. We put her tea saucer at one end (to prevent her from doing a Helen Keller with ours) that had unsauced chicken, broccoli, and bits of potato. When she was done, she would sit on my shoulder, wipe her beak on my shirt, and await her ‘patches’ to be tickled.

I took a year of French in college. Got good at reading it. Sucked at writing and speaking it.

Comment from lizardbrain
Time: August 28, 2007, 11:54 am

I know I’ve killed off many brain cells in the interim, but thinking back fifty years or so to my French classes, I want to render the first part of that quote as, “To the water.” Can anyone confirm or correct?

And what was that Dylan song about “Knock-knock-knockin’ on Kevin’s Door?”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 28, 2007, 12:00 pm

Hm. Yes. “To” is prolly closer. As in “chacun à son goût.”

Mister Smarty Reptile.

Comment from Dawn
Time: August 28, 2007, 12:38 pm

Rick Perry is a hotty!

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 28, 2007, 2:46 pm

Julie Andrews is still hot, but sadly she can’t sing so well any more. The most beautiful voice in the world, she was like an angel. Nice boobages too, in SOB.

Comment from A tree falling in the forrest
Time: August 28, 2007, 2:55 pm

Julie Andrews is still hot, but sadly she can’t sing so well any more

“Her singing voice, famous for its four-octave range, was damaged by a botched vocal chord surgery at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital in 1997. “I don’t think she’ll sing again”, Edwards has said. “It’s an absolute tragedy.” Andrews says she now has “a wonderful, deep, bass voice of about five notes and that’s about it.” A malpractice claim against the doctors was settled in 2000, under terms required to remain confidential…

Comment from iamfelix
Time: August 28, 2007, 4:16 pm

I had 2 years of French & 2 years of German in HS and remember little of either. Wish I’d taken Latin. And Enas Yorl reminded me of this:


Comment from jwpaine
Time: August 28, 2007, 4:31 pm

If Fwench is anything like Spanish, “a” can mean “at”, “to”, “on”, “from”, “by”, or “in”–depending on the context.

I’m pretty sure, BTW, that in order to speak Spanish, one only needs four other words used in various combinations with “a” to express the entirety of human knowledge.

The Fwench, of course, need only two (and those two are not, as many imagine, zut alors, but rather, pommes frites).

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: August 29, 2007, 12:12 am

I can hear in my head a snooty French voice say “‘Ello, sailor.”

A most delightful story indeed.

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