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The Holey And The Profane

He and She were seated at dinner, a little later than usual, because of His schedule and because Murphy – He of the Law – intruded into Her meal preparations. One item in particular had resisted consumption – the box wouldn’t open – to which She had responded with frustration and dismay. Not to mention volume.

She: “You didn’t use this serving spoon?”

He: “No, I used the slotted spoon on both the broccoli and the couscous.”

She: “You used the holey spoon on the cous-cous? But it’s not Christian.”

He: “Well, then, it’s high time it had a religious experience. I reckon it needs all the help it can get.”

She: “Oh?”

He: “Yeah. Considering both its name and what it had to go through to get onto this table.”

She: “Its name?”

He: “Cuss-cuss.”

She: “Well, serves it right. I had a devil of a time getting that box open!”


  1. How could you possibly use a holey spoon with couscous? Doesn’t it pass right through the slots?

    …grinning and shaking my head…

  2. Father Greg Boyle was interviewed on local radio yesterday and explained that a more precise translation of the sermon on the mount would have been “In the right place are the meek…” By which, perhaps, is meant a box.

    1. Or maybe steerage, Dawg. Father Boyle is perhaps spiritual mentor to the Bill Gateses of the world? I always thought I preferred the translation “Congratulations!” of the Greek word makarios (traditionally, “blessed”). Now I know I do.

  3. Is THAT how ya say it??? LOL! We call is coos-coos! But WE are a little coo coo!

    Ya know — Linda (of Mocha) could LIVE with you two verrrrrry easily!

    1. Melli, the Wikipedia page on couscous allows either pronunciation. Of course, in the original Arabic, it could be something utterly unintelligible to American ears. But, if the learned and ingenious scholar Alibaba al-Simsim is correct, the term originated during the time of the Crusades, as invective to be hurled (along with anything handy, including cooking utensils, which explains the eventual transference of the term to a food item) at invading knights, on occasions where there wasn’t time for the ordinary (and time-consuming) run of curses. That brings the original pronunciation of the word closer to the one used in this post, with the pronunciation most commonly found in America (coos-coos) representing a euphemism, similar to “darn”. That the latter pronunciation also invokes the behaviors of pigeons is unfortunate, and (it is to be hoped) coincidental.

      1. WOW! Amoeba… you amaze me. I never in allllllll my life expected such an elaborate response to my comment! But THANK YOU for the history lesson! 🙂

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