Family Building

She: “I tell you, I don’t know where people get their ideas for naming their kids.”

He: “Yeah. There sure are some strange ones out there these days.”

She: “I’m not so sure today’s any different from yesterday, though. I’m still trying to figure out where some of the names in my family came from. But whatever it takes to make a home, I guess.”

He: “Well, I don’t know about a home. But if you do it right, you can use your family’s names to make a house.”

She: “A house?

He: “Sure. To lay the foundation, though, the first kid had better be a girl.”

She: “I don’t get it …”

He: “Florence. Then …”

She: “Oh good grief!”

He: “Don’t interrupt, it’s impolite. Besides, we gotta get this house up ‘fore it rains. Around here, that doesn’t give us much time. The sides are next. Need a boy for that.”

She:Sigh. Wally.”

He: “Hey, you catch on fast. Gotta be able to get in and out, of course.”

She: “Doris. And I need light in my house.”

He: “Winnie.”

She: “Just one? Have to be a big kid. I’m not sure I wish to be responsible for bringing up a child with an eating disorder.”

He: “Oh all right, three Winnies. Though they’re going to have a hell of a time at school keeping track of ’em.”

She: “Teachers wish to complain, they can come here and wash ’em all. Give them something to complain about.”

He: “Word. The next one’s going to have to be happy sleeping in an upstairs bedroom, though.”

She: “Why upstairs?”

He: “So all of us can have a Rufus over our hea … OW! What was that?

She: “A fork. I stuck it in you to christen you with your new name.”

He: “Which is …?”

She:Dunn!

En Garde-n

(Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba continues trying to (um) help with Quilly’s blog …)

He: “Where are you off to?”

She: “Just out to the garden. Going to get a tomato.”

He: “How?”

She: “Same way I usually do. It should be ripe enough to fall into my …”

He: “But how can you get it? Shouldn’t it be them?

She: “Oh, all right! Just for you, I’ll get two-matoes.”

He: “Worse and worse!”

She: “Don’t make me do something I’ll regret later.”

He: “Not my fault. For one thing, it’s not May, it’s October. For another, I’m not keen on toes at the dinner table, no matter what month it is. Talk about strangers in my soup …”

She: “You invited lawyers for dinner?”

He: “Yep. Dressed for the occasion, too.”

She: “In briefs??

He: “Too casual. Lawsuit and tie. And they’re staying for breakfast.”

She: “And what are you fixing them for breakfast?”

He: “Pop torts. Weren’t you going to the garden?”

She: “While I still can. You know what the worst thing about this season is, don’t you?”

He: “Yeah, said the rake. Autumn leaves.”

She: “And winter follows.”

Take Two Aspirin And …

Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba retired from blogging some time ago. But the other day, Quilly was wishing for posts for this site, and since YFNA’s pseudopods have gotten too short, and too weak with age, to go digging up local fences and bringing them home as presents (they wouldn’t have been easy to convert to .html anyway), he had to think of something else if he was going to (um) help.

Well, he just found out something about his work that he decided he just had to share.

As some of you may remember, YFNA studies seaweeds and related plant-like stuff (you know, pond scum) for a living. The dictionary word for this stuff is algae. No, this isn’t Greek to you, or me either. It’s Latin. This will become important in a minute.

You probably know that there are a lot of “-ology” words out there that describe particular fields of study. The “-ology” comes from the Greek word logos, which can mean “(the) word”. As in “the last word on something”. Thus, the study of animals (Greek zoon) is zoology. The study of the mind (Greek psyche) is psychology. If you don’t mind. So it would make sense that the study of algae is algology.

BZZAAATTT!!!!!

Y’see, there’s this arcane rule of English that says you can’t make a compound word out of other words that are derived from more than one language. There’s a fancy term for this sort of thing, which YFNA is too lazy to look up right now. Besides, Quilly wants him to be going to bed, not sitting up writing blog posts.

So putting algae, which is Latin (said this would be important later), together with logos, which is Greek, is verboten, which is German and it means “don’t do it”. Somebody might think that algae is Greek, and spend the rest of the evening quoting Shakespeare and creating a nuisance.

You’re supposed to pair up Greek words with other Greek words. It so happens that there is a Greek word for “seaweed”. It’s phykos. From which we get the word phycology. And a whole lot of mail from pharmaceutical companies that are trying to get us to prescribe their antidepressants. A phycologist going to a psychologist’s clinic to seek treatment for his identity crisis would probably wind up fatally confusing both of them.

But YFNA knew all this already. Has been living with it for, well, since elephants had fur. What he didn’t know is that there is a Greek word that begins with alg- and can be legally combined with logos. That word is algos. Which means pain. So, algology actually is a legal word, and it means “the study of pain”.

Wait ’til I tell the folks at the next phycological society meeting about this. They’ll probably tell me that I need a shrink. I heard that!

The Hoofprints of Paradise

It was after sundown. Darkness falls quickly on the Hawaiian Islands after sundown. I was walking down a beachfront road in Kailua-Kona, on the western shore of Hawai‘i Island, when out of the darkness a drunk called out.

“Do you know God?”

“Do you know Jesus?”

“Or”, as I kept on walking, “are you just vindictive?

I walked on, reflecting on the true tales of living on the Hawaiian Islands for which “vindictive” is one of the milder words, tales which I myself had lived, and I heard him laugh. A crazy laugh, high-pitched, hysterical.

And I thought that I had never heard a more apt description of life in the 50th state.

This is Hawai‘i. Of course it’s hot here. Welcome to Hell.

Dude and Dude: (Nothing) Sacred Song

Beethoven?

“Yeah, dude. Somethin’ wrong wit’ that?”

“No way, dude, I just didn’t know you could. What d’y’use?”

“Huh?”

“For bait, dude. To catch the oven. An’ y’re gonna need some pretty heavy duty tackle.”

“Bait me any more, dude, and you’re gonna get tackled. Sit down an’ listen f’r once.”

“OK, OK, dude, I’m just tryin’ to save us some money.”

O sanctissima

“WaiwaiwaiwhoawhoaSTOP!

Now what?”

“What the hell are they talkin’ about?

“About Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Y’mean Jesus, this half-Jewish, half-Roman guy? Kinda like Bob Marley – half black, half white, an’ people think he’s all that?”

You, dude, have been watchin’ too many Monty Python movies* lately.”

Them I can grok. This? I’ve got no clue what they’re sayin’!

“It’s Latin, dude. You’re just gonna hafta do the best y’can.”

” ‘k …”

Audi nos O Maria …

“She sells cars?

“Dude …”

Ora pro nobis

“OK, she’s a vegetarian car seller.”

What?

You heard ’em, dude. She’s pro no beast. She’s either a veggie or she really hates pets. Either way …”

“Right, dude. And for your punishment, you get to hear the song again. Maybe this time I’ll get to hear some of it.”

“There’s always headphones, dude …”

O sanctissima, O piissima …

TMI, dude! Way TMI!”

Huh?

“Dude, I don’t care how cool she is, I don’t wanna know ’bout her bathroom habits. I am outa here!”

* Monty Python’s Life of Brian alludes to the first-century CE story that Jesus of Nazareth was the product of an illicit union between Mary and an unidentified Roman soldier. – The Amoeba