The sun has been shining. It finally stopped raining. That means, lucky me, that I have been able to get back to work in the gardens. That also means, lucky you, my mind has been wandering again. Have you ever noticed how, for example, one minute you can be thinking about how nice the new shoots of chives look and the next you're wondering why your sister laughed when you had your tricycle accident at age 3? And then: what ever happened to what's his name, the boyfriend who took you to prom and bought such a horrid corsage? Minds are a marvelous, mysterious thing, aren't they?
Here's where mine went yesterday:
Why do people identify themselves with 'It's me.' The phone rings, you answer and the person on the other end says "Hi, it's me." There are over 6 billion humans on the planet that can truthfully make that statement and over 750 million of them can say it in English. What if you happen to know several 'me's' that sound alike? Do you just talk until you figure out who it is (and hope you don't say the wrong thing to the wrong one)? How embarrassing and insulting to not know who 'me' is. Besides, it should be 'It's I' – now how weird would that sound?
On a similar subject, why do people approach one another at gatherings and say, with a big smile, "Hi, remember me?" and then nothing more. No clue as to why one should remember them or what their name is. Just a big grin and a glance around to make certain others are watching the lack of recognition. Is this a memory deficiency test in disguise? Were these the same people that stole lunch money as children?
Why are people putting so many unnecessary words into everyday speech? Does it make us sound smarter to use 10 words when 5 would
do the job work? Does 'You're going to want to go ahead and get in the vehicle now' sound more intelligent than 'You may get into the car' or even 'Get in the car'? Reminds me of the first words of wisdom I received as a new 'computer salesperson': If you can't dazzle them with your intelligence buffalo them with your bullshit.
And now some random language flubs that my memory unearthed:
Beer Float On a particularly hot day in the club house after golf a friend ordered a beer sundae. She ordered 'una cerveza con helado' (ice cream) rather than 'una cerveza con hielo' (ice). Unfortunately, the waitress had no sense of humor and didn't bring it to her. Instead she took the usual approach of staring, uncomprehendingly, until we explained.
Drinks on the Roof We had just sat down at our table for dinner, in a lovely little country house hotel in Alsace, a few years ago when a very nice young lady asked us, in English, if we would 'like a drink on the roof'. As we had been driving all day and it was a beautiful early summer evening that sounded lovely. A relaxing apperitif on a rooftop terrace looking out over the vineyards….how delightful. We stood to follow her; she looked puzzled. After a few minutes we clarified: she had offered us a drink 'on the house' – a complementary glass of sparkling wine.
In Honor of…the Penis? Many of the houses in the Vendee have a niche above the front door which is supposed to hold a statue of The Virgin Mary (remember, France is a Catholic country – as is Spain, Italy, Andorra, Portugal, Ireland…). A British friend who lives near us had his stolen. He decided to replace it. Why he, who speaks meager French, should set off on this quest alone we'll never know. His wife, who speaks excellent French, was laughing before he left the drive. You see, even though he knew the correct word his accent (like many of us) was not always up to the task. And there is only the tiniest difference between asking for a statue of The Virgin, 'La Vierge' and a statue of a penis, 'la verge'.
While he knew the first word he was blissfully unaware of the second. He returned empty handed, scratching his head. He couldn't figure out why something so simple and so common was so hard to buy: shop-owners either laughed, blushed or got angry. His niche is still empty.
I know of a place in Spain near Andorra that sells statues of penises (really! – No, I don't know why). Hmmm. Perhaps he's deserving of an anonymous gift…