Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Surrealist Alphabet

Every child learns the alphabet when growing up. I learned two.

The Alphabet (Translation)
A for 'orses (hay for horses)
B for mutton (beef or mutton)
C for 'th highlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
D for 'ential (deferential)
E for Adam (Eve or Adam)
F for 'vescence (effervescence)
G for police (Chief of police)
H for respect; or

H 'fore beauty
(age for respect)

(age before beauty)
I for Novello; or

Ivor you or me
(Ivor Novello)

(Either you or me)
J for oranges (Jaffa oranges)
K for 'ancis; or

K for undressing
(Kay Francis), or

(K for undressing)
L for leather (Hell for leather)
M for 'sis (emphasis)
N for 'adig (in for a dig, or infradig)
O for the garden wall (over the garden wall)
P for a penny (pee for a penny)
Q for a song; or

Q for billiards
(cue for a song),

(cue for billiards)
R for mo' (half a mo' - ment)
S for you (it's for you)
T for two (tea for two)
U for films; or

U for mism
(UFA films)

V for La France (Vive La France)
W for quits (double you for quits)
X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)
Y for Gawd's sake (why, for God's sake)
Z for breezes; or

Z for 'is 'hat
(zephyr breezes)

(His head for his hat)

See also: Cockney alphabet, which says:
The Cockney alphabet, also known as the Surrealist alphabet is a humorous recital of the alphabet, parodying the way the alphabet is taught to small children. The humour comes from forming unexpected words and phrases from the names of the various letters of the alphabet. In the 1930s, the comedy double act Clapham and Dwyer recorded the ... version {listed above}.
I grew up associating it with Arthur Askey or Ted Ray, English comedians.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fables For Our Times # 3

The Bear Who Let It Alone

James Thurber, from Fables for Our Time. New York, 1940

IN THE woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or let it alone. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on the bar and say, “See what the bears in the back room will have,” and he would go home. But finally he took to drinking by himself most of the day. ‘He would reel home at night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge ‘lamps, and ram his elbows ‘through the windows. Then he would collapse on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform. In the end he became a famous: teetotaller and a persistent temperance lecturer. He would tell everybody that came to his house about the awful effects of drink, and ‘he would boast about how strong and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff. To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming his elbows through the windows. Then he would lie down on the floor, tired by his. healthful exercise, and, go to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

Moral: You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Charles Addams # 12

"For goodness sake, stop that chattering and let your father think."