BB #22: Ass-U-Me

Brain BubbleMy work project is entering the final stretch, so long days and no blogging to speak of. But this morning, eating toast induced a Brain Bubble I thought worth recording, so here I am for a drive-by quickie, a blogging booty call.

You know how people like to say (usually in that annoying sing-song voice), “When you ‘assume’ you make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’.” This is often in retaliation for someone having assumed something someone else found unwarranted.

To those people I’d just like to say, “Huh?”

It’s quite possible ‘U’ve made an ass of yourself by making some unwarranted assumption.

(Everyone knows about your tendency to fly off the handle.) But leave ‘me’ out of it, okay? Me had nothing to do with it.

UAs is true in life, so it is true with assumptions: one ass per. And that would be ‘U’.

And while we’re on the subject of the letter ‘U’ and its identity crisis with ‘you’, I have another bone to pick. It involves any joke where the punchline is, “F.U.”

I believe the canonical version is from the Neil Simon play, The Odd Couple. Oscar Madison (the slob sportscaster) finds a note left on his pillow by Felix Ungar (the overly neat, fussy news writer). If memory serves, the line is, “We’re out of corn flakes. F.U.”

The audience always cracks up. Everyone gets the joke.

The Odd CoupleBut what has always bothered me is that the ‘F’ is an initial, but the ‘U’ is a homophone.

The joke that they stand for both ‘Felix Ungar’ and ‘fuck you’ is slightly spoiled for me due to the mismatch.

(It helps that ‘F’ (‘eff’) is a frequent replacement for ‘fuck’ among people who are not comfortable with the actual word but are angry enough to want to express the idea behind it. ‘F.U.’ has long been an exclamation that stood in for its cruder cousin.)

If his name had been Felix Yastrzemski, the initials would have been logically correct. The problem is that it ruins the gag. “We’re out of corn flakes. F.Y.” doesn’t work.

It’s not funny at all.

It’s a weird thing that the joke has to be slightly broken for it to work at all.

There’s probably a metaphor for life there.

Some things just don’t work when they’re logically correct — you need to get off the main path a little.

Sometimes only jazz riffs on life do the trick!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

38 responses to “BB #22: Ass-U-Me

  • dianasschwenk

    I have never even considered the FU vs. FY thing! What’s in that toast you’re eating?!

    Thanks for my Friday chuckle. 🙂

  • heysugarsugar

    Aww you do brighten my blogging day 😀 hey my lovely, it’s your faithful Sugar wandering in to wave and say …lovely to see you and btw..I ate peanut butter on toast this morning and had a blogging brainwave but now I gone off the idea! Just saying 😀 😀 oh and ole Sugar has no trouble saying fuck…I can’t be arsed with shortening things, I’m too black and whatever that…oh and another thing, I hate it when people text and say ‘u’ not ‘ you’ ….hey ho 😉 xxx

  • heysugarsugar

    That’s it I’m off to sulk in the corner…you don’t love me anymore 😛

    • Wyrd Smythe

      What I don’t love is “do you love me” questions; they don’t evoke good feelings. They’re ambushes—bandits lurking in them there hills, and I’m smart enough to go around that valley and evade them!!

  • heysugarsugar

    Ok your moody…what is up my friend ? Go private….x

    • Wyrd Smythe

      No….. not moody (no more so than normal, anyway!) and nothing is up (at least nothing new that I haven’t been writing about for months). There has been a sea change of late regarding my presence here… more bluntness and honesty… more myselfness. And the truth is, I’m not really big on lots of idle banter. A bit with people you know well is fun, but it’s a dash of spice in relationships otherwise based on substance. Without the substance, it doesn’t hold my interest. In the end, I’m all about ideas and minds, and that’s where I want to focus my energy these days.

  • heysugarsugar

    Okkkkkkkk well that’s telling me then….I apologise

    • Wyrd Smythe

      There’s no call for apologies; I’m not trying to tell anyone off here. I’m just being myself. (And, as it seems to do every time, when I do it invariably turns into a thing and someone gets offended. [sigh] This is why I should just keep my mouth shut and never talk to anyone.)

      • heysugarsugar

        Oh behave you grumpy ole thing….I’m not offended I’m used to you 😉 it takes more than that to scare me off you know that 😉 ….anyway as your faithful follower I just smile and think that’s mah boy 😉

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Oy, I’ve earned my grumpiness! It’s one of the few things that’s truly mine! 🙂

  • heysugarsugar

    Lmao 😉 😀

  • bronxboy55

    I just finished reading Volume 1 of Neil Simon’s plays, including The Odd Couple. Your post is one of the few places where the name Ungar is spelled correctly. Not that I’m surprised.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      [blush] Well, it was Unger in the TV show, so maybe that’s why they’re confused. Back in the 70s/80s—my “theatre phase”—Neil Simon was big, so I saw a lot of stagings. And we did a lot of scenes in acting class!

  • lexborgia

    That bubble formed due the soap in your head, that must be one hell of a brand. F.

  • rarasaur

    From now on, I’ll say FY should the need ever arise, haha! 😀 I’ve always had a problem with the “assume” thing, though… it’s catchy, but plain ‘ol wrong. Nobody but me makes an ass out of me. 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I know, right? Catchy, makes a point with which I agree, but the logic is—as you say—dead wrong!

      Telling someone “FY” will likely confuse them (which may make for a great effect)! They may think you’re trying to give them information or something.

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