Christmas: Day 4

shop shop shopOf twelve.  It’s hard not to notice how Christmas peeks out from under the covers earlier and earlier every year. One of my more recent seasonal traditions is noting how soon the first signs appear. The commercial opportunities of Halloween run interference in the fall; this year I found Christmas spoor on November 1st.

How Thanksgiving managed to escape heavy commercialization escapes me. Maybe people are spent out due to those two spendiest of holidays bracketing either side. Attics now store as many boxes of Halloween decorations as they do Christmas ones!

I guess the long foreplay is a good thing considering the instant exit once the deed is done.

sale sale saleI should be dismayed or disgusted or something other than numb, but the truth is I just shook my head when I saw (repeatedly, the thing I hate most about commercials: the mind-killing repetition) Kmart’s TV ads for a “Winter Sale” (because, of course, selling stuff is what TV is all about).

Those ads feature a guy taking down his Christmas lights (indicating the ad was written by an idiot, since no one takes down their lights in the dead of winter; we just don’t turn them on). The clear message (other than, “BUY! BUY! BUY!”) is that Christmas is over, it’s, like, totally so yesterday, you know?

These ads began running… wait for it… or have you already guessed… on Christmas Day!

Geeze, Louise! (And Thelma, too.)

Are you people all nuts??

Are you people all nuts??

Sometimes I feel I live in this giant insane asylum where the patients long ago overran and overcame the place. They’ve been running the joint so long everyone thinks it’s normal. I’m truly at a loss sometimes trying to understand how it manages to continue, how the sheer weight of idiocy and greed in the world doesn’t drag it to a dead halt.

But I come not to rant, but to joke (because it’s Chillaxmas, after all)!

Last year I shared a bunch of Santa and Christmas pieces I’ve been saving as “keepers” for many, many years. I thought this year I’d gift you with some wyrd play pieces.

Here’s a cute piece I picked up a bit more recently from someone known as “Pegasus” back in 2002.

If werds wer horsez that we cuud ried
I wunder how fast weed go if we tried?
If awl uv owr Inglish wuz spelt just thuh saym,
Then klasez in Inglish wuud seem rathr taym.
No ruuls too reemembr, no xsepshuns too theez
Eye kan think uv sum teechrs hoo wuudn’t bee pleezd.

An sins dooing this poem iz geting queyet ruff
Eyel tayk pity awn yuu an say ‘that’s enuff’!

Very clever bit of writing. Here’s another one that will bend your mind a little:

When an S and I and O and U and X spell Sioux,
And an E and Y and E spell eye, what is a speller to do?
When an S and I and G and H and ED spell sighed,
There is nothing for a speller but to commit SiouxEyeSighed.

I wonder if you can have this much fun in other languages. As I understand it, there are Latin puns and wordplays, so perhaps they exist in all languages.

My buddy has told me of a German one: In response to the question, “Was ist los?” (How’s it going?) one replies, “Die kuh is los!” (The cow is loose!) The pun (as I understand it) depends on the the German “los” (pronounced with a long “o”) sounding like the word for “going” (los) and “loose” (lose).

ho ho hoAh, the Germans and their wacky sense of humor! Such a light-hearted people. (Seriously, have you seen the German Ambassador to the UN on The Colber(t) Repor(t)? I’d love to meet the guy; he must be a hoot!)

Well, high time you got off the computer and back to Chillaxmas fun, unless, I guess, reading blogs is your idea of Chillaxmas fun. Writing them isn’t mine, so on that note I leave you with this:

The Euro Language

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would be known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of the”k”. This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be ekspekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e”s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru! And zen ve vil tak over ze world!

Enjoy Chillaxmas!

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

8 responses to “Christmas: Day 4

  • dianasschwenk

    Not all Germans are that serious! It’s funny how word play cannot be translated into other languages and still be funny.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      That’s my point! I wasn’t being sarcastic; that Ambassador guy must be a stitch! He’s been on Colbert a few times now (I’m pretty sure he really is the German Ambassador to the UN and not an actor — if he’s a fake, they’ve played it for real). The guy is playing to his grumpy looks, but anyone who can play along like that has to have a great sense of humor.

      You’re right about word play, and it made me just wonder: does the global nature of the world affect comedy today? In trying to sell funny to diverse cultures, is it necessary to make the comedy more generic somehow? Food for thought!

      • dianasschwenk

        Most people only pay attention to stuff that they can relate to. I think a successful comedian needs to know enough about the local culture to make that audience laugh. The same is true of any speaker. That’s what I think anyway!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Absolutely! If for no other reason than to make sure to avoid gaffes or outright offenses in local terms. (Like the famous story of the Chevy Nova… “Nova” apparently means “no go” in Spanish.)

        Now take that to the level writing comedy for global consumption. Trying to insure you create something that avoids all the pitfalls and somehow universally appeals.

        I’m thinking of TV shows and movies where there is now a strong global market. What I’m really wondering is if the need for universal appeal accounts for the insipidness that is so common these days. Plus people are so reactive these days and quick to take offense. Comedy, by its very nature, skirts with the offensive, so it’s gotta be a tricky road to navigate!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Astonishing as it may be, I do come up with them on occasion! 🙂

      • dianasschwenk

        Quick! Someone make note of this momentous declaration on a calendar or something! 🙂

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