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Here is a collection of notes to various really, really obscure references and puns and other stuff in the essays that, if either of us had a life, I wouldn't be writing and you wouldn't be reading.

-Enjoy! RHB


Related Essay (485)
No computers were harmed in the making of this essay.

1 Though, just to make things worse, the actual fourteen days of those weeks are largely non-contiguous.
2 In spite of what I said in Feathers an' Fluff last year I really do miss the little buggers.
3 Busily keeping Austin weird.
4 I really wish they'd deliver to Beccles.

Related Essay (485)
Related Essay (491)
1 It is, according to the local paper, a quote stolen from Lavengro: The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest, an 1851 novel by East Dereham-born writer George Borrow, in which he includes the following description of Norwich: "...a fine old city, truly, is that, view it from whatever side you will; but it shows best from the east, where the ground, bold and elevated, overlooks the fair and fertile valley in which it stands."

2 Broad: In the slang sense of "woman" in use by 1911, perhaps suggestive of broad hips, but it also might trace to American English abroadwife, word for a woman (often a slave) away from her husband. Earliest use of the slang word suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women's athletics, the track and field broad jump (1863) was changed to the long jump c. 1967.

3 See here.

4 See here.

5 Playle ➔ Pail ➔ Bucket. Simple really. And I have actually essayed on the "other things".

6 And indeed see here.

7 Though, apparently, sometimes size does matter.

8 For all I know they may STILL be there, I haven't been that way in decades.

Related Essay (491)
Related Essay (492)
1 The plural of 'footnote' surely ought, out of common decency, to be 'feetnote': the word 'footnotes' being so predictably sad, boring and, quite frankly, poopy.

2 The fact that they normally call themselves by their initials, NOAA, and that they apparently pronounce this 'Noah' tells you all you need to know about their attitude towards life, liberty and the pursuit of rain; not to mention the quality of their sense of humour.

3 For example there is the ever-popular 'Yellow Snow Warning' which rather surprisingly isn't to avoid eating it.

4 One study, by Halliday et al ("Meteorite Impacts on Humans and Buildings." in the journal Nature, 1985) calculates the rate of impacts to humans as 0.0055 per year, or 1 event every 180 years.

5 That last was a joke for research chemists, and the like sort of person, and was very funny.

6 Actually an 'NPA' covers more than just heat, rendering it even less useful. A list of the things it covers can be found at www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/prod..o...d
Oh! Damn!
...Damn!*

7 Which I pretty obviously haven't.



* Damn! I failed!! You'll still have to go to the bloody site!

Related Essay (492)
Related Essay (493)
1 See here.

2 See Official Report of the Dig at the Front Room Site, 2021 in the 'Side Project additional 2" section or here.

3 Showing my age. Time was when a movie was screened over and over and patrons could enter at any point and watch the movie starting at any point in its story-line watch to the end maybe through some shorts and then see the beginning through to the point at which they would say something like "this was where we came in" and then leave, or not...
From Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana Texas 5 december-1935.


And the exception that, if not proving*, certainly illustrates the rule:

*  My misuse of 'proving' is absolutely, definitely intentional: see Proofing Ground.

Related Essay (493)
* No that Related Piece (16)
* No that is not an error, and I certainly don't want to discuss it here.

Related Piece (16)
1 Related Essay (318)

1 After it had been distainfully rejected by Colley Cibber and the Drury-Lane theatre

2 And that’s without even calling it the ‘Bugger’s Opera’ in a brilliantly obscure reference to Sir John Betjeman’s Ghastly Good Taste.

3 Compare written Chinese with, on the one hand spoken Chinese, and on the other written Japanese of the Kanji persuasion; or again compare all those foolish jokes and 'pomes' one sees, often circulating on the internet and perpetrated by the illiterate or at least the etymologically challenged, that claim that English spelling is illogical.

4 By Longfellow, or possibly Tallchap.


Related Essay (318)
1812 Related Essay (387)

1 Most authorities actually think of it as more of a draw since things did end up in statu quo res erant ante bellum. But if you, say, compare our football with yours, or baseball with cricket, and then consider how much Americans hate draws and how much the British love them, you can then draw (ha, ha) your own conclusions about who really, really won.

2 I know, I've tried.


3 MY OLD MAN'S A DUSTMAN - 31/03/1960
(4 weeks at #1 - 13 weeks on chart)

Now here's a little story
To tell it is a must
About an unsung hero
That moves away the dust

Some people make a fortune
Others earn a mint
My old man don't earn much
In fact he's bloomin' skint

Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat
He looks a proper 'nana
In his great big hob nailed boots
He's got such a job to pull 'em up
That he calls 'em daisy roots

Some folks give tips at Christmas
And some of them forget
So when he picks their bins up
He spills some on the step
Now one old man got nasty
And to the council wrote
Next time my old man went round there
He punched him up the throat

Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

I say, I say Les
(Yeah)
I found a police dog in my dustbin
(How do you know it was a police dog)
He had a policeman with him

Though my old mans a dustman
He's got an 'art of gold
He got married recently
Though he's 86 years old
We said 'ere hang on dad
You're getting past your prime
He said "Well when you get my age
It 'elps to pass the time."

Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

I say I say I say
My dustbin's full of lilies
(Well throw'em away then)
I can't lily's wearing 'em

Now one day whilst in a hurry
He missed a ladies bin
He hadn't gone but a few yards
When she chased after him
"What game d'you think you're playing
She cried right from the 'art?
You've missed me am I too late"
Nah jump up on the cart

 

Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

I say I say I say
(Not you again)
My dustbin's absolutely full with toadstools
(How d'you know it's full)
Cuz there's not mushroom inside

He found a tiger's head one day
Nailed to a piece of wood
The tiger looked quite miserable
But I suppose he should
Just then from out the window
A voice began to wail
He said "Oy where's me tigers head?"
---Four feet from his tail

Oh my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

Next time you see a dustman
Looking all pale and sad
Don't kick him in the dustbin
It might me my old dad.

 



4 DOES YOUR CHEWING GUM LOSE ITS FLAVOUR

Oh-me, oh-my, oh-you
Whatever shall I do
Hallelujah, the question is peculiar
I'd give a lot of dough
If only I could know
The answer to my question
Is it yes or is it no

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight?
If your mother says don't chew it
Do you swallow it in spite
Can you catch it on your tonsils
Can you heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

Here comes a blushing bride
The groom is by her side
Up to the altar
Just as steady as Gibraltar
Why, the groom has got the ring
And it's such a pretty thing
But as he slips it on her finger
The choir begins to sing

 

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight
If your mother says don't chew it
Do you swallow it in spite
Can you catch it on your tonsils
Can you heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

Now the nation rise as one
To send their only son
Up to the White House
Yes, the nation's only White House
To voice their discontent
Unto the Pres-I-dent
They pawn the burning question
What has swept this continent

[Lonnie speaks:]
If tin whistles are made of tin
What do they make fog horns out of
Boom, boom

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight
If your mother says don't chew it
Do you swallow it in spite
Can you catch it on your tonsils
Can you heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

On the bedpost overnight

[Man:]
Hello there, I love you and the one who holds you tight

[Lonnie:]
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Sat'day night

On the bedpost overnight

[Man:]
A dollar is a dollar and a dime is a dime

[Lonnie:]
He's singin' out the chorus
But he hasn't got the time

On the bedpost overnight, yeah



BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS

In 1814 we took a little trip
along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

etc. etc. ...

Music and lyrics by Jimmy Driftwood


Related Essay (387)
2 Related Essay (474)
¹ Though having said that, I feel I should be cautious, remembering the time, several years ago, that I got into dreadful trouble with the NRA, and considered having to go into hiding and change my name, when I compared baseball to the ancient English game of rounders, which it strongly resembles, and I happened to express the erroneous opinion that unlike baseball, rounders is nowadays only ever played by tiny, tiny children in the U.K. Boy are those officials of the National Rounders Association an unforgiving lot! Anyway, as Captain Edward Smith once said: let's plough on regardless! See the note to: Land of Glory? Not a Hope! for the full horror!

² Difficult circumstances: in cricket a damp, soft pitch may make the ball bounce in a less predictable way.

³ Extremely shocked or upset: from the highest scoring action, where six runs are awarded to a batsman who hits the ball over the boundary without it touching the ground.

Unfair: based on the surprising belief that cricketers were somehow absolutely sportsman-like and would NEVER break or bend the rules, or at least were in the mythical past.

Unexpected, odd or strange: from the area covered by the left fielder who has the farthest throw to first base.

Left-handed: from the orientation of early baseball fields to the same points of the compass, such that the pitcher's left arm was on the "south" side of his body. One of the few expressions for such chirality not based on superstition or jealousy.

XXX—I'm sure I don't need to explain what that means to YOU of all people!

Such as the one about the kid who was supposed to be up at bat, but instead was actually a fair way up a nearby tree.

Rounders, on the other hand...

Related Essay (474)
A scientist replies... Related Essay (245)
A scientist replies...

Dear Richard:
Where to begin?
First, I can't wait to hear how you will pronounce your derived equations on the air.

Second, your assessment of neoteny as an evolutionary "strategy" seems generous, at least to me, since I have always dismissed neoteny as little more than a genetic reluctance to ever throw anything away. I think however you may have a point.

Third, I respectfully submit that your equation correlating the calculated center of hirsuticity (COH) on the aging male body overlooks two phenomena, one internal and the other external. Is it just a coincidence that the COH shifts as though attracted by gravity (the external force) and more or less in parallel with the changing distribution of adipose tissue towards lower skeletal muscles for whom tone is merely a memory (the internal force)? Is a little covariance speculation called for here?
And by letting neoteny rear its ugly juvenile head, you flirt with 'ontegeny recapitulates phylogeny', which then runs the risk of disappearing into the dim gloom of Hegelian dialectics. Sorry, I think that sentence was prompted by your essay this past Saturday, which I enjoyed.

M J Temple O. Carm., Ph.D.

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Absinth Related Essay (254)
1.    "... presence of his own Absinth" As they say 'Absinth makes the heart grow fonder',
...or is it 'Absinth makes the brain grow blubber'?

Related Essay (254)


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