In an attempt to determine which sex they are, we sheared two of the human teenagers last evening. We could have got away with just shearing one of them had that one turned out to be the girl, because then, ipso facto, the sum of the square on the other two sides would have been equal to the square on the hypotenuse. Ended up being the two males under the lock of quarantine hair (did you see what I did there, Mal?), and, as they now have the requisite haircut, we will be posting them off next week to the US Marine Recruitment Centre. Once we get the required packaging materials from the Post Office. Does the Post Office do deliveries? (That is not a joke – well. it is, but it is also a query: go and find out for me, Question Girl, please, now that you know what google is.)
Because fruck this home schooling lark for a game of marleys! They will learn more in their six months in Marine Boot Camp than they would in a month of Sundays on Showbie or Google Classroom. And they might actually learn something practical – like how to speak English to adults again, albeit American English, which should probably be re-classified under modern foreign languages, like. (What I have done there is, without being specific about it, I have satirised an aspect of the paucity of American English usage by using one of its indispensable communication crutches as the final word in my own sentence. And, yes, I have been watching too much Stewart Lee recently, but, sure, why wouldn’t you? There is, as usual, nothing ‘worthy of my serious attention’ on the TV, as Mal’s Da used to say when perusing the television listings in the daily paper, when such listings used to consist of only six channels, and when he used to be alive. Now, how am I going to get out of these brackets?)
And with one bound, he was free! The male teenagers already know how to disobey direct orders from their full-time mother, but they might find that skill of little practical use to them where they are going. I hope, at least, when they come back that they have not been afflicted by the terrible mid-Atlantic, hailstone accent that affects Graeme Mc Dowell (why can he not even spell his own first name properly?) and several other Irishmen who have to spend part of their time in the US of A to earn a few bob. Our wee Liam from Ballymena is not completely immune to it either. I wonder will yer Hollywood star who is currently stranded in Dalkey because of the Kerfuffle be inversely afflicted when he gets back Stateside and start pronouncing ‘many’ as if it is the word ‘man’ with a ‘ee’ sound on the end of it. Here’s a linguistic tip for the Mexicans on this island: the vowel ‘a’ has two pronunciations, and they are not both the same; any questions? Or, as some of them would pronounce it, ‘Annie questions?’
Sorry, I got side-tracked there [from what? – Ed.] (Oh here, by the way Ed., since you’re here, I should inform you that two sub-eds have joined the gang, so watch yourself! And welcome, Lick&Spittle; sort out among yourselves which of you is to be Lick and which Spittle, and let me know, but I will generally refer to youse in the collective noun indicative of the work youse do to keep this blog up to its traditionally (too) high linguistic standards. If I had a Finance Director, he would be on to me about the added expense of all these brackets today.) So, yeah, I can’t say I will really miss the male teenagers when they go off to be marines. They do not really contribute much to the ambience of the hacienda at the moment, unless constant conflict is the parent-offspring ambience we are aiming at. And it’s not, as that is taken care of by the parent-parent relationship. Part-time wife was (slightly) concerned that one of them might get killed when they are over there playing their war games. She did not specify which one (she is not, despite her working conditions, in a Nazi war film) and was (slightly) mollified when I pointed out that we did, in fact, have a spare one, having over-produced on the male offspring project when sex was still a thing in the household. I think she was trying for a wee gay one, but got the cooking wrong. I further pointed out from, as you may guess, the beneficence of my accumulated wisdom that the USian army does not fight real wars these days anyway, so the chance of collateral damage to one of the sons was minimal. Their last two major wars have seen them pitted against an abstract noun (terrorism) and a microbiological virus (covid-19): not much danger of either of those two combatants surprising either son in his trench and stiffing him with a bayonet to the belly. They do still use bayonets in armies, don’t they?
Yeah, the pics? Fine looking cat, if you ask me, and you can see how seriously she takes her guard-cat duties: that garden furniture outside the bay window is going nowhere without her say so. But twas the Marketing Manager made me put them up. She sent me a memo pointing out that if I did not want to continue to flatten the curve of readership of this blog, I should post more cat pictures. I do not know why she sent me a memo as she was sitting right in front of me in our early-morning skype meeting at the time. Marketing types, eh? Who knows what they actually do? (That is neither a joke nor a query, although marketing departments generally are a joke.) But surely rather than cats, it is you, gentle reader, who should be assisting in un-flattening the curve of readership of the blog by using that secret weapon that you keep concealed behind your teeth? That’s right, smart boy at the back of the class, word of mouth. So off you go and tell all your mate(s) about the blog. I will wait on youse here …
… done? OK, two thoughts about the bottom pic: a) which of us is more relaxed? and b) did I copy the cat or did the copy-cat cat copy me?
As for the subtitle of today’s lecture, again twas the Marketing Manager who informed me that Question Girl aka Shirleen is 84 today. All together now, “Happy Birthday to it, Happy Birthday to it, we can’t sing ‘to her’ or ‘to him’ anymore, in case we get in the shit.” Is that how the new version goes?