Sunday, March 10, 2013

139. Colloquialisms

Came in this morn and found C.W. asleep at my desk. He had assumed the form of a middle-aged man resembling a mix between William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. A nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels sat to the side and my computer screen was filled with writing. Ignoring his loud snoring, I moved behind him and began to read.

Report to the Falloonian Elders – Draft

This followed.

“There are many communication oddities employed by this species, as evidenced by the term of endearment I use, in my many human forms, for my American host—‘Big Dope.’ In fact, not only his wife, but some of his close acquaintances are now using the term in a most loving way. It is a truly charming aspect of my experience among these life forms. It will be one of his most precious memories, I feel quite sure, of my stay on this planet.

“But, of even more interest are the colloquial forms that this species uses to express itself. These exist as seasoning for their communication much like the spices they favor for making their meals more pleasant.

“For example, if I inquire of Big Dope if he thinks his wife, Mrs. Big Dope, might like to go to an estate sale, he will reply, ‘Why you mention that and she’ll jump straddle of a string and be waitin’ at the door in a minute flat.’

“I think that means she can prepare for deployment in a short period of time when she chooses.

“When I asked the derivation of this expression, he says he learned it from his late father-in-law.

“Mrs. Big Dope herself is not above such expressions. When cooking one of her more interesting meals, she might be heard to say ‘Little bit will do good. Whole lot will cure.’

“This has something to do with measuring quantities.

“When Big Dope finds himself restrained from exacting revenge on a person because he is temporarily indebted to that person, he might be heard to say, ‘Can’t do that right now. I have my cows in his pasture.’

“He claims that one of his grandfathers originated this expression, and that it surfaces quite often in a small region of his state.

“When expressing extreme reluctance for a proposed adventure, it would not be unusual at all to hear a member of this species, for example, say something like, ‘I would rather be in Hell with a broke back than spend a night in the Opryland Hotel.’

“In other words, they had rather not pursue the endeavor.

I love the way Americans speak.
It's just the language that
confuses me. - C.W.
“Space limitations, and considerations of taste prevent full examination of such gems as

- Meaner than an old settin’ hen.

- Hotter than a knocked up whore in church.

- Squirming like a worm in hot ashes, and others.

As I reached the end of the writing, C.W. awoke with a groan. He raised a face dominated by two large bloodshot eyes, his hair falling down his forehead in greasy strands. He stroked a day-old stubble of beard, and looked at me with surprise. “Wasssup?”

“Jeez, C.W.,” I said. “You look like something that was called for and couldn’t come and when it got there it wasn’t needed.”

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