Saturday, September 19, 2009

Yo Ho Ho an' a bottle o' Amstel

Avast there, me hearties! Arrr, just so there be no mistake, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and why should a lily-livered landlubber such as I not dip a toe into the briny? I be sitting on me auchsels wi' a jug o' grog nicely warmin' the cockles o' me insides, the vittles a-roastin' in the bung hole. Arrr, a plump chicken, an' assorted roots, wi' shallots thrown in for good measure, me scallywags, en't no festerin' bilge-rat can accuse Cap'n Signs o' bein' a mean-fisted swabbie.
I be ponderin' on this an' that, lookin' ahead t' th' graduation ceremony o' me son and a-realisin' that me preferred clobber o' purple leggins won't cut a dash among th'addle-brained boffins in the land o' dreamin' spires, but shiver me timbers if I be fool enough to be chuckin' pieces of eight at some scurvy clobbermonger for a piece o' schmatter* that won't see daylight from one end o' th' year to next. So purples it be, me hearties, arrr, and I'm a-thinkin' ye scurvy rascals 'd expect nothin' less from Cap'n Signs.
It bein' the 'versary o' me birth next se'ennight, me ol' mate be a-musin' 'pon what might gladden the 'eart of a wordy beauty such as I. He be full o' the joys o' i-phone, a-gazin' at the damn thing and a-downloadin' applications, such as a pox-ridden sudoku-solver, from th'internet – and now he be of a mind to get one o' th 'poxy things for me, but I be havin' none o' it, bein' a simple (as in honest, ye scurvy lubbers) sign-readin' sea-dog, wi' no need o' fancy booty to keep me treasure chest warm.
So that's the long an' short o' it, me scallywags. I'll close wi' trustin' this finds you as it leaves me – in th' pink an' addled wi' grog – pleased to be firin' a cannon through yer porthole – an jus' remember: when in doubt, say “Arrrrr!”

*it is a well-known fact that many pirates have more than a streak of yiddish in them.


Kahless said...

Aye, well me Jim Lad walk the plank Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

Kahless said...

Ahoy, and Me am glad you be back postin' Aye, me parrot concurs.

Reading the Signs said...

thank 'ee kindly, matey, and thank yer parrot too. I be just lookin' in now an' then, like. Arrr.

tpe said...

Hello, Signs, how are you doing?

That’s fairly impressive that you managed to keep it going till the end. I have a feeling that talking like a pirate must be exhausting. (Wait. Do pirates actually write? Did you dictate your pirate-speak to a secretary, perhaps?)

I’m trying very, very hard to avoid suggesting that you may expect to receive a pirate DVD for your birthday, but I’m not entirely sure that I have the strength of character to stop myself from making such a cheap and terrible joke. We’ll see.

Signs! I’ve just thought what your husband might get you for your birthday: a pirate DVD.

Damn. I really thought I’d last longer than that. Sickening.

How’s your head, by the way? I just read (in your last post) that you’d recently whacked yourself after falling on the patio. Not a good look, I’m sorry to say, but you have my every sympathy.

And you somehow managed to transfer your lower back pains to the body of Mr Signs? How do you do that? I would pay very good money for that information. I’m not saying I would transfer my own pains to Mr Signs, incidentally - I have plenty of targets in mind before I reach him – but if you ever feel like sharing the trick...well, you’d rake in the money. (Can you imagine the joy of being able to randomly transfer any aches and pains to a stranger on the street? Or, better still, to a friend? Heartwarming. Just heartwarming. Share the info, Signs, don't be greedy.)

Kind regards etc....


Reading the Signs said...

I am slightly ashamed to admit, TPE, that it took a very long time for the penny to drop and I've been sitting here thinking you probably meant Pirates of the Carribean and that it was quite a good idea because I like Johnny Depp and also (apparently) pirates, and I couldn't really see what the cheap and terrible joke was. That's the kind of Beauty (piratese for woman) I be, see - simple at 'eart, in spite of my sophisticated veneer.

No, I can't tell you how to do the pain-transfer thing. It's just the gift one is given - like clairvoyance or something, you either have it or you don't. Weird, though! And I would rather have chosen any number of other targets than Mr. Signs, so in my case it's clearly not very useful.

Regards etc. back atcha, Cap'n ...

Nicola said...

Dear Signs, it's only because I really can't do pirate that I haven't spoken here. Whereas over at tpe's I've just been talking nonsense and he somehow manages to translate into something much more worthy or unworthy than I ever intended.
The silver birch here is turning to gold - always makes me think of a certain Finlander and a beautiful description she once wrote of same.

Nicola said...

Not the exact same tree of course...just to be clear.

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola, ahoy! Between you and me, I don't think TPE can do pirate-speak, which is strange because he is linguistically gifted and can Deutsch blaggen better than anyone (except for some penguin, whose name escapes me).

Isn't the gold wonderful - it's everywhere here, and the apples ben fallen in my gardeyne. Lovely autumn.

tpe said...

Hello, Signs (and hello, Nicola). How strange that you should pick up on that. You’re right, I can’t do pirate speak. I spent a few moments (as I did last time round) trying to respond to you as (I felt) a pirate might and, well, it was hopeless and embarrassing. I just can’t carry it off.

You clearly have sufficient pirate blood (or alcohol) in your system. I console myself by thinking that if I still drank alcohol I would probably have made the best pirate ever. I could have been a contender.

Anyway, it’s bad enough finding oneself making a cheap and terrible joke, Signsy, but the fact that you didn’t even get it (until it was far, far too late) adds an astonishingly painful layer to the self-inflicted tragedy. I may never recover.

Please tell me how to transfer pain to other people. If you do, I think you’ll find that either Nicola or Kahless will suddenly be holding their heads in a surprised and agonised shame as I skip gaily – and freely – down your path.

That’s got to be the dream, innit.

Montag said...

I protest. "Clobber" is not Piratical at all.
It's Scots, derived from Pictish, in vogue in the area between the Hadrianic and the Antonine Walls.

It referred originally to the greaves of King Anguselus ( more commonly known as "Lancelot" ).

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, I'm going to cut to the chase: have you got an actual pain in the head that you can't get rid of? Cranial osteopathy and/or identify possible food/substance intolerances. Essential oils of lavender and tea-tree. Dab of peppermint oil around the temples.

If you don't actually have a pain in the head you might not be needing this Good Advice, but have it anyway and unwrap it when you need it. I wouldn't recommend trying to do the pain-transfer thing. It involves unpleasant rituals such as sticking pins in wax effigies, and if you get it wrong the pain is transferred back to you, but tripled (Kahless and Nicola, don't worry, I'm dealing with this), and probably with an STD thrown in for good measure. It's true, I read it in a book.

Another thing you should do is to get yourself a really irritating psychoanalytic Shrink, preferably one who says very little and stares at you at lot while you heap multiple rants and accusations at his/her head. Although useless in almost every other respect, it clears the head wonderfully.

p.s. I'm going to get Pirates of the Caribbean - so (as it happens), thanks.

Reading the Signs said...

Montag, I protest! You have to understand that this is modern Piratese and therefore you must expect certain inconsistencies. I did, however, make a small adjustment, which you will spot in the post. You may argue that there cannot be any such thing as a yiddish pirate, but the spirit of modern piracy, linguistically-speaking at any rate, is surely in the spirit.

Nicola said...

Phew - glad you're dealing with the pain transference, Signs. I place my head in your tender and capable hands...hmmm, sounds a bit baptist, no? What tpe doesn't realise - though he could simply be behaving in a courteously Englishmany fashion - is that I already go about constantly in unsurprised and agonized shame.

Look here...word ver is reinhia! That could apply equally well to the horseman (would we want to rein him in though, Signs? I think not) or be an exciting new arrival of reindeer...possibly? x

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Aarrr harrr... Matey, you haven't been playing with Facebook's Pirate English by any chance, have you?!

Reading the Signs said...

Arrr, Nicola, whenever the agonized (agonised?) shame come upon you, reach for a bottle o' grog an' belt out a sea shanty - 'tis good for "pirattitude".

Vanilla, me old buccaneer, 'tis nobbut landlubbers be consortin' wi' the likes o' Facebook. (But me son did do summate o' th' sort, aye :))

tpe said...

Signs, good day and hello. That was terrific advice you gave to Nicola. Terrific.

In effect, you appear to recommend alcohol as a useful means of battling shame. I've searched many years, both high and low (predominantly the latter), for a doctor/boffin who would be prepared to give me such advice and an official looking note to go with it. With official sanctioning (the word of a doctor goes a long way, after all), it would then become demonstrably churlish, unhelpful and anti good health for my girlfriend to complain as I pour gin all over my cornflakes. Be my doctor, Signs, help me. Give me a note like the one you just gave to Nicola.

Nicola - don't listen to her, she's clearly as mad as a fish. Shame can only be dealt with by not feeling ashamed and, as most sensible people know, this is entirely undoable if you've lived your life right. Or wrong. Besides, having no shame would be a bit "no regrets, never say sorry, I'm just being me, innit". If there is a more selfish, dull-witted or common way to live, Ms Nicola, then I've yet to encounter it. Anyway, here's something lovely for you to listen to and watch.

Signs. I felt that Montag had you excitingly bang to rights - I just had to trust that he knew what he was talking about, as it was all news to me - but you seem to have squirmed your way to a temporary, Yiddishy freedom. Schmatter? Nice.

I'm impressed by your cunning, obviously, although I'm not sure you really needed to tell him that you had modified your original post. Better, surely, to simply make the change unannounced and then come back here and ask him what on earth he is going on about? You can really mess with people's heads this way, you know. Something to think on.

Kind regards etc....


(Absolute Vanilla - don't encourage her.)

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, synchronicity - I'm drinking Carlsberg right now, as we speak. Well, as I speak. I am out of Amstel, but anyway, when it comes to grog, I'm a cheap date: a bottle of it and I'm anybody's, so I will reveal to you now that Montag's comment made me just a mite uncomfortable because I haven't heard of King Anguselus but I didn't want to let on. Shame? I don't even go there, I just blag and reach for the grog. No, I'm not going to give you a note so that you can start pouring gin over your cornflakes (muesli is better for you btw), this smacks of hard, days-of-wine-and-roses drinking - a pirate like me only needs to bottles o'fizz to be underneath the table (I'm just being me, innit).

The Bach sent a pleasant shiver down the spine, makes shame seem almost - what is the word? Not sexy, but you know. Youtube is sticky, though - very, and has been for a while, so it was a bit of an interrupted experience.

Indian takeaway ahoy!

Nicola said...

Thank you for the music, tpe... beautiful. And, Signs, thank you as always for the words.

tpe said...

You’re very welcome, Nicola. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I just wish there was an easy remedy for shame, though. To tell you: “don’t worry, don’t feel shame” would be about as useful as dropping a great big heavy stone on your toes (and I really, really don’t want to do that – not yet). The best option may be to learn how to embrace the shame when it comes and then turn it into something motivational (this is how I tend to go about it, anyway, although I also like to wallow in the deep and desperate blackness of it all every once in a while. Slightly more often than that, in fact.)

Hello from Edinburgh, Signs. Bad luck about your continued back discomforts and pains. You seem to be having a right old time of it, poor bugger. However many gods there may in fact be – and we should probably leave the count to The Authorities (although my money is on there being one, solitary, chameleon God, a happy enough vehicle for all of our projections) - they do seem to be out to get you at the moment. Stay strong and (low-level) drunk and you should pull through, eventually.

With Montag the thing to do is to create a distraction. If he says something clever (and he has a habit of this), then you need to do something to distract him and take his attention away from the fact that you don’t know what he’s talking about. (Start singing or shouting or randomly remove an item of clothing or talk excitedly about something utterly wild and irrelevant, for example.) Works like a charm, although it’s imperative he never finds out that we’re doing this, of course - so do, please, keep it to yourself.

Belated Happy Birthdayisms all over your floor, Signs, and I hope you start to feel better very quickly. It's the least you deserve.

Kind (of hot) regards etc...


(Sorry for the rushed nature of this note, by the way, but I'm rather pressed for time. Had to happen sometime.)

Montag said...

You actually used the word "schmatter" !

You are the only person - other than myself - whom I have ever heard or seen use the word schmatter. One comes across a good many Yiddish words, but not that one too often.
I pronounce it " schmaa' - duh " and use it as a term of contempt, the same sense you use.

As for Jewish pirates, not aware of any during the Golden Age of Freebootery, but there were numerous Jewish gangsters - such as Detroit's Purple Gang in the 30's.

Reading the Signs said...

Montag, you're kidding - you never heard anyone else use that word? Well, I have known lots, and not from Yiddishe folk either.

But there must be a way of proving that Jewish pirates existed in the golden age, as you put it, of freebootery.

TPE. Schlomo McTPE? I feel quite positive that you will have something to say about this.

tpe said...

Oh dear, sorry to have let you down, Signs. I feel positive that I would have had something to say about Jewish pirates, too, but then I sort of disappeared instead. Just a hello for now, anyway, and the hope that all is well. I'm going to catch up with your news (I hope it's not moving too fast).

Only good things to you,


Reading the Signs said...

TPE! How totally, totally fab to see your face around these parts, or indeed any parts. No, that sounds quite wrong. And "totally, totally" is not ok either. You see how things are?

To be totally honest with you (and there is that word again), you may give forth on any, I mean any subject that takes your fancy, whether Jewishly piratical or not and I will be pleased as punch (the kind with lots of rum, and maybe vodka, brandy and delicious fruits in it).

I still have poxy chest infection - and when I went out today I stepped in dog poo.

You have arrived in the nick of time, Sir Stallion.

tpe said...

I tend to, yes. Arrive in the nick of time, I mean. It can go both ways, however, and sometimes it so happens that I disappear in the nick of time, tooo. (How many O's at the end of "too"? Not that many, anyway. Sorry about that. Typo. I should go back and fix it, really, but then I would lose my fluidity and momentum and we can't be having that, can we? Can we?)

You've been busy. Very busy. It appears that you've been writing in the demented fashion of Enid Blyton (sans possible racism and mediocrity, of course) and churning out three trillion words a day. You are on fire, surely?

Did you notice that I avoided the temptation to make (quite inappropriately lurid) play on your words "totally fab to see your face round these parts, or indeed any parts"? I noticed. I must be feeling under the weather because, unless I'm very much mistaken, that surely just cries out for a barely containable fnarr and/or fneek, Matron.

Rum helps chest infections. Fact. It also temporarily helps sadness - and by "temporarily helps", of course, I mean "potentially exacerbates". Still, the happiness you feel at losing the chest infection should partially offset any rum-induced sadness, leaving you feeling healthy and only mildly deflated. If you're looking for more than that, you're aiming too high, Signs, and you've almost certainly come to the wrong doctor. Am I doctor now? Must be. And did you come to me or did I come to you? Maybe I'm doing house-visits? It's certainly the sort of thing a caring doctor would do and I like to think I make for a caring doctor.

Anyway, get drinking, get better and get writing. You seem awfully impressive from this distance, if that helps.


Reading the Signs said...

Well I did notice a complete absence of fnarr or fneek, but that may have been gentlemanly reticence on your part. Under the weather is not good, especially the squalling kind. A gleam, though, from somewhere above the weather in the fact that you drew my attention to it, Dr. Hawkeye. And the Matron thing, did you think I would be letting that one go? Suddenly I am become all Hattie Jaques in white starch, pressed against Kenneth Williams, saying "no, no, I want to be wooed" - while he (the cad) replies "well you can be as wude as you like with me." Well but this is better than Nurse Ratshit in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I will never be that kind of Matron, Doc. But don't go thinking I look like Hattie, gorgeous and all as she is: because I don't, and if I did I wouldn't go after Kenneth in that way.

House visits are good, I like, especially if the doctor sits and talks about rum and its efficaciousness, or lack of, and ruminates about life's imponderables. I absolutely refuse to take Tamiflu, so we won't bother going there, but I have the feeling that you wouldn't be bothering yourself with that kind of thing.

Anyway, the thing is I'm not Enid Blyton and I'm not on fire - apart from having had a small temperature. I'm hacking rocks, Hawkeye, effing and blinding my way through the mountain. Or was - and will be again - though not in time to make the 50,000 and get my Winner's badge. I need to go and reassure Montag of this after his sweetly stern exhortationt to me.

I am wishing good things to you also, and listen Doc: if a session with Hattie is what you need, then I'm (as it's you) your huckleberry.

Reading the Signs said...

- only we might have to postpone the session as it appears I may have swine flu.

tpe said...

Hattie, Hattie, Hattie, you have the famous flu? But this means you're too sick, surely, to laugh at something which has been making me ill with enjoyment? It's very much a fneek, I'm afraid, but I do think the old saying "wherever I lay my Hattie, that's my home" has become quite toxically exciting all of a sudden. Oh, how I grimaced with pleasure when I thought of the multi-layered brilliance of it all.

But there's you ill and everything, too weak to enjoy the moment, so I'll step back from the brink and make things all nice and pretty and clean again....

In Aberdeen, as you will be aware, the people have a habit of adding I's and E's and Y's to the ends of (perfectly adequate) words. My grannies and grandfather were all afflicted thusly. And so "man" becomes "manny" and "wife" becomes "wifey" and "hat" must now surely be "hattie"? This, I think you'll find, suddenly makes my contribution sweet, as opposed to merely sickening and inappropriate.

I'm up too late. I should stop. I think I should probably come back at a more reasonable time and wish you continued successes in both writing and flu-bashing. Unless I just did? Hard to say, really.

To bed.

Night, Hattie.

Reading the Signs said...

well even if you just did, you can still come and wish them again if you like. For I still have the flu. A Carry On film would have been just the thing today. But first ever episode of Porridge was pretty wonderful.
Prison Doctor: are you a practising homosexual?
Fletcher: what, with these feet?

tpe said...

My parents used to watch that show, so it has certain memories attached. They would be laughing, we - the children - would be agitating with a certain self-regarding despair, not getting it. I may need to revisit it and do the thing justice.

I hope you're starting to feel better, Signs. Maybe you can "write" in your head as you try to duck the full onslaught of flu? (I'm told by my sister, however - she writes - that this is next to impossible, that the flu prevails, that time out is the only sensible option.)

Whatever you manage, it will be the best option and, more simply, the best. Ending on a positive note, most unlike me.