Universal Translator

Showing posts with label Humour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humour. Show all posts

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Golden-ish Girls --Episode: “Thank You for Being My Insurance Provider?”




(A Fan-Fiction Salute)



[Intro: “Thank You For Being A Friend”]
[Interior scene: Kitchen]
[Two men in suits walk into the kitchen from the garage. They carry a little old lady in a yellow robe between them. She has a boombox in one hand, a purse in the other. They set her down.]
Man #1:
So Mrs. Petrillo, you understand the mission.
Sophia:
Yeah, I sing my song. Then I get a big-screen TV.
Man #2:
If they like it…
[Man #1 pokes him]
I mean, after you sing it. This is the final stop -your home turf.
Sophia:
Of course, they’ll like. This reminds of a story...picture it, Rome, 1952. I was visiting my cousin Gina…
Man #1:
[interrupting]
Are they out there? You want that big beautiful big-screen television, am I right?
Sophia:
[She walks to door leading into livingroom. She sneaks a peek and turns back]
They’re on the couch.
Man #1:
[To Sophia] Now get out there and sing your sweet little Italian grandmother butt off!
Sophia:
[Whispers to Man #1]You can treat me to an egg cream at Wolfie’s first. [She pinches his butt. The man looks uncomfortable.]
Man #2:
[He walks to the door, pokes his head out]
Are you ladies ready for some great entertainment?
Blanche:
We’re as ready as a vixen at a Chippendales convention! [Turns to Dorothy] Can you believe my sister Virginia stole that idea for her new book “Vixen Goes to Hollywood! [She picks up a book from the endtable and reads the back of it]Vixen meets a group of retired male strippers and becomes embroiled in a torrid affair with them all’. Can you believe her thievery? Now I’m glad I stole her beau at that winter cotillion that one year back in school.
Dorothy:
Not now, Blanche! [Turns her head to the kitchen and points]
Who was that man? [Everyone ignores her]
Rose:
Oh boy! Afternoon entertainment! Dorothy, is this what they call a ‘matinee’?
Dorothy:
[sarcastically] Yes, Rose. In a minute, Dreyfuss is going to come along pulling a wagon asking us to go to the lobby and buy ice cream and Raisinets.
Rose:
I like Goobers. You know the chocolate-covered peanuts in a……
Dorothy:
[Interrupting Rose] Rose, you are a Goober.
[Sophia walks into living room. Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy just watch her as she plugs in the boombox. Sophia smiles and presses the play button.]
Sophia:
[Singing to the tune of "Thanks for the Memory"] "Thanks for the Medicare / For Blue Cross and Blue Shield / For a hip that finally healed /
Aetna and United Healthcare, oh such great appeal!/ We thank you so much!" Okay, what did you think? Now don't hold back, I can take the criticism.
Blanche:
Depressing.
Dorothy:
Horrible.
Rose:
Icky.
Sophia:
[Unplugging her boombox and storming out] Go to hell, all of ya!
[Sophia bursts back into the kitchen]
Okay, Rodgers and Hammerstein, let’s talk about the TV.
Man #1:
Did they like it?
Sophia: Did they like it? Does the Pope love my marinara sauce? Let me tell you a story...picture it, Rome, 1970. I was visiting my cousin Gina. She gets a call from the Vatican saying the cook had food poisoning. Immediately, I jump into action. I run to the Vatican with my saucepan. I’m in such a hurry that I trip. A small child helps me to my feet. That child was...Mario Batali.
Man #2:
What?
Sophia:
Ok, they hated it. I demand my TV though, I can’t be blamed for shoddy writing.
Man #1:
Ok, Mrs. Petrillo, you’ll get your TV. If anything the health insurance industry is fair and generous.
Sophia:
[Reaching into her purse, she pulls out a card]
You can deliver it tomorrow. Before supper….anytime before four pm.
[Man #1 takes the card and he and Man #2 walk to the door to the garage]
Man #2:
[whispers] You’re going to give her the TV?
Man #1:
[whispering back] Only a small 12-inch set. It’ll be a big screen when she sits really close to it –we’re cancelling her vision coverage next week. [He pauses, looks around, and gives a big grin] Pre-existing condition!
Man #2:
You’re my hero! [He pats Man #1 on the back. They exit.]
[Dorothy walks into the kitchen followed by Rose and Blanche]
Dorothy:
Ma, who were those men?
Sophia:
[Nervously] The Hopkins twins...collecting money for their paper route...yeah, that’s it, Hopkins kids, paper route.
Dorothy:
Ma, Sam and Mike are eleven years old.
Sophia:
[sarcastically] Hey, when you were eleven, the Harlem Globetrotters tried to put you on their team. Unfortunately, it was the same year you got braces. Your father worked too hard to get that metal into your mouth….plus we couldn’t find a mouthguard large enough.
Dorothy:
I’m serious, Ma. What is going on?
Sophia:
They hired me to go around singing that little song in all the malls. They called it community outreach. They’re insurance lobbyists...and they’re giving me a big-screen TV.
Dorothy:
Ma, I forbid it. I will not allow you to do this. Lowering yourself to their level. The Tv probably isn’t even real. They used you, Ma.
Sophia:
You won’t allow me? Oh, what will you allow me to do? [sarcastically] What will you allow me to do? Go on a date without a chaperone? Buy a wine cooler with my new ID? I’m going to my room! [She pauses and turns back] If the cute one calls, tell him I might be able to sneak out after 11:00 after you go to bed! [She storms out, slamming the kitchen door]
[Dorothy and Blanche sit down at the table. Rose pulls a cheesecake out of the fridge and brings it to the table]
Rose:
Should I carry a slice to Sophia?
Dorothy:
[sarcastically] No, Rose. We’ll let her calm herself down and read her Tiger Beat magazine first.
[Rose looks puzzled]
Blanche:
Will she be alright, Dorothy?
Dorothy:
She’ll be fine. She’s just scared and angry. We both got letters from our healthcare providers saying our premiums will be going up. It’s frightening to be old and knowing your health insurance might not be affordable in a time you really need it. But we’ll make it!
Blanche:
Of course we will. We have each other! [She pats the other girls on the shoulder] And we’re going to get out there and change the system.
Rose:
You know this reminds me of the time in St.Olaf when Johan Higgehlooper tried to get universal udder insurance for his dairy cows. You see Johan had really dry skin on his hands and everytime…
Dorothy and Blanche:
[Together] Oh, shut up, Rose!
[Credits roll]


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Chocolate Discount of St. Walfrid's Day (February 15th)


St. Walfrid and His Discounted Toblerone




February 15: The Feast Day of Saint Walfrid

"Walfrid and his wife Thesia were happily married. After their children were grown, they felt God asking them to built two monasteries, one for Thesia and other women and one for Walfrid and other men, including their son Gimfrid. After some time of living in vows to God, Gimfrid ran away in the middle of the night, stealing horses and important papers. Walfrid sent a search party and prayed that Gimfrid would come back. He also prayed that God would give Gimfrid a sign so that he would never forget his vows to God. When Gimfrid returned, one of his fingers had been injured so badly, he could never use it again. But he became a wise and wonderful leader, following in Walfrid’s footsteps." 

The following is considered by some as apocryphal, others believe it was invented to simply help get rid of extra unsold chocolate before Lent 
(Easter merchandise has to be sold, you know).
We'll let you decide.


After Gimfrid's return, Walfrid made up a great pot of sweet porridge to serve to the poor.  He blessed it, and then asked Gimfrid to check if it was sweet enough to serve. Gimfrid stuck his crippled finger in, and suddenly the porridge turned into luscious, creamy melted chocolate -amazing since it was several hundred years before the introduction of chocolate to the Old World. 
Yeah, and Gimfrid's finger was partially healed too -but back to the story: 

The poor were given the chocolate in celebration. Since then, the poor have been privileged to buy discounted chocolate after St. Valentine's Day (who?) to celebrate St. Walfrid's miracle of the chocolate.




Happy Saint Walfrid's Day!!!

May Your Chocolate be Deeply Discounted 

(70% off or more)









A typical St.Walfrid's Day Card (Also known as a "Walfrid")










Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sypsamulga Snake-Charming Majorette

 My Aunt Emma was never a frilly, high-maintenance woman or extreme housewife. She worked hard and spent a lot of time outside. Unlike most women of her time, she’d rather be outside helping around the house or on the farm than shopping or going to the hairdresser. Her sisters would say that it started when she was little and played like a tomboy, dressed in a dirty pair of overalls and carrying an old stick to poke at frogs.
             She had no problem roaming around the countryside collecting bugs and frogs with the boys. She’d run and jump into the red clay gulleys, and build tree houses and forts. My grandmother was busy in the kitchen cooking and canning with the older girls and she could never get Emma into the house; she figured Emma would end up driving tractors and helping with the farm animals, so she just didn’t force the issue. Grandma figured that once a boy gave Emma a certain look, she’d be in the kitchen frying chicken and begging to learn to make an apple pie for him.
             As predicted, Emma, as she entered her teenage years, began to drive the tractor during planting season and haymaking season. She herself was in charge of the chickens and the two pigs destined to become pork chops and bacon. (She was never squeamish about wringing the neck of a chicken for Sunday dinner.) When it was time to pick cotton, she was the first down the row with her sack, picking bolls and humming a tune. One day someone asked her why she always hummed, she told them that it scared off the snakes –no one argued with her and everybody started to hum themselves.
             Emma, over the years, had become somewhat of a snake charmer. She had no problem catching snakes with her bare hands. She’d put a hoe or stick onto its head and grab it. It sent chills down my grandmother’s spine to see Emma holding a big fat chicken snake, its body wrapped around Emma’s arm. Emma would just laugh her big boisterous laugh, then walk out to the woods and free it. Granddaddy hated when she’d let a snake go rather than killing it, but Emma explained that chicken snakes killed rats and mice – from then on, he made her put the snakes in the corn crib.
Emma had no problem with rattlesnakes either. One day, grandma caught her putting lard into a cook-pot, which was set up over a fire. On a nearby table, there set bowls of cornmeal and buttermilk beside a mounded plate of what looked like chicken. Emma told her mother she was making supper, and went about breading the pieces of meat. My grandmother grabbed the edge of the table when the blood rushed from her brain, causing her to almost faint on the hard red clay and gravel. She couldn't believe Emma was making fried chicken.
“Who told you how to fry? I am just amazed at my little girl.”
“Molly done told me what to do,” said Emma, giving the melting lard a stir. She walked to the table and began to salt and pepper the meat.
“Lord, I never expected to see you out here frying some chicken,” said my grandmother, pulling out a handkerchief to dab her forehead.
“Oh, Mama, it ain’t chicken. I caught a big ol’ rattler down in the slough and done skinned it,” replied Emma. She held up one of the sections of rattlesnake meat. “It does look like a chicken thigh, don’t it?”
Emma picked her mother up out of the dirt. “If’n I tan the hide, would you help me make a hatband from it?” She pointed at a mess of rattlesnake skin handing from a low branch. My grandmother figured that as long as Emma was cooking and wanting to sew something, it was a battle won.
Emma went for years without any desire to do anything requiring her to spend her day inside or doing something considered "girly", so it was a shock and a surprise when Emma tried out for majorette in high school…and actually got it. She, for years, had been twirling sticks and such on her way between the barn and the field and back home. She had gotten pretty good. When she saw the majorettes practicing one day near the gymnasium, she figured she could do it just as well as they could. So she showed up at tryouts with her twirling stick and gave them a show. Some of the other girls giggled at this lanky girl in overalls twirling a piece of wood, but the judges were impressed when Emma threw the stick high into the air and then caught it without missing a beat. The giggles went silent, and Emma was on the squad.
The hardest thing for Emma was adjusting to the majorette outfit. She thought it looked like some spangled, bejeweled swimsuit and was flat-out too girly for her tastes. She liked the boots, except for the big tassels. It was a different time than nowadays, so the uniforms the majorettes wore were a bit heavier and theatrical and included little marching band hats with little visors and feathers. Emma wasn’t too happy with all the fuss, she just wanted her overalls and wooden stick, which itself was replaced with an official metal baton with white rubber on the ends. She persevered and learned the routine, eventually getting somewhat used to the uniform. She carried on as well as she could.
The band spent the summer practicing and marching in a few small parades. They would practice on the football field, but when the football players needed it they moved to a nearby practice field. The principal usually got old man Glenwood to use white paint to mark off the field marks after the practice field was mowed. Well, this year Mr. Glenwood had broken his leg in an accident and the chore went to his temporary replacement, Jimmy Townsend. Jimmy was not reliable nor was he smart, the field went unmowed and Mr. McGuire, the band teacher, had to mark the field as well as he could. The band eventually stomped down the grass and got into the rhythm of the routine. At one point, the majorettes had to go to the sidelines and do a mini-routine involving throwing their batons at each other and catching them. They then stuck a pose as the band played its big finale. Well, this time the majorettes walked to the edge of the practice field, which was bordered by a creek, and Miriam yelled. In front of her was curled a huge water moccasin, she had almost marched right onto it. She froze, one leg in the air mid-march. Emma ran over to her and told Miriam to remain still. Emma took off her hat (the majorettes wore them during practice to keep their smiling faces and heads up), and then walked around behind the poisonous snake. She quickly pushed the rubber ends of the metal baton onto the head of the snake, then reached down and grabbed it. The snake opened its mouth and bared its fangs, its body struggling to wrap around Emma’s arms; but Emma held it tight. Jimmy Townsend came down the hill from the school’s shop, wondering what in the world the commotion was. Emma grabbed her hat, and motioned for one of Loretta Snellgrove’s little cymbals. She set the snake expertly into the hat, covered it quickly with the cymbal, and walked up to Jimmy Townsend.
“Jimmy, you didn’t mow the grass,” she said sternly.
“I was about to get to that,” he answered her.
“Well, Jimmy, we had a little episode out here on the field.” She held up the hat covered with the cymbal, as Mr. McGuire walked up. Emma looked at the band teacher and Mr. McGuire nodded his head. “Take this, Jimmy,” she said, “And hold that cymbal tight against the hat.
Jimmy took the hat from her. “What in the devil is this?” he asked.
“That is a water moccasin that Miriam almost stepped on because you can’t keep this field mowed and taken care of,” Emma told him.
The color drained from Jimmy’s face and he started to shake a bit.
“Be careful not to open it in an enclosed space.”
Jimmy walked to the edge of the creek and threw the hat, cymbal, and snake into it. He then watched the snake swim on down the creek, followed by a half-submerged majorette hat. The cymbal was never seen again. Jimmy stormed off, cussing under his breath. But from then on, as long as he was there as the groundskeeper, the grass on the practice field was mowed almost to the dirt.

Emma never found her hat as it floated downstream, but it didn’t matter. She became head majorette and marched at the head of the band with the drum major, wearing a sparkling pair of white overalls and twirling her favorite wooden stick.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Mark Twain and his New-Fangled Writing Machine



"Few authors have made an impact as enduring as literary icon Samuel Clemens, a man who, under his pen name, Mark Twain, wrote such classics as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book which has been read by many millions of people around the world since its publication in 1884. It was ten years earlier, whilst shopping in Boston, that a curious Clemens spotted and then bought a Remington No.1, the very first “type writer” to be produced by E. Remington and Sons, released to the public that year. The first letter he wrote on his “new fangled writing machine”--which, incidentally, could only produce upper-case characters--was to his brother, Orion. Nine years after this letter was typed, Twain became the first author to deliver a typewritten manuscript to a publisher. It was his memoir, Life on the Mississippi." (www.lettersofnote.com)


Transcript
BJUYT KIOP N LKJHGFDSA:QWERTYUIOP:_-98VX5432QW RT

HA
HARTFORD, DEC. 9, 1874
DEAR BROTHER:

I AM TRYING T TO GET THE HANG OF THIS NEW F FANGLED WRITING MACHINE, BUT AM NOT MAKING A SHINING SUCCESS OF IT. HOWEVER THIS IS THE FIRST ATTEMPT I EVER HAVE MADE, & YET I PERCEIVETHAT I SHALL SOON & EASILY ACQUIRE A FINE FACILITY IN ITS USE. I SAW THE THING IN BOSTON THE OTHER DAY & WAS GREATLY TAKEN WI:TH IT. SUSIE HAS STRUCK THE KEYS ONCE OR TWICE, & NO DOUBT HAS PRINTED SOME LETTERS WHICH DO NOT BELONG WHERE SHE PUT THEM.

THE HAVING BEEN A COMPOSITOR IS LIKELY TO BE A GREAT HELP TO ME, SINCE O NE CHIEFLY NEEDS SWIFTNESS IN BANGING THE KEYS. THE MACHINE COSTS 125 DOLLARS. THE MACHINE HAS SEVERAL VIRTUES I BELIEVE IT WILL PRINT FASTER THAN I CAN WRITE. ONE MAY LEAN BACK IN HIS CHAIR & WORK IT. IT PILES AN AWFUL STACK OF WORDS ON ONE PAGE. IT DONT MUSS THINGS OR SCATTER INK BLOTS AROUND. OF COURSE IT SAVES PAPER.

SUSIE IS GONE, NOW, & I FANCY I SHALL MAKE BETTER PROGRESS. WORKING THIS TYPE-WRITER REMINDS ME OF OLD ROBERT BUCHANAN, WHO, YOU REMEMBER, USED TO SET UP ARTICLES AT THE CASE WITHOUT PREVIOUSLY PUTTING THEM IN THE FORM OF MANUSCRIPT. I WAS LOST IN ADMIRATION OF SUCH MARVELOUS INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY.

                                  LOVE TO MOLLIE.
YOUR BROTHER,
           SAM.


[Letter taken from the More Letters of Note book. Image at www.lettersofnote.com courtesy of Vassar College; reproduced with permission of the Mark Twain Project. For more letters of note, click here.]




Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Halloween Song

(Inspired by "The Christmas Song", words and music by Mel Torme' and Robert Wells)
"The Halloween Song", words by T.F. Clardy





Bodies roasting on a funeral pyre,

Jack Frost hacking off your nose,


Ghouls dancing round a wild bonfire,


And folks costumed from head to toes,


Every-body knows 


a pinch of cyanide will do someone in...

but we all know that that's a sin.


Although it's been said with many howls


and a bitter wail,

Happy Halloween,

Scary Halloween,


Happy Halloween to you!







Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Introducing Myron T. Rex...

Myron T. Rex is a dinosaur. 
He's just trying to get through life like the rest of us. 
He wants to avoid becoming extinct. 
Follow Myron on Twitter: @MyronTRex



















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