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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Antiquity


 



Somewhere, in some small English university, a British scholar plots my demise. He waits for me to try to bandy about some pricy word I've gotten ahold  in an effort to sound learned. He, however, will be familar with verbal beauties both past and present, and he will pounce on my ignorance. You see, we'll start out with a lunch of baked potatoes, asparagus,roast beef and beer, and we'll have a friendly conversation about Jane Austin. He'll sense my weakness already.

 "Perhaps, Ray Ray, old chap, you'd like to go lunting with me." I'll probably then look a bit perplexed.

"Oh forgive me, my colonial friend, lunting is an old English world for walking and smoking a pipe at the same time." He'll then ostenatiously retrieve some Cubanos from his humidor, the kind I would have trouble getting a hold of stateside. We'll walk down the brick courtyard, passing through arched entranceways between buildings and walk by graveyards older than the United States. I'll ask him how he thinks the contemporary politics of Shakespeare's world influenced the text of "Corlianus." He'll pause for a moment.

" Mmmm, well, let me compose my thoughts for a moment. I feel a bit beefwitted"


 "Beefwitted?" I'll ask. "Oh yes, he'll respond. "It once was once thought that eating too much beef would cause one's brain to become inactive...ohohoho-such antiquated folk beliefs are charming."

At this point, even though we'll both have on caps, tweeds coats, and overcoats, we'll be cold and once again hungry. We'll go to one of England's innumerable, hunded year old pubs. The good professor will scan the tavern for colleagues, until he sees them sitting at some varnished log table, drinking cider and ale and eating God knows what...rancid haggis. "Ewwwww, good doctor, I hope you don't mind if my lesser colleague and I join you. I don't wish to groak, that is to say hang around until you invite me to sit down and eat."

Of course, the other scholars would invite him to sit down and discuss the finer points of linguistics over some food and drink. I would have little to say, and I would simply keep drinking. Eventually, the academics would move on to some harder drink. In my honor, some liquer would be brought to the table for me to pour into everyone's glass, but you'll recall that I've been drinking for awhile now-I've gotten sloppy.
"Oh, do stop pouring the liqeur all over the table," Professor will roar, snatching the bottle away from me. There's nothing worse than a man who jirbles!"


"I haven't been drooling!" I'll protest. To which the whole table will snicker in response. "Listen here," says an irate, eavesdropping barkeep, "to jirble is to pour with an unsteady hand, and if you can't hold your pint, you shouldn't be at the pub."
"In fact," angry professor will bellow, "I think it's  a goodtime for you to catch a flight home. No doubt your wife is taking advantage of your absence, and she is likely with squirrel." You'll have to figure that one out yourself.