Gina comes from Hard Canny, Merlin.
If you've grown up or lived in Maryland for any part of your
life, you'll find this hits rather close to home.
Maryland is divided into semi-tribal areas called Cannies (i.e., "counties";
e.g., Ballmer Canny, PeeJee Canny, Hard Canny, etc.).
The dialect area is centered on a market center called Glimburny (Glen
Burnie), where the people come on weekends to trade their goods.
Speakers of Merlin dialect are all able to understand standard English from
babyhood, chiefly because of their voracious appetite for television.
However, they invariably refuse to speak standard English, even with
outsiders who obviously are not understanding a word they say.
Lesson 1: Vocabulary
- what you do to wrinkled clothes
- an ocean
- from the sunshine tree
- Arouwn in all directions
- norf, souf, ees, and wess
- what you call a street
- what you take for headaches
- some people like their eggs this way
- Our City
- what the plumber calls your furnace
- a famous railroad
- where you put your clothes
- Bulled Egg
- An egg cooked in water
- ten pins & 3 balls
- Calf Lick
- bleevers are Protestant, Jewish, and ...
- a state gubmit division, such as Anne Arundel or Prince George's
- Chest Peak
- A large nearby body of water
- A white vegetable
- Downey Owe Shin
- Summertime destination "Down to the ocean," often to a place such as Ayshun City
- Droodle Pork
- Druid Hill Park
- Such as tulips
- Faren Gins
- Red trucks that put out fires
- Hi Hon
- How we always say "hello"
- Highland Town
- How we say "Did you eat?"
- where the books are
- The grassy area between lanes of a highway
- Our State
- Nap Lis
- State of Merlin capital
- Nattie Boh
- beer that goes great with steamed crabs
- Ole Bay
- What our crabs taste like
- Not a cookie, but our baseball team
- That strip of cement that you walk on
- Power mower
- what's hangin in the frame on the wall
- Those guys in uniform that git ya when you're speeding
- Hot water that cleans you in the morning
- Sem elem
- Seven Eleven
- where you sit on a summer evenin
- What you get when you work too hard
- What we do with dirty clothes
- What we drink (can also be Wooter)
- Those glass things that we look out of
- Warshinton DeeCee
- Capitol of America
- where you warsh yer dishes
Submitted by reader G.B.
Sister Mary Katherine entered the Monastery of Silence. The Priest said,
"Sister, this is a silent monastery. You are welcome here as long as you
like, but you may not speak until I direct you to do so".
Sister Mary Katherine lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Priest
said to her, "Sister Mary Katherine, you have been here for 5 years. You
may speak two words."
Sister Mary Katherine said, "Hard bed."
"I'm sorry to hear that," the Priest said, "We will get you a better bed."
After another 5 years, Sister Mary Katherine was called by the Priest. "You
may say another two words, Sister Mary Katherine."
"Cold food," said Sister Mary Katherine. The Priest assured her that the
food would be better in the future.
On her 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Priest again called Sister
Mary Katherine into his office. "It is your 15th Anniversary here, Sister.
You may say two words today."
"I quit," said Sister Mary Katherine.
"It's probably best," said the Priest, "You've done nothing but bitch since
you got here."
Submitted by reader M.B.
The Lone Ranger was ambushed and captured by an enemy Indian war party. The Indian Chief proclaims, "So, you are the great Lone Ranger. In honor of the Harvest Festival, you will be executed in three days. But, before we kill you, I will grant you three requests. What is your first request?"
The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse." The Chief nods and Silver is brought before the Lone Ranger, who whispers in Silver's ear, and the horse gallops away.
Later that evening, Silver returns with a beautiful blond woman on his back. As the Indian Chief watches, the
blond enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night. The next morning the Indian Chief admits he's impressed: "You have a very fine and loyal horse, but we will still kill you in two days. What is your second request?"
The Lone Ranger again asks to speak to his horse. Silver is brought to him and he again whispers in the horse's ear. As before, Silver takes off across the plains and disappears over the horizon.
Later that evening, to the Chief's surprise, Silver again returns, this time with a voluptuous brunette, even more attractive than the blonde. She enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night. The following morning the Indian chief is again impressed. "You are indeed a man of many talents, but we will still kill you tomorrow. What is your last request?"
The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse, alone." The Chief is curious, but he agrees and Silver is brought to the Lone Ranger's tent. Once they're alone, the Lone Ranger grabs Silver by both ears, looks him square in the eye and says, "Listen very carefully—for the last time, I said: 'BRING POSSE!'"
Submitted by reader M.B.
Two priests are in a Vatican bathroom using the urinals. One of them looks at the other one's penis and notices there's a quit-smoking patch on it.
He turns to the other priest and says, "I believe you're supposed to put that patch on your arm or shoulder, not your penis."
The other priest replies, "It's working just fine for me. I'm down to two butts a day."
Submitted by reader B.P.
The Saudi Ambassador to the UN has just finished giving a speech, and walks
out into the lobby where he meets President Bush. They shake hands and as
they walk the Saudi says, "You know, I have just one question about what I
have seen in America."
President Bush says, "Well, your Excellency, anything I
can do to help you, I will do."
The Saudi whispers "My son watches this show
Star Trek and in it there are Russians, and Blacks, and Asians, but never
any Arabs. He is very upset. He doesn't understand why there are never any
Arabs in Star Trek."
President Bush laughs and leans toward the Saudi, and
whispers back, "It's because it takes place in the future."
Submitted by reader B.P.
On 9/11/02, I defied the terrorists.
Just little old me.
I went to work [in public service].
Rode the subway.
During the moment of silence at 8:46AM—
The two ladies next to me crossed themselves.
Boston police at every turn,
I went into a court of law.
Smiled sadly at everyone I could.
And sang, "happy birthday" to my aunt.
Today I heard planes taking off.
Opened my mail.
Chose what I wanted to watch on TV.
Listened to music on the radio.
I tried my best—
To honor the memories of those who were taken
and the people who gave their lives,
attempting to help others;
during the violence one year ago.
On 9/11/02 I defied the terrorists,
like on each and every day.
—On the Blue Line & Winthrop, Mass., 11 September 2002. Copyright ©2002 Dena Barisano.
Submitted by reader D.B.
The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a "professional." Scroll down for each answer. (Scroll slowly, as each answer follows immediately.)
The questions are NOT difficult.
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator.
Wrong answer. Correct answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.
3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. This tests your memory.
OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.
4. There is a river you must cross but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?
Correct answer: You swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.
According to a worldwide consulting company, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers. The consulting company says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.
Submitted by reader E.C.
"Squawk" is the aviation term for a maintenance request. These are squawks allegedly logged by QUANTAS pilots. The solutions logged by the company's maintenance engieers follow.
- Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
- Almost replaced left inside main tire.
- Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
- Autoland not installed on this aircraft.
- No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.
- No. 2 propeller seepage normal. No's 1, 3, and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.
- Something loose in cockpit.
- Something tightened in cockpit.
- Dead bugs on windshield.
- Live bugs on back-order.
- Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
- Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
- Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
- Evidence removed.
- DME volume unbelievably loud.
- DME volume set to more believable level.
- Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
- That's what they're there for.
- IFF inoperative.
- IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
- Suspected crack in windshield.
- Suspect you're right.
- Number 3 engine missing.
- Engine found on right wing after brief search.
- Aircraft handles funny.
- Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
- Target radar hums.
- Reprogrammed target radar with words.
- Mouse in cockpit.
- Cat installed.
Submitted by reader D.B.
Sister Mary Margaret was 60, and much admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. Then one afternoon early in the spring this priest came to chat with her, so she welcomed him into her Victorian parlor. She then invited him to have a seat while she prepared a little tea. As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young priest noticed a crystal glass bowl sitting on top of it filled with water, and in the water floated, a condom.
Well, imagine how shocked and surprised he was. Imagine his curiosity! Surely, he thought, Sister Mary Margaret has flipped or something! When she returned with tea and cookies, they began to chat. And of course, the priest tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and the strange floater; but soon it got the better of him, and he could resist no longer.
"Sister," he said, "I wonder if you could tell me about this?" (pointing to the crystal bowl). "Oh, yes," she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking downtown last fall and I found this little package. The directions said to put it on the organ, keep it wet, and it would prevent disease. And you know I haven't had a cold all winter!"
Submitted by reader J.T.