Saturday, June 23, 2007

Did you read, or have you read?

Can you read these right the first time?
  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce .
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thinks that numerous deep(?) thinkers have thunk.

  • Last night I played a blank tape at full volume. The mime next door went nuts.
  • If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, should that be considered a hostage situation?
  • Just think how much deeper the oceans would be if sponges didn't live there.
  • I went for a walk last night and my kids asked me how long I'd be gone. I said, "The whole time."
  • So what's the speed of dark?
  • After eating, do amphibians need to wait for an hour before getting OUT of the water?
  • Why don't they make mouse-flavoured cat food?
  • If you're sending someone some styrofoam, what do you pack it in?
  • I just got skylights put in my place. The people who live above me are furious.
  • Why do they sterilise needles for lethal injections?
  • Do they have reserved parking for non-handicapped people at the Special Olympics?
  • Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
  • If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?
  • Isn't Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?
  • Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it?
  • How come abbreviated is such a long word?
  • If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?
  • Why do you press harder on a remote control when you know the battery is dead?
  • Why are they called buildings when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?
  • Why are they called apartments when they're all stuck together?
  • Why do banks charge you an "insufficient funds" fee on money they already know you don't have?
  • If the universe is everything, and scientists say the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
  • What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?
  • If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?
  • Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
  • When two aeroplanes almost collide, why do they call it a near miss? Sounds like a near hit to me!
  • Do fish get cramps after eating?
  • Why are there five syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?
  • Why do scientists call it "research" when they are looking for something new?
  • If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
  • When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?
  • Why is it that when a door is open, it's ajar, but when a jar is open, it's not a door?
  • Tell a man there are 400 billion stars and he'll believe you. Tell him a wall has wet paint and he has to touch it.
  • How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
  • Why is it fake lemon juice contains mostly artificial ingredients, but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?
  • Why do we wait until a pig is dead to "cure" it?
  • Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?
  • Why do we put suits in a garment bag, and put garments in a suitcase?
  • Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
  • Do Roman paramedics refer to I.V.'s as "4's"?
  • What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?
  • Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
  • If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
  • Should you trust a stockbroker who's married to a travel agent?
  • Is boneless chicken considered to be an invertebrate?
  • Do married people live longer than single people do, or does it just SEEM longer?
  • I went to a book store store and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self help section?" She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose.
  • If all those psychics know the winning lotto numbers, why are they still working?
  • Isn't the best way to save face to keep the lower part shut?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The breakfast club.

Let me tell how it all came about that I was invited to join the breakfast crew on Vega 91.5 FM.

You may have heard about the lastest self-help phenomenon sweeping the world; The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The premise of the book is that if you visualise your wants and desires, they will become a reality. It's basically a remake of the teachings of Abraham.

On Monday evening, a current affairs program on one of the local television channels ambushed one of the "prophets" featured on the DVD. The following morning, the brekky crew took the subject and ran with it, having a bit of fun, Shaun suggesting he would like a DeLorean car - like the one in the Back To The Future movies - driven by a zebra. They invited listeners to phone in with their visualisations of something they would really like by Friday morning. Naturally, I rang in and told them I visualised spending a morning with the breakfast crew on Vega, asserting that I had been imagining it for months, which was all quite true.

Now, I have to admit I'm a regular caller to the show, though not as regular as some; on average I ring in about once a month. I have listened to the station since before it officially went to air, and the team know my voice very well. Sometimes thay need a conundrum explained, and sometimes we just have a bit of a giggle. And that's exactly how they treated my visualisation, suggesting I should strive for something more realistic, not so far-fetched, etc. I hung up and thought no more of it. Like I said, all just a bit of fun.

That evening, after I arrived home from work, I was totally blown away when I discovered an e-mail from Vega offering me the opportunity to turn my dream into a reality and join the brekky crew for an hour on Friday.

So Friday morning finds me at 7:50 am, standing nervously outside the door to the foyer of Melbourne radio station Vega FM. I was fine up until I reached the entrance, then the nerves washed over me. A bloke already inside saw me and opened the door. I told him who I was, and why I was there. He got me to wait in reception while he went to check my story. I sat on one of the chairs, and a couple of minutes later he returned to say that someone would be with me shortly. I wouldn't have thought it possible to more nervous than I already was, but sitting there by myself, in a half-lit reception with no-one behind the desk, I felt extremely exposed, kind of like the bloke who stands in the turret of a tank.

About five minutes later, Annie, the producer of the breakfast show, came out and invited me into the inner sanctum. She led me through the office area to a waiting area outside the broadcasting booth. I could see Dave, Denise and Shaun going about their business through a large window. Annie waited until they were finished talking, then went into the studio and told them I was there. Suddenly there were three people with very smiley, friendly faces waving at me.

When the next song came on, Denise and Shaun came out and shook my hand and said hello. I took the opportunity to present Shaun with a laminated copy of the image to the right, and the look of delight on his face was priceless. I'm sure he never really expected to see a zebra driving a DeLorean, but you know what they say about wishing for things.

It was actually a while before I was scheduled to go on air, so Shaun and Denise went back into the studio, while I sat in the waiting area. A number of other on air personalities introduced themselves, and Annie showed me some of what actually goes on behind the scenes in order to prepare a radio show. The assistant producer of the breakfast show, Conor, came out of the studio and introduced herself, and I had a short conversation with Tony Jones, the sports announcer, before he went in to do his thing. Unfortunately he told me there was no hope for Carlton, my beloved Blues, this year, but I think that's only because he's biased.

Dave came out and said hello. I think he was a bit wary of me, being an unknown quantity as such, and wasn't too sure how everything was going to pan out, which is totally understandable. He is, after all, the anchor of the show and the smooth running of same is, essentially, his responsibility.

Shortly, it was time for me to sit at the microphone beside Denise, and I was introduced to the audience. I think I did okay. I've since heard a recording of it, and I at least I didn't stammer or trip over my tongue. A listener even rang in and said I sounded like Bryce Courtenay, which left me well and truly red. All too soon it was over, (they got me to close the show for morning) and it was time for me to go home and change into my work clothes and return to the daily grind.

Before I left, Dave, Denise and Shaun spent some more time talking to me, and having their photo taken as above. (From left to right - Dave O'Neil, Denise Scott, some bloke who wouldn't get out of the way, and Shaun Micallef). I think Dave was a bit more sure of me by then, so maybe I had carried myself with reasonable comportment.

Although it all seemed a bit daunting at first, I believe I had entered what was rightfully my natural environment. The creativity was electric; you could almost see it rebounding from one person to another. It was impossible not to be caught up in it. I think I even said that if I had a job like theirs, I would be going home high every day. Needless to say it has left me hungry for more, so I'm going to do what S has suggested, and apply to a community radio station for some kind of position. Who knows? Friday morning could well have been the step I needed to take on my journey to a contented life.

For my entire visit to Vega, I was made to feel welcome and, far more significantly for me, treated as someone who was important to them. It was altogether a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Many thanks and sincere gratitude to all those involved in making a boy's dream come true.