A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 046

Ecstasy and agony

"Lying aside in the corner of memory is the right work waiting to be rediscovered," wrote Stephen Leacock. It is a joyful thing when pounced upon, like a dollar bill found down the back of the couch after the departure of tiresome visitors. Or the flea crunched up by the family dog after three days of clawing.

So it was last week in this very column with the word "spoonerism," a noun used to describe the transposition of the initial sounds, usually of two words, but in this case the alteration of Goodwin to Woodgin Library.

Spoonerisms, along with malapropisms, bowdlerizations and a dozen other ornamentations of the English language, were pounded into my head during student years, and have lurked in dusty and remote crannies of the brain for a quarter of a century.

But last week the actual word "spoonerism" - this week widely known throughout north Strafford County - was a creature as evasive as a yeti. Leaving a space in my copy, I enlisted the aid of Courier staff to track down the phantom. The newspaper’s reference books were vigorously pawed to no avail. Doubt crept into some quarters. Inferior, substitutive words were trundled onto the sidelines: Cacology, solecism and that displeasing riff-raff.

And so a pilgrimage was made to Waldenbooks at the Lilac Mall, where an assistant, on hearing a description of the Wanted Word, said, (yes, all together) "Spoonerism." Oh, happy day! Kill the fatted donut! It was as delightful a sound to reach the ears as that of the "plop" made by a golf ball after a 20-foot putt (smile). I called the newsroom, and great was their rejoicing. So great, in fact, that a headline was born. Imagine our shock, horror and dismay on Monday to find that the typesetters had elected to put the fruit of our toils, not after Woodgin, but 14 words previously, following "mankind." Rather like sinking the putt and having a gopher hurl it back out of the hole into a sandtrap, eh? Canned mind? Hmm! Who could have one of those I wonder!

Mudding News: With the recent heavy thunderstorms there have been a renewed surge of mudding by the aficionados of this noble pursuit, which unlike Laying Down Rubber or Hollering, cannot be done, as a rule, in town. I append a piece of doggerel by way of celebration:

It’s lonesome away from your kindred and all

On the Scruton Field Road if you're caught in a squall,

But there's nothing more lonesome, when stuck in the mud

Than to find out that you're in a truck with no Bud.

Here's Vicky and Nelson, their C.J.'s mired down.

He hauls the winch cable through the swamp with a frown,

"Rip open a can when we're clear of the flood!"

Then she's broke down and told him "We ain't got no Bud!"

Poor Nelson sat down on a stump and he cried,

While the C.J. sank lower with Vicky inside,

He gave out a howl that would freeze a man's blood,

Life ain't worth a dime in a truck with no Bud.

World Cup News: Great rejoicing in the streets of Glasgow, last week, I hear. Whisky flowing in the gutters. The reason for this euphoria was that the "auld enemy," England, was beaten 1-0 in their opening game by Portugal. Do pardon my glee, Mrs. Nute. Two Scottish supporters who made the 5,000 mile trip to Queretaro were interviewed by British television, but typical of my countrymen, in such circumstances, they were so inebriated that their comments were reduced to kilted gibberish. All that the interviewer could establish was that one soccer fan was an accountant, the other a bank manager. Well, I never!

While on the subject of drink, I would like to thank Labatt's Blue, who had the decency to sponsor the Scotland vs. Denmark game on Canadian T.V., to which I was divinely guided in the small hours of Thursday morning. We were robbed, 1-0, producing, no doubt, much smiling in the Nute sheep folds.

All That Glitters: Word reaches the ears that the Bibbo-Bois gold strike, which was widely reported by gullible sections of the press last week, was nothing but a cruel and barbarous hoax. It is whispered that worthless gold leaf was crumbled into a panful of Slow Music O Normad (anagram) gravel when certain people had their backs turned. A cautious Mr. Ramgunshoch, in his Woodgin (spoonerism) Library exhibition of rocks and minerals (reviewed below), claims unconvincingly to have smelt a rat, even he had marked a plastic phial containing some glittery crumbs, "gold". .

Farmington Outdoor Club: The next planned hiking trip is scheduled for Saturday, June 21, when Officer Ken Buttons will lead a party to the summit of Mt. Trypyramid (4,140 feet) by way of the Sabbaday Brook Trail, returning by the Pine Bend Brook Trail. This is classed as a moderate hill-walk, involving 2,600 feet of ascent and a total distance of 8¼. Water flows beside both trails for most of the way. For those people who favor a less exerting day, on the other side of the Swift River is the low level Sawyer Pond Trail. Both groups plan to meet back at the Sabbaday Falls picnic area on the Kangamangus Highway for a cookout. Adults of all ages and children accompanied by parents are most welcome to come. Further info from 755-2405

Farmington Lions Club: This august body has its annual election of officials on June 21. This will be followed by a dance with outdated music in Riverside Manor.

Woodgin Library Exhibition: Ramgunshoch's bizarre collection of rocks and minerals in Phyllis's display case is worth a peek, if for no other reason than to view the above mentioned hoax. The sources of these specimens, printed on small yellow cards, range from "Leadhills, Scotland" and "tub (synonym) N.H." to "junk store, Glasgow" and "from drunk in Aragon Bar." This 40-piece exhibit also contains a silhouette likeness, in stone, of General De Gaulle, complete with cigarette butt. Together with geodes, ores and crystals the exhibit makes a pleasant five-minute diversion.

School News: Memorial Drive's Chapter I Ice Cream Social attracted a crowd of several hundred gastronomes, trencher-persons and plain gluttons last Thursday in the gym. Meanwhile some lucky folks wait, with mouthwatering anticipation, the annual Woodward Invitation Pig Roast, to be held this year on June 14 for the staff and friends of Milton and Farmington Elementary Schools.

Next Week: Scotland 7 West Germany 0; Morocco 7 England 0

June 10, 1986

FC Home1       Previous       Next