332. Warning: Wed Wed Wine Ahead

We were waiting at a Wuby Tuesdays wecentwee when my wife wheelwe wanted a gwass of wine. It had been a wery wong day and when the waitress asked what she wanted, she wepwied, “Wed Wine”.  We waughed and waughed at the wispy wesponse. We fought it would be wonderful fun to wite a wistful post inwolvwing onwee wetter substitutions that awe often found in speech pherwapy, shinsh it’s fun to pway withsh words. A shhsshpeechsh sharwapist oncsh towd me the worwasht shhshhpeechsh impairwament to wectify ish the shhshtupid shshound of the sshhtuck tongue that comes fwom making the “S” shshound wiff the tongue on the woof of your mouff. It musht be to jushtify shhusch a wicked weeaction. I can sschhee this post is going nowherwa fast. Sshcheee, I know these schlings are twue.

 It’shh even morwa amazshing when you shhink about Bugs Bunny and all the other voicshes that Mel Blanc pwoduced. No one found them insshulting or powiticawee incowwect. I’m not shchsuwa that we have cwossed that wine yet where cartoon chawacters awha held to wealwee high mowal wawlues. Has anyone cwaimed that the Woadwunnah bwowing up the Coyote wiff weapons from Acme Fiwahawms and Expwosives caused a school shooting? I need to wesearch that.  Can you even imagine witing those comic scwipts? Or was it all impwovised on the spot?  What a talent! West in peace, Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma Mel. Dats all.

 Much harder to see speech than to hear it.  So my written words will fail to spit and stutter, and lisp and curl the way misspoken words do. As Mr. Fudd would say, “It’s wery, wery difficult to werify. Warwer dan hen’s teeth.” Fortunatwee we have awwl sorts of tools today that Mel Bwanc da, da, de, da, di,di, did not have at his da- da- da- disposal, the internet ba- ba- being a bi- ba- ba- ba- bi- big one…

“I say, I say, I said Son, now put down that there mouse before, I said, before ya’ll get hurt.” Foghorn Leghorn

“Dis ain’t no mouse, Foghorn. Dis is a phone. Wing, wing. It’s for you. Boom! Whoops, did I say a phone?  I meant a bomb. I taught I heard a puddy phone.” Tweety Bird

“Of course, you know this means war.” Daffy

“That’sth justh desthpicable!!” Daffy

Image result for daffy duck pictures

And on an on they go. The king of all cartoon animals, though, is Bugs Bunny. He had it all, the savoir faire, the cheeky humor, the slippery escapes. Unflappable Bugs.

So, what does this all have to do with today? Wine, speech impairments, and beloved cartoon characters?  I don’t know, but I like a challenge.  How could they all come together in an almost believable though purposeless narrative? Let’s see…

Announcer voice: “It’s a lovely night at the Cartoon Academy Awards night gala, live from Ceasar’s Palace in Costa Rica. Your host for this gala is Elmerrrrrrrrrrrrr FUDD. Everyone, put your hands and paws together for Elmer.”

“Thank you wery, wery much. I want to furrrrst of all thank the academy furrr inviting me to speak to awl of you tonight, herwah. Oh my goodness. Dair are surre a wot of you out deir in the dawk, wabbits and wildmen, mice and ducks, and even my werwy good fwiend Woody Woodpecker.”


“Thank you all. Now, pwesenting the awawd fower Best Wabbit in a Comedy, is my fwiend and coweague, uh,uh, Mista Powky Pig.”


Porky Pig:  “Uh, wa-wa-wa-well, Thanks Elmer, tha-the-the-that was, was so uh, uh, special for me. Whew! Now, the uh, the uh, give me the envelope, uh, pa- pa-pa-  PLEASE!”

Offstage Bugs, “Gazuhnheit, Doc.”

“Thank you. Um the uh, nomina, nominats, nomen-i-i-inknees are– Bugs Bunny for a Rabid uh, a Rabid uh, a Rabbit’s Life. Brer Ra- ra- ra- ra- rabbit for Tales from Uncle Ra- re-ra remus, and Cindy the Playboy Ba- ba- bunny for, uh, um, ra- ra- ratings.”  Tearing, “And the, the , the winner is… Ba ba ba ba bugs Ba ba ba ba bunny.”

Image result for bugs bunny pictures

WILD Applause, Bugs enters drinking a glass of merlot. “Yeeahhh, Whatz up Porky?  Thank you, thank you, please continue. Thank you, thank you.” Sips wine. “There’s nuttin like a good bold merlot to go with a little gold statue.  Achoo!  Bless me. I am flabbergasted to be your choice for, uh, Best Wabbit in a Comedy. Yeeeeah, Humbled by the graciousness of your generosity as well as  up pawled by the fact the, uh, [stage whisper] doity little secret dat Brer Rabbit is in a Ramada Inn right now with Cindy the Playboy Bunny. Whatz up with that? Why couldn’t Brer Rabbit pick up this heyah metal and I get the Bunny Momma?”

Porky, “Eh, eh, Ba ba ba Bugs?  This is, uh, uh, live t.v. here Ba ba Buddy Boy. We ga ga got no time for uh, wa, wa wa dialogue muh mah muh malfunctions.”

Bugs, “Yeeeah, I know, Doc. Soitently. But it’s hard being a lonely hare. I don’t need another cold statue on my mantel. I got no bobbin’ tail to come home to. I need love too, Porkster. ”

Pepe le Pew, “Ah certainmah, mon ami. Oui Oui. Amore is the champagne of life, the effervescence of zee evanescence. Zee ennui of ratatouille. Zee arbonne of se se bonne.”

“Yeah, Doc. I don’t hear French real good or I’d have you arrested.”

Pepe, “Oh pardon, my bonhomie, I mean no such sing of infamy for you. May I ascyst you? On me vivre as a skunk, I pledge to you my undying aplomb.”

“Uh, yeeeeah. I’ll take a large Aplomb and, uh,  a salad with thousand island dressing and a Spwite. Pwease.”

“We are like bruzzers in arms, my little Brodent.”

“Ayyyyy, Doc, I gots a show to finish before we, uh, hug it out. So, Pepe, say it wiss me, ‘That’s All Folks’.”

Dim lights. Bugs exits with merlot…

“Ahhhhh. Full body, a dusky fruitiness mixed with old forest French oak.”

cue up theme song

“Red, red wine
Stay close to me
Don’t let me be alone
It’s tearing apart…my blue, blue heart.”






217. Confusion: Rains or Reigns or Reins

English is a funny language, don’t you think so?  We have all these sound alike words, homonyms, that mean vastly different things even before you allow for Australian accents, and British, and South African, and U.S. regions, and English as a second language yuk ups. Why just today I heard the joke about the guy whose plane crashed in Australia. In the hospital during surgery he cried out in pain to the Aussie nurse, “Did I just come here to die?”  Coolly, she replied, “No, you came here yesterday, mate.”  This word play is the source of endless puns and bad jokes, double entendres, innuendos and so forth. It’s just so funny if you are on the same page at the same speed… and so stupid if you are not.

Earlier this afternoon my wife and I met with our financial planner, Rich. He threw in a joke without fluctuating his voice or face–
“If you work till you’re 62, then you’ll draw this much pension from the state. If you work till you are 72, they’ll name a building after you.” I caught it before my wife, about an hour before as it turns out, and said, “Yeah, I’d like a brick  building to remember her by”, when Rich chimed in “Like a Brick….HOUSE” from the Commodores with Lionel Richie and full on upper body dance funk. We laughed and tried to get back on track as my wife wondered how the train of thought had become so derailed and deranged. It’s fun until it’s not. Caution: do not attempt word play with foreigners who are struggling to learn English or folks who have language impairments or people in crisis. Bad things could happen.

My youngest daughter had some language delays when she was 5 years old. She managed to cope by talking endlessly, thereby eliminating the need to listen. Each morning as I drove her and her older sister to school, Jess would prattle on and on about anything and nothing. Grace would shift in her seat, unable to get a word in edgewise. One day, attempting to insert a pause, I said, “Thanks for that update, Jess. Now let’s give Grace a turn.” That’s when Jess screamed out, “It’s not a cupcake, Dad!” That was the beginning of speech pherapy and auditory processing appointments. What a difference!! Now when she yells at me, her content matches the context and I deserve it. These days it’s my turn for pherapy.  Repeat after me, “Take the ambulance to the funeral.” “Take the ambliance to the fewhnyerral.”

“Just ’cause I said it don’t mean I meant it, just ’cause you heard it,” sings Adele. This reminds me of another favorite of mine– the double or triple negative. My wife uttered two good ones that I can recall. Once she called me from work to remind me to put dinner together for that night.

“Don’t forget to unthaw the beef”, she told me.

I paused. “You want me to freeze the meat?”


“Well, if you thaw something, it melts…so if you un-thaw something, you freeze it, right?”

“Don’t be difficult.”

“Or what?”

“Or I’ll beat you with frozen meat.”

“Thufferin’ thuckatash, I  didn’t thee that comin’ !”


The other utterance was the directive to unloosen my belt, which I believe appeared to be too tight. Again, let’s review:  if you loosen something, you let out length. If you unloosen something, you draw in length or tighten the thing in question. I inquired, “So you want me to tighten my belt?”

“You know what I mean”, she responded, which was true but I was being difficult, which she already knew from previous experience.

“Get a new belt or go on a diet. Okay, Fatboy?”

“Okay!  I didn’t theee that comin’ either.”

I am not a language Nazi, far from it. I am someone who loves words and language and fun. I recall a long, long set up to a really bad homonym pun. We were at the beach and I was trying to explain to some poor unfortunate soul how the fish were jumping beyond the waves.

“They are silver sea trout”, I asserted falsely.

“Oh, really. Why are they jumping like that?”

“To escape being eaten by the porpoises.”

“No kidding?”

“Yeah, there’s a best selling book about this fish.”

“I’ve never heard of it. What’s the title?”

“The Porpoise Driven Life by Rick Warren. It’s a big seller.”

“I’m going to beat you!!”

“You know, I get that a lot.”

“That’s because you weren’t beaten enough as a child.”

“I get that a lot too. It seems to be a universal assessment of my character.  Now, nah, ppput the frozen meat down… and the belt. We can talk this out without resorting to violence, can’t we Darlin? God help me. Did I just come here to die?”

I never learned to quit while I was behind. Not even when I was a little behind, maybe four or five years old. Now I’m a big behind and I need to unloosen my belt while thawing frozen beef.

Anyway, did you hear about the Arabic woman who got pregnant with twins before she was married? Shocking, so it was. Her family insisted on adopting out the identical twin boys. One to a family in Spain, who named him Juan; and the other to a family in Algeria, who named him Amal. Years went by. This woman eventually married a good man and started a family. Twenty years later a letter arrived from Spain with a photo of Juan. The letter said, “Mother, I  have tracked you down and want you to know that I am fine. Thank you for loving me enough to do what was best for me.”  The woman sobbed uncontrollably. When her husband came home she was still crying. She told him about the letter from Juan. He said, “My dear, this is a joyous thing. Be happy.” To which the woman replied, “But I will never see my Amal. Booooohhoooooo!” But her clever husband pointed out, “Dearest,  don’t you remember? They are identical boys:  once you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

Put the frying pan down, Honey. This does not have to end in violence.