Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ask the Paperboy, Chapter 46: ‘World Cup Edition’

From today's TIMES and NEWS-STAR

(Paperboy has been on extended leave getting a dangling participle repaired. He returns today, eager to answer a few in a backlog of queries…)

Dear Ask the Paperboy,
How do you feel about soccer and the World Cup? Please try to type the answer without using your hands.
Bobby in Blanchard
Dear Bobby,
;ld9;a.,meo*%…Wait…no hands didn’t work so well. Don’t know how those soccer dudes do it. I tried typing with my chest; that didn’t cut it either. Maybe I’m not giving these people their due.
The best line I’ve ever heard about soccer being un-American and not for heavy consumption was from a friend who said that no one wants to bet on a sport where you can’t fall on a loose ball.
While I don’t have anything against soccer, I can make my point best by sharing a tiny bit of a long list I continue to compile of “Ways I Will Not Die”:
No. 3 on the list is “Choking on a Brussels Sprout.”
No. 2 is “In Any Kind of Hot Air Balloon Mishap (Unless One Falls on Me).”
And No. 1 is and always will be “In A Soccer Riot.” That is what my friend Bummer wants on his tombstone: “Dead, But Not From A Soccer Riot. See? He Wasn’t ALL Bad!”
If you see Bummer or Paperboy (alive) at any sort of soccer event, it is because they have been offered a lot of free stuff, including golf balls and cable for life. And all of Florida – without the snakes.
So if you were going to offer, no thanks: I don’t need tickets.

Dear Ask the Paperboy,
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever tried to do? I ask with the knowledge that you have done many things, including climb Driskill Mountain, Louisiana’s highest point, all 535 feet, single-handedly on your feet and with no rope, pick, oxygen tank or even a power bar.
Archie in Arcadia
Dear Arch,
Wow. That’s taking Paperboy back. That was an impressive day. Well, an impressive half-hour. Thanks for remembering. (I did have to stop for a refreshing Mountain Dew. I mean, I don’t run on batteries, you know.)
Now, while that was tough (as you can only imagine), it is nothing like trying to fold a fitted sheet. Einstein and his smarter brother together couldn’t fold a fitted sheet.

Dear Ask the Paperboy,
If you write something and it's wrong, you might have to re-do it. If you lay some concrete and you mess up a spot, you might have to re-do it. Why is it when someone does something to you, you feel you have to retaliate. Have you been "taliated" to begin with? What is a "taliate" anyway?
Pig Shelton in Re-no
Dear Pig,

“Taliate” in a strict sense means the same thing as “retaliate,” honest to goodness, although it is seldom used because of the simple fact that it sounds so stupid. I’m sure a poet’s behind that, somehow. But in slang – as you are asking so you can come to understand it and be able to move on with your life and worry about other things -- taliate is what one does (pokes me in the eye) that causes another to retaliate (threatens to maim him unless he properly folds your fitted sheet, just for instance. Or – the ultimate indignity -- you make him go to a soccer game.) Unlike love, it is not better to have taliated and lost than never to have taliated at all. If you don’t want to be “retaliated on,” the initial taliation situation better get the job done.
For funsies, you can start your own language with what English whizzes call “unpaired” words, which “retaliate” is close to being. The list includes dejected (is “jected” elated?) and disgruntled (a personal favorite), incognito, nonchalant, invert and the always funny sounding debunk – not to be confused, as our resident Cajuns would say, with desink or destove. Language is a beautiful thing.

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