Thursday, 17 May 2007

Incommunicado redivivo

Maybe it's the French philosophy; maybe it's one two many first year essays; whatever it is, I have lost the ol' communication knack bigtime. Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a spanking impression of functional dialogue. I'd say something. Trusty interlocutor would say something back. I'd say something else. Someone'd reply. Back and forth, hither and yon, 'twixt and 'tween, it was happening. Meaning. Across a crowded room.

Just lately, though, it's all gone to pieces. Yesterday, for instance, emerging from the gels' loo in the loo corridor at work, I spy a gent I know, going into the boys' loo. "Hello," I say. "Fantastic corridor, this one." There's no denying it's a corridor, although I suppose the "fantastic" call is open to dispute. But he doesn't reply. He looks at me as if I've just suggested we go bludgeon some penguins.

Last night on the bus, I plonk myself down next to a chap reading Gulliver's Travels. "Oh! Swift!" I say to him. "Have you read that essay where he suggests the Irish eat their babies?" He looks at me as if I've just proposed a spot of penguin bludgeoning (there's a recurring theme here). "I don't think he was serious," I add, to clear up any confusion on that front. Mr Chap buries himself in Gulliver's Travels and keeps his knees together.

This morning, I catch two squidgy green folks decimating my oregano. "Well, lookee, lookee, lookee," I say. "If it ain't two hungry caterpillars eating up my balcony. What do you think you're doing here, young persons?" No reply. As cool as cucumbers. Munch, munch, munch.

Any more of this and, inviolable as my ego is, I'm going to start thinking it's me.

14 comments:

TimT said...

Au contraire, Alexis, you are so brimming over with communicado that I find I can read several meanings into your sentences with the simple change of punctuation. Allow me to demonstrate:

Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a spanking impression of functional dialogue.

- Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a spanking!

- Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a spanking impression!

- Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a functional spanking!

- Time was when I and a coupla mates could pull off a functional dialogue of spanking!

(I like the last the best, with the startling suggestion of an entire language based on spanking.)

Besides, anyone who can't maintain a perfectly civil conversation about the virtues of a corridor at any hour of the day is an oaf, and you should not have anything to do with him.

alexis said...

Look, thank you, Tim, sir. That's very reassuring. Just a wee clarification: by "spanking", I was after the adjectival sense, chiefly colloquial according to mon cheri, l'OED.

1. Very big, large, or fine; exceptionally good in some respect, freq. with implication of showiness or smartness.

2. a. Of horses; esp. in later use: Moving or travelling at a rapid pace and in a smart and vigorous manner.
b. Of persons: Dashing, lively, boisterous.

3. Of a breeze: Blowing strongly or briskly; rattling.

4. Of a pace, rate, etc.: Rapid, smart, vigorous.

5. Used as adv. Very, exceedingly; esp. as spanking new, brand-new.

Hence spankingly adv., at a spanking pace; in a rapid and smart manner.

TimT said...

Thank you for replying in such a spanking fashion!

prude said...

You do not wish to see the look I give those who suggest penguin bludgeoners Alexis.

You would not be here writing this blog if you saw it.

It is a fate worse than being bludgeoned.

alexis said...

Rest assured, Prudester, I am a friend to penguins near and far.

Tim, always a pleasure.

Karen said...

There truly is a perfectly logical explanation for all of this, for it is not possible that you could have lost your touch, given you managed to convince boisterous young men at a tram stop to consider the perversity of women's fashion. I would suggest that the man in the corridor was either lost in thought or is perhaps a little bit self-conscious about bodily functions. The reader in the tram is perhaps a Swift novice and was a little apprehensive about exposing his lack of familiarity with a certain modest proposal. Alternatively, the change of season has inclined folks to retreat into their shells, in which they can savour the wit of passing strangers and acquiantances at their leisure, perhaps over a nice glass of port or some warm brandy.

alexis said...

Or maybe they were intimidated by my sabre-toothed cuteness.

Mr Mean said...

Perhaps the gentleman you spied in the corridor was still in a trance induced by reading the paragraph by Jacques Derrida that you posted on Tuesday night; such lack of referential indices is known to encourage hypnotic subjects to perform transderivational searches, and a suggestion of arm catalepsy immediately following your opening statement of, "Fantastic corridor, this one," could have easily established if he was indeed in a hypnotic trance, although it may have hindered his actions once he arrived at his apparent destination.

Miss Eagle said...

Dear LH, welcome to my life!

Blessings and bliss

alexis said...

You too, Miss Eagle, receive the cold shoulder from oregano-thieving caterpillars? You have my sincerest sympathies.

Mr Mean, that wasn't a paragraph. That was just a sentence. The paragraph was a whole new kettle of red herrings. But I like your "blame it on the deconstruction approach". Hear, hear.

Alextricity said...

I'm afraid that I too must agree: too often my well meaning comments fall on quizical and unknowing ears. However, in times like these I prefer to deflect the accusations of insanity with self-reassurance that they have not yet reached the stage where they can fully appreciate the value of a corridor, or the escapades of an author.... ahh, life's simple pleasures.
Yet I heed you fear not; I have made friends with the caterpillars at last and advise you will also soon be comrades.
:) happy blogging

alexis said...

Merci beaucoup, Alextricity. The trouble with me and the caterpillars is that we've got too much in common. I like oregano; they like oregano. I'm sort of squidgy and wear a lot of green; they're sort of squidgy and wear a lot of green. I just don't think there's room on my balcony for the three of us.

Alextricity said...

lmao. excellent rebuttal

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