Fri 5 Dec, 2003 08:31 am
"Sonamabitch," muttered Ruthie. She had picked up the variation on the old standard from a friend's Italian grandmother. She liked it. She didn't use it much. But computer problems were definitely sonamabitches.
"What's wrong with this mouse. The damned thing won't glide."
Ruthie tried opening the mouse to get at the ball that was causing the problem. Despite great effort, various tools, and some significant dents, the mouse wouldn't open. She tried oil, the kind you use to make things run smoothly. She had no idea whether it would help or hurt. But, hey, the sonamabitch wasn't working anyway, so how could it hurt?
The oil brought momentary success. A triumphant smile crossed Ruthie's face as the mechanical rodent skated across its little pad. The smile lasted as long as the glide. One brief glide and the sonamabitch was stuck again.
Frustrated, irritated, annoyed, and generally pissed, Ruthie rose from her computer table, got dressed, and headed for Staples. She was hoping to find something that would get the ball rolling, so to speak.
As she got off the escalator, Ruthie resisted all temptation to browse through the pens, pencils, and papers. She felt nostalgia for those first-day-of-school school supplies she used to love. And she always was a sucker for a good pen. She passed the schooly stuff and headed for the computery stuff. She had no idea what to look for. Mouse-ball-roller-enabler? She lurked near a busy salesman and pounced the minute he stepped away from his customer. She explained her problem. She asked whether there was some product that could fill the bill.
Rather than responding directly to her question, the salesman, a nice young man in his twenties, told her about a new product. A mouse with no ball. Ruthie's eyebrows arched as she exclaimed, "A castrati!" The salesman looked at her blankly. Ruthie smiled. He led her to the display of ball-less mice. Ruthie examined one of them and smiled a big smile. "It's not a castrati. It's a girl!" This the salesman reacted to. He grinned broadly but didn't respond directly to Ruthie's statement. "I'll take it," said Ruthie. The salesman gave her a carton containing the new mouse, and Ruthie got on line to pay. While she waited, she saw her salesman talking to another salesman. All she heard was her salesman say to the other, "It's a girl." Both salesmen laughed. Ruthie smiled.
Roberta, this piece is absolutely priceless!
You have a real flair, my friend.
I did not understand it
Perils of not having english as yr native language !
Thanks, Letty. That means a lot.
Gautam. What didn't you understand? Just curious.
I have to read it again..bear with me !
I get the "literal" meaning of it now - but if there was any pun hidden, then I am lost......
Sorry Roberta, guess my brain is not functioning to its usual standards.
Gautam, you cute thing. Look at your mouse. (wait a minute, let me rephrase that)
Gautam, Would it help if I tell you that castrati were men who were castrated so that they could retain their boyish soprano voices? This was hundreds of years ago.
Oh right !!!!
Thanks !! Now I get it !!!!
Eva, heh heh! We're gonna turn that boy's head if we're not careful. Say "cheese", Gautam.
Roberta, ever try your hand at writing poetry? As I recall, you loved Thomas Grey's "Elegy......."
Letty, Good grief. What a memory you've got. That was a long time ago in a place far, far away. My taste in poetry and my poetic abilities are worlds apart. I write silly poems. And I rarely can get them to scan. There's usually one line sticking way out beyond all the others.
Roberta, in the words of "Animal Farm"--long term memory--gooooodddd
Short term memory--baaaaaddddd.
Stream of consciousness--glub, glub
and silly be fine. Just ask James Thurber and Ogden Nash.
congrats for getting a girl mouse.... had you ensured it's not a spayed one?
LOL! That was so cute. I have a girl mouse too ;-)
Raboita, loved your story and how easy it was to relate with the problem, even to getting on the escalator and pouncing on a salesman.
Certainly better to have a girl mouse than a boy mouse with a very high voice.
Someday I would love for you to start a thread on some of your students and the way they grasp idiomatic English or English swear words. Somabitch is just one example of what must be a rich vocabulary of just-off-center swear words.