One of the most important lessons I have learned in my life (so far) is the importance, and wide scope, of a good sense of humour. From Slapstick to Spoonerisms, through Monty Python, The League of Gentlemen and Richard Herring, all are grist to the Comedy Mill! Long live humour, I say! We can all learn from it!
I have always loved the eccentric verbal world spawned, allegedly, by Oxford don, the Reverend William Archibald Spooner.
An absent-minded cove – as P.G.Wodehouse would, no doubt, have had it – Spooner was at New College his entire academic life, ending up as its Warden. It may be that the syllabic mixes and subsequent hilarity associated with him was apocryphal, or at least highly-exaggerated, but the fruit of this verbal tic has fallen richly from the Tree of the Ages, and lies clustered in guffaw-inducing piles on the Grass of Scathe, Wit and Malapropism.
The most famous, Oxford-related, Spooneristic trio (which I first heard in my Oxonian-based youth), dealt with the expulsion of an egregious undergraduate and goes as follows:
‘He has hissed all his Mystery lectures; he was caught fighting a liar in the Quad – and he will leave Oxford on the next town drain…’
Imagine having a lecturer like that! Envisage the daily hilarity! Wow! Nearest I can come to that admittedly very high standard involves one of my lecturers for Classical Studies (which I took, along with English and Philosophy, in my first year). He once sauntered vaguely into the Old College room (overlooking the wilds of Aberystwyth’s sea front), intoned, ‘The Romans – they were very rude…’ lost his train of thought down the Tunnel of Reminiscence, or possibly the Siding of Incipient Alzheimer’s, and buggered off.
Back to Spooner: I am, as you know, a writer (of novels, the blog, the journal, plays, poetry…) and it occurred to me this morning, as I was desperately trying to justify another ten minutes of hoggish slumber in the no-doubt- foetid sack, that I could apply the inadvertent wisdom of Old Spooner to my burgeoning career.
Thus, I actually Bite Rooks for a living! Poor sods! Asked by a fellow Spooner fan, ‘Have you Bitten any Rooks recently?’ (the mind boggles), I would, in all honesty, have to reply thusly, ‘Unfortunately, no: I am currently afflicted with that dreaded disorder, Blighters’ Rock!’
In even more sinister, and borderline Satanic mode, I Blight Rogs – though what the poor Rogs (presumably either a little-known Papua New Guinean tribe, or a race of aliens) have ever done to me is anybody’s guess. Blight them I do, however, sometimes at a rate of two a day.
As for my gardening activities, well, ranging from the sepulchral to the borderline silly, is all I can say. When I am not Lowing the Mourn (tears obligatory), I am out there Wanging out the Hoshing (which sounds like either a minor Olympic sport, bit like Flinging the Welly, or an obscure branch of the Masturbation Bush), and Saring up the Pox (God help us all!)…
All righty: Having delivered a Mit of Birth, I am now off to, on this occasion, Bead rather than Bite a Rook, followed by a Shit of Bopping!
See below for an image of a brace of my regular victims, watching for an Incoming Alienora, fangs at the ready!