Archive for the ‘Assorted Silliness’ Category

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The Newfoundland dialect is a constant source of amusement for us as we make our way around this intriguing province.  It apparently differs slightly from town to town and locals in any given area can spot outsiders or pinpoint one’s lineage in some way that will forever remain a mystery to us Mainlanders.

Newfies generally greet each other thusly:  “Howya gettin’ on?” If a male Newfie is greeting another male, it amends slightly to “Howya gettin’ on, by?”  (As near as I can figure, “by” is just “boy” without the “o” and not a reference to either sexuality or mental health issues.)

Aside from local dialects, there are certain constants which distinguish Newfie speech from, well, everyone else’s:

All common uses for the letter H have been abolished in Newfoundland.  For example, if you wanted to say something like, “I’ll take the other half of that,” you’d have to say “Oil take de udder affa dat” if you wanted to pass for a Newf.

You’ll notice I said “oil” there instead of “I’ll.”  This incredibly graceful segue brings us to another rule of Newfie speech:  Words containing a long “i” sound (such as “eye spy with my little eye”) are replaced by “oy” (not to be confused with the Jewish version, which is its own word).  For example, “What time is it?” becomes “Whut toyme ya got, by?” to which you might reply, “It’s tree minutes ta noyne.”

Newfie’s tend to femalize inanimate objects.  Things are referred to as her or she.  Because of the no-h rule, “her” becomes “er.”  “She,” however, has been granted amnesty under some sort of rule exception clause and remains “she.”  I have no other explanation for this.

The reason for my desire to attempt to decipher this Newfie code-talking business came on the heels of my having overheard a guy talking on his cellphone (amazing in itself considering how exquisitely rare cell signals are on The Rock).  The gist of the conversation was that Buddy A was lending something to Buddy B.  Here’s what I heard:

“Howya gettin’ on, by?”

“Yeah, gettin’ on good too.”

“No, no, just callin’ ta tellya she’s round back by da fence.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, picker up an’ gwan widder.”

That’s when I lost it.  From that moment on I am resolved to somehow find a way to use “picker up an’ gwan widder” in conversation.

Please feel free to use these linguistic guidelines yourself should you ever find yourself in conversation widda Newf.

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(Does this look real to you?!)

We’ve uncovered an amazingly well-executed hoax here in Newfoundland:  Despite all attempts to convince us otherwise, we’ve determined that there are, in fact, no moose whatsoever in this Province.

Ask any Newfie, though, and they’ll tell you something like, “Oh geez, by, ya gotta watch fer alla moose!  Dere all over da place, eh?  Smash yer car up right quick dey will!”  HAH!!

Read any tourism brochure and it’ll tell you that the moose population is up to well over 100,000 on the island now and that a massive culling is in progress.  HAH!!  (again)

There are road signs giving dire warnings about the moose on the roads and you’ll hear tales of how the local won’t even go out of their homes for fear of being trampled to death.  Say it with me now….HAH!!!

Folks, it’s all a fargin’ lie!  It’s an elaborate hoax cooked up by some sort of Newfie Tink Tank to suck the tourists in.  So well co-ordinated is this deception that when we enquired of an Official at one of those Tourist Information places, “So…where the heck are all these moose we keep hearing about?”  Her reply was (get this), “Oh geez, dere was a bunch of ’em just run by dat window right dere just a little while ago…”  HAH and DOUBLE HAH!!!!  What a load!

Just because some Newfie Tourism Committee sat around brainstorming ways to increase tourism traffic while sampling the Screech, doesn’t mean we’re gonna fall for it.  It probably went something like this:

“Oh geez, I gotta a good one, eh?”

“Oh yeah?  Whatcha tinkin’, by?”

“Well, y’know how doze west-coasters got dem Sasquatches and Ogopogos and whatnot, eh?”

“Yeah…”

“Well, why couldn’t we do sumpin’ like ‘at, only ours could be, oh, I dunno, like say a giant beaver er oh!  Har-har-har!  Here’s a goodun:  What if we say we’re overrun wit moose?!”

“But, Frankie, me by, we got no moose…”

“Well, dat’s da beauty, eh?  We just say we do ‘n’ we put up a buncha sign’s ‘n’ whatnot ‘n’ get alla bys ta say dey just seen one a minute ago…”

“Oh, har-har-har!  Lord tunderin’, Frankie!  Dat’s some genius tinkin’ dere!”

All (imaginary) dialogue aside, the evidence mounts.  We’ve now been in Newfoundland for six days and we’ve seen exactly zero moose.  To further damn the Moose Conspirators, we’ve met and spoken to exactly zero fellow travellers who have seen so much as a single moose!  Oh the locals are holding fast to their minute-ago sightings and brudder-in-laws whose crew-cab pickup was Bullwinkled to an early death.  Hell, there are even local radio reports warning that the moose detector lights at such and such a location are out again and gawd-helpya if yer headed dat way.  AND!!!  On a hike through the bush, we encountered what appeared to be a pile of moose poop…but there was a guy standing just off the path with a fargin’ shovel behind his back!

Pfft!  What a crock!!

Nice try, Newfoundland Tourism Board!  You might have the rest of the world bamboozled, but you ain’t foolin’ us!

 

Just a quickie update and a few photogs (to keep Shari happy):

We’re holed up in New Brunswick visiting family for a few days.  The trip here was mostly yawnular – driving along the TransCanada Highway is not what you’d call particularly scenic.  I got a lot of reading and napping done.

We did, however, have a chance to see (you’re gonna be soooo jealous)….the World’s Largest Axe.  I schitt you not!  Here, check it out:

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How exciting is that?

And, speaking of exciting, I’ll just let this photog do the talking because I have no explanation for it:

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Here’s something different – I’ve never seen a windchime quite like this one:

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Okay, okay, you’re right – I’m grasping at straws here.  Let me just finish up for today with the reason for the title of this post:

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I don’t know who’s in charge of naming things around here, but I like!  🙂

 

From the time of early childhood, we’ve made fun of Newfies, told Newfie jokes, and held Newfies up as the epitome of how we fervently hope not to appear to others.  We did this with the blithe naivety of youth, never once imagining that Newfies were actual people.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “Newfie” refers to someone who lives in or is from the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

And that, amigos, is as graceful a segue to our current destination as you’re gonna get from this ole bird.

We’re headed for Newfoundland (pronounced NOO-fin-lund) for a bunch of reasons, among which are:

We’ve never been there;

We hear there are icebergs and puffins and whales, oh my!;

We have an unbridled curiosity about a folk who have their own time zone (half an hour out of whack with the rest of the world), have their own language (Oh, it’s English, just not English as we know it), and who may or may not be as amusing as we believed them to be in our youth.  In short, inquiring minds want to know if Newfies really are goofy.

Oh, and we also want to know if Newfie kids tell Ontarian jokes.  We suspect they do.

 

This bird business is getting out of hand. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d become a birdwatcher in the not-too-distant future, I’d have har-de-har-harred and advised you to seek professional help.

Be that as it may, I found myself prowling around in a cemetery the other day in search of an Eastern Screech Owl I’d heard rumour of. The problem with the location for the search was that, in addition to my little bird problem, I also have a real thing for cemeteries. It sounded like the perfect combo to me. Now who needs professional help, hmm? Hey, we all have our demons…

Well, the owl was nowhere to be found, although, I have to confess, my search was perhaps slightly less diligent than it might have been in a less fascinating environment.

Here’s what I did see (please excuse any photographic weirdness you might encounter – I just got PhotoShop Elements 11 and we’re becoming acquainted):

And, as if that weren’t thrilling enough (okay, thrilling to me, anyway), I found someone who is…er…that is to say was more enamoured with their trailer than Bob is with ours!  

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Hey, do you think they’d do an Airstream tombstone for him when he kicks the bucket?

Nine more sleeps ’til we leave for Newfieland!

After a very silly day, reminiscent of Bob’s Smartie Box Kazoo Band days, we came to rest at a place called Florida Gateway RV Park in Jasper, FL.  It was supposed to be a park where we could get a discount just by whipping out one of our hefty handful of RV Club membership cards (more on this in a minute) but, apparently, that’s no longer the case.  Oh, there are memberships involved all right – their own about which you are required to be courted briefly before they let you stay even as a non-member.

Nons, as we are known, are required to wear a red wristband identifying us as such.  I’m not entirely clear on the thinking behind this, but we, of course, went rogue and eschewed their stupid wristbands.  Yep, rebels without a clue – that’s us!  In fact, after we’d gotten all set up and settled and fed, Bob decided to take a stroll around the park while I accosted my laptop and curse the god of internet connections.  Because he’d had a couple of beers and was feeling A. No pain; and B. Rebellious, he made for the door without the required red wristband.  I tossed him a walkie talkie and said, “Here, ya piss tank, in case the red wristband police arrest you and I hafta come bust you out.”

“10-4,” he said with his best rakish grin and off he went.

About fifteen minutes later, just as I was fixing to disembowel my computer for failure to comply, the walkie chirped to life:  “Piss Tank One to Base, over?”

“Roger, Piss Tank One, this is Base,” I replied after I’d mopped up the tea I’d just shot out of my nose.

“Base, this is Piss Tank One.  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

I had no idea what to reply to that.  The point was moot, really, because I couldn’t have stopped laughing long enough to speak.

Regarding the above-mentioned membership cards, it seems that when you buy an RV, everyone insists that you join their club.  In fact, within seconds of agreeing to purchase our Airstream, we first got hugged (!!!) then asked to join some sort of Airstream Club.  Yeah, no.  I don’t really do clubs.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a snob…actually yeah, that’s probably it.  Anyhoo, it turns out that if you want to camp anywhere you have to belong to the KOA club, the Good Sam club, the Adventure American (or somesuch) club, and I forget the rest of them.  Some you get when you shop in certain camping stores.  Others come attached to magazine subscriptions.  It’s weird.  Why can’t I just have an RV and y’know, RV around on my own?

 

Our first day on the road is finally (thankfully) over and hooboy! what a yawnfest it was!  We drove ohhhh, gotta be at least 200 hours today, mostly on the NY Interstate and mostly in that annoying drizzle that just won’t quite let you get the setting right on the wipers.  It was somewhere between can’t-see-schitt and that dragging rubbery groany sound that makes you wanna gnaw off your own arm.

Bob did all the driving because, as we all know, turnips aren’t not permitted to operate motor vehicles under any circumstances.  Therefore, my job, as Chief Turnip, was to read my book (Slow photog day?  Oh, honey, you bet your furry butt!):

A most excellent book so far, I might add.  I also did sudoku until I went blind.  I apologize, I don’t have a picture of that for you.

Once I had read a hearty chunk of my book and sudoku’d myself into early-onset dimentia, I occupied myself by playing with our cameras.  I used mine to try to get a shot of a truly artfully splatted bug on the windshield:

but, alas, my lens was too long so it didn’t work out.  I was too road-weary to contemplate changing it for one that would have worked on this project.  That was when I discovered some really fun settings on Bob’s little pocket-sized point-n-shoot.  Check this out – This setting is called “fat”:

  AND!!!  The really exciting news is the discovery of THIS setting (called – get this – “thin”):

I hereby decree from thence forward that THIS setting will be the only one permitted for use on photogs of me!!   Can I get an “amen” on that?

Later, as we were driving along, I happened to look up from my book (or whatever thumb-twiddly thing I was engrossed in) and saw an old run down scary-looking house standing in a field.  I had taken to talking to myself at this point and I muttered, “the hills have eyes…”  Bob, who is not a movie freak as I am, and is most definitely NOT a horror movie fan, said, “What did you say?”  I repeated what I said.  Then he said, “Weird…that’s the name of the campground we’re staying at tonight.”  I clutched at my chest and wheezed out a “w-w-w-what?!”  “Yeah,” he said, “Weird that you should say that…”  Now, in theory, Bob should never have even heard of that movie, so, in my horror, when I looked over at him and found him trying desperately not to laugh, attacked him viciously.   He is now sporting a book-sized dent in his forehead of which I am most unsympathetic.

Before I go put my jammies on, I have to tell you about the shot I missed…  Just before we arrived wherever it is we are (Somewhere near Springfield, Mass.), I spotted the most amazing thing.  You know those yellow diamond-shaped signs that have a picture of a deer leaping on them?  They usually say something witty like “deer crossing,” right?  But they don’t usually have an actual deer standing under them, do they?  Well this did!  I was so amazed that I sat there agape with my camera sitting useless  in my lap while I wondered aloud how often THAT happens… then… “Aw, crap!”  Waaaaay too late it occurred to me what an awesome shot that would have been.  Sigh…

I was just now having a poke through the writings of some of the amazing bloggers on this site when I came across a section on a blog called “Terms & Conditions.”  When I clicked on it, I found a carefully worded disclaimer that said lawyerly-sounding things like “the opinions of this blogger…yadda yadda,” and “subject to revision without notice…blah blah blah.”

Okay, I get that this is the internet, and I get that the world is full of weirdos.  Ergo, I get that this is not necessarily the ideal combination.  But, seriously, if you are one of the aforementioned weirdos and you happen to either take offense and/or punk someone’s work, then how is a little typed out blurb going to stop you?

It got me thinking:  If I were to put a Terms & Conditions thing on my blog, what would I say?  Let’s find out, shall we?

TERMS & CONDITIONS

1.  The opinions of this blogger may or may not make sense to anyone other than the blogger.  They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of  the chipmunks that live in the backyard of the said blogger, nor do they necessarily concur with the opinions of any politicians currently holding office, or, for that matter, any chipmunks holding office.

2.  The writings of this blogger may or may not be true.  It may or may not be difficult to tell the difference.  Even for the blogger.

3.  The photogs used in this blog are the original work of the blogger and are embedded with a virus that will not only cause your computer to dissolve into a puddle of molten ooze, but it will leap from your monitor screen and attach itself to your face.  It’ll be all downhill from there.  So don’t steal them, okay??

4.  Should you choose to read this blog, please be advised that you do so at your own risk.  The blogger accepts no responsibility whatsoever should you happen to suffer some sort of malfunction during the course of the reading of the said blog.  And no, the blogger will most definitely NOT cover your medical expenses.

5.  The writer of this blog is an entirely fictitious character and, as such, cannot be prosecuted for any of his or her fictitious behaviour, including, but not limited to, silliness, fun-poking, general levity, specific levity, and any other sorts of behaviours which may or may not be named later.

6.  Any other addenda and/or provisos and/or insertions heretofore omitted shall be presumed to be written (or not, as the case may be) with or without the full knowledge of the blogger.

There now.  I think we’ve about covered it.  I feel all safe and protected now.  😀