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Frailty and Stereotypes

Twinkle Redux

[WEATHER REPORT FROM MILT'S GRANDDAUGHTER: While I was sleeping, Amber left an update (scroll down) on the condition of her grandfather, Milt Rebman of Milt's Muse. You can send her a note by clicking on her name at the end of her comment.]

Not long ago, I published two alternative versions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star resulting in some wonderful reminiscences in the comments section of rhymes and stories from our childhoods.

My brother Paul caught up on reading his sister’s blog a few days ago and emailed this additional variation on Twinkle which he learned as a kid and is, by today’s standards, a mite politically incorrect. But it will also make you giggle. If you are offended, please tell someone else and not me.

Paul calls this the “Cocktail Napkin Version” of the rhyme:

Starkle starkle little twink,
Who the hell are you I think,
I'm not under what you call,
the alcofluence of incohol.
I'm just a little slort of sheep,
I'm not drunk like thinkle peep.
I don't know who is me yet,
but the drunker I stay the longer I get.
So one more drink to fill up my cup,
I got all day sober to Sunday up.

It is, of course, an elaborate spoonerism – a form of pun named for Dr. William Archibald Spooner, an Anglican priest who lived from 1844 to 1930 and was prone to these tips of the slung which, at their funniest, are inadvertent.

It is said that from the pulpit, the Rev. Spooner referred to “our Lord, a shoving leopard” and once told a groom at the end of the wedding ceremony that “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.” On another occasion, he described a naval array as the “vast display of cattleships and bruisers.”

From an unknown source, there is the famous Dickens novel, “A Sale of Two Titties”. And let us not forget our president’s reference in a public speech to “terriers and barrifs.”

It’s never easy to know if spoonerisms were spontaneous or just a lack of pies. I like to believe this elegant putdown, even though deliberate, really happened: a member of Parliament referred to another as a “shining wit” - and then apologized for making a spoonerism.

But my all-time favorites – two spoonerisms that still reduce me to a helpless mass of giggling Jello 50 years after I first heard them - are attributed to mid-20th century radio and TV announcer Harry Von Zell, and appear to be genuine. They occurred on separate occasions:

“…ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, Hoobert Heever,” and

“...the duck and doochess of Windsor.”

Comments

that last got my smile...part for the memory, part for the silliness. thanks.

When I was young we used to read aloud from My Tale is Twisted by Colonel Stoopnagle:

Talk about spoonerisms! Talk about funny! It is a great addition to any dinner party! But especially if it is read aloud.

oops ... I forgot my URL!

Absolutely delightful. All of them. I'm still laughing and about to read them outloud to my G.

that was great, started my morning of reading blogs off well :)

Your favoites made me laugh out loud. Love when that happens.

"Hoobert Heever" has long been a favorite of mine. I didn't know it was attributable to Harry Von Zell. Thanks for the info.

By the way, Ronni, I'm not an honorary elderblogger, I'm the real thing....at least in that I am over 50. Re there any other requirements I need to know about? *G*

and there are the stories of Rindercella slopping her dripper and the Pee Little Thrigs.

Well, this rost did it, Ponni! I just got my self-prescribed monthly prescription for Oct. of LOLROTF humor which has released those endorphins that are now ricocheting around in my body.

Your brother's version of Twinkle Twinkle is quite funny, as had only heard portions of it before.

I do recall an old recording of radio bloopers, in which, I think, they actually had Von Zell making the spoonerism intro. re HH. Would like to have those recordings now.

I always laughed at another one of that record's bloopers, too, though not a spoonerism, when a prominent popular children's show host, beloved by the children and their parents, thought his mike was off at the end of the show. His melodious voice filled the air waves of America, as he said to his producer, "Well, that oughta hold the little bastards for another week."

I'll end on that nosing clote.

One of the best announcers in spite of his being prone to spoonerisms was Don Wilson, comedian Jack Benny's announcer for over 30 years on radio and TV. In his autobiography, Mel Blanc wrote that he and other cast members would often place bets on what line in the script Wilson would screw up. Wilson's most famous was probably a 1950 broadcast in which he was supposed to say "I heard it on Drew Pearson's broadcast," referring to the prominent political commentator, but Wilson came out with "Dreer Pooson," which of course got a laugh. Late in the program, another cast member ad-libbed the flubbed line, which so convulsed Benny he was barely able to finish the broadcast, he was laughing so hard.

I love the line "shining wit"! That's got to be a classic!

Hoobert Heever has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it, in the mid-50s.

What a hoot and fun to boot

I'll add my little bit to this morning's giggle fest. An Oklahoma bakery had the slogan, "For the best in bread it's Mrs. Baird's". An announcer commited the following blooper: "For the breast in bed it's Mrs. Baird's". This whole post made my day. It is, indeed, a hoot.

The Lord IS both a loving shepherd and a shoving leopard, so that's very appropriate.

And for some reason that reminds me of this, which is not exactly a spoonerism but is delightful:

Q: How do you titillate an ocelot?

A: You oscillate its tit a lot.

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