[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.”