Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


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Saturday Special: how may we hate you?

[IMPORTANT PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Tomorrow, Sunday March 30, is when Europe springs forward for Daylight Saving. Remember to set your clocks ahead an hour before going to bed. We now return to your special Saturday programming.]

Please join me in laughing at my new favorite thing on the Internet, how may we hate you?, the Tumblr run by two Times Square concierges. It was one of Tumblr’s most viral blogs of 2013, but I don’t spend a lot of time over there, so I just came across it. It’s like my Spanish screenplay crossed with even ruder people who don’t speak English very well.

Here are two of my favorite posts.

How May We Hate You Ass tour How May We Hate You Maria

I’m even willing to forgive the mis-capitalization of español because a) I am not a monster and b) these people are clearly doing God’s work by putting up with such assholes.


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Metropolitan diaries and cockroaches

Do you know about “Metropolitan Diary”? It’s a weekly column in the New York Times that prints letters from readers about funny New York moments. (Sometimes there are poems which are dreadful, but if you just skip them, the amusement ratio is high.)

Digging through the file I keep of things that make me laugh, I came across one from January 2010 that still cracks me up and is totally appropriate to reprint here.

Dear Diary:

I was recently reminded of an event years ago, when I was living in New York City.

We were visiting Toronto, and were at a very nice French restaurant downtown. As we were seated, the maître d’, with a flourish, took my wife’s napkin and placed it on her lap. When repeating the effort for me, the flourish released a large cockroach hiding in the napkin!

It crawled down my leg, hit the floor, and with (what I thought was) a smooth action, I violently dispatched the critter.

Without batting an eye, the maître d’ said, “Monsieur must be from New York City.”

We received a complimentary bottle of wine!

Richard Freeman

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One letter from the Diary is printed online every day and isn’t behind a paywall. Reading it may count against however many articles one can read for free a month. I’m not really sure how that works.


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Introducing Indo-European Jones

Sentence first

It started on Twitter, as these things often do. I read a comment about linguists and lexicographers being to language ‘what grave robbers are to archeology’ (the context: hatred of the newly popular because X phrase), and I tweeted it with a raised eyebrow.

Jonathon Owen replied that he wished he’d been given a ‘leather jacket, bullwhip, and fedora’ upon graduation, James Callan said he wanted to see an ‘Indiana Jones pastiche focused on a linguist’, and I felt it was a meme waiting to happen. So without further ado, let me introduce Indo-European Jones (or Indy for short).

James got the giant boulder ball rolling (click on images to enlarge):

stan carey - Indo-European Jones meme - this belongs in the OED - James Callan

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