English is for Everyone

or

In Defense of Hoarders

The past week or so, I have been pretending to be a computer repairman (I guess in this gender-sensitive age it’s okay for me to say repairman instead of something vanilla (is it okay for me to say vanilla? does it matter that I’m white?) like repair person or repair representative, since I am, in fact, despite all the chemo’s and other drugs’s long-lasting emasculating attempts, a man). It’s funny how, no matter how useless they become, old computers, along with old video games, and old phones, and old power packs, and old chargers, and don’t even get me started on unidentifiable old CDs, kind of just hang around in a corner of the basement as if it were a technological sarcophagus — lifeless computers stacked forlornly, purposeless cables and chords twisted madly into an untwistable balled bunch… Yeah.

Anyway, the past week or so I have been Dr. Frankengeek: attempting to restore ancient operating systems, rooting around in old files, deleting an old this, saving an old that.

So, so much stuff tucked away within those old computers. Who really knows how much stuff is really on them? Of course we never should throw them away until the day a gadget is made that possesses unlimited memory and a magical ability to instantaneously copy old files onto it without any user prompting, whatsoever. And not just any old file, no, certainly not those intransigent .dll files or any other annoying and undeletable ones like them, only important old files. And not to worry, this gadget will know what’s what, believe me. Oh, and of course the gadget will be cordless and will have an infinite battery life.

Coming soon to an Amazon store near you…

Until I can get my hands one of those suckers, I promise all my old computers will stay unneatly stacked in my basement and conveniently out of your landfill.

Most of the past week or so has certainly been less than fun. It’s a good thing I’m jobless and have a lot of time on my hands because most of the past week or so has been nothing more than an intimate study of the Ctrl, Alt, Del keys.

If this is what the world is coming to, then I say, go ahead and let the geeks inherit it.

Geek salvation…boring.

However, every once in a while I did dig my way into a stash of old photos, or old school papers, or some other ancient gem that reminded me of how cool it has been to live with my wife and kids these past twenty-five years or so.

Take, for instance, the picture found at the beginning of this rambling post. I found it in a folder of old English lessons.

Back in the last century, I used to live in Japan, and for a time when I lived in Japan, I used to teach English on the side to some very wonderful Japanese folks. To find and attract those wonderful Japanese folks, I used to advertise my lessons as “English is for Everyone.” Quaint, ain’t it?

Those of you who know my family, know how talented my children are. My daughter is an especially talented artist. She always has been, as is evident by the drawing she made when she was, oh, I don’t know…ten? twelve?…and which is found at the top of this rambling post, and which became the logo for those old lessons. I believe we even made iron-ons out of that logo and pressed them on to tee-shirts. At any rate, we truly made a good time out of it, that’s for sure.

Within that old stash, I also found many of my old English lessons, and old worksheets, and old handouts. They all bring back fond and funny and fortunate memories. I miss all my — I hesitate to call them students because it seemed as if I ended up learning more from them than they did from me, so I’ll simply say, I miss all my friends from that period of my life.

What follows is a copy of one of the old handouts I put together to, well, handout to my friends during those old English lessons. It is a list of heteronyms (thank god for google (is that redundant?)) that exemplifies just how crazy and fun the English language is.

Come to think of it, this might be a stretch, but, English is kind of like my old computers… It’s a communication system and storage system and retrieval system, all coded and operated by a language that rarely deletes anything but continually accumulates and assumes bits and bytes of other languages into its own as it constantly and forever evolves and adapts its system to the demands of the times.

Yeah, I said it was a bit of a stretch, but still…

No wonder the English language is so difficult to learn

We polish the Polish furniture.
He could be in the lead if he would just get the lead out.
A farm can produce produce.
The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
The present is a good time to present the present.
At the Army base, a bass fish was painted on the head of a bass drum.
The dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his fat sow to sow the seeds.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of Novocaine injections, my jaw became number.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my pants.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 2012

Amazon.uk.co just emailed me to let me know that my order of “Hands of Evil” by author Melissa Barker-Simpson has been “dispatched”

Dispatched.

How cool is that?

I mean, you Brits are so awesome with your English all proper-like…

It’s like getting a little bit of Downton Abbey delivered right to my inbox.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, what’s up with that show? I mean, is it some secret Brit MI6 diversion of a programme encoded with mind altering signals that make us fixate like drooling subservient servants on this most unlikely of a stuffy hit so they can go about putting their Empire of Old back in order without our realizing it?

I mean, I cannot get enough of this show…

And I’m not even sure why.

But I am sure of the massive irony in it all, all us oh so democratic and ultra egalitarian Americans lusting over one of the most autocratic and subservient ways of existence.

Well, lusting after the “upstairs” lifestyle, anyway.

Why would we want to lust after the “downstairs” way of life? It’s pretty much how most of us are already living.

No, we want to be lords and ladies…

Strike that.

We want to be kings and queens

Come on. Admit it.

You’d wear that crown in a royal heartbeat.

I mean who wouldn’t want to be king and/or queen of his or/and her castle. And I’m not only speaking metaphorically here either.

All bow down before King Kurt!

Has a nice ring to it…

Just yesterday I was checking out the wonderful site of author M-R, and she has a beautiful post that shows a black-and-white photo of castle ruins somewhere in France as a representation of an expression of abandonment. It’s just a short post but it moved me and got me to thinking about how much more wonderful a place the US would be if we had our own ancient castles and castle ruins.

Man…

Anyway…

Heck, I don’t even know what Amazon US says when it “dispatches” an order to me…

Obviously, if I can’t recall it, it’s nothing as noteworthy and awesome as “dispatched.”

Probably something like, “Hey pal, did you just order something from us? Yeah, well, see here’s the thing. It just got shipped out…”

I don’t know…

I mean, I love my land and my people and all, but sometimes we can be a little rough around the edges, if you know what I mean.

Yeah…

Dispatched…

Royal awesomeness.

 

King Kurt

 
 

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