Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Elephant's nest in a rhubarb tree

I don't know what might have triggered it, but during a wakeful moment in the night I found myself thinking about childish ripostes that passed for wit when I was a 9-year-old:

Q: 'What are you doing?'
A: 'MYOB' (Mind your own business)
A: 'Ask no questions, hear no lies.'

Q: 'What are you looking at?'
A: 'Elephant's nest in a rhubarb tree'

Q: 'What's for dinner?'
A: 'YMCA' (Yesterday's Muck Cooked Again)
A: 'Yum yum, pig's bum.'

Q: 'What's the time?'
A: [Whatever the time happened to be] 'Half past nine, hang your knickers on the line. When the policeman comes along, take them down and put them on.'

[The implications here are deep. Is the assumption that you only have one pair of knickers? Why the policeman? Questions of scansion aside, why couldn't it be the greengrocer, muffin-man, hall porter, lance-corporal, etc.? Why should the policeman cause this reaction, maybe before the garment has dried? Does the policeman's advent somehow speed the drying process? Or are there considerations of public decency to be taken into account?]

Then there was the immortal

Q: 'Wotcher, cock.' (Still current occasionally)
A: 'Wotcher.'
Q: 'How's your mother off for dripping?'

There was something obscenely suggestive about this, something I could never quite pin down. I went back to sleep before arriving at any conclusion.

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