Maybe things were intellectually dull growing up on a farm in the 1960s. All I can say is, thank god for the ABC and novels.
My brothers, sister and I, as kids, played with words like others played with Lego. The fascination with words has continued well into adulthood.
When my husband and I were on a road trip, we spotted some piebald horses. My husband observed, “Palominos.” My automatic response was, “Any palomino is a pal-of-mino.” This was a comment made by Corporal Agarn in the 1960s television series, ‘F Troop,’ which is tattooed to the inside of my brain.
I decided to test my brother and sent him a text stating, “I just saw a palomino.” In less than a minute, he phoned me to echo what I had said to my husband. Come in spinner!
If I was to text him, “I’m hungry,” I swear he would respond in the same amount of time, “Gimme eat,” a quote from Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch 22;” another source of great word plays. One of Heller’s characters was called Major and he attained the rank of Major, so he was Major Major but the remarkable thing about him was that he had perfected a marching style which did not involve the swinging of arms. Then there was Milo Minderbinder who could twist anything. He had bought a crop of cotton but he couldn’t on-sell it. His solution was to chocolate coat each ball. I suggested this solution to my husband one year when he was having trouble selling a crop of safflower.
Such quotes peppered our years growing up, bouncing one quote off another.
Monty Python fed our souls with the absurd. My husband was talking to me about an albatross sighting and I immediately asked, “Was it on a stick?” This line was uttered by Eric Idle walking through a sporting crowd selling albatrosses on a stick. I really can’t explain it any clearer than that.
If John Clark had been around when we were kids, we would have his quotes stapled to our brains too. His series, ‘The Games’ was packed with pure gems; the 100 metre running track that was only 96 metres long- just ridiculously fantastic.
Similarly, Rob Sitch’s, ‘Utopia;’ his scenarios are hilariously true to life to the point of pain. Shaun Micallef’s, ‘Mad As Hell’ would also have added to our play with words.