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sledding

Scram Bledeggs

I'll be going to the writing group at the Senior Center this coming Monday with my mother-in-law. Since I'm over 50, I'm allowed to attend. The prompt they gave for this week is "Scrambled Eggs." Here is the story I came up with, which slightly self-plagiarizes (I incorporated a couple of dialogues I wrote a few years back).

Scram, Bledeggs!

I have a good ear and a bad ear. Normally, my right ear is my good ear, and my left ear is my bad ear, but given the right atmospheric conditions, my left ear can be my good ear, and my right ear, my bad ear. Both ears tend to be bad when I’m listening to something I don’t want to hear. Even so, if you tell me something in my good ear, I can usually understand what you mean; but if you utter the very same words into my bad ear, the meanings conveyed can sometimes be a little scrambled.

Like that one morning when I was having breakfast with my family in a quaint diner in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan … Suddenly, between sips of coffee and bites of scrambled eggs, I was overcome by a fit of coughing. The waitress, Stella by name, came to the table immediately and asked me if I would like an ice water. The problem is, she told me in my bad ear, so what I heard was, “a nice sweater.”

“I think my sweater is nice enough,” I replied.
Then she said –this time into my good ear – “not a nice sweater, an ice water.”
“Oh! An ice water! No thank you, I’m fine,” I said.
“But that is a nice sweater,” she added. “Is that an Irish fisherman’s sweater?”
“Indeed it is.”
“And where did you get it?”
“Why, I stole it from an Irish fisherman.”
“I bet he’s cold.”
“I’ll bet he is, especially since I pushed him overboard.”
“Anyway,” said Stella, “if you need anything just holler.”

As she walked away, I began to reconsider the offer of a nice glass of ice water, so I shouted, “Stella!!!”

When my wife told me about the writing prompt, she made the mistake of telling me in my bad ear, my right one that day. So what I heard was not “scrambled eggs,” but rather “scrambled legs.” I thought to myself, “how on earth am I going to write about scrambled legs?”

Then I started thinking about my mom’s husband, Walter. Walter is of Polish descent, and his original family name was one of those multisyllabic Polish names which consist of nothing but a string of consonants with a “-ski” at the end. As was the custom in those days, the patriarch of the family decided to shorten it, Americanize it as it were, so the unpronounceable name, starting with D and ending with “-ski,” became simply “Dobie.” Even so, it seems the new name isn’t simple enough for Father O’Reilly over at St. Anthony’s, because to this day he refers to Walter as “Walter Doobie.” I suppose that would make Walter and his siblings “The Doobie Brothers.”

Anyway, starting at the hips and moving down to the knees, Walter has two good legs; but from the knees down to the floor, only one. On the other side he uses a prosthetic limb, or as we would call it, a fake leg.

Now, what if Walter had more than one fake leg? Let’s imagine that he had a peg leg for when he got dressed up like a pirate, a tan leg for trips to the beach (to be worn with a sandal), and, among others, an everyday, all-purpose leg, for every day and all purposes. Well, if my mom was feeling mischievous, she could mix up his drawer full of legs, making them …. You guessed it, “scrambled legs.”

“This story is going nowhere,” I told my wife. “How am I supposed to write about scrambled legs?”

She was quick to respond, into my good ear no less, “not scrambled legs, you silly man, scrambled eggs!”

“Oh! I see, scrambled eggs!”

But that still didn’t resolve the dilemma of what to write about. So I thought to myself, “what I need to do is break the expression down into its parts. Let’s see, that would be ‘scram’ and ‘bledeggs.’”

In doing some cursory investigation I learned that “scram” is an ancient Anglo-Saxon sport, in which men in short pants run around in a herky-jerky manner, kicking a pigskin that has been sewn into an egg-like, oval shape. Scram is a precursor, an ancestor if you will, to “football,” which in the civilized world is called “soccer.” This at least accounts for the noun “scram.” What’s more, I learned that the word “scram” is also a verb. The verb is descended from the Pig Latin “am-scray,” which is often translated “et-gay ost-lay.”

But what of the second part of the expression: “bledeggs”? Oh! the hours spent in the deepest bowels of the library consulting the Google on my iPad! Yes, but don’t let it be said that hard work doesn’t pay off! I eventually learned that bledeggs are mythological creatures, which, like scram, were, or perhaps are, native to the British Isles. Like the Loch Ness Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, there is no concrete proof that bledeggs exist or have ever existed. However, there are innumerous anecdotal references to encounters with these short, hairy, angry beings. Typically, they have been seen by men who – having spent a bit too much time and pence at the local pub – are set upon as they stumble and stammer back home. It is said, though, that these fearsome beasts can be scared off, sent scampering away, but only if you shout, and shout loud enough ….. “Scram, bledeggs!”

Comments

Um-Awesyay Say-Eggay?

My Pig Latin, she ain't what she used to be.
But that was an Awesome Essay, Arkmay!

(Anonymous)

Doobie Brothers? Ya had to go there....LOL. Get shorty. ....oops, wrong ear. Great story!! -J. Steele
sledding

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