Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spoonerising by the light of the silvery moonerising

Pity William Spooner - accidental inventor of the spoonerism, who had the misfortune to not only accidentally mix up phrases and sentences, but entire concepts. Look at this quote from Wikipedia:

It is said that Canon Spooner not only mixed up words, but entire concepts upon occasion. Reportedly, he once spilled salt at a dinner and absent-mindedly poured some wine on it, a reversal of the usual procedure.... According to sources, he once remarked of a widow that "her husband was eaten by missionaries."

I think I've been getting a bit that way myself, actually. More and more, I've found myself accidentally spoonerising reality. Just on Tuesday, when approaching the door to my flat, I reached to my pocket and took out my travel ticket, apparently expecting to be able to validate it and thus get into my flat that way. On Wednesday, I had a dustpan and brush in one hand, and bread in the other, and I opened up the freezer door and put the dustpan and brush in. On Thursday, I lost my mobile phone; I couldn't find it by searching around at home, so I hit upon the scheme of calling it up to see if I could hear it ring: and I reached into my pocket and drew out my watch, which obviously I was then going to use for calling up my mobile phone. 

I suppose all this mixing up of things just serves to make my life interesting, but how far do you think I'm going to take it? Instead of putting the milk in the fridge, will I try and put the fridge in the milk? Will I accidentally shove my head in my shoes and my feet in my hat prior to going out? Even more alarming: what if, after accidentally spoonerising reality for a couple of months, reality gets cranky and starts spoonerising me back? It would be unfortunate if, instead of going to open a door, the door opened me, instead. And if the ground decided to walk on me, for once, instead of the other way around, the results would be positively calamitous. 

Still, if that sort of thing ever happens, I'll just pick the fridge out of the milk, and, hearing a ringing from the freezer, will open it up, take the dustpan and brush out, and answer it. It'll most likely be reality, panicked by all this accidental spoonerising, attempting to call up their nearest helpline. 

I'll be ready for that day when it comes. I'm off now to put some butter and jam on my mobile phone. If I can find it. Yummy!


Anonymous said...

This happens to me when I read things out of the corner of my eye, like the time at the grocery store checkout when I misread the 'National Enquirer's header to a story about Rosie O'Donnell vs. Oprah Winfrey.

What it said: 'Bitter Feud with Oprah.'

What I read: 'Better Fed than Oprah.'

Melody said...

Awesome. Now I know I'm not the only one who frequently tries to insert her train pass into the front door or puts the kettle in the fridge :)

TimT said...

Mmm, fridge kettle. Kettles taste better when they're frosty.

Steve said...

You're going to make a very interesting 80 year old, Tim

TimT said...

Getting in a little early practice. Fifty years early.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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