Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Here's a good game to play if you and your children are bored and aimless during the school holidays.

It was invented almost by accident.  Read on.

"Dearest Miss Marion

I think you would have laughed the other night.  Sam wanted to play Scrabble, and so we did.  At a certain point, early on in the game, I inserted a word, meaningless in itself, and understood only by Sam and I.  Tanois.  From there, we used our letters to make words that were unknown, but we had to quickly come up with meanings that were authoritative and likely.  Here is a selection from Sam:

Tinib - a fruit found in the Atlas mountains of Morocco

Yowt - the milk of the Gazelle, in Africa

Wec - a barkless tree, found in Madagascar

Djonnut - a poltergeist found in Arabic countries

Bartm - something found on the point of a pyramid

Hakenee - a poisonous berry found on the banks of the Nile

Some others, from me:

Carnid - a sociable vegetarian

Ultog - slightly out of fashion

Dlesh - a collective term for the varied colours seen in a sunset

Af - the first letter of the Atlantean alphabet

Erst - a butler's cloth

Hempry - Texan dialect for 'Emperor' (viz. Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, circa 1867) (one must say it in a cracked, old voice, nostalgically, perhaps creaking on yer ole rockin chair)

Nagex - a drug, used as an antidote to the sting of the Puffer fish

I don't know why we thought about you, and wished you were there, but we did.

Love, Cheryl" 

I received this reply.

"Today I flemmed a gazelle and phut Tinib with Yowt.  I took magnogentum intellio pills durned to perplixicate between Hakenee and Tinib.  Imagine my pbrim when I spilt the Yowt on a Bartm.......OH..........PHLENGIEFOSTOSTERUS GLIMP.....

My springum octed when I saw a Djonnut on the Bartm sucking Yowt from a Ultog Erst......Eeeeeeh........TNANI GODLIM FROUT.......

I tanged the Djonnut in Hempry with quavering antipolosh and blit the Djonnut into a Wec.  It was Spiflik, toto toto Spiflik.

Tomorrow I stemp a Nagex from a Hirst that has swallowed an Af.


Or Af an Af, doesn't need to be a whole Af does it......perhaps Mistress Cheryl could enlighten on this point."

"Miss Marion
I believe it is always rather risky dividing (or, indeed, multiplying) the Af. 

I highly recommend leaving the Af intact, and, if possible, putting it in a room by itself, preferably under a gidj.

Now, I understand that many would say,  "How is it possible for this woman to recommend putting an Af under a gidj?"  After all, since time immemorial, seekers after the truth have foolishly passed under the gidj, always with ill effects.  Perhaps enlightenment eluded them, but can this be blamed on the gidj?  I hardly think so.

But on a more optimistic note, I wonder whether you have heard in your outpost that the Vatican has made the act of beckant punishable by ex-communication?  It's true.  What will we do with our gloves now?

And on the subject of the church, I hear that Hildegard of Bingen suffered woemfec like many of the other sisters of her order.  Did Julian of Norwich suffer in the same way?  And Teresa of Avila?   Perhaps Yowt might have been the answer?  Sad that those magnogentum intellio pills weren't available then.  No wonder them nuns was perplixicated, if you are anything to go by!

I am totally astonished that you had the wherewithall to blit that Djonnut into a Wec.  And you tanged it in Hempry first?  My God.  My mother always ground up a few dried langrati (if she could get them) and then popped them in boiling oil.  That way, no-one got hurt.

But, look, I realise I have left the frojr on, and izolga is billowing out and filling the kitchen.  Looks like I've burnt the potato farles, and Lord knows what I'll give the boys for their breakfast now.  Certainly ain't got no Yowt since that Djonnut got in. Luckily I didn't have a Ultog like you did, although I did have the one Erst.  It didn't seem interested in that, luckily.

Perhaps I'll give the boys that for their breakfast, although Lord knows what I'll be having.  I don't like Erst.  It gives me a Therst."

As you can see, you don't have to stick to the original word meanings. And imagine the high standard of essay that could result in English class.

I think this should really prepare your children for their eager return to school.

Sam and Miss Marion

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