Mrs Malaprop and the Aussie birds

24 03 2012

So I recently finished reading Sheridan’s “The Rivals“. That snippet of information has only tangential relevance to anything that follows, but I did tell kathryningrid I was about to read it, and I just wanted to show I was sincere.

We just got back from walking the dog around Campbell Valley Park, and she was pretty well knackered. We had a good friend coming round for dinner, so I suggested a quick diversion to the local Murchie’s to see if they sold Russian Caravan – a favourite morning beverage – to enjoy the calm before the storm. Unfortunately they did not sell it for consumption at this branch, and it turns out that “Queen Victoria” (though smoked) was not in the same ballpark at all. Anyway, whilst walking up to the shopping centre, Mrs Elephant suddenly said I should look out for the Galahs.

Having travelled to Australia several times on business, I am familiar with these birds which fly free – rather like starlings do in the UK or crows in BC. The first time one sees them in the wild it’s a bit weird, as previously they’re strictly the things of aviaries and zoos. To see them lined up on a fence is pretty jaw-dropping.

Wikipedia: Galah

OK, so the more astute amongst you will have gathered that galahs are not in fact native to BC, and so this statement had me stopping dead and searching the trees for swooping parrots. Presumably escaped from some nearby condo. It took a few more seconds to join the dots and realise my long suffering other ‘arf was in fact referring to the broken bottle lying on the pavement ahead of us.

You see, in Yorkshire, “glass” rhymes with “ass”, whereas in the South of the UK, from whence she originally hails, “glass” rhymes instead with “arse”. Ignoring for a moment that a UK arse is the same as a North American ass, you perhaps begin to see the issue. The galahs were in fact glass. Not Dale Chihuly organic works, but a plain old vandalised bottle.

Lydia Languish would be amused…








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