I’m not sure what made me think of my cousin tonight. I haven’t seen him since his father’s funeral a few years ago and not for many years before that. But when we were younger we were good friends and spent many happy hours and days in pre-marriage nights in hostelries and clubs.
Anyway, one of his most endearing traits was word-mangling. Taking two words to describe what he was thinking and coming up with a surreal combination. Two examples:
- On trying to something that he habitually did, or was it a pastime: “It’s a hobbit of mine.”
- On describing a woman he saw on holiday who was either scantily or skimpily dressed: “She wore this scampi bikini.”
But the absolute star at mangling words was a mutual friend who I shall call G. Not his really name — a change of name to protect the initially and continually inept.
I have to set the scene first. To start with, G was not the sharpest citrus in the fruit bowl and second, he had a stammer. We used to drink in a popular pub where lived a popular barmaid, popular because she was very attractive.
G fancied his chances and got nowhere. She smiled sweetly at him when he ordered drinks, something he offered to do no matter whose round it was. He’d just done so on this particular evening when a group of smartly dressed lads entered and began chatting up the object of his affection.
“L-l-look at that!” he said. “L-l-like c-c-ows round fly shit!”
A pint poised on way to mouth moment.