Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Symphony in Slang
Saint Peter: You may enter. Next Please.
John Brown: Howdy, Dan. What's new? How's tricks? What's cookin'?
Saint Peter: What's cooking? How's tricks? Hmm. What a strange language you bring from the earth. I don't seem to follow you. I shall refer you to the master of the dictionary, Noah Webster. Perhaps he can understand you.
Mr. Webster, this newcomer's vocabulary is so unusual that I am unable to record his life on earth. Would you mind seeing if you can comprehend his odd manner of speech?
Now, young man, go ahead with the story of your life.
John Brown: Sure thing, Dad! Well, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth...(He was born into a rich family).
Noah Webster: Silver spoon in your mouth?
John Brown: Yes, silver spoon in my mouth
Then I seemed to grow up overnight (His childhood seemed to go quickly) . One day at the crack of dawn (Very early in the morning), I got up with the chickens to hunt a job and got a job slinging hash (serve food in a restaurant a cheap establishment, an small one. A hash browns are potatoes side dish served in a lot of greasy spoon cafes in America) because the proprietor was shorthanded (He didn´t have a lot of employees to do the work). But I couldn't cut the mustard (He was not slilled at the job), so the guy gave me the gate (He was fired).
So I went back to my little hole in the wall (His very small apartment). I was beside myself with anger (He was upset). Then I decided to get a train ticket to Texas and there made some dough punching cattle (He made somo money taking care of cows). From there I flew to Chicago. There a beautiful girl stepped into the picture (He met an attractive woman).
Our eyes met (They noticed one another). My breath came in short pants (He had difficulties in breathing because he was exited), and I got goose pimples (He was nervous). I was all thumbs (He was clumsy). Mary's clothes fit her like a glove (The dress fit her perfectly). She looked mighty pretty with her hair done up in a bun (Her hair was attached with a pin). She had good-looking pins, too (She had attractive legs). Finally, she gives me a date. I put on my white tie and tails (He dressed up in formal clothes), and, brother, did she put on the dog! (She dressed up in a formal dress).
We went around together for some time (They dated for some time)... painting the town red (They were enjoying parties over the town), going to the Stork Club...(The name of a club - The Stork Club was a nightclub in New York City from 1929 to 1965. From 1934 onwards, it was located at 3 East 53rd Street, just east of Fifth Avenue. The building was demolished in 1966) and a box at the opera (The balcony seats). After the opera, I had a cocktail, and Mary had a Moscow Mule. At dinner, Mary let her hair down (She was relaxed) and ate like a horse (She had a great appetite). By then, my money was running out on me (He got less and less money over the time), so I write a check. It bounced (He had no money left at the bank anymore). Brother, I was really in a pickle (He was in an uncomfortable situation). The proprietor drew a gun on me (He took a pistol and pointed it at him), but I gave him the slip (He successfully escaped) and hid in the foothills. In no time, the law was on my heels (The police was purchasing him and close to catching him).
On the witness stand, the judge tried to pump me (The judge tried to get him to admit his bad behavior), but it seemed that every time I opened my mouth, I put my foot in it (He kept saying the wrong thing). So he sent me up the river to do a stretch in the jug (He sent him to jail). I was up against it and felt myself going to pot (He was getting weak and unhealthy). But I raised a big stink (He protested), and they finally let me talk to an undercover man. After going through a lot of red tape (Red tape is the bureaucratic nonsense that we have to put up with this life), he sprung me (He was set free). It sure felt good to stretch my legs again, and I went straight to the bus station and caught a Greyhound for New York.
On arriving, I dropped in on Mary and threw myself at her feet (He requested for mercy). I asked her to marry me, but she turned her back on me (She ignored him) and got on her high horse. I couldn't touch her with a ten-foot pole (She didn’t listen to him because she was better than him). She wouldn't say a word. Guess the cat had her tongue. So I walked out on her (He left).
After that I went to pieces (He became upset). Feeling lonely, I went down to Joe's Malt Shop where a bunch of the boys were hanging around. Ah, the music was nice. The guy at the piano played by ear (He didn’t need music papers to play the piano). I felt a tug at my elbow (someone was pulling on his arm). It was the soda clerk. We sat down and chewed the rag a while (We had a small talk).
I heard from the grapevine(I heard a rumor) that Mary was going around with an old flame (Someone she used to date). That burned me up (That made him very angry) because I knew he was just feeding her a line (Telling her what she wanted to hear to take advantage of the situation). But the guy really spent his money like water (He was very generous). I think he was connected with the railroad. As they danced, I tried to chisel in (Stop them having a good time), but the guy got in my hair, so I left.
Outside it was raining cats and dogs (It was raining a lot). I was feeling mighty blue (He was sad), and everything looked black (The situation looked hopeless). But I carried on. I went to the Thousand Islands. There I became a beachcomber (I became a vagabond). But I still thought of Mary, and a tear ran down my cheek (He cried softly).
So I send her a cable. Next day, she sends me back a wire (They sent each other a telegram) I rushed back to the US on a cattle boat (A cargo ship which transport live stock) and hotfooted it over to Mary's apartment (Ran quickly to Mary’s apartment). But when I opened the door, I noticed quite a few changes.
Why, Mary, Mary had a bunch of little ones. The groom had his hands full, too. So, all this struck me so funny that I died laughing (He couldn’t help laughing). And here I am.
Well, what do you think? Did you follow me?
Noah Webster: Well, I ... uh...
John Brown: What's the matter? Can't you talk? Has the cat got your tongue?