# 364, May 15, 2005
COLUMBUS: If you thought you missed 2 or 3 of these Weekly Comments, well no, it’s because I didn’t write ’em. I admit it is mighty unprofessional for a “weekly” columnist to play hooky; I may have to change the name to “Once-in-awhile Comments”.
I will remind you that Senators take off two or three weeks at a time, and they still get to call themselves Senator. In defense of both of us, Congress and myself, if you even noticed the absence (and you probably didn’t) you know it had no effect on prosperity in America, world affairs, or who won on American Idol.
Laura Bush made her debut as a stand up comedian. She has a promising future as a humorist because she can talk about her husband’s little shortcomings and idiosyncracies, kinda like her mother-in-law Barbara does. These First Ladies have it over the rest of us for comedy because they have more inside material to choose from. Now if Mrs. Clinton ever gives up the Senate and goes into comedy… whoa, brother!
On our last visit I ended with an assignment, figuring out the meaning some words that were once common in the old English language. I don’t want to leave you hanging, so here’s a reasonable facsimile of their meanings. I’m on my own on these, no help from Oklahoma. Press is another word for closet. Nairy means none. Cuttin’ up, which I know all too well, is acting a fool. Dreckly is short for directly, and means soon, as in “I’ll be there dreckly.” Ramps are plants that grow wild in the woods and look kinda like an onion but they smell ten times stronger. In West Virginia they fry ’em with eggs and sausage. Every spring they put on big ramp dinners, and everyone in the community is practically required to go, so everybody’s in the same boat from an olfactory standpoint. These are usually held on Friday evening or Saturday, so they have till Monday before outside civilization has to associate with them up close. But you would be surprised how many “outsiders” drive for miles, sometimes hundreds of miles, for the delicacy.
Nebraska may be the next state to adopt Official English. People out there voted in plain English on what they wanted in their Constitution, but a judge threw it out. He claims the 70 percent who voted in favor were illiterate, and didn’t know what they were voting for. See, the Amendment was written in short, simple words and was only two sentences long, so it couldn’t have been written by a lawyer and therefore must be unconstitutional.
Historical quotes from Will Rogers:
“With the politicians horning in, our comedian business is overcrowded.” WA #524, Jan. 8, 1933.
“If it’s in a few words and is plain and understandable only one way, it was written by a non-lawyer. Every time a lawyer writes something, he is not writing for posterity, he is writing so that endless others of his craft can make a living out of trying to figure out what he said.” WA #657, July 28, 1935