Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Or, vessels with odd names.

By Professor Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, a renowned navigator of off-the-map-places that few people have ever visited nor hope to in their lifetime, and a retired rubber-duck captain of the HMS Diddly-Squat

Being an eccentric academic is a bit like being a loopy light-bulb engineer. And if you can’t grasp the gist of this flight of fancy, it’s likely that we’re not on the same wavelength or worse yet …unlikely to be residing in the same galaxy!

Having dusted off my incredibly large library of loose thoughts and an unpublished dissertation entitled, “The Merits of Mind Candy for Sexegenarians” and its compelling companion piece and saucy sequel, “Eye-Candy Solutions Are Better”, I came across some nebulous notes on nudnick names of boats, battleships and other things that bob about on water.

Quite frankly, naming boats is an art and a science, both of which seem to be furthest from the minds of those who came up with marvelous monikers and radio call signal names for the following merchant marine vessels (circa 1930):

  • Watussi (German) – call sign – “DAFT”

  • Tirpitz (German) – call sign – “DDIZ”

  • Felix Fraissinet (France) – call sign – “FOOD”

  • Lourenco Marques Polana (Portugal) – call sign – “CRAP”

  • Birka (Sweden) – call sign - “SHIT”

  • Balaklava (Sweden) – call sign – “SHAT”

And then we have such ferocious foreign warships as the Georges Leygues (France) with the call sign “FART” and the Undaunted (US), call sign “NERD”.

Several commercial shipping stations circa 1930-31 were christened: “Cleethorpes” and “Butt of Lewis Lighthouse” (presumably so blessed boats would not be lost in a fog of foppish names).

But the British do take the cake for nifty naval nomenclature, all designed to shake the boots of foes and impress close friends and allies.

HMS Audacious, Conqueror, Defiance, Dreadnought, Formidable, Furious, Illustrious, Implacable, Indefatigable, Indomitable, Inflexible, Invincible, Irresistible,Terror, Thunderer, Venerable, Victorious, and Warspite not to mention classic submarines named Renown, Repulse, Resolution, and Revenge fill the pages of history books chronicling who thumped who, where, when and why (which usually had a lot do with grabbing some else's goodies before the next-door potentate did).

With far too many boats in their bathtubs, they no doubt had difficulty coming up with feisty names…so they adopted rather snotty ones like: HMS Arrogant, Surly, Spiteful and Vindictive.

No doubt reading a dog-eared edition of bedtime tales probably inspired the next generation of naval nincompoop names including: HMS Pansy, Fairy and Wallflower.

A few “HMS Pinafore” types probably petitioned the Crown for a name change of one of their blessed bucket battleships to "HMS Petticoat!…but alas, they only thing they got to assuage all their huffing and puffing was HMS Spanking!

So, the next time you're out for a Sunday stroll, please don your thinking cap, beret, or tam and try to come up with a new generation of gripping if not giggle-oriented names for the fastest, fiercest, floating machines known to man!


For those who can't get enough of those feisty, ferocious fancy-names and really need to verify the veracity of my ripsnorthing research do check out: http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/ww1-warships.html

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Or, 30 thrilling things to do this month!

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by Lord Earl Craboon

September is the 9th month of the year. No one has a clue why they call it “Sept”ember meaning “seventh” in French, instead of “Neuf” meaning “ninth”.

Obviously “The Association for the Correct Name of Things” hasn’t got around to fixing this error. They have many more important things to do, such as coming up with a name for the newest planet in the solar system.

Anyway, “neuf” or not, remember to get the little nippers off to school on time, and then hot-foot into work with a perky smile on your face before your boss hands you a pink slip this month.

Well now that we’ve got all that yucky-pooh stuff out of the way, we can all begin to have some fun. After all, we’ve only got another couple of months before celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and the biggest gift-giving bonanza of them all!

In the meantime, we’ll just practice our prattle n’ puck skills this month just to limber up for the good times ahead.

So without further whatnot and wherefore, just join in and have a ball over the next 30 days doing what comes naturally.


September 1: National No Footwear Day (Sponsored by the “Kid-in-All-Of-Us” & “Pleasure-Seeking Podiatrists Association of America”)

September 2: Virgo Appreciation Day (Time to honor all those cranky, dogmatic, eccentric, over-demanding, prudish, untidy yet earthy potted plant lover types you know)

September 3: Ever Wonder What the Romans Did When the Coliseum Was Closed Day (An excellent time to design & build your fuel-efficient soap-box derby vehicle)

September 4: National Back-To-School Pencil Sharpening Tournament (A “must” for every parent, student, and teacher…that leaves the rest of us off the hook thank god!)

September 5: Apple Polishing Day (For those who don’t like kissing butts!)

September 6: Loose Goose & Moose Appreciation Day (Every household, organization, and neighborhood has at least one of these rare beasts – shake their hands!)

September 7: Say the Magic Word Day (Choose your name …and ask who has the key to opening “Pandora’s Box” or “Sesame’s”)

September 8: National Adopt-A-Mail Box Day (Time to honor the snail mail postal service in your neighborhood by giving your blessed box a funky name)

September 9: International One-Foot Marathon Day (Let’s see if the entire planet can jump up and down on one foot without complaining or making everything go tilt)

September 10: Is Your Biological Clock Ticking on Time Day? (Time to calibrate your internal clock – can you tell when 5 minutes is up without looking at a watch?)

September 11: Ancestor Story-Telling Day (Time to trot out the old family photo album and hear those tacky tales about Great Uncle Hoo-Hoo and Granny Weeple)

September 12: Grant Me One Wish Day (If the Wizard of Wit & Wonder said you could choose one warm and fuzzy thing…what would it be besides hiking across Antarctica with the love of your life?)

September 13: Funny Money Awareness Day (Time to see how many vendors will accept poker chips, Monopoly game money, or Canadian Tire coupons in lieu of the real thing?)

September 14: Silent Screen Appreciation Day (Time to turn your boob-tube off and twiddle your fingers, go for a walk, talk to a tree or a pet, or play a smashing game of marbles).

September 15: Duct Tape Appreciation Day (In honor of all the wonderful things you can do with this stuff that’s never appeared in a handy-man’s guide to building a birdhouse)

September 16: National “Wing It” Day (Time to join the “improv” group at work, at home, or in your neighborhood just to see the look on everyone’s faces!)

September 17: National Seat-Swapping Day (In honor of those who can’t sing a note, can’t do the bunny hop, and can’t walk on water …but adore playing “Musical Chairs”)

September 18: Sir Galahad Appreciation Day (What would the Round Table be without the best carpet knight in town?)

September 18: Little Bo Peep Appreciation Day (In honor of leaders who appear to have lost their flock, haven’t got a clue where to find them, let alone what to say to bring them back into the fold …other than enjoying the benefits of a great new MLM product)

September 19: Power Napping Recognition Day (Time to honor what gets most of the plebes, pundits and power-brokers through the day without loosing their cool or their marbles)

September 20: The Dog Ate My Assignment/Project Day (Time to honor every excuse given in the book as to why something wasn’t delivered on time, sponsored by EROS – the Excuse-Ridden Organization of Sloths)

September 21: Bat Woman, Bionic Woman & Xena Warrior Day (What would the world be without these indefatigable feisty feline fighters for freedom from kitchen duties if you please!)

September 22: Autumn Leaf Recognition Day (Time to hunt for the biggest frigging dead leaf you can find; dry it out, mount it on some paper and hang it on a wall – frankly it’s better than an etching, and you can call yourself a nature-lover if anyone cares to ask)

September 23: Popcorn & Bubble-Bath Day (When all is said and done…it’s really the little things in life that count …so stock up on them and then chill out for at least one day!)

September 24: Humdinger Appreciation Day (Time to reveal some awesome, extraordinary, or striking person or thing that you encountered in your life that made you go ‘Wow’, ‘Whew’, ‘Whoa’ or whatnot)

September 25: National Doorknob Appreciation Day (A very overlooked little device that most of take for granted until we knock on a door without one!)

September 26: Tooth Fairy Awareness Day (In honor of all folks who hide their lost teeth under their pillows hoping that a pixie will drop by with the name of an affordable, pain-free dentist in the neighborhood)

September 27: Faucet Fetish Day (Time to check out all the plumbing boutiques to find the perfect faucet for one’s high-tech, soothing ablution center in one’s simple abode)

September 28: National Procrastination Day (Recognizes those who’ve made a vital contribution to the 360 degree “yes-but” feedback process, or demonstrated a singularly dedicated response to the amazing feat of optimizing the inevitable status quo)

September 29: Pennies-From-Heaven Day (Time to pay your favorite bills with your favorite copper coins of the realm!)

September 30: Naughty Foreign Word Day (What they don’t teach you on those foreign language tapes – Merde! …if you don’t know one…ask any toddler!)