100 Days Project

Ben: 100 Writings / 100 Opening Guitar Hooks

various, random creative expressions / writings, inspired partially by 100 popular songs (songs that somewhat begin with a leading hook of a guitar.)

Day 76:

Queen’s English (1993) by the Mutton Birds

Queen’s English (1993) by the Mutton Birds


Qian walked up to me. 
“Ben, Ben, Ben”
“Yes?”
“Eggplant have Egg?”  He had a picture of an Eggplant with the word spelt underneath it.
“Do Eggplants have Eggs in them?  Is that what you’re saying?”
“Yes.  Egg.”  He quickly impersonated a chicken to further emphasize what he was asking.
“No”
“Why ‘Egg’ in Eggplant?”
He was right?
“I don’t know, sorry, Qian.  That’s just how it is.”
“okay.”
I was just about to walk out the door.
“Ben, Ben, Ben”
“Yes”
“Pineapple have Apple?”
“No, Qian.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know, sorry.  That’s just how it is?”
Qian looked at me like I was an idiot.  I don’t blame him.  Mandarin is a language that cuts right through the bullshit and tells it like it is.  If a Chinese man wants to buy bread from the dairy, he will say, comparatively, Me-Bread-Dairy.  Done.  English, however, is so bastardized from all the colonies its conquered, it’s originality has been lost.  It’s, also, so poncy, there are too many rules.  I could give Qian another five minutes.  Any foreigner deserves it.  What a horrible language to learn.
“Ben”
“Yes”
Qian began to pull out his fingers.
“Mouse.  One.  Mouse?”
“Yes.”
“Mouse.  Two.  Mice?”
“Yes, very good – that’s correct.”
“House.  Two.  Hice?”
“No, no, no.”
“Why?”
“I’m sorry, Qian.  That’s just how it is.”
“Um, P-O-L-I-S-H”
“p-o-l-i-s-h, that’s um, polish; polish means to clean, um, your shoe.”
“Capital P-o-l-i-s-h.  Poland?”
“Um, yes that is a person from Poland.”
“They scrub shoe?”
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no”
“I ask Poland friend to scrub my shoe?”
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
“Why?”
“(Oh, for godsake, you’re absolutely right, but) I’m sorry, I don’t, um, know.”
“Quicksand … is slow?”
“(Holy Mother of Jesus!) Yes.”
“Why ‘Quick’?”
“Qian, I wish I know, but I don’t know why.”
“Ben, Ben.”
“Yes, Qian.”
He began to whistle very slowly to say, ‘right.’
And then gestured he was holding a pen.
“No, that’s, that’s ‘write.’  To write, with a pen.”
“W?”
“(This man has discovered more about it than I have been while using it for thirty years) I don’t, um”
Qian pointed to his feet.
“Feet smell?”
“Um, yes.”
Then he pointed to his nose.
“Smell?”
“Argh.  Um.”
He impersonated an alarm.
“Woo, woo, woo.  Alarm.”
“Yes.”
“Go off or on?”
“Yes, alarm is going off.  But it’s …. um, on.”
“What?”
“I’m sorry, Qian, I’ve really got to go now.”
“Ben, Ben, Ben … ‘slim chance’ and ‘fat chance’ same thing?”
“I gotta go, I gotta go.”

The next day, I threw my English dictionary in the bin.