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Author Topic: Nearer to the head of the queue
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 04:41      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In November my wife's 90 year old uncle Ernest died, He was the last survivor of that generation of her family, so she found herself in the unpleasant situation of moving up a rank and belonging to the oldest generation at his Glasgow funeral.

My brother in law came to visit last week. He is undergoing chemotherapy, and looked pretty dreadful when he arrived, and it soon became apparent that his depleted immune system had allowed him to pick up a serious lung infection. He was admitted to hospital on Saturday, and now pumped full of antibiotics, thank goodness is looking much perkier and only 10 years older than his actual 60 years.

Around about the same time I learned of the death on Christmas Day of Hugh Massingberd, the former obituary editor at the Daily Telegraph (also 60 years old). I was fortunate enough to do some temporary work for him some 30 years ago, only for a couple of months or so, and consequently I don't really even know if I could presume to claim him as an acquaintance. Nonetheless I feel very saddened by his death, as he was not only a terrific purveyor of anecdotes and writer of high comic style, but also an immensely kind and loveable man. There is also a good obit for him in the NYT, but perhaps the best tribute I can pay him is to quote one of his own stories about one of his run ins with the Telegraph management.
quote:
"One day, an injunction arrived from on high that we were to make a point of including the cause of death. As it happened, a candidate for the morgue of the morrow, a priapic jazzer, had handed in his dinner pail after a penile implant had unfortunately exploded. We duly complied with the editorial diktat.
Hugh added much to the gaiety of nations, and the world feels just a little more drab for his passing.

I am only a couple of years younger than these last two, and though I am in rude health, and don't think the angel of death is tapping at the window just yet, I definitely now feel the swish of her wings as she passes by.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 05:17      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________________ I do not want to stop my calander pages from falling to the floor but there sure seems to be a big pile. Back in 2001 my wife lost her Father, then the next year my Mother, then the next year her Mother. That was a tough two years.

So like you I feel like I am the new gaurd. I have an older brother whom really acts like it bothers him. I still have two aunts, actually my mothers sisters thats all that's left of the old gaurd. We used to have a saying in our family as an old gaurd person died, time to call the nephews, so far none of the nephews or nieces have needed a pall bearer.

Last day of last month I applied for my Social Security Pension, I was told that the benifits should start arriving by mid May. So once that starts I guess that I will truely be an old Fart.

So Calli. I know of the position I did not apply for said position but seem to have earned it.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 08:32      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cali_____I understand that “Hand in the dinner pail“ is a euphemism for death, but my question is, is “hand” acting as a verb or a noun in this idiomatic phrase?

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 08:51      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, if you read Calli's clever quote you will see that it is being used as a verb. [Wink]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 09:26      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Well, if you read Calli's clever quote you will see that it is being used as a verb. [Wink]

which is why I asked as i had always thought it acted as a noun inthis quote, but maybe I am just too morbid.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 09:44      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You're not being too morbid... you're just getting in touch with your inner cannibal.
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 10:16      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________________ Two examples

Hat in hand. To beg

Hand in hat. To return safety gear or check ones head gear.

Or do I have it all botched up.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 13:17      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know how it might go in other parts of the English speaking world but here in the UK the phrase "hand in" in the sense used in Calli's quote means roughly "pass over" or "give in" such as one might "hand in homework" or "hand in library books"

Of course English being the way it is "(a) hand in the till" or "(a) hand in the making of" mean something completely different to the above (and to each other)

Just like "buying a farm" has nothing whatsoever to do with the purchase of any agricultural land... Well not these days anyway - I have read the term stems from the Roman army's habit of paying a deceased soldier's widow his accrued pension, which most of them of course were planning to use to "buy a little farm somewhere" (how true that is I couldn't say - any history geeks here care to elaborate on this?)

Doncha jus' love English spoke proper like what I do [Big Grin]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 15:00      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was 15 when I first watched the grim reaper take in a harvest.

Lighting took a scoutmaster and scout at a Boy Scout ranch in New Mexico. The two were right in front of me. I can still feel my hair going to stand on end, hear the ringing in my ears, the the faint buzz of voltage as it coursed through my body. Since then I've seen him visit often -- he's always been somewhat indiscriminate at who he takes up.

Age has had very little to do with it.

Don't think of it so much as a queue, Cali. We're really much more like balls in a rack and we never know which one will find the hole.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 16:36      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
... Just like "buying a farm" has nothing whatsoever to do with the purchase of any agricultural land... Well not these days anyway - I have read the term stems from the Roman army's habit of paying a deceased soldier's widow his accrued pension, which most of them of course were planning to use to "buy a little farm somewhere" (how true that is I couldn't say - any history geeks here care to elaborate on this?)

As I understand it (and I don't pretend to be an authority - at least not all the time) is that this comes from WWI and the early days of combat aviation. If a pilot crashed in a farmer's field, he was expected to pay for the crop damage. This was called "buying a piece of the farm." If the pilot died in the crash he was said to have "bought the [whole] farm."

As for feeling old, my gast was completely flabbered a few years ago when I learned that one of my first cousins was a grandfather, only a year or two after our own grandfather died.

Calli and Mo: Just wait until your friends and relations stop dying - that's when you'll really start to feel old. (At least, that's what my father tells me...)

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I'm not normally like this, but then I'm not normally normal.

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2008 09:32      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I still have my dad, but since my mom died my brothers look at me as the head of the family, which is a bit disconerting at time.

I will keep your brother-in-law in my thoughts.

Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2008 18:24      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was 17, when my dad took his life, I found myself in a position I did not want... Being the figurehead of the family. Loosing your adolescence is not fun... you can never take it back.... sometimes I feel really old... sometimes i feel too fatherly... and rarely do i feel young.

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Live long and prosper.

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TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted February 07, 2008 03:03      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_________________________ Man that sucks, I had a simular experience. I come home from being involved in death and saving lives, and in two years my da died from lung cancer, that was a real hit.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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