Friday, 12 July 2019

Here I sit, broken hearted.

Zion and I have good adventures twice a week when we visit residents of memory units in local retirement communities.

He is so well suited to this canine ministry  -  he doesn't tug at the leash, jump up, or try to lick people.

He seems to know that his role is to be gentle.  As one of my friends said this evening  "Zion is an old soul". 'Tis true, and he is loved where ever we go.  I am blessed.

There are moments of humour in the memory units.  One woman asked me about a month ago  "why do you have such a  fat belly?"    

But in a different facility earlier this week a woman told me "I like your belly".

This morning I began to recite old nursery rhymes as Zion and I visited -  "Hickory dickory dock" and "Little boy blue" etc.   So many memory impaired residents joined in.

The rhymes stirred the memory of a dear woman who was born in Manchester U.K. many years ago.

She remembered another ditty.

Here I sit, broken hearted,
paid a penny,
only farted.

This dates back to the "olden days"  when in the U.K.  public toilets you had to insert a penny in the lock for a sit down stall.

Hence  "spend a penny":  a U.K. euphemism for a visit to the ...bathroom?.... rest room?....toilet?... loo?...lavatory   -  what the heck are we supposed to call it!

In those old days men could urinate for free at a urinal, but women had to "spend a penny" in order to sit down.

Female or male, one might see a bit of graffiti in a sit down stall

                         Here I sit, broken hearted,
paid a penny,
only farted.

In other words, I paid a penny in order to sit down and evacuate my bowels. But it was a false alarm and a waste of money -  all I needed to do was to fart.

I grinned from ear to ear this morning.  This dear memory impaired woman from Manchester could remember only this rhyme from her childhood days -  a rhyme which we young British kids thought to be very funny -  and a wee bit naughty because it used the forbidden word "fart"!


We are so coy in the matter of perfectly normal bodily functions, so we use euphemisms to describe them.

We hear and say "pass gas", or "blow off", or "fluff", or "cut cheese" instead of the perfectly good English word "Fart"  - a word which has been used in our language for at least six centuries.

It is not a bad word.  It's an English language word with a long heritage.

So there!

Bye bye  from your old fart friend Michael.

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