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Wavy lines - John C. Kirk

Jul. 18th, 2003

04:45 pm - Wavy lines

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Last month, taigrrr requested a shaggy dog story in his journal. dynix's story was entertaining, but it was different to the typical shaggy dog story that I heard when I was a kid. When I was a Scout, and we went on camping trips, telling these kind of stories was quite common when we were all in the tent in the evening. The standard approach was that you would have a long section repeated several times, with an anti-climactic ending. For instance:

A man arrived at an inn, late one evening. He asked for a room. The innkeeper gave him a key, and directions to the room: "You go down the corridor, turn right, go up the stairs, past the suit of armour, then turn left by the painting of the Cavalier, go down the stairs, through the yellow door, and your room is next to the window."

So, the man took the key, thanked the innkeeper, and went down the corridor, turned right, went up the stairs, past the suit of armour, turned left by the painting of the Cavalier, went down the stairs, through the yellow door, and saw the room next to the window. But the key didn't fit in the lock.

So, he went back past the window, through the yellow door, up the stairs, turned right by the painting of the Cavalier, went past the suit of armour, down the stairs, turn left, along the corridor, and arrived back at the front desk. He told the innkeeper that the key didn't fit into the lock, so the innkeeper took a closer look.

"Oh yes," he said, "sorry about that, here's the key you need. Now, you remember the way? You go down the corridor, turn right, go up the stairs, past the suit of armour, then turn left by the painting of the Cavalier, go down the stairs, through the yellow door, and your room is next to the window."

The man thanked him, took the new key, and went down the corridor, turned right, went up the stairs, past the suit of armour, turned left by the painting of the Cavalier, went down the stairs, through the yellow door, and came again to the room next to the window. This time, the key fit into the lock, so he went inside, and had a sound night's sleep.

The following morning, he woke up, and took the key back to the front desk. So, he went back past the window, through the yellow door, up the stairs, turned right by the painting of the Cavalier, went past the suit of armour, down the stairs, turn left, and along the corridor. But there was nobody there, so he just left the key on the counter.

The end.

I didn't enter this into Tai's contest, because I wrote it here using copy/paste, which is cheating compared to the oral method. Also, I have no wish to deprive dynix of her pie :)

On a wider note, there was a definite tendency for the games we played to involve memory skills, and I think this has helped me in later life. For instance, there's a song "One man went to mow". The first verse goes like this:

"One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow
One man and his dog, Spot, went to mow a meadow"


Then the second verse is:

"One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow
One man and his dog, Spot, bottle of pop, went to mow a meadow"


So, the second line has changed. The idea is that the song goes round in a circle. Each person takes it in turns to sing a verse, and you have to remember the list of all the items so far, then add an item of your own. Mind you, I don't recall "lawn-mower" ever making it onto the list...

Diverging from the memory theme, I'd also like to give an honourable mention to the song "Oh you'll never get to heaven". This had a similar theme, of people taking it in turns to do a verse. The basic format went like this:

Solo: "Oh you'll never get to heaven"
Everyone else: "Oh you'll never get to heaven"
Solo: "In a baked bean tin"
Everyone else: "In a baked bean tin"
Solo: "'Cos a baked bean tin..."
Everyone else: "'Cos a baked bean tin..."
Solo: "'s got baked beans in!"
Everyone else: "'s got baked beans in!"

All together (chorus):
"Oh you'll never get to heaven in a baked bean tin,
'cos a baked bean tin's got baked beans in,
but I ain't gonna grieve, my Lord no mo-o-ore,
No I ain't gonna grieve no more,
No I ain't gonna grieve no more,
I ain't gonna grieve, my Lord no more."

Then it would move onto another verse, with a different person taking the lead. Another verse I liked was "Oh you'll never get to heaven in a Playtex bra, 'cos a Playtex bra won't stretch that far". There are some more lyrics here, if you're interested.

Anyway, the wavy lines (accompanied by vertical hand movements and "diddly-dee" noises) can now cease, as we return to the present day.

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Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 25th, 2005 08:46 pm (UTC)

new

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my mum used to sing this to me when i was little reading this has brought many memories back thankyou.

oh you`ll never get to heaven in grandma`s bra, cos grandma`s bra wont stretch that far.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 20th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)

Never get to heaven in a baked bean tin.

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here's a whole load of verses, and some other songs too: http://www.flyingpigs.org.uk/songy.shtml
Have fun
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