Der Werwolf (Christian Morgenstern)
Ein Werwolf eines Nachts entwich
von Weib und Kind und sich begab
an eines Dorfschullehrers Grab
und bat ihn: Bitte, beuge mich!
Der Dorfschulmeister stieg hinauf
auf seines Blechschilds Messingknauf
und sprach zum Wolf, der seine Pfoten
geduldig kreuzte vor dem Toten:
»Der Werwolf« — sprach der gute Mann,
»des Weswolfs«, Genitiv sodann,
»dem Wemwolf«, Dativ, wie man’s nennt,
»den Wenwolf«, — »damit hat’s ein End«.
Dem Werwolf schmeichelten die Fälle,
er rollte seine Augenbälle.
Indessen, bat er, füge doch
zur Einzahl auch die Mehrzahl noch!
Der Dorfschulmeister aber mußte
gestehn, daß er von ihr nichts wußte.
Zwar Wölfe gäb’s in großer Schar,
doch »Wer« gäb’s nur im Singular.
Der Wolf erhob sich tränenblind —
er hatte ja doch Weib und Kind!!
Doch da er kein Gelehrter eben,
so schied er dankend und ergeben.
(No, now you mention it, I don’t speak German. But what I can understand of it appeals to me, the sort of person who, to divert himself on the worst train ride ever (Polish trains suck) learnt off how to decline German nouns.) In other news, I have a job :-) . It’s only tech support, but hey, it’s a living. Starting October 7th, so I’ve a bit more time to doss around.
My brother apparently has an overactive metabolism, but practically none of the symptoms; he’s not especially thin, indeed he’s been fairly fat at various stages in the last year; he doesn’t have bulging eyes, he’s not constantly full of energy ... it’s all weird. Contrary to what was expected, he doesn’t have hypothroid—underactive thyroid gland, which my mother has—but it’s overactive. Hopefully it’ll work out and he’ll be a bit more human in a year or so.
I’m apparently a bit of a caffeine addict; we ran out of coffee here—my mother is the only person who buys it here, and she’s left for Medugorije, and I finished the last of it yesterday—and I’m so not full of energy today. Oh well.
Weather isn’t good. And O2 coverage over our house is pretty terrible. I’m basically not that cheery right now, but fuсkit, I’m not actually uphappy.
I’m glad I put off getting a mobile phone until now, because I signed up for a bill phone with http://www.o2.ie/ and got a Siemens C45 for nothing extra, which has all sorts of funky ѕhіt to my uncultured eye, like predictive text, several hundred phone numbers stored, the option to change the interface language to Arabic, analogue clock, personal organizer, etc. I get the impression half of that wouldn’t have shipped two, let alone four, years ago.
Of course, I now have to get a job so the Direct Debit doesn’t hit an empty account. But then I had to do that anyway. And, ooh, something else; the integrated time and date mean I don’t have to wear a watch any more. It warms the cockles of my Luddite heart :-) .
What else is news; grr, suit started falling apart after a day wearing it. I seriously hope accommodation works out without too much hassle. And, I should be cleaning windows (aluminium + glass ones) right now. Back to it ...
Hmm, the Compaq tech support application thing was pretty involved. Guess that whole not-using-office-thing is catching up with me :-)
“The decisive nature of a Neville Chamberlain, or a Fredo Corleone.”
Reading Andrew Sheil’s weblog this evening, it strikes me how prolific the guy is when posting to the thing. Now, growing up—and I haven’t noticed a change in it the few times I’ve seen him since he left Ballycaden—Andrew was always really “well-spoken”, as Diane’s mother puts it. More than that too, he never had any compunction about using a word he had picked up reading and never heard aloud. His father speaks the same way, and I imagine that his primary school was sufficiently close-knit that no-one gave him ѕhіt about it. But the secondary school he attended was the FCJ, in Bunclody, which is, eh, less so. It’s a good school; comparing notes with other people in college, I realize the occasional very good teacher, plays, musicals, band, big-fuсk-off trips are all things that you might get in a private school but almost certainly not in a garden CBS.
On the other hand, it is a school of 700 pupils in a town of about 4,000 people. This means that there are going to be a significant percentage of attendees for whom a degree and possibly a masters are not huge priorities; that is, normal human beings, in this part of the world. So Andrew goes in, expresses himself lucidly and clearly in (pretty much) Standard English, and quite a lot of people a) don’t entirely understand what he’s saying and b) do realize that this way of talking means he’s not one of them. This is Ireland, and “not one of us” in a schoolyard becomes an occasion to think up some inventive insults and to engage in a scrap as necessary. Andrew fought his corner and won, and spent the rest of his time in the FCJ in his own niche, not hassled, but not in the mainstream either. 
Me, I stopped myself whenever some phrase from the Somerset Maugham or Kingsley Amis short story collection I’d been reading the night before struck me as appropriate for the conversation, did the ng -> n and th -> d thing with the best of them, shut the fuсk up and left the place mostly fitting in. (I started there four years after Sheil major.)
So, 2002, no-one gives a bat dropping about secondary school any more, but it takes me a half-hour to write this much, and Andrew’s posting this much three and four times in a day, and working with it. I imagine it’s because he talks the same language he writes, whereas I don't use the word “compunction” in oral conversation, and wouldn’t consider it. I’m happy with my writing ability; I don’t write that much, and I’m sure if I did it would speed up. IME, it’s worth a slight degradation of your/one’s creative writing rate to have some decent memories of the people you/one went to school with. ’Night, all.
 I’m a little uncomfortable referring to someone down the road from whom I grew up with a nickname that implies he’s from the mid-West. I’ll get over it, some day. Maybe. http://gothwalk.starflung.com/blog
 Anyone want to correct me on the population of Bunclody, go for it.
 Bruce, his brother, picked up the Bogger accent, but it was done late, which is probably the reason it slips so easily when he’s drunk. :-)