I don’t recall Hans ever being angry with me, but I do remember that the poor guy was bored with some of the outings we took because of my work. Then, again, he did correct some of my expressions I’d picked up in my childhood.
My mom immigrated to Canada from Russia and picked up English and French. I picked up some of her sentence structures. Although Hans had immigrated to the U.S. from Vienna himself and English wasn’t his first language, he spoke and wrote it perfectly. Let’s face it, the guy was smarter than me — and funny — and I’m sure, at times, I did tax his patience.
Poor Hans accompanied me to many events I had to cover. The other day when I found this poem and reread it, I laughed. I hope you get a kick out of it too.
P A T I E N C E .
When she says ‘who’ instead of ‘whom’ I do not send her to her room, I patiently correct her once, or twice, or thrice. She’s not a dunce. And tell her when it’s ‘may’ – not ‘can’. I am, indeed, a patient man.
When she invites me to a bash and all I get is turkey hash and then, for breakfast, Decaf, brewed, have I complained, lamented, sued? Invoked the bible, the Koran? No, I’m indeed a patient man.
When I was dragged to ‘Dead Man’s Gulch’, that gross, dung-aggregated mulch of cinematographic Kitsch. Was I observed to gripe, to bitch? No – come and go, ten blocks I ran I am a very patient man. By God, I am a patient man.
When she broke up my mountain weekend when manage-editing had freakened my well deserved week’s recreation with job-caused crass abomination. Did I kick her in the can? No – I’m a very patient man. I am, indeed, a patient man.
We are all tired of COVID:19. We want it to go away!!! We miss friends and family we can’t see. I certainly do.
I miss my book club. I miss my loved ones. I miss seeing many of my friends. I miss being physically close to them. I miss touching them and feeling okay about it AND, it’s Valentines Day!
I even find keeping a safe distance from strangers lonely. It’s difficult to have conversations with people standing in line with you. You’d have to holler for them to hear and that’s not so cool.
But, what I miss most of all is HUGGING loved ones and friends. Don’t you??? I feel like squashing them. Have you almost forgotten what it was like to hug someone dear to you? To cuddle? To feel really close to someone? Well, here’s a little poem to help you remember:
Would you like a cuddle with me, and to huddle? No – not in a puddle where ducks like to waddle that would tend to befuddle and leave us amuddle.
My wanting to cuddle Is not empty twaddle, My sentiments floodle my heart – my cheeks ruddle, I tremble, I shuddle – And it all came so suddle.
Christmas is in the air and before you know it the New Year will be here. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and a year free of unpleasantness.
I haven’t made New Year resolutions for years — I rarely managed to keep them anyway. This year nonetheless, as a kindness to my children, I intend to continue culling the papers I’ve accumulated through many years of writing.
Here’s a poem a friend sent me in 1991, which I’d included in an article about our complicated English language. Spell checkers have improved since then, but beware. They can still goof.
Eye have a spelling chequer It came with my pea sea It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it Eye am shore your pleased two no Its letter perfect awl the weigh My chequer tolled me sew.
Hans was undoubtedly the smartest person I ever knew. He was also so funny, he’d have me laughing out loud until my sides hurt.
In going through my papers and throwing out thousands (honestly) I came across this poem of his and couldn’t resist sharing it with you.
Hans came from Vienna as a young adult, where he spoke German and another local dialect. He said other languages were easy because he’d studied Latin at school and Latin is the root of so many languages. But I think it was much more than that. I hope you enjoy this playful poem he wrote about English.
WHO’S ASKING WHO?
by Hans Muller
All of us languish with speech induced anguish and parsing our sentences gives rise to repentences. Hence using the vernacular looms as positively Dracular.
Much joy to many gives The usage of genitives and even a native can have fun with a dative. Then why do brains turn into sieves when confronted with accusatives?
Is it HE or HIM, is it ME or I, WE or US, SHE or HER — and why? Is REGARDLESS wrong, IRREGARDLESS right or are they the same — no, not quite. When I go to bed, do I LAY or LIE? Did they LEARN me wrong or should it be TEACH? I’ve got doctorates in English and Speech.
Aren’t the schools rich in certified rules which prescribe things grammatical? Do I seem fanatical if I declare that I’m aghast finding ignorance so deep, so vast.
If the abusive of mother-tongue usage prevails incontestably and quite indigestibly. I’m asking with unceasing awe: Ain’t lingocide against the law?
I get jittery and tlnglish speaking so-called good English, The King’s, the Queen’s or the Bard’s For me that is not in the cards. What the heck — WHOM or WHO, why don’t I just do what Tom and Dick and Harry can, talking simple North American.