Friday, September 01, 2023

National No Rhyme or Reason Day

Today is National "No Rhyme or Reason Day". With the deepest of respect for today, I am posting images that have nothing to do with the post other than they are nice pictures taken in town earlier this summer.

Nowhere can I find universal agreement on what exactly the day is all about. I know it is dedicated to the idiosyncrasies of the English language. I guess we are supposed to embrace the odd words, words that don't rhyme, like orange, and generally have fun mucking up the mother tongue because all the grammar Nazi's started their long weekend yesterday.

I have always liked words and enjoyed adding new ones to my vocabulary when the opportunity pops up. I especially like learning new twists on words that give them newer and more fun meanings. 

Take the word "Seppo". 

An Australian family moved in across the street from us when we lived on Roosevelt Street in Bethesda, Maryland back in the early-ish 1960s. The dad was part of the Australian diplomatic crew based down on Embassy Row deep inside Washington, DC. I became friends first with their son, Mike, and then with the rest of the family. 

Mr Booker was a big fellow with a thick Aussie accent. On weekends when he loosened his tie, he would drink beer. Not just a beer, nor a normal sized beer. He would start at noon on Saturday and start chugging big cans of Foster's lager, which he felt was the only decent beer in the United States.

Once he got tuned up some, his careful diplomatic cover would fail him and he would often start in ranting and raving about the "God Damned Seppos". Usually when he got like this Mike and I would find somewhere else to be, but one day I was invited to an afternoon hoe down where all the adults sat around and watched Mr. Booker chug Foster's and chase shrimp around his barbie. 

Since this huge man seemed in a good mood, I marshaled up some balls and asked him what a Seppo was and why did he seem to hate them so much. He explained to me that he didn't hate Seppos, they just drove him crazy in his job. He went on to tell me that a Seppo was an Aussie term for Americans. It was used as a term of endearment and also a term of derision. It depended on the situation. 

"But why Seppo?"

"Well, Seppos are what we call septic tanks in Australia. Don't know why we call Americans septic tanks? We just do...... Maybe its because we think it is more polite to use Seppo than call you Americans Assholes".

Aussie civility at its best.

Keep it 'tween the ditches .....................................


No rhyme or Reason day indicates I should pick a song that is totally from left field. Today, its "Hey Nineteen", by Steely Dan. Enjoyed best at a mellower volume I think.


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