s of this blog will know that yesterday Ada Ireland posted a great little story called ‘Miss Boring Died Today’.
I f you haven’t already done so, read that first, or this story won’t make sense to you. ‘Looking For Jane’ was just a bit of fun I had while Miss Ireland was racking up 20 years of much-needed beauty sleep overnight. She likes surprises, so I very thoughtfully sent her one. This.
To be fair and honest, there are a few disclaimers.
The ‘statistical’ stuff was googled one sleepless night a year ago.
The silly names were inspired by a Rowan Atkinson skit he performed decades ago.
The Latin and translations came directly from Handy Latin Phrases.
The motivation was provided by my friend, and hopefully now yours, Ada Ireland of http://unashamedwriting.com
Please visit her and leave a comment. She lives for them. And I’m the only one who ever comments over there so, strangely, she lives for me, if you see what I mean. 🙂
Looking For Jane.
Surely, there must be someone out there who isn’t roadkill on the relationship superhighway. Someone … plain. Unexciting, even. Statistically, she must exist. I know this, because I’m a statistician and I’ve worked the numbers out on enough Pingle-fueled nights to know. Theoretically, there are 13.768 women in this city who are, succinctly, completely and utterly boring, although it seems like they are in the vast majority. Now, let’s discount the last one by 1.232, because anyone who has an interest factor of 0.768 is much too exciting, too wild and carefree, for me. So that leaves 13, a so called ‘lucky number’ even though statistically irrelevant. As every good mathematician knows, if you’re looking for luck then 8 is the most commonly successful number. Unless you’re a man, and then an 8 looks like the handcuffs your spouse places on your wrists and gonads on the wedding day. Hee hee. Ahem. Best not to get too carried away. I don’t know what came over me; one ‘hee’ would have eminently sufficed.
To clear my mind of all this clutter, I calculated the degrees in a sphere. As everyone knows, Euclidean Geometry breaks down in the face of curved lines. Twelve seconds later I had the answer: 4 pi str. Yes, steradians make the calculation possible, as every 13-year old schoolchild should know, if they weren’t so busy looking for what passes itself off as excitement. If only they dug deeper into stats their worlds would blossom. Heaven knows, I’ve tried to instil it in them, but they continue to waste their time and, what’s diabolically more tragic, mine, on calculating how many flatulent events (on average) it takes before one defecates themselves. The juvenile mind is a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as ‘she’ is.
Well, that’s it for lunch. It’s back to the classroom and yet another hour of fruitlessly attempting to lodge even a modicum of statistics and Latin into unwilling and incontinent minds.
So, hands up all those who know the meaning of: “Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus vntosissimis exponebantur ad necem.”
Stoney silence. I swear I saw a tumbleweed roll by. “Ladies and gentlemen, it means: “In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.”
I swear I heard a lone cricket chirp. Cogito, ergo doleo: I think, therefore I am depressed.
“Nipple! Stop doing that or I’ll tweak you! Labia Majora! Now is not the time to be massaging yourself.”
Right, I’ll try to lighten the mood with a song. Ahem. “Macdonaldus Senex fundum habuit. E-I-E-I-O. Et in hot fundo nonnullas boves domesticas habuitt. E-I-E-O. Cum moo moo hic, et cum moo moo ibi. Hic una moo, ibi una moo, ubique una moo moo. Macdonaldus Senex fundum habuit. E-I-E-I-O.
Surely, one of you recognises that tune? ” Blank stares. “Old Macdonald? He of the farm, who had a cow? You know, with a ‘moo moo’ here and a ‘moo moo’ there? Honestly, I don’t know why I bother sometimes.”
“I don’t know why you bother, ever.” snorted Nostril.
“Nostril! Pull your finger out and get thee to a nunnery! Go! Oh, ummm … sorry about that; I slipped into a little Shakespeare, and the Bard is something we’ll be enjoying next semester. Now, where was I? That’s right. Nostril, you’ll be needing a tissue when the principle’s finished with you. Go!”
Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.”
What a thankless task this is. “Ejaculation! Clean yourself up! And Wetspot, you made your bed so now you’ll have to lie in it.
Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis, Vader!” I said, glaring at the statistically-weighted and therefore obligatory coloured child. “You do not know the power of the dark side.”
I was relieved when the class ended. “Cum catapulatae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt,” I muttered under my breath. “What up, Bro?” asked Vatofburningoil. I said: “When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.” It’s a day I look forward to, I thought as the rotund little child took his leave.
Driving to the supermarket I once again marvelled. It had now been 13 years to the day since I placed the sticker on the bumper of my car that read ‘Sona si Latine loqueris.’ From that day to this not one person had honked. Latin, it appeared, was indeed a dead language.
It was, of course, the fateful day I met Jane Boring. Perhaps together we will have a statistically aberrational child someday. One who speaks Latin fluently, comprehends the beauty of healthy statistical modelling, and who is not given to flights of fancy and loquaciousness. Yes, that might be nice. I’d like nothing better than to give Jane a good Boring or two. But I’ll let her tell the story.