Whistler Classics

We raided our offline Whistler archives for a selection of classics…

(with apologies to John Donne)

Let’s begin with a box; the plural is boxes
And go on to ox, plural oxen, not oxes.
There’s a bird called a goose; its plural is geese,
Yet the plural of moose is mooses, not meese;
Which reminds one of mouse, who plural is mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
Now the plural of man is undoubtedly men,
So the logical plural of pan must be pen.
The plural of foot is not foots but feet;
Though a foot wears a boot, two boots are not beet,
And a tooth is but one of a mouthful of teeth.
So what about booth? Could the plural be beeth?
And if one thing is that one, the plural is those
Yet a hat in its plural can never be hose.
We may speak of brothers and also of brethren;
We may speak of mothers but never say methren.
If the masculine of pronouns are he, his and him,
Then the ladies, God bless ‘em, get she, shis and shim!

Submitted by Hilary Gilmore, September 1995 edition

…paying £80 for a resident’s parking permit meant you could find a place to park your car
…only the people whose dogs fouled the pavement ever stepped in it
…the people with noisy car alarms parked outside their own house instead of yours!

From April 1992 edition

1994 saw a record £1.5m raised in sponsorship from the commercial sector to promote West End theatre. It has been suggested that Rentokill should underwrite the next 30 years of ‘The Mousetrap’; Donna Karan ‘The Woman in Black’; and Prozac proudly presents ‘Hamlet: the Happy Ending’.

A friend of a friend knows a family in darkest Yorkshire who recently suffered a bereavement. Their grandmother, a deeply religious woman, had slipped away in her sleep at a ripe old age. The family took comfort in the fact that she had lived a long and fruitful life, and decided to erect a monument in the form of a headstone for her plot.

A local stone mason was recommended to them. The family selected a short text with a simple religious dedication – God, she was thine – as a fitting epitaph, and the carver solemnly took up his chisel.

A few days later the stone was ready for viewing. But the family was mortified to see the inscription was wrong. It read “God, she was thin” and they were only a day away from the memorial service. The dismayed relatives found the stone mason, pointed out the missing ‘e’ and explained in no uncertain terms that they were dissatisfied with his sloppiness. The stone carver was most apologetic and promised to work overnight to deliver the corrected stone at the funeral.

The next day, the sobbing family were gathered around the grave supporting each other in their grief, as the stone mason’s truck crunched slowly along the gravel just in time. He and his assistant carried the heavy headstone to the grave and set it in place.
There followed a discrete unveiling ceremony. The family congregated on all sides as the edifice was revealed. They gasped as the priest read the finely chiselled inscription. Not with grief, but with horror. Embarrassingly, it now read, “E God, she was thin”.

This was taken from Healey and Glanvill’s ‘Stranger than Fiction: Urban Myths’ and published in the 1994 November edition of The Whistler

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