Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights


While the words might change from country to country and are sometimes taken for granted, human rights represent one of the universally agreed upon ideas — that all people are born with basic rights and freedoms that include life, liberty, and justice. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations.

Bloggers Unite For Human Rights challenges bloggers everywhere to help elevate human rights by drawing attention to the challenges and successes of human rights issues on May 15. What those topics may include — the wrongful imprisonment of journalists covering assemblies, governments that ignore the plight of citizens, and censorship of the Internet. What is important is that on one day, thousands of bloggers unite and share their unified support of human rights everywhere.

SIGN UP HERE

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Running in to one another


From time to time, I have had a very few posts which I was reluctant to take down, which I wanted to leave up longer because they were so interesting or because they meant so much to me personally. One of those past posts that comes to mind was Claire's humorous explanation of how one goes about getting a leg over in your fair land. I hated to see that one be superseded by another post. The post that is now below this one is another example. I really am sad to see it disappear from the top of this page. It wasn't even about British words at all, but about values and aspirations, and passion--and about a special lady who calls herself Marmelade--who in my mind embodies all of these things, and so much more. But, with some regret, I move forward, encouraged by the fact that the Lady herself still chooses to be among us.

The most recent chapter-topic of my book, before I was delightfully sidetracked by the discovery of Enid Blyton, was about food. Before that we had quite a bit of sex together (and individually), and I have high hopes of having even more when our dedicated roving sex reporter, Claire, is again able to gather her thoughts and give us a report about yet another fascinating British custom in that arena. But today, we shall open a new chapter called "Traffic and Transportation".

I am not sure who invented the automobile—some German fellow, I think, in the late 19th century—but, very soon thereafter came a great rush of road-building to accommodate all those new automobiles. All that furious road-building, in turn, was soon followed by a throng of adventurous Brits who were just GAGGING to get out and drive on the wrong side of those new roads.

This is a fertile topic of discussion. So great are our differences with regard to traffic and transportation, I am almost hesitant to take it on. But take it on I shall, with your help—although we may indeed expand it beyond the one single chapter before we have exhausted the possibilities. It is hard for me to decide where to start, even. And so, as is often the case with your silly blog-host, I will start, I think, by going in circles.

As I said, there are many differences indeed between British and American traffic rules, and one of the most obvious examples is something called the Traffic Circle. The main difference, of course, is that you HAVE them and we don't. Oh, there are a few of these incomprehensible things, scattered unexpectedly here and there across America, but no American driver worth his salt would have a clue how to use them. You may be sure than any road sign which has a circle painted on it will only cause American drivers to run into one another and begin rolling around in circles.

The above photo makes more sense if you know the little girl's name is Hannah. (Thanks to Colin at ADELAIDE GREEN PORRIDGE CAFE for the photo.)

Worse, you don't even CALL them traffic circles. In your country (I think) they are referred to as "Round Abouts", which, to this poor American mind simple conjures up vague images of children's Merry-Go-Rounds. Which of course, in turn, I suppose you refer to as Carousels—or some even more obscure name, which I can't even begin to fathom right now. But I have made a wrong turn here, haven't I? Let us return to the main road.

What I would like to do, since I have not had the delightful experience of driving in your fair land, is to ask those of you who have enjoyed the hellish nightmare that is the American freeway system, to please begin our chapter by making comments about any obvious differences that pop into your mind. Those of you who have NOT had the pleasure of this mind-numbing torture—and you should thank your lucky stars that you have been thus favored—will still comment, I hope, on any traffic or transportation differences you are aware of, and please bring up subtopics you feel we should explore in this chapter.

Let's not restrict it to any single narrow topic for the time being. Please talk about any differences at all in the names we call things, any differences in traffic signs, laws, procedures--whatever. The only thing I ask is that we limit our initial discussions more or less to driving, and leave trains and planes for another day. Who can start?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

For Marmelade. Just Imagine.


I was preparing a post for one of my other blogs, Yummy Biscuits, when it occurred to me that the man I was writing about was British, a lad from Liverpool. And so it seems this is a more apt place to put this little piece. The post is for Marmelade, whom Yummy Biscuits simply adores like a little puppy dog. His tail starts to wagging (19 to the dozen, of course!) whenever she walks into the room. He's not alone in this happiness, of course; Marmelade makes a lot of boy's tails start to wag when she's around.

There was once a young man from Liverpool who didn't quite fit in. He was a few years older than I, and much more worldly. We lived worlds apart and never met directly, although he was to die much closer to me than he was born. He knew from an early age that what he wanted to do in life was make music. Later in life, he would use that gift of music to draw the world's attention to the injustices and inequalities that he saw going on around him. At the end, when he was killed by a madman in my own country, his music had long become secondary to the causes of justice he espoused.

When I think of John Lennon, whose music I came of age to, listening to it on the radio every 10 minutes, I strangely no longer think automatically of the Beatles. The Beatles were only together for a few years, after all. John outlived—and outgrew—the Beatles by many years. And of all his music, there is one song that I usually associate with him and what he stood for and what he hoped the world might someday become. With this one song, he put into words the dream of my entire generation.

Today, when I was thinking of John, and of this special song, Yummy's mind suddenly became focused on Marmelade. She just seemed to fit easily and naturally into the picture. Her youth and her passion for justice stirred musty memories in Yummy's brain. Memories of when his own generation thought they could and would change the world; memories of things we were willing to die for if necessary. Passion. For a while, Yummy felt truly alive again. Yes, Marmelade is a flower child, Yummy thought, somehow magically transported into the future. Yummy remembers the Summer of Love well. Youth. We'd live forever. We'd fight and never lose.

Marmelade, I think, and others like her who still carry the torch we lit so long ago in the 1960s, is the immortality of our dream. It makes me very happy inside to know that, although the faces of the soldiers have changed, the good fight still goes on. And, as strange as this may seem, although Soldier John and Soldier Marmelade probably never even lived one minute on earth together, I feel he wrote these words for her.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Doodle Erotique Awards


Is it just me, or are some of these doodles downright EROTIC!!!!

IT'S JUST YOU, MAX!!!!!

Sometimes it is the quiet ones that you have to watch most carefully. Alison, for example. The quiet and reserved Castle Lady. Who would have ever believed she entertained these kind of secret thoughts. Her doodle looks innocent enough until you look at it closely.

THE RELAX MAX DOODLE WEEK EROTIC DOODLE AWARD GOES TO....ALISON!

Terrible things are on the horizon

Don't worry...no more Canucklehead wars!

And most of it won't even happen here on BritishSpeak. So don't run off and hide just yet.

Watch for more.


Fabulous Five, Secret Seven, Naked Nine...





Friday, April 25, 2008

Great carnivorous chrysanthemums!



The Doodle Week task of the day is "Flowers or Plants".

My aplogies for taking so long to post this--this was a very difficult doodle for me and took a long time to complete.

This is a timely theme, as I am inspired by my own garden plot which is coming along Nicely!!

Daydream Doodle


Today's doodle is a random doodle, such as one would do on a telephone book while talking on the telephone.

I think I have finally found where all your special words have been hiding.

Please talk to me about your memories of Enid, while I hungrily make my own.

And if you live in another land, who was YOUR "Enid" when you were a child?

Enid Mary Blyton 1897-1968

"There is one rule about pretending which must never be broken—you must be absolutely serious about it. If you break this rule you can neither pretend yourself, nor will the children pretend in front of you.

Last week was quite a red-letter week. I had in the garden, at 11.15 every morning, 2 or 3 policemen, a frightfully bold and audacious burgler, one Indian, a Canadian express train, a goods train, two motor-buses who had the exciting gift of changing into their own conductor and driver at will, and last, but not least, a galloping horse, who said ‘Gee-up’ and smacked himself at short intervals. He invited me for a ride, but (fortunately) I happened to be a stern Bedouin of the desert at the moment and therefore preferred camels for riding. The horse, before my eyes, began to change into a suitable camel, but the school-bell rang before the metamorphosis was complete.” —February 27, 1924

Enid Blyton wrote as many as 10 books a year for over 40 years.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Time for the Aussie word list definitions

A few days ago, we ran a list of words that Max had obtained from various helpful Australian bloggers. Several of these words, I have later discovered from you, are common British usage as well. None are common usage in America, as far as I have ever heard.

Those of you who submitted comments to that post had the ones you did all correct. But since I have never run a complete list of the "answers" for each line item, I will do so now. (The "answers" or "definitions" are given in "American.")

gag, gagging - This means eager, as in "wanting to do something very much".
gob - mouth, piehole
powerpoint-an electrical wall recepticle
brick shithouse-A large, muscular well-built man. (Almost always means the opposite in America: "An exceedingly curvacious woman".

cactus - not working. "My microwave is cactus". I think this is sort of like Claire's usage of the word "pants", but not quite.
heaps - a lot
Tall Poppy Syndrome - Refers to the Australian trait of liking to take pompous people down "a peg or two".
pot-a 285ml glass of beer. Used in Victoria. Other names elsewhere.
wag, wagging - to truant. (Americans would call it "skipping school".
A over T: Arse over Tits; Arse over Tea Kettle (To stumble and fall awkwardly.
Cark it - to die
Cossie or cozzie - short for "costume"; most commonly a swimming costume (swim suit or bathing suit in America)
Dag-a piece of shit that hangs off a sheep's bum. Said of a bloke. Can be good natured or disparaging.
Dunny-a toilet.
“a bit more choke and you would have started” - Said as a mild admonishment to someone who has just loudly broken wind in public.

Yonks-a long period of time.
Ute - "utility" (a pickup truck). In America, a Ute is an Indian, a certain Indian trible State of Utah named after them.
Stunned mullet-used to describe a person who's mouth is agape or who is otherwise unresponsive to outside stimuli.
Spit the dummy-to get very upset about something.
spunk - Semen.
Franger-a condom.
Goog-an egg. Rhymes with "good."
Holy snapping duckshit - simply an exclamation of surprise
jack-to be sick and tired of something. (I think this is akin to my own favorite "bugger this for a game of soldiers" or "can't arse this."

SFA (Sweet Fanny Adams)--but what does it mean?? (It means to be doing nothing; absolutely nothing.)
Rice Bubbles - What an American would call Rice Krispies; a dry breakfast cereal.
pull the pin-to stop an activity; to withdraw support.
pash - short for passionate. (One Aussie told Max tha many used this to describe what Americans call "French Kissing.")
pissing down - Raining hard
poof (or poofter) - male homosexual
nappy - diaper
sheila - opposite of bloke (since American's don't use "blokes", a "sheila" is Australian for "female".
Bogan-low class; what Americans would call "Trailer Trash."
cunning stunts -The Aussies are exceedingly fond of spoonerisms. This particular example is too vulgar to define here. You can figure it out if you now what a spoonerism is.

And that's it! For this list anyway. Thanks for playing!

TO ALL OF YOU ACROSS THE POND: HAPPY ST. GEORGE'S DAY!

Max does NOT have a one-track mind!

Max has often unfairly been accused on this blog as having a one-track mind. Sometimes the good-natured ribbing is pretty hard to take. Especially for one with such pure, artistic and lofty thoughts as Max.

Others who know Max a little better, know that one of his main hobbies is photography, and that when on vacation he invariably simply buys plastic throw-away cameras. Hence the poor quality of the photos that have appeared on this blog of late. But Max does, of course, have better cameras and better lenses that he uses to shoot events around his home area, and you will be treated to a picture taken with one of those better cameras today. This may not be posted all day, because it is simply for the purpose of showing that Max is capable of taking better-quality pictures at times. The picture shown below is also meant to help refute the unfair jibes that Max has taken from his fellow bloggers about having a one track mind. If you don't know exactly what that "track" is, then thank you for not reading the sorry accusations that have here often appeared.

Finally, those few who REALLY know a little bit more about MAX (such as ettarose) know that Max lives in an area of the USA which is mostly populated by Native Americans. I tell you this so that you will understand that a great deal of Max's photography centers around Native Americans and their public and private cultural events, which are often very colorful and photogenic.

But today's photo example is an attempt at abstract art and should dispel any notions that Max has only a one-track mind, and that he is not really an artist. In the below photo, Max noticed (because of his artistic eye) a group of brightly colored chairs that were used by the participant dancers at a local pow wow. Although the dancers themselves might have been a more obvious photo opportunity to those less artistic than Max, Max saw the chairs as a form of pop abstract art and zeroed in one them like the true artist he is. Please enjoy this fine picture of the colorful chairs.

Thank you for giving Max the opportunity to refute this nasty rumor once and for all.

Photo by Relax Max

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Fairy Tales: Climb THIS, Jack...

'FEE FIE FOE FUM - I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN!
Americans share pretty much the same fairy tales as the British, I think. Or at least they used to, anyway. I am finding some juicy "British-isms" in some of them too, during my re-discovery research. Some are not so much for children, I think, now that I'm reading them after I'm older. Some are downright SCARY indeed! Why did my mom read this to me as a child, I wonder? Was I THAT bad of a little kid?

A sad smile crosses Max's little dog face as he remembers Mom and the beanstalk story...and the multi-colored beans...and the family's milk-cow..and the soothing music of the magic harp. Now what part of Max's crowded brain did those memories come from?


"I'LL GRIND THEIR BONES TO MAKE MY BREAD...AND...???...WHAT???...MAKE THE LITTLE GIRLS TALK OUTA THEIR HEADS. I'M THE ONE..." No, that's "Seventh Son". Johnny Rivers. Not Jack. Maybe Johnny was really Jack. You think?

Max is a collector. That sounds better than "Packrat". One of his interests is early editions of fairy tale collections, especially the ones with rich illustrations. In fact, early color illustrations in general are an object of Max's collecting. Anybody out there have some old fairy tale collection books--in the original ENGLISH? I sadly find that so many which are available in America, even the really old ones, have been "translated" into Americanese. That doesn't give Max the wealth of British words and phases that he had hoped for. If you do, give me holler. (Please comment, I mean. If you truly holler, I'll not likely hear you.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gone shopping


Well today I must get down to Tescos and do my shopping for the fortnight. I can’t bear going more often, it’s always chock a block and you have to queue for ages at the checkout. It’s handy though because it’s in a small shopping centre and of course you can save a few quid there. There is a chemist, an estate agent, a shop selling curtains and cushions, even a chippie so usually I can get everything I need, pretty much the full monty. There’s a petrol station too. It’s not far, down the High Street, left at the roundabout, a short way down the dual carriageway and bob’s your uncle.

You have to use a multi-storey car park nearby but they let you take the trolley across, you don’t have to cart your carrier bags along. There is a zebra crossing which also helps. On Sundays they occasionally hold a car boot sale in the outdoor part.

Anyway, today’s shopping list includes, salad cream, Scotch eggs, aubergines and courgettes. I can’t decide whether to do bubble and squeak or jacket potatoes for this evening. I also need washing up liquid, tights and some kitchen roll. I just hope I don’t get that bloke on the check-out – he really isn’t the full shilling, a total pillock.

And when I’m eventually home, I can have a cuppa with a couple of digestives to recuperate.

So there you have it folks, your starter for ten. Please add, embellish, illustrate with shopping examples of your own - to please Max who doesn't think we're taking him sufficiently seriously. Also to get me some Brownie points.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Queen


Some people express sadness, even indignation that their legendary steam liner Queen Mary is tied up at a dock in Long Beach, California, used as a hotel, convention center, and tourist attraction. This has been so for decades. Her last voyage was in 1967. To these people, I would simply remind them that every single one of those great ships of that era were scrapped. They might be part of an old Toyota today, or even a tin of vegetables. When you look at it that way, is it not better that you can still go see the Queen and walk her teak decks and lean on her rail, look up at her lifeboats, walk through her cabins and passageways, stand in her wheelhouse, stare in awe at her huge engines, and experience that huge gorgeous art-deco ballroom with the ceiling stretching up forever? You can almost hear the band playing. Except you are almost alone instead of sharing her with 2000 other passengers. There are other tourists, but the Queen is huge. To these complainers I would also say: Remember that the Queen is still afloat in the ocean as she was meant to be, as she should be. Stop complaining and go visit her. I think she misses her British compatriots as much as you are nostalgic for her.

Photos taken by Relax Max


Max finds his little brother!

The word list grows. Need definition Help

Max is continually looking for contributions of British slang or phrases. Below is a sampling of the incredible support this blog has received during the past few weeks. Unbelievable! Of course, this list hardly begins to scratch the surface. You would really be doing us a favor if you would make a comment to this post and list your interesting words (and meanings, too--most are not obvious to Max, I'm afraid.) The book on the subject that some of us are putting together concentrates on usage in the UK itself, but Max really welcomes contributions from any country and anyone. THANKS A LOT!

The following words (not all are "slang") concentrate primarily on the Australian branch of the English language. How many of these can YOU define? (Thanks to Justine and Brett for all their help in collecting these words and so many more!) Caution!--definitions are not always obvious. Answers will appear later. NOTE; I HAVE STARTED TO PUT IN SOME DEFINITIONS NOW, AND THE ANWERS WILL CONTINUE TO BE POSTED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.


gag, gagging
gob
powerpoint
brick shithouse
cactus
heaps
Tall Poppy Syndrome
pot
wag, wagging
A over T
Cark it
Cossie or cozzie
Dag
Dunny
“a bit more choke and you would have started”
Yonks
Ute
Stunned mullet
Spit the dummy
spunk
Franger
Goog
Holy snapping duckshit
jack
SFA (Sweet Fanny Adams)--but what does it mean??
Rice Bubbles
pull the pin
pash
pissing down
poof (or poofter)
nappy
sheila
Bogan
cunning stunts

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Warrior Princess has arrived...


Although she received Max's plea for help too late to come and do battle at his side the first day, the remaining zombie followers of the defeated (at least temporarily defeated) Canucklehead would tremble where they stand if they were able to see the vast encampment of the Mighty Bridget and her terrible hoard of South African Amazon blog-fighters on Max's Southern flank today! Unstoppable writers with sarcasm and cutting wit dripping from their sword-pens. Feminists all--with a fine mixture of bitter man-detesting divorcees--ready, willing, and able to unleash their vicious tirade at a moments notice.

Fear, Canucklehead! The end of all you stand for is near at hand! The mighty Bridget, and her sidekick, the little D-less briget (normally a lover and a marshmallow--but fiercely aroused when her sharp thing is working properly) are ready to take the field, keyboards at the ready, able even to put the diaper to that foul turncoat Scot, Fat Bastard! The battle is made even more personal by the fact that Princess Bridget is herself, ironically, partially descended from Scots--and she seeks to rid the blogging world of this embarrassing turncoat llama defiler.

Fear, Canucklehead! Your last weekend of feeble ineffective blogging is rapidly slipping away!

The Mighty Warrior Princess asks Max to give the defeated Canucklehead this message:

BWAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! EAT MY TITTIES YOU DICKLESS CANUCK! BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Thus it was written, so let it be done.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Canucklehead Wars

Of course there will be more to come. It would be silly to think that Max and the Great Canucklehead are really finished. Nobody REALLY won today--this was only the first round. You'd be pretty gullible if you think the Canuck won't make a comeback! But we need and REALLY WANT your input and particpation! What should happen next? But first, choose a side to give your preliminary support to. You can be a turncoat later, if you want.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Call to Arms


There is nothing more sad than a Civil War. A split within a family. Sadly that appears to be happening to us now.

Max regrets to inform you that even though the Canucklehead very publically agreed to a truce to resolve the recent hostilities, he was seen very shortly--within a matter of mere hours--over at ettarose's, stabbing Max in the back again. Sadly, I'm afraid I will need to find out who my real friends are, because apparently, unless the Canadian can adequately explain this obvious breech of the truce, his latest sorte has the makings of exploding into all out war.

Today we stand at the edge. If peace overatures are not immediately forthcoming from the North, violence beyond Max's control will surely break out.

Here we must know our friends. Max calls his loyal brothers and sisters to his side. The Canuck's forces are flaccid and pitiful, but they are dangeously devious and conniving. Look for underhanded tricks and backstabbing. Guard against their inevitible protestations of innocence and their use of Trojan Horses to divide us.

Sadly, although as yet not fully substantiated, the esteemed Warlord Qelqoth's recent acts of association have indicated he may well be in the enemy camp.

Those of you who have stood by Max, especially in the skirmishes of recent days: Max salutes you. You know who you are. Max knows who you are. We will prevail. And you should know that we are not alone. Even as Max speaks, incredible forces from the southern Lands of Australia and South Africa, where Max has been laboring nightly, are even now rallying to our cause.

These overpowering forces have been long known to Max, yet held in reserve until the time was right. The strength of the never-defeated South African Amazons awaits to strike at the heart of the Canuck, ready to squash him like the loathsome toad he has shown himself to be. Max actually pities the misguided Canuck should the terrible forces of the of the smoldering volcano that is Bridget the Brave, Queen of the South African vengeful hoard be unleashed upon him. Such a battle would be decisive and retribution would be swift.

Max knows beyond a doubt who his loyal friends are. Our forces are under mobilization. Today will tell whether bloodshed must occur, or if the Conniving Canadian will realize his untenable position and reinstate the truce publicly in this forum.

Our first order of business will be to force the hand of the shit-loving Welshman. His true colors must also be determined. This will become known before the sun sets today.

Arise! Rally to Max! Solidary against the dark forces of the Arctic North! On to victory!

"Show me yours...I'll show you mine"


Caught in the hopeless never ending meme game. It is getting so bad out there that when you go to tag someone, who is supposedly asleep at 4am, you instead GET tagged for a second one. People, this has got to stop!

Here's mine. Dirty and cluttered. Sorry. Now show me YOURS--exactly as it is right this minute-- and post it for a while on your blog for the world to see...Marmelade, Caroline, A., and of course, Canucklehead.

NOTICE TO THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE: RELAX MAX HEREBY DECLARES THIS AND ALL OTHER MEMES FINISHED AND FOREVER BANNED! MAX WILL IGNORE ALL FUTURE TAGS FOR ALL MEME GAMES. MAX DECLARES HIS BREECH OF ETIQUETTE DEBT TO CANUCLEHEAD AND TO THE ENTIRE CANADIAN NATION HEREBY ABSOLVED AND PAID IN FULL. I PAID YOUR PRICE AND NOW I DECLARE THAT MAX IS FREE AGAIN!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The "I Got Meme-Tagged by Canucklehead" Post


Normally Max doesn't play games. Max writes. Max talks. Max tries to please women. Stuff like that.

But--and here I refer to the "Please God, deliver me from the Juarez jail" promise--I am forced to play my new friend Canucklehead's meme thing.

First I have to post eight things about myself. Then I have to decide on 8 people to "tag"--people who will have to post 8 things about THEMselves. People who will then forever run from me whenever they see me coming. Then...well, just read the below rules, please.

Here are the rules of the game that I cut and pasted from Canucklehead's parody of a blog:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment on their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged, and to come back and read your blog for the whole story.

Before I start, let me tell you that there are a whole lot of people that Max wanted to tag, but didn't. One especially nice friend who normally would have been tagged, Max took pity on because of her jet lag and presumed behindedness. And several others were not tagged because Max knew they would just wipe their arse with it. So the lucky remaining "tagged" people appear at the bottom of my 8 things. Another way to look at it is that I will soon find out who my real and true friends are, won't I? Don't say it: I already know that, too. I am just in denial.

Most of these 8 things, especially the names, won't mean anything to most of you because Max is from a different time warp than you are, but you can always Google the names. Here goes:

1. James Garner has bought me beers and bummed me cigarettes.
2. I once knocked General William C. Westmoreland almost on his arse (accidentally.)
3. I have swapped bullshit stories and got really crocked with Chuck Conners (Of the Brooklyn Dodgers and TV's "The Rifleman".)
4. I once had a one on one conversation with Grapes of Wrath author John Steinbeck in an aircraft bunker next to a dirt runway with stray water buffalo grazing nearby.
5. I once was in a dimly lit room with Jayne Mansfield talking one on one, (and, yes, touching, a little) a few months before she was killed. (For you teenyboppers, Jayne was the mother of Marishka Hargitay, then a small child, who survived the crash that killed her famous mother.)
6. I was once grabbed and kissed on camera by an aging Martha Raye. Hell, the old actress was still a good kisser.
7. I once found myself in a corner at a party trying to make small talk with a man who had walked on the moon, and all I could think of to ask him was, “Is it really true you can jump 6 feet off the ground up there?” (Answer, by the way is, “No. Not unless you want to fall on your ass and rip your space suit open and die.”)
8. I once shared a table for 4 with Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, and Joe Torre. How long ago? Well Hammerin' Hank was then only in the 300s and Torre was still a catcher for the Atlanta Braves. You do the math. Sat together for a long time and told me great stories. Aaron and Torre were in awe of Stan The Man, btw. Max could have gotten personalized autographs from each of these legends, but was too ignorant at the time to ask. And then they said goodbye, and left.
Bonus: I once bored people from several countries with the world’s longest blog post.


I tag these people: Caroline-Song of Happiness A Changing Life Edge of Sanity Marmelade Aerten Art Are We There Yet?? because i can Pink Moonz

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Claire's Hamburg Holiday/I Love ettarose Fest Post


Please use this space to ask Claire questions about her Hamburg trip. She probably won't have enough space to do it on her own blog, so this post can be the overflow for her. Also, feel free to use this space to pay homage to ettarose and tell her how much you love her camel pictures and goofy black hole stories.

I know it is pretty desparate, but Max is not proud. Max just wants company. Even if he has to drag Claire's and ettarose's names into this to do it. Just forget Max is here, ok? He is working hard at trying to be funny with another vile Fat Bastard Post.

And if Claire DOES stop by here...HI CLAIRE! THE LITTLE DOG SURE MISSED YOU!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Guest Post by Canucklehead


Damn but I love this blog!

Where does Max get his ideas? I secretly try to outdo him, of course, but I am truly so far behind him, sometimes I can barely make out his tail lights in the distance. He is truly my hero!

When he asked me this week if I would like to do a guest post (ok, I admit I have been begging him to let me for a long time now--have even offered to pay him!) it was hard for me to decide on an interesting subject. I mean, how do you follow an act like Max's? He's done just about every subject imaginable, and--let's face it--he's done them well! Of his recent posts, I really like the one yesterday about the cotton candy: not too long, not too short, really pithy in content, a touch of really cool innuendo in his comments. But I suppose my all-time favorite would have to be the one about Fat Bastard shagging that bird. A classic! Who could possibly add anything to something like that! Unless, well, "Free Willy" came really close, didn't it? Perhaps the satire was a little elite in that one, but I myself was able to comprehend much of it.


Sometimes I can't help but get down on myself when I go back to my own humble blog and see the stark difference. The main difference? Max is funny. Let's face it, eh?

I don't really know how else I can express my esteem, envy, and incredible admiration for this wonderful, talented guy, so I guess I'll just stop.

VIVA MAX!!!

[Experience the delirium that is Canucklehead. Click here.]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cotton Candy


This blog is so fun to write everyday. I have to make a conscious effort not to make multiple posts, and to not give too much information about a subject I really like. Or, as Claire (a lady whose opinion I really respect about blogs) once so delicately put it: "Stop posting so much, you buffoon!"

When it stops being fun, I'll stop writing it. One of the reasons it is fun (and easy) to write is that I can choose from such a variety of subjects. Practically any subject at all can be somehow tied in with language. Or, as we are mostly concerned with on this blog, language differences.

I will admit right up front that I am aware that people outside the friendly environs of the USA do not call this stuff Cotton Candy. I read that somewhere a few days ago. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying enough attention to the newspaper article (or wherever I read about it) to remember what it is you folks DO call this stuff. Another thing I really like about this blog (and my readers) is that I am pretty sure someone will provide me with this crucial information sometime before the day is over, and I will then be able to put another word on my ever-growing list of things the British call by the wrong name. (Picture a little smiley face here.)

I don't eat cotton candy anymore. Haven't since I was a teenager. Will probably never taste it ever again. Sad for my nostalgic brain, good for my teeth. Where did I first experience this substance?--this colored sugar, somehow "fluffified" sticky stuff? Can't remember. Probably at a county fair. Probably bought for me by my older sister or brother who were compelled by my parents to drag me with them. Probably my sister--my brother would have run off with his friends as soon as he got out of sight of Mom.

If I don't simply stop here, this will turn into another one of those rambling posts about carnival food in general, and will probably even digress even further into the "Candy Apple Pulls out Max's Front Tooth" story. None of us want that.

Where do YOU remember eating cotton candy?--and, also important to me for my book--what do wonderful non-Americans out there call that stuff again?

(No I haven't forgotten my "contest" that started out as a lark and has gotten terribly out of hand. I'll just let it ride another day and see if any other non-American comments. We have certainly learned one fact for sure: Brits don't give a damn about American landmarks or it's brief history. Well, why should they, I guess. Picture rather sad but still smiley face here.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Britishspeak wins award for world's longest blog post!

My new friend ettarose of Edge of Sanity wrote a post not long ago about some of the places, both interesting and not-so-interesting, that she offers as suggestions for your next vacation. [Make that “holiday”, since our goal is to learn how to talk like the British and thereby curry favor and respect (even awe, perhaps) from our fellow ‘mericans.] Ettarose included pictures with some of her descriptions. It was pretty cool.

The three of you who read my blog regularly know that I have stolen ideas for posts from ettarose before. This one will be no exception. Only this time I intend to actually change some things from her original idea. Still stealing, but with a twist.

There was once a computer “thing” (it’s not really a computer “game” I wouldn’t say) which was designed to teach children geography. It was called “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” Maybe it still exists, I don’t know. Two of my three blog readers are probably young enough to still be playing the “game.” I digress.

Anyway, Max is going to introduce a new game in this post. There may be free sex involved, so pay attention. The name of this game is going to be called “Where in the World is Relax Max.” So, in a way, this post is a first for me--a sort of DOUBLE plagiarism, if you will.

I was about to say, “Some of you are probably asking yourself, ‘What does this have to do with speaking with a British mouth?’”, but I see that all but one of you have already dropped your entrecard and left, and the remaining reader couldn’t care less because the only reason he is still on this page is that his computer has frozen. Be that as it may...

The connection between the theme of this blog and the game I am going to call “Where in the USA is Relax Max, and Why the Hell Would I Possibly Care?”, is that it promotes, sort of, a more complete understanding between our two cultures. And, yes, I DID change the name of the game again. How astute of you. (Here I pretend that I still have a reader left, knowing that it is more likely that even my so-called friends who read this blog out of pity also left as soon as they discovered it wasn’t really about ettarose. Well, just chuff you, anyway; I’m still going to finish this. Max is used to talking to himself. Sometimes he even answers. Sometimes he raises his hand and asks himself questions. I digress.

I am going to do it backwards from ettarose (that’s the twist so I can say I didn’t really steal this idea from her) and just put up pictures instead of descriptions. You have to guess where EXACTLY in the USA that Max is standing when he took the picture. What fun!--Max is trembling at just the thought of this wacky mental intercourse. Don’t worry, they’re easy. Even my friend Marmelade will get one for sure. And she doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about the USA. What? You say you don’t either? Well, you should try anyway, because there will be prizes. So at least Lord Likely will particiapte (for the award). And maybe a couple of the Americans. Again, out of pity of course. Perhaps even out of embarrassment for their fellow countryman who is acting like such a buffoon jerkoff in front of the British. Well, that’s not really true since the British have surely wandered off to the pub by now.

I should also tell you that these pictures Max is about to inflict upon you are not professional-looking like Claire’s pictures are. Plus, unlike Claire’s, many of the elements in my photos actually move, so they might be blurry as well. Max likes photography and has several good expensive cameras. Max doesn’t take these expensive cameras on vacations, however, because he doesn’t want to lose them or damage them or get them stolen by the airport inspectors. I tell you this so that you will understand Max doesn’t really HAVE to use those cheap plastic cameras they sell in airport magazine shops. He just WANTS to. He would much prefer that his good cameras get burgled while he is away on vacation. Make sense? Max also wants you to know that he has made an effort to make these pictures look as good as he can in photoshop, but there is only so much you can do with blurry pictures taken with a shitty plastic camera. This will only make the game more interesting of course: I show you a picture of the Washington Monument, and to you it looks like the Eiffel Tower. Then I tell you “wrong” and you lose the game and I don’t have to give you a prize. Which might have been a free sex coupon from the Mustang Ranch by the way. Are you following me?

Your job is to make a comment and tell EXACTLY where in the U.S. Max is standing when he took this or that picture. We are unable to use one of Claire’s voting widgets. That’s because this game is not opinion-driven. There are actual correct and incorrect answers in our game, you see.

The scoring will be the same as the Entrecard system, since that is so easily understood: You get one point just for coming here today, two points if someone comes to YOUR place; then you divide by 5 days and, finally, you give 75% of your earnings to the fuckheads who invented the system. Got it? Then, if you want, you can buy your credits back from them for real money. That shit really ticks me off, by the way. We’ll let Aerten set up a data base and compute who won and who lost and who just gave the fuck up and left. Then we’ll divide by 5 again and go join the Brits at the pub.

On with the pictures. Here you must understand that Max’s LifeHoney has dragged his lazy ass from one end of this country to the other over the years in an effort to spend Max’s money on stupid plastic souvenirs from strange hillbilly places. As a result, there are several thousand pictures to choose from. Only three actually show Max in them because LifeHoney makes Max take all the pictures all the time. The only thing of a personal nature that Max can promise you is an occasional finger over the lens, or maybe the toes of his sneakers now and then.

Even though Max has thousands of these worthless blurry pictures stored unsorted in his shoe box archives, Max realizes that he must choose carefully for this international contest. The pictures had better damn well be of recognizable American landmarks, or nobody but the Americans will get any of them. Max realizes that for most of the Brits, if the picture is not of the Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge, they are completely lost. That, coupled with their incredibly weak interest to start with and, well...off they go to the pub again.

So Max has sifted through boxes of worthless shit and come up with a dozen or so pictures which actually show recognizable American landmarks somewhere in the photo. Recognizable if you don’t take off points for being blurry, that is. These will all be very easy for Americans, and even the Brits will get two or three. There’s even a few with the name right on them so Marmelade can participate too. Marmelade is very, very smart, by the way. it’s just that she could give a shit less about the USA. Or any other NATO member-country for that matter. I’m with her, by the way. Fuck NATO. You bastards couldn’t defend America to save your ARSE. One way street. Max digresses again, but this time it is Marmelade’s fault.

Here are the pictures and the directions and hints. Please make comments about what you think they are. If you don’t, Max will just make up names and make comments for you. So you might just as well do it yourself. By the way, I’ve just been notified by the International Blogging Committee that this is now officially the World’s Longest Post. And I haven’t even gotten to the pictures themselves yet. Shall we just skip that part and go straight to the pub? No! Wrong answer! You absolutely have to look at these.

First, I have another announcement to make: Claire has reportedly just purchased a season ticket to the Hamburg Sex Museum and has barracaded herself inside. Now back to my pics.

Wait. No. First I have to tell you what the prizes are. Actually there is only ONE prize. That will be awarded to the final winner. There will be no second prizes or third place prizes. First prize will be a free trip to the U.S. if Linda or Aerten or EttaRose wins; otherwise your prize will be “you don’t have to come to the U.S. during an election year.” If Lord Likely is sober enough to recognize any of these pictures, even the ones with the locations already written on them, I will pay 5% of his tab at the Cock and Bull. And even that will most “likely” have to be worked out in installment payments. If the incredibly lovely Claire wins, and she almost certainly will since Max has a crush on her, then she wins my permission to post all the photos on Flicker with the rest of her vast collection. If my good friend Marmelade wins--well, then I guess we can all just eat loaves and fishes ‘cause it’ll be a fuckin’ miracle! (Just kidding, Marmelade. You always surprise me with how much you know about everything.) If anyone else wins, I’ll buy you 10 Powerball tickets next Saturday. I will be sure and mail the winning ticket to you if you win. For sure. Honest. You can trust ol’ Max to do that.

[One final note: One of my few loyal readers, A.,--who prefers that her full name not be given so the her friends won't realize she reads my drivel--has requested that, if I insist on making these godawful long posts (and I do insist) that I at least make bullets or something to break up the long paragraphs. Her point is well taken, and I'm working on adding that feature to this post right this very minute. But, since I don't know how to code good-looking bullet-like graphics, I will instead be placing pictures of various body parts between the paragraphs, along with the latest avatars of "becauseIcan". Often these are one and the same, of course. Thanks.]

Below are the photos of the places. If there are any more special rules for a particular photo then that special rule will be written next to the photo. Max gets to make up rules as he goes along. Not just on this game, but in everything.


1 point for naming this national monument; 2 bonus points if you can name what state it is located in. 15 bonus points if you can clue Max in as to why his LifeHoney made him get so close to the edge of the cliff to take this picture and then seemed to "stumble" against Max's back.

**********

1. South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park; 2. Arizona. 3. That's a silly unanswerable question.



1 point if you can read. 2 bonus points if you can name the city. 3 more bonus points if you can name the state the city is located in. 4 more bonus points if you can name the name of the street you are looking at. 8 additional points if you can locate the bitch in the brown sweater that slapped Max senseless as she walked by.

**********
1. This refers to the fact that the Object has it's name clearly visible in the picture; 2. Las Vegas; 3. Nevada; 4. Las Vegas Boulevard (slang-"The Strip" 5. This is a silly, unanswerable question.


1 point if you can name the building. Take off 12 points if you can't.

1. "The U.S. Capital" is the only acceptable (and only correct) answer.


1 point for naming the natural wonder. 5 bonus points if you can say EXACTLY where Max was standing when he took this picture. 6 additional bonus points if you can tell why this picture breaks the rules of this game. 13 bonus points if you can remember the name of the actor who killed Marilyn Monroe a couple of blocks away from where Max is standing. (In the movie, for crissakes Marmelade.)

**********

1. Niagara Falls; 2. At the exact point of the precipice on the Canadian side of the Niagara River; 3. He is not technically in the USA as the rules require, although only across the river from the USA; 4. Joseph Cotton.


1 point if you can read fine print. 2 bonus points if you can tell what city this is located in. 3 more bonus points if you can tell what state the city is located in. 10 bonus points if you can name the person who christened this thing and what year.

**********

1. This refers to the fact that the name of the object is clearly visible in the picture; 2. Long Beach; 3. California; 4. Her Majesty Queen Mary (accompanied by His Majesty King George V): On September 26, 1934, "Job #534" of John Brown & Company, LTD., of Clydebank, Scotland is declared by Her Majesty to be thenceforth called "Queen Mary" and is released down the ways into the Clyde River.


1 point if you saw Forrest Gump. 2 points if you can name the structure in the distance. 10 bonus points if you can describe the connection between Martin Luther King, Jr. and where Max is standing. Hint: where Max was standing is pictured on the back of a $5 bill.

**********

1. Refers to the location shooting of the Movie "Forrest Gump" in which Gump returns to the USA from Viet Nam to see a large anti-war demonstration at this location; 2. the structure is the Washington Monument. Any other name is incorrect; 3. Max is standing on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking down at the location of Dr. King's 1964 "I Have a Dream" speech to throngs of people in the plaza below and back along the reflecting pool. The 16th President of the U.S. is pictured on the front of the $5 bill, and his memorial on the reverse.


This is a hard one. You either know it right away or you will not ever get it. 5 points for naming the EXACT location where Max is standing (and, no, he is not in an airplane.) 5 bonus points if you can name the name of the city. 3 more bonus points if you can also name the state it is located in. 5 bonus points if you can name the river. 5 more bonus points if you can name the nearby lake. Marmelade might get this one. Unless she was lying to the poet.

**********

1. Max is standing on the Sky Deck floor of the Sears Tower Building; 2. Chicago; 3. Illinois; 4. The Chicago River; 5. Lake Michigan.



Not likely you will get this if you are not an American. 5 points if you can name the item located under the structure in the picture. 5 bonus points if you can name the body of water. 5 more bonus points if you can name a historical date that is connected with the item in the picture. 5 points if you can name the name of the island this is on. 10 points if you can tell who the item Max is standing on belongs to. Toughie. Linda and Aerten will likely both get this completely, with the possible exception of the last part. (Only if one has actually visited in person is one likely to know the last part.)

**********

1. The sunken battleship USS Arizona. The structure in the picture is the Arizona Memorial, a chapel-mausoleum honoring the hundreds of sailors still entombed below in the sarcophagus that the Arizona has become. The memorial is constructed so as to not actually touch the Arizona. The memorial consists of a dock, an observation walkway (over the sides of which one can look down and see the superstructure of the ship below. After more than 60 years it's rather unsettling to still see oil seeping to the surface and occasional bubbles of air testifying that the flooding of the rooms and passageways of the Arizona is becoming ever more complete over the years. Sea life abounds visibly in the warm shallow water.), and the chapel itself, at the far end of which is the marble wall with the inscribed names of the Arizona's 1,177 dead. 2. Pearl Harbor; 3. December 7, 1941; 4. Oahu ("Hawaii" is not the name of this island); 5. Pearl Harbor was and is a U.S. Naval base. If you want to visit the Arizona Memorial, the U.S. Navy will have to take you there. Which they are happy to do, several times a day, as long as you agree to observe their strict rules of reverence and quietude. Max is standing on a small navy ferry vessel which is piloted by U.S. naval personnel on special honor guard duty.


3 points for naming the structure. 5 bonus points for being able to name the significance of the structure (what it symbolizes and why it was built). 3 bonus points for knowing the name of the city. 7 bonus points for naming the state. 3 bonus points for naming the river Max is in the middle of. 10 extra bonus points for being able to name the state on the other side of the river from this structure.

**********

1. The Gateway Arch. 2. The frontier town of St. Louis was the place the railroads ended in the first half of the nineteenth century, and was thus considered the "jumping off" place where one had to begin traveling by foot or wagon train if one wanted to continue traveling westward. St. Louis (pronounced "Saint Loo is" and never the French pronunciation of "Saint Loo ee") became known as "The Gateway to the West." "The Gateway Arch" is a metaphorical reference to that gateway designation; 3. St. Louis; 4. Missouri; 5. The Mississippi River (Max is standing on a tourist riverboat out in the middle of the river); 6. Illinois.


1 point for being able to read. 10 points for knowing the state of which this place is the capital city. A whopping 23 bonus points to anyone willing to go break the kneecaps of the politician who thought it was a good idea to use taxpayers money to pay his brother's foundry to cast these fancy manhole covers.

**********

1. This refers to the fact that the name of the city and state are cast into the object; 2. New Mexico; 3. This is a sarcastic reference to wasteful spending.



1 point for simply being alive. 10 points for being able to name the famous theatre this sidewalk is near. 5 points for being able to name the section of Los Angeles this sidewalk is located in. 10 bonus points if you can name the street that runs along it. Another 18 bonus points if you can determine the name and address of the twinkie in the blue tutu who tried to pee on Max's leg as he was taking this picture.

**********

1. This is a rather arrogant supposition by Max that if you are alive in the Western World, you must surely have been exposed to the knowledge of this little corner of the world; 2. Grauman's Chinese Theatre (if you look closely, you will see more than one inscription by the stars made out to Sid Grauman). Max is reluctantly not giving credit for simply "The Chinese Theatre"; 3. This sidewalk is located in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles; 4. Hollywood Boulevard; 5. This is a reference to the rather tawdry neighborhood of this tourist attraction. Sleazy is too strong a word, but tawdry fits pretty well. If you visit, be prepared to mingle with the unwashed masses, and have your sensibilities assaulted by various made up characters in costume and out of work actors and general street "performers". The panhandlers are periodically driven off, however.

Monday, April 7, 2008

New words, anyone?


Max is looking for contributions of British slang or phrases, please. You would really be doing me a favor if you would make a comment to this post and list your interesting words (and meanings, too--most are not obvious to Max, I'm afraid.) The book on the subject that some of us are putting together concentrates on usage in the UK itself, but Max really welcomes contributions from any country and anyone. And THANKS A LOT!

BY THE WAY...Max realizes that your language is spoken in many more countries than the flags in the above picture represent--he just didn't have enough space for ALL of them! Don't let the lack of a flag in the picture stop you from commenting! (Or Max will find a way to track you back to your own blog and make life miserable for you until you post a comment here!)

Orig. 4/7/08 12:25 AM

Knocking One Off

Below is an extract from the journals of Lord Likely, aristocratic adventurer and gentle-man of action. This particular extract has been re-printed here as it offers an unparalleled view of how the British (especially their noblemen) refer to the act of onanism. As such, some more delicate souls may find some of the terminology rather upsetting, or completely arousing.


April the Seventh, 1857.

I was in the process of moving some of my furniture about, as I was expecting a visit from the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Danglebert Widdler, who had requested an audience with me, concerning the building of a statue of my glorious self in Trafalgar Square. Truly, this was a very important meeting indeed.

As I moved my undeniably fine furnishings around, I suddenly found myself transfixed by a Queen Anne chair I had long forgotten about.

It was certainly a beautiful object, of that there was no doubt. But oh! How beautiful! That long, slender back; those fully-exposed, curvaceous legs...it was one of the most arousing pieces of furniture I had ever beheld.


Before I knew it, I found I had become so enamoured of the chair that I was now sporting a rather rampant erection, which would most certainly not be appropriate to be sporting in front of the Lord Mayor. With only five minutes before Widdler was due to arrive, I knew I had to act fast, and bash one out before Widdler's arrival.

So, I quickly set about pounding my Palmerston (the pet-name I have bestowed upon my gentle-man's organ), furiously fapping away as if my very life depended on it.

I must have been wanking for a good few minutes, before I was suddenly made aware of someone standing in the doorway. I turned around to find my cretinous man-servant, Botter, standing there, alongside Sir Danglebert Widdler, who was clearly apoplectic with rage.

"What in the name of Lucifer's beard do you think you are doing, man?" bellowed Widdler.

I realised that there was no possible way I could fabricate any feasible untruth about my situation, so I decided to be completely upfront about my completely 'up' front.

"I was masturbating, Lord Mayor," I replied dryly.

"WHAAAAAT?" roared Widddler, his face reddening with anger.

"Masturbating," I repeated. "You know, indulging in the act of onanism. Self abuse. Wanking. Having a Tommy Tank. Knocking one off. Tossing one off. Cracking one out. The five knuckle shuffle. Whacking off. Having one off the wrist. Having a Barclays. Polishing the fleshy cane. Introducing Mr. Todger to Mrs. Palmer and her five lovely daughters. Bashing the Bishop. Shaking hands with the General. Having a stroke. Playing the pink oboe. Playing a flute solo. Choking the chicken. Spanking the monkey. Slapping the donkey. Throttling the Pope. Exorcising the demon. Making a deposit at the Spank Bank. Fondling the flag-pole. Jerking the gherkin. Making man-soup. Firing the fleshy cannon. Doing battle with the purple-helmeted warrior. Pounding the parson. Charming the trouser snake. Summoning the genie. Knighting Sir Penis. Making love to one's self. Entering the circle of trust. Getting in the handy-man. Rubbing the -"

"THAT'S ENOUGH!" Widdler shouted, having heard quite enough euphemisms for one day, it would seem. "I have never been so offended in all my life!"

"I would recommend getting out of the house a lot more often, then," I quipped.

And with that, Sir Danglebert Widdler snorted in disgust, and strode off in an almighty huff.

"I don't think you'll be getting that statue made now, milord," Botter said.

"Nonsense," I replied. "After this, my hardened erection will be at the forefront of the Lord Mayor's mind for ever more..."

- Lord Likely.

For further Astonishing Adventures featuring Lord Likely, be sure to frequent his fine web-log, The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely. Many thanks indeed.

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