Friday, July 20, 2007

Overheard words

"We want to line them all up against a wall."

Ah, the delightful conversation one hears whilst perambulating through the charming streets of London of a summer's eve. Except of course, this being cockeyville it sounded more like:

"We wanna lahn 'em aw ap agensta warw."

The orator in this intellectual debate was one of a pair of newspaper sellers outside Charing Cross station. Unfortunately, as I was scurrying to catch my train I didn't have time to loiter and tune in to whatever urgent issue was up for discussion. Nor did I get to the bottom of why the only solution to the problem was the wholesale 'erasing' of certain obviously undesirable elements.

So I was left wondering who the mysterious 'them' were and what they had done to arouse the ire of the typical chirpy cockney population. Gawd bless 'em. But after a few moments fruitless pondering I thought "ah bollocks to it", since it could have been anyone.

Then I thought again. Perhaps these newspaper men were actors employed by the Mayor of London to recite 'cockney dialogue' within the earshot of passing tourists to impart an authentic olde worlde ambience to the capital's streets.

With the result that the tourists (we'll assume they're American for simplicity's sake) return home and tell all their friends just how 'swell' little ole London is and how the people there speak exactly like they do on the films and "you and Bobby really oughta go next year Mary-Lou, I'm telling ya."

So, assuming our glorious mayor is mad enough to give the green light to such a scheme (and yes, I honestly believe he is), what other phrases and sayings could our thespian newspaper men (or taxi drivers, tramps, street sweepers and fruit and veg sellers) be asked to recite to help make the streets of London sing with their native tongue?

"Eeza doyomand. Absolute doyomand." (Trans. "He's a diamond. An absolute diamond." ie. a jolly good chap.)
"Gidar davvit!" (Trans. "Get out of it!" ie. Shoo! Be along with you now. OR No, I don't believe what you're saying.)
"Eee 'ain't dahn naffink." (Trans. "He hasn't done anything." Usually followed by the word "officer".)

Hmm, this is hard. Maybe our Mayor isn't this stupid after all.


clare said...

You haven't surfaced for a while, are you going through one of your nihilistic phases again? If you're in traction you're excused, in all other cases you aren't.

Martin said...

Clare, I wish I could justify my laziness as nihilism but unfortunately I can't.

Laziness is what it is.

I have however been trying to write something else these last couple of months.

Not that it exactly excuses the absence of activity on my blog.

I do appreciate the verbal boot up the arse. I daresay I need it.

Try, fail. Try again, fail better. (Perceptive man Beckett.)

I'll keep writing, however sporadically that may be.