From Don Broderick, here's some more of them maladrops


May 09, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

If the correspondents on my desk are any vindication, there are multiples of people out there who enjoy hearing other people talk funny. They stretch for a writing implement when they hear someone remit a booper. (Have you figured it out yet? This is another column about malaprops. You knew it was coming, didn't you? I mean, some of the letters I received began with the words, "Dear Don Broderick, By now you are probably sick of malaprops . . .," and then went on to list about a dozen. So you just know I was going to have to unload one day.)

Over the years, some people had enough common sense to make written note of malaprops when they heard them. Steve Hurtt of Towson kept a little book of slip-ups while he worked on a highway survey crew. Mary Bliss of Bel Air worked in a hospital and would "duck under the cover for my pad and pencil" when a malaprop-prone co-worker fractured the language.

So what can I tell you? Here's yet another modest project of This Just In spinning completely out of control (see Hon Man). I've got enough mail to insulate a dog house. (I'm not complaining. I'm loving it.)

Speaking of dog house, the proud boast of a Fallsway restaurant by that name is: "Our meatloaf is made, not accumulated." Today's column is just the opposite: It accumulated over the last two weeks. Here, have a slice.

Words of Bliss

From the Mary Bliss collection, malaprops accumulated over 30 years:

"I had an argument with the mayor and I sure upset his apple core."

"You notice how all them nurses have vertical veins?"

"I had to have my father declared unconfident."

"My poor grandfather is in such pain from corporal tunnel syndrome." (I heard and reported a version of this last year in Baltimore. A woman called her husband's boss to say her man was suffering from "Harbor Tunnel syndrome in his arms.")

Bobisms recorded

When Steve Hurtt worked for the State Highway Administration, he encountered a master of malaprop named Bob. "Every crew that Bob worked for would record his comments," says Hurtt, who sent along six photocopied pages of Bobisms from a loose-leaf ledger.

On the boss: "We just had a visit from our illustrated leader."

On longevity on the job: "Tiny's got long-term jeopardy."

His desires: "I want to get one of those Harvey Davidson motorcycles" and, "Let's get some of that Herman Walker whiskey."

Playing poker: "Elevens are wild" and, "I got a natural full house, except for the wild cards."

On his job re-classification: "Is my raise going to be radioactive?"

No room for more

From Sue and Paul Thompson of Cockeysville comes the story of a young man at dinner with relatives in England. At the end of the meal, the hostess asked if he would like some dessert. "No, thanks," the young American chimed. "I've had elegant sufficiency. My guts is full."

And the Thompsons sent along a malaprop that made me scratch my head. Mental blockage -- or lack of a proper education -- kept me from immediately recognizing the error. "A law enforcement person told a friend about a criminal from the Baltimore area having been captured by police in another state," the Thompsons wrote. " 'However,' he further stated, 'we're having him expedited back to Maryland.' " Expedited. Extradited. Either way, the guy's headed for the goosehow.

Wedding mishaps

James Eustace of Timonium recalls the pleasant days leading up to the wedding of a young woman who worked in his office. She was asked if all preparations had been made. "Everything is all taken care of," the bride-to-be said. "My father is paying for everything. All I have to provide is the torso." Where was the honeymoon to be? In the Pinocchio Mountains, of course.

Which reminds me of another matrimonial malaprop. A woman -- she did not leave her name -- called This Just In to say she heard the presiding minister at a wedding declare: "If there is anyone present who can state why this couple should not be joyfully loined, let him now speak."

Diner discussions

Over the counter at Jimmy's, the popular Fells Point diner, Nick Filipidis, the proprietor, heard this from one of his waitresses ("One of my better waitresses," he said.): "We had my grandfather cremated. Put his ashes in a urinal."

And Nick remembers the day a customer came in, glum and nervous. "I just came from the doctor," the customer told Nick. "He said I better be careful. I might have cancer of the acropolis."

A roof with taste

Jane Tager took a group of friends to the tulip beds in Sherwood Gardens in Guilford. There are houses in the neighborhood of, shall we say, Mediterranean design. Spanish? Italian? No one in Jane's group was exactly sure. But at least one man was certain of one thing: The house had a "ricotta roof." (Who knew cottage cheese held up so well in the rain?)

If you'd like to hear a recording of these malaprops, delivered with rigor and nerve -- I mean vigor and verve -- call Sundial, at (410) 783-1800. Using a touch-tone phone, enter the four-digit code 6230.

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