What’s that smell Brownlow?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s rather insipid Victorian expletive is ‘by helecum!…’ Even though it sounds clever and a bit classical, I think that word has no actual meaning – I just searched for it and Google said, ‘Did you mean Helium?’

‘Oh dear…’
‘Eh?… What’s up Brownlow?’
‘Well Professor, we’ve just received a rather unpleasant email from Dr Pooch at the British Museum.’
‘Pooch? He’s an idiot! He is infamous in archeological circles. What’s he moaning about now?’
‘Well sir, it’s the site plan we sent him from last year’s excavation on that 11th c. settlement established to exploit the abundance of a single breed of fish in the local streams and ponds, the one where the leader was apparently the Norman girlfriend of the local bigwig, and…’
‘Is that a bag of coconut macaroons I see on your desk Brownlow?’
‘Well, yes sir, I…’
‘Come on man! Don’t be stingy – pass ’em over… So, What’s Poochy complaining about now?’
‘He says that it is not clear on our drawing which area of excavation is which…’
‘What did you get these macaroons from, they are very nice!’
‘Oh, my Aunt Cissy sent me them sir…’
‘Ah, your Aunt Cissy! Fine woman your Aunt Cissy – I bumped into her the other day in town…’
‘Er, yes sir, she mentioned it… Er…  So, Dr Pooch wants to know where on the site map we found the remains of the fish processing table, he says our drawing is ambiguous.’
‘Ambiguous is it? Damn fool!… Anyway, which hole was it in Brownlow?’
‘Well sir, as I recall, it was the one we were working in when there was that sudden terrific rainstorm and everything ended up getting flooded.’
‘Oh, yes, I remember – the rain got into the ancient fish debris and it stank to high heaven, who could forget that!’
‘Indeed sir… So, how should I…?’
‘You don’t happen to have your Aunt Cissy’s mobile telephone number on you do you Brownlow?’
‘Oh, er, no sir… I don’t think she has a mobile phone… So, shall I email Dr Pooch and attach an amended drawing, with a note and an arrow pointing to the appropriate part of the plan?’
‘Yes, yes, just get on with it man!’
‘Yes sir, what shall I put on the note?’
‘Oh, keep it simple – just something describing it as we remember it – how about, The French wench’s tench bench drenched stench trench?’
‘Oh sir, don’t you think that will confuse him even more?’
‘That’s fine by me Brownlow! Now, about your Aunt Cissy…’



About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, brain, conversation, expletives, food, Grumpiness, history, surrealism, swearing, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s that smell Brownlow?…

  1. I tried to assist you in the meaning – I googled “Define victorian word Helecum” and now I rather wish I hadn’t. Most un-christmassy suggestions were offered. Google should wash its mouth out with soap. hrmph. Talking of rain and fish, hows the weather down your way just now? Up here we are getting the tail end of Barbara, closely followed by her grumpy teenage son, Conor!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Wet and v-windy here with mad fast moving leaden clouds, and all the buses are scurrying at high speed to get back into the bus station…
      I presume you didn’t really find anything on ‘Helecum’ – I reckon that it might be just a corruption of ‘Hell will come’…

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