Excuse me, did you just say ‘gamboge’?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe (Europe, only a few days left!): Today’s anaconda is the one slithering around the hardware section of the supermarket looking for door knobs.

‘I have a big fat red one at home.’
‘A big fat one.’
‘I say again, eh?…’
‘Oh, sorry, I was thinking in head.’
‘That’s the best place for thinking… When you said “in my head!”, did you mean “out loud”?’
‘That’s it!… Yes.’
‘You were thinking out loud, about what?’
‘It’s on the book shelf, on the landing.’
‘This, er, big fat one?’
‘Yes, it’s red.’
‘Yes, but it’s red as well.’
‘Alright, let me ask you this then.’
‘Go ahead, I’m all ears – shoot!’
‘What is it, that’s on your shelf?’
‘On the landing?’
‘It’s a book, a dictionary.’
‘Do you know why dictionaries are brilliant things?’
‘I might, but do go ahead… How’s that soup by the way?’
‘It’s lovely – tasty, delicious, zesty – and delightful.’
‘You see, hardly anyone looks in dictionaries these days.’
‘That’s probably correct.’
‘Yes, if they are stumped…’
‘Yes, if they are stumped for the spelling of some clever word, what do they do?’
‘They just look on their…’
‘Phones! And they Google it!’
‘I expect so… Would you like some more buttered toast?’
‘Oh, that’s jolly nice of you, thank you! So, straightway they get the meaning of the word and its correct spelling…’
‘Yes, it’s marvellous – how our world has changed! I don’t suppose that you need to look in your big fat red dictionary much these days then?’
‘Ah, but I do!’
‘Cheese, would you like some cheese?’
‘Alright, now, you see, what is it that we miss from the age of that solid weighty tome, the dictionary? This isn’t Stilton, is it? Stilton gives me eructations.’
‘No, I think it’s Wensleydale… eructations?’
‘Yes, what we miss is the serendipity.’
‘Yes indeed. That which is below, and that which is above…’
‘No, no, I’m afraid you’ve just lost me… A tomato perhaps?’
‘Thank you, yes… Above and below, and sometimes the eyes are caught by something off to one side.’
‘Ah, I think I know where you are going with this.’
‘You do?’
‘I do, you are talking about looking up some word or other, which is, in some way, something of a puzzle…’
‘… and – oh, you have a tomato seed and a spot of pink juice on your chin.’
‘So I have, thank you!’
‘And whilst looking up the definition, you spot words around it on the page with which you are unfamiliar.’
‘I love the way you talk!’
‘Thank you, and you read the definitions of these randomly discovered words, and you store them away in your head for possible future use, so extending your…’
‘Vocabulary!… Can I have some more buttered toast?’
‘Of course.’
‘You see – say you Googled the word – oh, galvanism – Google would tell you what it was, and spell it for you, but that’s all you’d get!’
‘Of course.’
‘But if you looked it up in an old-style dictionary…’
‘Such as your big fat red one!’
‘Yes, you’d get the same information, but in addition you might spot, and then become au fait with, and should you wish to, learn something about: ganglia, a gammerstang, a galopin, gamboge and also glean a bit of info on the typeface Garamond – and possibly the etymology of all these words…’
‘Do you have a big old dictionary?’
‘No, but I’m determined to look out for one now, I’ll bet they are really inexpensive these days.’
‘A big fat red one, maybe?’
‘Yes, why not!…’


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 academia, animals, books, brain, conversation, cool, drama, food, humour, information, learning, phones, puzzle, reading, serendipity, surrealism, thinking, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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