Thursday, 12 March 2009

Memo: phrases that all readers must use this week

I am partially recycling this from Twitter because it needs a bigger audience than the fourteen people who can bear to hear endless stories of my goddam stupid dog all day, every day. I disapprove of myself in strong, lip pursing terms for doing this. Sorry. But we must all adopt these phrases. It is my will, and I am the Waffle.

The Empress is tired. You must leave her now.

This should be used when talking about oneself in the third person. I consider it to be gender neutral, despite the designation "Empress". I have been fantasising all day about saying this to the CFO, the children, and then, later, at work.

"Qu'est-ce qu'on mange?"

"The Empress is tired. You must leave her now."

"My Torterra is stuck on level 24 and I'm in a cave and I can't find the magic Pokéball and Fingers keeps trying to press BUTTOOOOOONS! Wah!"

"The Empress is tired. You must leave her now."

"Have you finished updating the Cartels Manual Emma?"

"The Empress is tired. You must leave her now."

Not as good as I look

Used in response to question "How are you?".

This was the signature phrase of a tremendously haughty German graduate student called Raphaël at the freak farm for dweebs that passed for my higher education. He did a nice line in complex scarf knotting and rimless glasses and jewel coloured cashmere jumpers. Clearly, this phrase must be uttered with great, weary conviction and a slight, drooping flutter of the fingers to indicate inner trauma. If you can affect a slightly clipped German accent, all to the good.

Ham Lady

This one comes courtesy of the spawn, who insist that this is how to say "I'm ready" (courtesy of their English prononciation tutor, Luigi from Mario Party 8). Ham lady! It's up there with my favourite English mispronounced word, "claws", which must be pronounced "close".

"Will you cut the children's close?"

"Ham lady!"

Ok? Ok. Good.


Mrs Jones said...

Talking of mispronunciations, or at least exotic ways of saying things, I used to know a French lady who pronounced 'tonic water' as 'Tony Quarter' and 'developing' as 'Devil Hopping'.

That is all. The Empress is tired. You must leave her now.

Did I do it right?

Juci said...

Oh, no. When I went to the UK as an au-pair (at the dawn of time), I was fairly confident in my English. But when people kept furrowing their brows trying to make sense of what I was saying, all my confidence was shattered. I particularly remember being laughed at when I pronounced 'examine' rhyming with, well, 'mine' (and not in French either). Or 'dignity' as 'die-nity'. I remember the look of miscomprehension on Sam's face (my boss/host) when I asked her how the puppy was going to be able to tell the difference between 'bed' and 'bad'. And I am still unsure about 'various'.
All that remembering has worn me out. The Empress is tired now. (My husband is going to LOVE this one. Not.)

Kitschen Pink said...

The only phrase I feel up to is 'bugger off I'm knackered.' Not refined, I know, but I didn't get prescribed the little pink pills. I got the nasty orange ones. Not fair! Wah! (it's that kind of day - I don't think the doughnuts are helping!) t.x

wheretofromhere? said...

Oh I love The Empress is tired - it reminds me of the rather vulgar french expression

Parle a mon cul, ma tete est malade.

wv: dialityr - sounds like a remedy for the runs

Liberty London Girl said...

Mais oui. Endless weepette stories are only thing that keep me going. I do hope his tortoise riding lessons are continuing apace.

Off to practice hand fluttering on bicycle now.

Bisous LLGxx

pinklea said...

I've been using the phrase "I am the Empress of this place!" for years now. Nice to know that I will have the company of many kindred spirit Empresses now!

Persephone said...

Only if we also adopt "I keel him with my indifference", courtesy of an Argentinian student from my ESL-teaching days in response to any teasing from his (mostly) Québecois classmates.

Pochyemu said...

Instead of having to even bother to open your mouth to tell people you're too tired to deal with their issues, you should just make an Empress line t-shirt. And then all you have to do is point.

See? Just call me Pochyemu, Expert in Laziness and Efficiency.

NB. My parents are coming to England this summer, right, but they've got a slight problem in that they can't speak the Queen's English. My mom pronounces Chichester like 'Chai-chester', and Slough like 'Slow'. I can't wait to see the mess they make of Gloucester Road, Marylebone Road, and Leicester Square.

fabhat said...

I had a tutor at college (also German) who said to my seminar class - straight faced but with a cruelly inclined eyebrow...
"Have you not read it in the original swahili? If not, zere is no point continuing." He then did a swift heel click turn and left the room. He was supposed to be teaching us how spend an afternoon being shamans. Suprisingly enough we had only managed to read a translation of the required shamanistic text - I know clearly we were LAZY drama students...)

I now use "have you not read it in the original swahili?" as a signal for a particularly stupid request. Mixed generously with "the empress is tired"and "not as good as I look" (which is total genius)in every conversation and I think we might have the basis on which to belittle the world with every bon mot.

katyboo1 said...

I have a friend whose mother used to belittle any fashion forays with the words; 'Unusual but effective,' in a lazy drawl to mine maximum contempt.

I also like 'I speeeet on your dog' as a general 'pah' with the world.

I love 'close'.

Frau said...

love it I will definatly try! But the empress is tired!

Mya said...

I was going to comment but...the Empress is tired. Leave her now.

Mya x

Do you have a punkawallah?

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I think all the Empress should do is just haughtily wave her flunkies out of the room; Speech is just so exhausting of one's energies, non?! Love it, JW - And well worth sharing with your big, bloggy audience! xxx

Elsie said...

Used “not as good as I look” on bitchy VP today, though accent came out more Borat than German. Very satisfying – though maybe unwise in current job-cutting employment.

Cassandra said...

Well, I am clearly as tired as the frigging Empress because I misinterpreted "not as good as I look." I thought "good" meant morally virtuous and clean-minded, so therefore the line should be delivered as lasciviously as possible, with much nudge, nudge,wink, winking, Carry On tongue licking and possibly erotic consumption of only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate. WHY AM I SO STUPID??? I am unemployable!

ADORE the description of the German, btw. The Empress is BONE tired. Cx

G said...

Oh this is tres bon. I love the "not as good as I look" line, which I will proudly use, even though I know it will be met with the deflating rejoinder "you must feel really shit then".

On the let's-mock-the-foreigners front, I had a French friend who complimented my gravy by saying "I love your juices." Oh yes, me and my juices are something else.

Potty Mummy said...

Duly noted and understood. Ham ready for my claws up.

Juci said...

I know you are tired, Empress, but please take a look at this: If it so pleases you, will you show us your unique album cover?

Jaywalker said...

Mrs Jones - I will never be able to say developing again without thinking of that. And you did it perfectly.

Juci - magnificent. This just isn't getting old for me.

KP - pah, that's what the black market's for, darling. You live in Norfolk! Head to the nearest bus shelter.

wheretofromhere - the empress does not wish you to speak to her arse. she is in her pod, regenerating. when she comes out she will have tentacles.

LLG - not too badly, but oh, the tortoises have terrible balance problems. I told you, evolution should have put paid to them millenia ago.

pinklea - yay! And how is the Empress today? Not as good as she looks?

Persephone - oh, agreed. Anything with keeling is an instant hit with me.

Pochyemu - you might need a tshirt too for that visit..

fabhat - there can never be enough waspish one liners. More! More! In the original Swahili.

katyboo - you can spit on my dog anytime. Now would be ideal.

Frau - good good.

Mya - yes! Perfect! No. But I totally should have one. Do you?

Woman - of course, ideally the Empress would have a minion to utter the words and escort suitors out of the presence. But the Empress is very unspoilt.

Elsie - Imagining that is making me dance with glee in my chair. Which looks like I need to pee. Ah well.

Cassandra - this is no surprise to me given your proclivities. We know exactly why the Empress is tired at yours.

G - Please do. I am relying on you. and your juices. eeeh.

Potty Mummy - I love you.

Juci - I am halfway through doing it, and the album title in particular is cracking. Fantastic.

Ocean Sea said...

Duly posted your Empress phrase on my facebook profile. Thanks for the reason and means to be even more annoying to my 20-something progeny!

rosiescribble said...

The Empress is tired - I may start using that!

Home Office Mum said...

I am an Empress - and I am tired.

More than Just a Mother said...

Love the Empress. Not sure I can carry off the 'not as good as I look' response - surely no-one could feel THAT bad...?

Hopeless said...

Dear Empress Waffle
Could we have another secular confessional soon.

I need to confess hopeless addiction to your blog and trying to fathom your twitter comments.

wv: besona - portmanteau word for need?

Jaywalker said...

Ocean sea / rosiescribble / HOM - we're going viral! Hurrah!

Morethanamother - it could backfire badly, I recognise that. But we must be brave.

Dear hopeless - they sort of make sense in my head, but when I write them down several steps are missing. Also, am mainly talking to dinosaurs. If you follow wearedinosaurs I expect it makes more sense. Confessional! Yes. Was thinking of that this morning, but have no new sins of my own. Maybe next week.

Cassandra said...

I don't know what you meeeeeeeeean (eyes wide open disingenuously - possibly legs, too)

The Empress is tired but can usually summon up the energy from SOMEWHERE.

Not as good as I look - tightening belt of silk dressing gown and placing a fag in the tortoise shell (sorry) cigarette holder

tattyhousehastings said...

Right next time I have a long long conversation about Spyro and the amazing way you can crack the dark crystals.
Spam lady will say' The empress is tired, you muse leave her now'.
Then sneak in to garden for crafty fag, possibly glass of wine depending on the hour of day.