Sunday, July 27, 2014
The Key to Language
My job took me out in brutal storms, days without rest,
and one 4-AM as the howling died, told the wife,
"I'm sleeping for a thousand years!"
Off by a factor of five. I woke up in this hostile place
What I gathered from my hospitality committee--I'm
being sarcastic--is that I was irredeemably dumb since
I could catch none of their language.
"Yeah, it's really simple, but weird, " Marky-O told me,
another time-traveler. "Just consists of three words and
two ending sounds for each.
Tookah, Wookah, Yookah. That's the whole barrel, but it
seems like a million intonation levels added to the endings."
“Why are they so mean to me?”
“Because you're Wookah-ooo. New one, no promise.”
“Wookah-eee. Never again to be spoken to.”
“But what can I...?”
“I'll help you. We'll work on it. Please, please, be my friend.
It's been a hundred years or so, since I... I came here in
Tookah-ooo 8ooo. I'm translating the number. They’re
expressed in Tookah, Wookah, Yookah combinations also.”
“Give you a headache!”
“Yes, but you must try. Treats are free every Yookah-ooo.
Twelfth day of the week. It’s garbage for us until we break
through...or you do.”
“I...got way way beyond exhaustion...and then I was here.”
“We'll fight them! It's our only hope!”
“But...if I do learn enough of the stupid language, they'll
make me shun you."
“That's okay. So long as you keep getting the treats to me.”
But, nine earth years later, they Tookah-ooo’d him.
And that's what you think it is.
I'm married to a real Tartar now. An extreme Tookah-eee!
I’ve learned all the ways to tell her I despise her, but that’s
expected here, and everybody laughs.