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
in 7014.

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.”

“What're you?”

“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.”

“ 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.”

“I promise!”

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.

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Damn. Nothing ever changes.
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