Monday, July 14, 2014

What's On Second?

We had a conversation Saturday night that sounded exactly like the classic Abbott & Costello routine, "Who's On First" (click here if you're unfamiliar). To enhance the confusing story, I've included images of this morning's foggy sunrise over the Mediterranean, as viewed from our terrace. (Click any image to make it larger... although no clearer.)

Our friend Tynan (originally from Chesterfield, England, where they speak their own version of a Derbyshire accent... which I'm told is English) has a hard time remembering names, so he uses little tricks to aid his memory.

To remember our names, Mitchell and Jerry, he initially thought of us as Mitch and Ben. We assumed that meant he was relating our names to the ice cream makers, Ben & Jerry. But we couldn't understand how thinking of us as Mitch & Ben could be any help in remembering that our names are Mitch and Jerry.

Saturday night, Tynan told us that "Ben & Jerry" was only part of the memory aid. He explained that the "Mitch & Ben" connection was actually a British comedy show. Being unfamiliar with the show I immediately used Google to look it up. I couldn't find anything.

Tynan said, "Well, the name of the show isn't Mitch and Ben. It's Mitch and someone else I can't remember."*

'OK, then,' I thought.

"OK, then," I said.

Moving on, Tynan told Judy that her name was easy for him to remember.  He told her, "I just think of 'Judy in the Sky with Diamonds.' "

I said, "That would be 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.' But there was a song called "Judy in Disguise."

"If you're going to butt into a private conversation only to correct me, then you should mind your business," Tynan muttered.

He continued, "Besides, I really think of Judy's streetwhut to remember Judy's name."

None of us, including Elena (his wife) had any idea what Tynan was talking about.

"Judy's street what?" we all asked.

"Judy Street whut!" he enunciated (or maybe he said 'wop').

"What's the word after Judy Street?" asked San Geraldo.

"Correct," said Tynan.

"Is it wop or what," asked San Geraldo.

"Judy Street Whut," Tynan repeated more slowly (or did he say 'wop'?).

We were all laughing at this point.

Elena said, "What?!?"

"Judy Street!" said Tynan in disgust with us all.

"But after that. After Judy Street," I said.

"WHUT!" he grunted (or 'wop'; we still weren't sure).

So, back to Google I went.

"Oh," I exclaimed when I found it, "Judy Street is a singer and 'What' was her biggest hit.

Even better..." I laughed, "her website is!"

"That's precisely whut I've been sayin'!" muttered Tynan.


If you're interested in "Judy Street What," 1968, click here for the video
I prefer "Judy in Disquise":

*Sunday, Tynan told me the name of the show was "Mitch and Webb." I googled that and finally found the comedy team, "Mitchell and Webb."


  1. Wow.
    I might avoid chats with Tynan because he's a lot of work.
    I still can't grasp how he can remember Mitch and Ben but not Mitch and Jerry,

    1. Bob:
      Tynan says it wouldn't be a problem if we could only speak English.

  2. Your friend Tynan from England is fantastic and funny I like him.

    1. Gosia:
      Tynan is a joy and unbelievably quick-witted.

  3. It's all as clear as mud. But at least all of you had a good laugh over it. At least I hope everyone did.

  4. I've had this conversation ...

  5. Someone has invented the word feignderstand, which describes how you pretend to understand what someone is saying after they have repeated it three times and you still don't.

    1. Andrew:
      I LOVE feignderstand and will use it as often as I can! It's the story of San Geraldo's life.

  6. Imagine if you will....if Jerry and Tynan lived together!! OMG! The possibilities!!
    This was a riot Mitchell. Your sunrise photos are wonderful!

  7. Chesterfield is an odd place...believe me
    It has a church with a twisted spire

    1. John:
      When we first met Tynan, he told me about the twisted spire and I checked it out. Fascinating... And it does explain a lot.

      I asked Tynan this morning what else there was to see in Chesterfield and he told me, "The lot where me dad parks his car."

    2. Chesterfield is a nice town, small enough to be friendly and large enough to have everything you could possibly need, including a beautiful church right in the middle of town. The spire is crooked due to the weight of lead in the tiles that cover it heating unevenly and causing the timbers to twist. It's beautiful. There are parks and facilities for all tastes. T
      Tynan may joke about it, but there are infinitely worse places to live. Sheffield for example.
      The Derbyshire accent is soft, warm and uniquely comforting, unlike many other UK accents which are harsh on the ear and, believe it or not, even more impossible to understand.
      Tha knows.

    3. Jean:
      I knew nothing about Chesterfield until we met Tynan. He told us about the church and I immediately looked it up. It's fascinating and beautiful... and quirky. I think I joke about Chesterfield more than Tynan does. (And you're not the first person to tell me about Sheffield... which is where my sister is buried... not much of a claim to fame.)

  8. We had friends from Chesterfield over for lunch on Sunday. I think we understood each other. At any rate, wine helps.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Beer helps, too. Then Tynan doesn't really care that no one understands.

  9. Oh.My.Goodness. And here I thought my translation duties were a pip, lol.

    (I'm with you on preferring Judy In Disguise btw.)

    1. Jacqueline:
      I don't know... "Judystreetwhut" or "Tap us a snout" ... it's a toss-up.

  10. I wouldn't know a Derbyshire accent if it belched in my face, let alone a Chesterfield one. Apart from that twisted spire (which one clearly sees from the train when passing through - which is a jolly good idea) I believe one can either sit/lie on a Chesterfield or smoke it - one pays the money and takes the choice. Now you can't say THAT about most things.

    1. Raybeard:
      Well! No one will ever call YOU Henry Higgins. I'm beginning to recognize some English regional accents. Once you hear "Derbyshire," you won't forget it!

  11. We're from Chesterfield (Walt's friends) and I have to say that I've never met Tynan, or anyone like him, or with a name like his (John, Fred or Wayne is more common) but if he speaks in a Derbyshire accent, heaven help you. I can hardly understand it mesen. Tha knows. Me duck.

    1. Ah, Jean, I can just hear Tynan trilling those final words. He's on holiday or I'd ask him to repeat it all taneet.


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