~ Saturday, November 01, 2003 ~
1940s equivalent of an e-mail forward
I flew home again all of a sudden yesterday to be present at my grandmother's funeral, which is tomorrow. I am sad, but doing okay, I think. Still, there is a PEERS ball tonight which I will probably not attend, and Hallowe'en was, for the second year in a row, spent quietly and uneventfully, this time with my parents while my sister and 25 of her closest friends had a big Hallowe'en party. (Last year I spent it studying for the GRE, which was like two days later.) I went to sleep around midnight. PST, but still. They actually kept me awake for a while with their noise. Pitiful. Toto, I don't think I'm in college anymore. :P
Anyway, my dad found something interesting this morning while going through a box of old records and bank statements belonging to his uncle. This is my Great-Uncle Hubert Benais, who even up to his last days, never lost his wheezy French accent or his mischievious sense of humor. (Why are all my entries suddenly about older relatives being sick and dying?) Imagine a sheet of nearly transparent typewriter paper that has begun to brown with age, with this printed on it (sorry for the profanity).
COPY OF A LETTER TO THE GENERAL FOOD CORPORATION, GREEN RICE PURCHASING DEPARTMENT.
Lykes Brothers Steamship Co.,
Cotton Exchange Building,
We quote verbatim a letter received from our client :-
Dear Mr. Lyke,
Der last schipment of rice ve got from you on der Lykes schip was
mitt mice schidt mixt. Der rice vas gutt enuff but der schidt schpoils
der trade. We did not see der mice schidt in der sample vich you sent
It takes too much time to pick der mice schidt durds out from der rice.
Ve order kleen rice and you schip schidt.
Ve like us to schip us der rice un vun sack and der mice schidt un
annuder sack und den ve mixt to soot der customer. Please write if
ve schuld schip back der schidt und keep der rice, or keep der schidt und
schip der rice, or schip back der hole schitten verks.
Ve vant to do rite in dis matter, but ve do not like diss mice schidt
Mit much respect
[in lighter type, toward the bottom]
durds, lire: turds: étrons
vun: lire: one
verks: lire: works
The "lire" had me stumped for a moment until I remembered that in French, "lire" means "to read," although it can be used (as it was here) as "to be read" I love how the presence of the "be" there makes you read "read" as "read" instead of "read". English is fun.
Current Music: Renew My Subscription, TMBG
~ prattled by Miriam at 10:18 p.m. [+]
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