Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Say what?

On Sunday, we had brunch with Mr E Man's oldest brother, plus his (hilarious new) fiancee and two sons. Crammed into a booth in a busy restaurant, the conversation turned to misheard song lyrics, and from there to a story about someone mishearing the word "hamster" as "cancer", with hilarious consequences.

I sat back and waited, with a smug little smile on my lips.

I always win these things.

Yeah, so the hamster story was good, and HNF thought she'd won. But then I played the ace up my sleeve; the story of a misheard question that no-one has yet been able to beat.

The other grad student in my lab in Glasgow was called Mike, but everyone called him Mikey Boy. One day I was walking through our building's main lobby area (reception desk, glass doors, bike racks outside) towards the stairs to the lab area. Our IT guy (who was friends with all the students and postdocs) was standing by the doors, coat on, and looking at his watch. As I approached him, he said something to me.

What he actually said: "If you see that Mikey Boy upstairs, can you tell him to move his fat arse?"

What I heard: "See that bike of yours outside? You can tell it's made for a fat arse"

Can anyone beat that?


  1. Awesome. Nope, I can't top that.

    However, when the 'Feed the World' Christmas song came out all those years ago, my mom thought it was 'Feed the Whales' and was awfully confused as to why Christmas should matter to whales. Of course, she also heard 'Jacques the Monkey'...(rather than Shock the Monkey). Gosh she's cute!

  2. ROFL! I can't top it either.

    But, there was a song in the 90s that was called "Please don't go" and the singer repeated that statement over and over again. One of my friends thought it was "Freeze the boat" --- because that makes sense. LOL

  3. LOL, I knew I'd get good comments on this one!

    I love "Feed the whales, let them know it's Christmas time!" and "freeze the boat" - the two seem kinda related, actually, because if you were feeding whales at Christmas, your boat might indeed freeze.

    I misheard George Michael's "Let's go outside" as follows:

    what d'you think of it so far?
    what d'you think of it all?

    So far so sensible, right? It was the next line that threw me:

    what d'you think of the kitchen table, baby?

  4. Not my story, but I think that the BBC did an awesome project not so long ago called "Voices of Britain" or something like that where they went around recording regional accents and dialects and colloquialisms and such. You can listen to the conversations from their websites.

    I forget the location that it was recorded in, but one was a great conversation among church choir members of precisely this topic.

    One of the persons participating admitted that she misheard the the lyrics to "Lord of the Dance" (a rather upbeat religious tune).

    The actual lyrics:

    "I am the Lord of the dance, said he."

    She heard:

    "I am the Lord of the damp settee."

  5. :) I never remember things but I do mishear (especially English) a lot... Some of the times I just smile and asssume I misheard and that it wasn't that important. (I just have that much energy to seem like an old deaf woman)

  6. I can imagine! I have the utmost respect for people who conduct their career and day-to-day life in a foreign language. I have enough problems with English.

  7. From Bo Rap:
    "Beelzebub's got a devil for a sideboard - me!"

  8. Hee! I think I'd heard that one before, must be a common one.

    What is it with furniture? So fa(r) we have a damp settee, a sofa, a kitchen table, and a sideboard.

  9. Can anyone tell that the Toto song is "I bless the rains down in Afrcia"?

    I'm the worst ever with song lyrics.

    Your story is great! How did you react?

  10. In the carol, Hark the herald angels, I thought the last line was 'Bod is the king of Israel' for years, when I was a kid.

    And that the lord's prayer started 'Our Father Witchart, in Heaven, Harold be thy name'

    My Godson told me that Christmas was the birthday of the 'Baby Cheeses'

  11. JaneB: haha :D that was the best! Harold... and Witchart (I'm chuckling so much that I have tears in my eyes)

    ...and I wonder if baby cheeses would make more cheese, or if they only grow by budding? ;)

  12. EGF, I said "WHAT DID YOU SAY???!!!" in a most outraged tone. He took a step back and said, very timidly, "I said, tell Mike to move his arse?". I said "...oh", explained what I'd heard, and by the time we'd finished laughing, Mike had arrived!

    JaneB, I love Harold! And cheeses! (Chall, I think you've got it right with the budding!)

    I heard another religious one on the radio once - one of those that sounds too good to be true! A small child took her home-made teddy bear to a church service, and when the vicar asked her what the bear's name was, she said "Gladly". He said "that's a funny name for a bear", and she said "but it was you that told me it!"

    She'd misheard "gladly the cross I'd bear" as "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear".

  13. I've got one. When I was younger, my history class did a unit on anti-war activism in the 1960s-70s. We talked about protest songs and such. My mom asked me what songs I knew, and I answered "The 'War' song, and the one about Japanese internment camps."

    You know, "Secret A-sian man! They've given you a number, and taken away your name..."

  14. Haha, great!

    Coming back from a family road trip, my mom started singing "I wish I was homeward bound" (Simon & Garfunkel).

    However, my dad heard, "I wish I was Gomer Pyle" (from the Andy Griffith show). Confusion ensued, and my dad had to ask what was so appealing about being a simple-minded gas station attendant. :)

  15. There's part of a Janet Jackson song that sounds a bit like "grab a rug and poo".

    100% true story.

  16. HGG: I didn't know who Gomer Pyle (or Andy Griffth) were, but upon Googling, I appreciate the confusion!

    Ricardipus, I'm gonna need to know the name of the song and approximate time of the line.

  17. I was watching the news one day and my then husband was in the next room. I called out to tell him something I'd just heard on the news, "omg, George Bush just had precancerous lesions removed from his face," but he heard," George Bush had three cancerous baboons shit into space!"


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