Jul 23, 2014

25 Folk Sayings by the People Who Live Under My Bed

by Drawnbridge O’Fallingsworth II, ESQ., BSC, Treasurer of the East Bleakdale Theoretical Cave-Divers Club, Est. 1899


A few months ago I was summoned to the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs — along with 34 other citizens of Bleakdale & Slough* — to take part in a charitable housing project whereby we, the 34 citizens of Bleakdale & Slough, were to charitably welcome into our homes a few hundred refugees from an armed conflict on the Continent.

My humane disposition, and the tantalizing promise of a day off from Traffic Police Appreciation Training (they sit you in front of a TV six hours a day and show you nicely-produced videos of the police citing and/or detaining people for various traffic violations), compelled me to accept a family of seven as pets and/or charges. Space was an issue at first, as the house I live in only offers a manageable area for exactly .07 human beings. My refugees have lived under my bed for the past two months; and not a single complaint from them. A hardy people, those Romulvanians.

So as you may imagine we’ve grown close. They behaved timidly at first, not even daring to say goodnight for fear I would kick them out, but by and by, patience and the milk of human kindness have conquered. The youngest daughter, who has a little English, now liaises between me and the rest of the brood. She has also undertaken to teach me some of their language. I was a fast study, much to her surprise — but then, she’d never had the opportunity to engage with a superior, civilized intellect.

I’ve been able to learn much about their colorful folk sayings as I heard them fighting over moldy peanuts or the bread crumbs I let fall on the carpet as I lay and eat in bed, reading the latest novel by Minim Gorky. (My literary tastes are refined in the extreme.)

And it is in the spirit of sharing and bridge-building that I now present to the East Bleakdale Theoretical Cave-Divers Club a list, by no means exhaustive, of the heartwarming, profound, and often confounding, folk sayings of Romulvania, translated by yours truly with a little help from Bogdana, the daughter I mentioned earlier, who would sometimes use the family periscope (which I gifted to them) to peer up at me and ask for permission to crawl out from under the bed and maybe see the rest of the house, to which my invariable response was, “Now, now, you know there’s no room to move. Be a wise girl and stay under the bed, or else the Ministry will prosecute me for not providing you and your family with adequate living quarters. That space under the bed is the absolute best — why, if I could, I would live under the bed myself.”

“Then why don’t you?” She would ask, the impertinent girl. “Because you and your family already live there, thanks to me,” I would reply. Children, eh? [NOTE TO SELF: Remember to chuckle at this point. Those cack-headed fartbags had better laugh, or else.]

 But, excuse my little digression. Here come the sayings:


It’s better than a kick in the nuts.


Tomorrow there will be peanuts for everyone.


The man up there wants us to shut up, for the hour is late.


The sun may not shine under the bed, but neither does it rain.


God is not sadistic, just clumsy.


We all have to go hungry sometimes.


Shut up and let other people use the periscope for once.


Before the war, I was an anthropologist. After the war, I am an object of study.


Grandmother may be a great cook, but we have no kitchen.


If the man up there feels generous he will break our chains and open the street door.


Do not think of pie.


If you are so smart, what are you still doing here?


The wise would appreciate every crumb from the savior’s table.


The angels will sing your praises and dogs still go when they must. [I find this one absolutely confounding — O’Fallingsworth]


The bathroom is only two steps away, but it might as well sit on the moon. [Same. — O’Fallingsworth]


God made man but he also made dogs and fleas.


War is to man as potatoes to the Earth.


Tread the path of righteousness and the savior will reward you with the best peanuts. [It seems that the Romulvanians have known of peanuts for a long time; either that, or they recently substituted “peanuts” for the previous nut. Bogdana says I have made my translation too pompous and Grandpa merely meant “Shut up or you don’t get to eat,” but that, I suspect, is one of her little jokes. — O’Fallingsworth]


Let us sing until the crack of dawn, like the frog and the albatross.


Why teach a man to fish when you can teach him to praise. [“Are you sure it’s ‘praise’ and not ‘pray’?” I asked Bogdana. She said it was most definitely ‘praise.’ — O’Fallingsworth]


The only thing worse than a tank is two tanks, unless they’re rolling away from you.


Sausage and periscopes were not made in a day.


When God created Man he forgot to finish the job.


I go to the zoo for instruction and to school for the animals. [How quaint! How finely humorous! — O’Fallingsworth]


I would gladly trade these peanuts for chloroform, or my boots for a hacksaw. [I swear, life in Romulvania must have been both wild and strange, for the common tastes of Romulvanians defy all rational explanation. — O’Fallingsworth]


This cultural excursion has, I hope, gone a long in way in promoting the ties of friendship between us and our 9g875rhivnffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff


*Pronounced “Slow.” Somewhere between Guildford and Phnom Penh. [— Ed.]

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