Jul 17 2007

Fictionlet

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“You play a very irritating game of 3-D chess, Mister Spock!” said Alex, taking up the mouse and moving the red queen icon up two levels to block a strategem.

“Well if that move irritated you, I’m afraid you’re going to hate this one,” replied Greg, moving the green rook. “That’s the game, I believe.”

“What?” said Alex, as a victory fanfare tune played and the word “CHECKMATE” flashed across the screen. “Oh, no way! You suck!”

“Me? Suck?” said Greg. “I’m the one who won! Obviously it must be you who sucks.”

“Nope, nope,” Alex said. “You quite definitely suck.”

“I’m sorry, but logic has no sweethearts. You lost, therefore you suck.”

“Who cares about logic? I know from intuition that you suck!”

Greg shook his head. “Your intuition is misleading you. Four out of five dentists say you suck.”

“Ha!” said Alex. “You suck so much that everybody calls you ‘The Suckinator’!”

“You should know, you’re Suckmaster General!” said Greg.

“You suck like a Hoover on afterburners!” said Alex.

“You suck more than the tornado that carried off Dorothy’s house!” said Greg.

“There are black holes out in space that only wish they sucked as much as you!” said Alex.

Brigid, watching the interchange from the doorway, finally said, “I see intelligent conversation has reached a new high around here. I think, with a little practice, you guys might be ready for eighth grade any day now!”

“Do not interfere, she-devil!” said Alex. “This is man talk!”

“It would have to be,” Brigid replied. “But I just want to say, for the record, that you both suck more than Sucky McSuckerson, five-time winner of the Suckville Suckrace’s annual Suckiest Sucker award.” She turned on her heel and exited quickly, leaving silence in her wake.

“See?” said Greg finally. “I told ya you suck.”

-The Gneech

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Jul 12 2007

Fictionlet

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“Hey, language boy,” Brigid called at Greg from the kitchen. “What’s the singular of rice?”

Greg blinked at this bit of randomness, got up from Sharon’s couch and made his way through the various party-goers to where Brigid was talking with a handful. “Sorry,” he said, “I didn’t quite catch that. It sounded as if you’d asked me what was the singular of rice.”

“That is what I asked you,” said Brigid.

“That is what you asked me?” said Greg. “But … that doesn’t make sense.”

“Sure it does,” said Brigid. “Look, you’ve got a bowl, and it’s full of rice, right? So what do you call it if there’s only one, er, bit of rice in the bowl?”

“Empty?”

“No, no, what do you call the bit? Is it ‘a rice’? Or something else, like ‘one ris, two rice’?”

“I don’t think the word ‘rice’ works that way,” said Greg. “Rice is one of those weird ‘always possessive’ words, like ‘pants’. You have ‘a bowl of rice,’ not ‘rices in a bowl’. If you want to be technical, a single, er, unit of rice, would be a grain of rice.”

“And two units?”

“Two grains of rice.”

“So grain has a singular and plural, but rice doesn’t? That’s nuts. Why not, ‘one grain, two rice’?”

Greg shrugged. “I didn’t make the language, I’m just explaining it. Besides, that would start to get confusing if you were actually talking about wheat and people thought you were talking about rice.”

“Good point!” said Brigid. “So is ‘wheat’ singular or plural? Can you have two wheats?”

Greg squeezed his eyes shut. “You’re saying these things just to hurt me, aren’t you?”

-The Gneech

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