Onions (was Re: DWJ birthday card(s))

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Aug 20 13:53:14 EDT 2004

Minnow replied to me...

> >Over here, only about half of the mounted gardai (see how useful our
> >language is?  A garda can be male or female, and one never has to mess
> >with silly words like "policeperson"!) ever manage to look superior and
> >benign.  The other half invariably look as if they would rather be
> >else at all than sitting on top of that horse.
> I think the horses are rare enough, in England, that only the
> (you're right, gardai is much more useful, but I am never sure how to say
> it: "gard-ih"?)

One garda, pronounced as spelt; many gardai, pronounced gar-DEE.  Also often
anglicised to one guard and several guards.

> who are really determined to be on horseback get the
> chance, so they know they are superior not just to the civilian
> but to all the other police as well.

Well, I think that's rather the case here too; it's just that half of them
*look* uncomfortable.  They probably aren't really, otherwise they wouldn't
be let out (I hope!).

> *Which?* magazine once did a test of all the "cold-cures" on the market at
> the time, and concluded that if their research subjects didn't take any of
> them, a cold usually lasted three days and made their research subjects
> miserable and made them make silly mistakes a lot, and if they did take
> remedies a cold usually lasted three days and made them miserable but they
> could function to a certain extent (and spread the germs to the whole of
> the rest of the office), but if their research subjects took the
> old-fashioned remedy of going to bed with a toddy made as you have
> described (and with a spoonful of honey as well if a sore throat was
> involved) being brought to them every two hours, the cold lasted for three
> days but the research subjects didn't mind.

Heh.  Yeah, that sounds about right.
> I sometimes liked *Which?* quite a lot back in the early seventies.

I used to read it back then too.  Until the Irish Consumer Association was
formed and started bringing out its own magazine (though it often uses
"Which?" reports) and my parents started subscribing to that instead.  It's
a bit po-faced, though.

> They
> also did a thing on pets once, in which they rated different species of
> for things like "durability" and "interaction time" and "trainability" and
> "affection quotient", and in which they concluded among other things that
> goldfish were very durable but only gave three seconds of real interaction
> a day (when you fed them), couldn't be trained at all, showed no affection
> and tended to die when cuddled.  It was done very straight, and it took
> quite a while to notice the date on which the issue came out.



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